Approaches to Global Politics

Amelie K.
Mind Map by Amelie K., updated 7 months ago
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Key facts about major theoretical approaches in IR

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Approaches to Global Politics
1 Realism
1.1 Scholars
1.1.1 Carr
1.1.2 Morgenthau
1.1.3 Waltz
1.1.4 Kennan
1.1.5 Niebuhr
1.2 sub-types
1.2.1 neorealism / structural reaslism
1.2.1.1 Herz: anarchy assuring struggle for power even in absence of aggressivity or similar forces
1.2.1.2 near exclusive focus on anarchy
1.3 core assumptions
1.3.1 international anarchy
1.3.1.1 no sovereign/Leviathan
1.3.1.1.1 Hobbes: State of Nature
1.3.1.1.2 no hierarchy
1.3.1.1.2.1 only individual, sovereign states
1.3.1.2 security dilemma
1.3.1.2.1 mitigation NOT elimination of conflict, less dangerous NOT safe or peacful world
1.3.1.2.2 Waltz: 'conflict and war are rooted in human nature'
1.3.1.2.3 conflict partially explained through situation of anarchy
1.3.1.2.4 Prisoner's dilemma
1.3.2 egoism
1.3.2.1 constrained within a state by political structure
1.4 actions always have unintended consequences
1.4.1 caution & prudence
1.5 premises
1.5.1 state-centric
1.5.1.1 power
1.5.1.1.1 balance of power preventing war
1.5.1.1.2 break down of balance = power aquisition
1.5.1.1.3 distribution important
1.5.1.1.4 military power
1.5.1.2 self-help
1.5.1.2.1 Waltz: every unit must 'put itself in a position to be able to take care of itself since no one else can be counted on to do so'
1.5.1.3 survival
1.5.1.4 state-egoism
1.5.1.4.1 constrains on diplomacy
1.5.1.5 only national self-interest matters
1.5.1.5.1 relative gains
1.5.1.5.2 balance instead of bandwagon (do not strengthen someone else, they may turn on you; instead oppose stronger party)
1.5.1.5.3 sovereignty
1.5.1.6 no consideration of universal moral laws
1.5.1.6.1 Morgenthau: 'realism maintains that universal moral principles cannot be applied to the actions of states'
1.5.1.6.1.1 no gov to punish amoral behaviour, therefore morality can't be afforded
1.5.2 rationality
1.5.3 shared by many other theories
1.6 assessment
1.6.1 pro
1.6.1.1 Waltz: 'a small number of big important things'
1.6.2 con
1.6.2.1 prone to exaggerations
1.6.2.2 claim that institutions barely if at all affect states
1.6.2.3 simplifications presented as categorical empirical claims
1.6.2.4 claim that realism exlains most important things is normative
1.6.2.5 restricitve
2 Liberalism
2.1 Three key themes
2.1.1 republican liberalism
2.1.1.1 states (potential) threat to each other
2.1.1.2 Fukuyama: democratic peace theory
2.1.1.3 liberal interventionalism
2.1.2 interdependence liberalism
2.1.2.1 economic interdependence
2.1.2.1.1 free trade: single states less influential, TNCs important
2.1.2.1.2 deterrs war, expansionism, aggression
2.1.2.1.2.1 fear of loss of goods
2.1.2.1.2.2 better understanding through shared commercial culture
2.1.2.2 complex interdependence
2.1.2.2.1 tendency to prioritise low politics (unconnected to national self-interest) over high politics (national self-interest, defence & foreign relations)
2.1.3 liberal institurionalism
2.1.3.1 IOs based on security & rule of law can act as sovereign in international politics
2.1.3.1.1 promote cooperation
2.1.3.1.2 constrain sovereign states
2.2 liberal philosophy
2.2.1 individual liberty
2.2.1.1 freedom
2.2.1.2 constitutionally guaranteed rights
2.2.2 rationality
2.2.3 human progress
2.3 key assumptions
2.3.1 cooperation
2.3.2 harmony of interests
2.3.2.1 some issues concern many, e.g. climate change, migration
2.3.3 Burchill: inside-out
2.3.3.1 legitimacy of state can be transferred to international sphere
2.3.3.1.1 domestic free market --> open globalized economy
2.3.3.1.2 parliamentary debate and accountability mirrored in UN etc.
2.3.4 multiple actors of importance
2.3.5 peace possible
2.3.6 decentralised international system
2.4 scholars
2.4.1 Nye
2.4.2 Keohane
2.4.3 Wilson
2.5 assessing liberalism
2.5.1 pro
2.5.1.1 recognises important role of IOs
2.5.1.2 advance of globalisation
2.5.1.3 democracies after communism
2.5.2 con
2.5.2.1 religious revivalism & political Islam revive role of nation state
2.5.2.2 sub-traditions don't always support each other
2.6 sub-types
2.6.1 neoliberal institutionalism
2.6.1.1 institutions play important role
2.6.1.1.1 secure collective interest
2.6.1.2 institution = set or norms, rules and standard operating procedures
2.6.1.3 global interdependence: states need each other in various areas
2.6.1.3.1 achieve COOPERATION in international system
3 Use
3.1 contain
3.1.1 assumptions
3.1.2 toolbox
3.2 make sense of complexity
3.2.1 Donnelly: from [...] confusing detail [...] towards what is most important
3.3 guide policy/decision making
3.4 three types of theory
3.4.1 explanatory
3.4.1.1 towards explanation
3.4.1.2 why and under which circumstances sth happens
3.4.1.3 hard evidence
3.4.1.4 Hollis & Smith: explain/predict behaviour or understand the world 'inside the heads' of actors
3.4.2 interpretative
3.4.2.1 imposes meaning on events
3.4.2.2 human reflection as a social process
3.4.3 normative
3.4.3.1 how sth ought to be
3.4.3.2 prescribes values
3.4.3.3 analyse how various conceptions are constructed and defended, e.g. human rights, global social justice
3.5 Waltz: explain laws of internat. politics or recurrent patterns of national behaviour
4 CAREFUL
4.1 filters
4.2 lenses
4.3 different theories = mutual checks
4.4 leave out other parts
5 Critical Approaches
5.1 Social Constructivism
5.1.1 no objective reality
5.1.1.1 people (individuals and groups) consturct the world in which they live
5.1.1.2 interactions between agents and structures always influenced by 'ideation factors'
5.1.2 Wendt: 'anarchy is what states make of it'
5.1.2.1 state behaviour determined by how states view anarchy
5.1.2.1.1 anarchy of friends OR enemies
5.1.3 if self-perception of actors changes, behaviour changes
5.1.3.1 many actors whose identity depends on context
5.1.3.2 nations = subjective entities defined by members (traditions, values, sentiments)
5.1.3.3 optimistic: narrow perception of self-interest can be overcome
5.1.3.4 pessimistic: states fall pray to expansionist creeds
5.1.4 identity central
5.1.4.1 identity --> interests --> actions
5.1.4.2 need to know where interests come from to understand political phenomenon
5.2 Feminism
5.2.1 gender as a social construct
5.2.2 gendering of terms
5.2.3 role of women in politics
5.2.3.1 criticize focus on male-dominated institutions: states, gov.s, TNCs, NGOs
5.2.3.2 female perspectives ignored
5.3 Marxism
5.3.1 history driven by economic changes because of class conflict
5.3.2 capitalism = international system causing conflict & war
5.3.2.1 upheld by hegemony of bourgeoisie
5.3.2.1.1 hegemony based on coercion and consent
5.3.2.2 exploitation of working class
5.3.3 Critical Theory
5.3.3.1 all theories based on values and interests = normative
5.3.3.2 uncover oppression
5.3.3.3 association between political community and the state --> possibly more inclusive
5.4 see theory & practice linked
5.5 challenge status quo
5.6 expose inequalities
5.7 Poststructuralism
5.7.1 human interactions/communication embedded in notions of power
5.7.2 there will always be competing interpretations to any event
5.7.2.1 9/11
5.7.3 deconstruction: expose hidden meanings, blindspots and contradictions
5.7.4 relativism?
5.8 Green Politics
5.8.1 issues: limits to growth, population growth, climate change
5.8.2 emphasise link between humankind and nature
5.8.3 Mainstream/Reformist: balance modernisation/economic growth with sustainabledevelopment to tackle degradation of environment
5.8.4 Radical: social change needed to restore balance between humankind and nature
5.9 Postcolonialism
5.9.1 expose cultural dimensions of colonial rule
5.9.2 E. Said: 'orientalism' = how western hegemony subjugated non-western people and culture and still impacts western states
5.9.3 humanitarian intervention = colonialism by other means
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