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40 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
International Relations
The relationships among the world's state governments and the connections between those states and other actors. International relations is the main focus of the course.
Randomness in the behavior of people in IR. Stochasticity is one of the two main problems with Political Science theory, as trying to create a theory that describes behavior which is inherently random leads to theories which are more probabilistic in nature.
A state is an entity with total sovereignty over its territory. States are the main actors in IR and most theories in IR deal with the relationships between states at the international level.
A nation is an identity community that seeks or has self-determination. Nations deal more with people and ideas while states are concerned with territory and government in IR.
The predominate model of state politics in the modern world. The U.S., for example, is a nation state as it has a set territory and government and its people have their own ideals and seek self-determination.
International Anarchy
The state of anarchy that exists at the international level because of a lack of a central government to control the behavior of all states. It is because of this anarchy that the behavior of states amongst each other which we study in IR is so difficult to predict as states can do whatever they want.
Peace of Westphalia
The Peace of Westphalia refers to the situation in 1648 in Europe where each prince, noble, etc. agreed that each territory they ruled over was free to choose its own religion. This idea formed the basis of Westphalian sovereignty where each state has power over its territory and all other states are excluded from intervening in the internal affairs of other states.
Non-Governmental Organization
Transnational group or entity that interacts with states, multinational corporations, other NGOs, and IGOs. NGOs in IR can be powerful actors (ie: the Catholic church).
Multi-National Corporation (MNC)
A company based in one state that has branches operating in other states. Multi-National corporations are interesting actors in IR because, operating in more than one state, they do not abide by any one state's laws and regulations.
Inter-Governmental Organization
An organization whose members are state governments. In IR, the UN serves as the primary intergovernmental organization.
The ability or potential to influence another's behavior. In IR, according to the realist theory, power is the central and most important idea.
Usefulness of a state's measures of power. In IR a state's fungibility is a separate but very important factor from power in determining the outcome of a given situation. For example, the U.S. was more than powerful enough to invade and conquer Iraq. However, the US's power was not fungible enough to properly stabilize the state.
Known as the father of Internation Relations. He wrote the History of the Pelopponesian War. He asserted that among international relations "the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept." This idea ties in almost exactly with the ideas presented in realism.
Rational-Choice Theory
States that an actor will assess the options available to it, attach subjective utilities to each option, and make the choice that yields the highest subjective utility. This is a theory found in realism and can be used to determine what a state will do, for example, when deciding whether or not it will attack another state.
Balance of Power
The concept that one or more state's power will always counter the power of another's so that no state can become all-powerful. In IR, this can refer to a fairly equal ratio of power between states and alliances, any ratio of power between states, or the idea that alliances and coalitions have formed to prevent any one state from becoming too powerful.
Two or more states with a formal agreement to join forces for mutual benefit. In IR, states form alliances often to keep the balance of power and to prevent states from becoming powerful enough to conquer the states involved in the alliance.
The threat to punish another actor if it takes a certain negative action. This is often invoked in order to prevent a powerful state from attacking a friendly state or an ally. Deterrence is another tool used in IR to keep the balance of power.
The use of force to make another actor take some action as opposed to deterrence which is used to prevent an action. In IR compellence can be dangerous as sometimes a state will respond with compellence with equal compellence and a vicious cycle can result in an ever-escalating problem such as the arms race in the Cold War.
Security Dilemma
Anything a state does on its own to make itself more secure makes every other state less secure. In IR this problem is sometimes avoided through alliances which can stop problems resulting from the security dilemma such as the arms race.
Takes realism a step further in saying that power will largely determine the degree of conflict in IR and "great powers" in the world are nearly all that matters.
Great Power
A few of the largest states that posses especially great military and economic strength. Great powers can only be defeated by other powers, a concept which helps keep the balance of power.
The fact that some goals are better accomplished, or can only be accomplished, through cooperation and coordination. This idea is present in the liberal viewpoint in that it presents a more optimistic world where cooperation is key.
Immanuel Kant
Wrote Perpetual Peace. Immanuel Kant believed that monarchies and leaders alike were responsible for wars as they did not represent the opinion of the majority and had the power to go to war. Kant favored republics where the people had the power in order to avoid wars. Kant's viewpoints follow the liberal perspective in that they believe the average individual does not want war and when given the ability to choose they will not pick war.
rewards behavior that contributes to the group and punishes behavior that pursues self-interest at the expense of the group. This idea helps to resolve the issue of the collective goods problem which is the problem of providing for the common good without sacrificing the rights of the individual.
Hegemonic Stability Theory
Says that a hegemony, a state largely more powerful than the others that can act as the "world policeman", provides order in an otherwise anarchic international system and provides a hard currency that can be used as a world standard.
Neo-Liberal Institutionalism
Says that third party institutions help in arbitration and to provide collective security. One such example of this is the UN. The UN helps in solving the collective goods problem by bringing states together to work out problems.
A theory which holds that the more powerful classes oppress and exploit the less powerful by denying them their fair share of the surplus that they create. This is a theory which brings a constructivist viewpoint into play known as class struggle. This is the struggle that supposedly goes on between the poorer class and the richer class.
Social Reality
The intersubjectively constructed understanding possessed by human identity communities of how the world works. This is a key idea present in constructivism which is a viewpoint that deals more with each individual's view of the world.
Difference Feminism
Biologically hardwired differences. The solution is to put more women in power. Relates to constructivism.
Difference Feminism
Biologically hardwired differences. The solution is to put more women in power. Relates to constructivism.
Postmodern Feminism
Difference are culturally wired. Change definition of masculinity. relates to constructivism
Peace Studies
Believes that war can be avoided and states the causes as miscommunication, militarism, and social inequality. Relates to constructivism.
Foreign Policy
Policy of a state towards people, issues, or other states outside their area of sovereignty.
The organization of technocratic experts tasked with executing political directives.
The Rational Model
One of G. Allison's models of decisionmaking. Follows the realist view of power being the most important concept and so choices would be made based on that viewpoint.
The Organizational-Process Model
Standard operating procedures previously drafted guide a state's decision-making.
The Government-Bargaining Model
Depends on different positions within the government with different opinions on what should be done.
Fundamental Attribution Error
Tendency to attribute an entities behavior to the nature of the entity itself rather than to the situation that entity finds itself in.
Opinions of individuals in groups tossed in favor of one group opinion.
Instead of 'best possible' solution, the 'good enough' solution is chosen.