ch 2_-_theory_and_world_politics

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  1. 1. Theory and World Politics
  2. 2. DR-CAFTA The Dominican Republic- Central American Trade Agreement illustrates how the levels of analysis are used as an analytical tool for the study of international relations Also highlights the major concepts of: Conflict and Cooperation Globalization and Fragmentation.
  3. 3. DR-CAFTA (cont.) DR-CAFTA, similar to NAFTA, is designed to create a free- trade zone between the United States, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua Costa Rica is a signatory to the treaty but has failed to ratify, leaving it up to the voters via a referendum.
  4. 4. Supporters Supporters suggest that DR- CAFTA will bring economic, political, and social benefits to each nation Access to new markets Lower trade costs Improvements in the protection of investments and intellectual property Increased transparency Improvements in the environment
  5. 5. Critics Critics argue that the agreement will be detrimental to Workers rights The environment Domestic industries Will benefit only the United States and other elites.
  6. 6. Conflict Cooperation DR-CAFTA (cont.) Conflict was demonstrated in the domestic political disagreements regarding the treaty Cooperation was evident internationally as the states came together to negotiate the treaty
  7. 7. Levels of Analysis
  8. 8. Levels of Analysis A methodological way of understanding world politics Typically broken down into Systemic Domestic Individual levels
  9. 9. System Level of Analysis Viewing the system as a whole This level of analysis treats states as actors and how their relationships and behaviors can be explained by the nature of the international system In essence, the internal machinations of the state are irrelevant.
  10. 10. The most distinguishing feature at this level is the anarchic structure of the international system There is no final arbiter to hold states accountable for their behavior States exist in a dog-eat-dog, zero-sum world States can rely only upon themselves. At the systemic level of analysis it is also assumed that states are rational actors
  11. 11. The DR-CAFTA example illustrates how the anarchic international system Creates incentives or disincentives for economic cooperation among states; Affect that nature and likelihood of success of the treaty Whether the United States, as the hegemon, will use its economic influence to induce participation (realist view) or Whether this institution will enhance cooperation among the states (liberal view).
  12. 12. Domestic Level of Analysis This level of analysis provides a tool for examining the effects of domestic structures, institutions, and cultures, specifically The factors or variables within all countries account for their decisions in the area of world politics.
  13. 13. Here, the internal machinations, guiding principles, or characteristics of the state are relevant; Ex. How states develop foreign policies given their institutional structure or regime type is considered.
  14. 14. Considering DR-CAFTA, the domestic level of analysis might examine the effect of a countrys relative economic stability, growth, power, or potential on their willingness to ratify the treaty Conversely, the analysis might focus on what agencies within each government were favorable and which opposed the treaty.
  15. 15. Individual Level of Analysis Although elements of the international system and domestic politics constrain individual leaders, ultimately decision making lies with them The individual level of analysis seeks to find specific factors that can account for and even predict an individuals behavior.
  16. 16. One method to approach the individual level of analysis is the concept of the operational code Its a cognitive road map of an individuals political beliefs and priorities.
  17. 17. In the DR-CAFTA example, an individual level of analysis would include an analysis of the skills of a particular diplomat Ex. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zollick, the decisions of individual members of the U.S. Congress, or the personalities of the signatories leaders.
  18. 18. Levels of Analysis: Analytical Tools The three levels of analysis are not mutually exclusive Any given international relations issue can be explained using every level of analysis. Moving from the system to the individual level, the more we shift from a generalizable explanation to a singular description.
  19. 19. Systemic-level analysis tends to provide explanations for the most general aspects of world politics Domestic-level analysis can explain more specific events and actions Individual-level analysis can offer insight into particular behaviors and decisions.
  20. 20. Theoretical Paradigms/World Views
  21. 21. Realism Can trace its roots back hundreds of years (Thucydides, Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Hobbes). Focuses on power and The treacherous amoral and selfish nature of humans in shaping international relations.
  22. 22. Contemporary Realists Share a set of related core assumptions Anarchic nature of the system The use of power politics as a self-help mechanism The conflictual nature of the system The preeminence of security over economic gain States are the key political actors.
  23. 23. Structural or Neorealism Associated with the systemic level of analysis Argue that the structure of the international system accounts for the behavior of states. Emphasizes that the international system is anarchic That all states are unitary, rational actors The primary concern of all states is survival.
  24. 24. Structural or Neorealism (cont.) Further, structural realists focus on security and the distribution of power of the most powerful states in the system Relative power is more important than absolute power Thus they are concerned with polarity Unipolar Bipolar Multipolar.
  25. 25. Structural or Neorealism (cont.) The influence of structural realism has declined due to its inability to explain the collapse of the Soviet Union The resistance to reductivism prevents structural realists from acknowledging the influence or effects of changes within the state.
  26. 26. Constructivism Constructivists argue that states are far from rational They develop their identities and interests internally Their assumptions, beliefs, and behaviors determine the effect of the international system i.e. In essence, constructivists argue that international actors make their own reality.
  27. 27. Constructivists rely on psychology and sociology as templates for their theories rather than on science and economics (like realists and liberals). A states identity is created from their actions and interactions.
  28. 28. Critics argue that constructivism is not a theory at all It lacks any independent variables and No single factor can explain whether or not cooperation will occur.
  29. 29. Liberalism Early contributions focused on War Natural law and the Emergence of an international society John Locke & Immanuel Kant.
  30. 30. All of these early philosophers shared the basic tenets of liberalism: Cooperation is possible and beneficial Global politics is a variable-sum game Cooperation is facilitated by interdependence, institutions, and democracy and A focus on cooperation and mutual interests is more beneficial to states.
  31. 31. Neoliberals Rely on the systemic level of analysis and argue that the anarchic structure of the international system can be overcome through Institutions, regimes, and interdependence. Rather than focus on the realist concern for survival in a zero-sum world, neoliberals argue that politics is a Variable-sum game where states cooperate to ensure their interests are protected and furthered.
  32. 32. Institutionalism Regime theory, or institutionalism, suggests that states Develop rules, norms, laws, and organizations regarding different issue areas in order to enhance and protect cooperation.
  33. 33. Democratic Peace Theorists focus on the domestic level of analysis Specifically that liberal democracies are extremely unlikely to go to war against each other. Based on the writings of Immanuel Kant Suggests that states that are constitutional republics would provide for a more peaceful international system because the Majority of the public would not vote for war, except in self-defense.
  34. 34. Democratic Peace (cont.) Democratic peace theory has been adopted as a viable policy for many U.S. administrations who argued that Increasing the number of democracies in the Middle East would bring peace to the region.
  35. 35. Other Theoretical Paradigms/Worldviews Feminist scholars challenge the major paradigms Contend that historically the overwhelming majority of actors in the areas of conflict, politics, and economics have been men Thus the study of international politics has been biased toward conflict at the expense of traditional women concerns such as Health, education, child care, and so forth.
  36. 36. World systems theory has its roots in Marxism and focuses on the Uneven and perpetual economic development and the Exploitation of peripheral states by those in the core.