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2.0. Theoretical Perspectives and the Study of Global Politics. Learning Objectives: Understand how Realists describe global politics Identify the Realist view of power Explain international events through the concepts of the Stag Hunt, Security Dilemma, and Balance of Power.

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2.0. Theoretical Perspectives and the Study of Global Politics

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how Realists describe global politics

  • Identify the Realist view of power

  • Explain international events through the concepts of the Stag Hunt, Security Dilemma, and Balance of Power


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2.0. Theoretical Perspectives and the Study of Global Politics

  • The utility and importance of theory

  • History and the study of global politics (textbook)

    Study Tip: It is important to understand how IR theories developed in the context of historical events. Read the theory material in the textbook carefully.


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“Power politics”

“Realpolitik”

2.1. Realism


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2.1. Realism

The Intellectual Roots of Realism:

  • Thucydides

  • Kautilya

  • Sun Tzu

  • Niccoló Machiavelli

  • Thomas Hobbes


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2.1. Realism

The Principles of Realism

  • The State is the most important actor

  • The Survival of the State is the dominant concern

  • The principle of “Self-help” motivates action in an anarchic world

    Study Tip:

    Remember these principles! Think of them as the three “S’s” (SSS) of realism. They do not represent the entire content of Realism, but they are an essential starting point for remembering what Realists are all about.


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2.1. Realism

  • The Stag Hunt (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)

  • The Security Dilemma


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2.1. Realism

Behind the Monolith of Realism (textbook)

  • Classical Realism

  • Structural Realism


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2.1. Realism

Realism, Power, and Policy

Study Tip:

Remember, realism is a paradigm, not a political platform. However, a realist would give a certain type of policy advice to a leader or government based on the realist view of the world. What advice would a realist give to the government of Canada on the conduct of Canadian foreign and defence policy?


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2.1. Realism

Realism and the Balance of Power


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2.1. Realism

Realism and global politics today


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Summary

  • After the class on Realism, you should understand how Realists describe global politics.

  • You should also be familiar with how Realists describe power, and how this view of power informs realists about how states act in global politics.

  • You should also be able to use the Realist concepts of the Stag Hunt, Security Dilemma, and Balance of Power to explain global political and international events.

  • Next, we will examine Liberalism and the theoretical challenge it poses to Realism.


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