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1. Exploring Twenty-First-Century World Politics. M ercator Projection. A classic Eurocentric view of the world it placed Europe at the center of the world it exaggerated Europe’s importance and size popular in 16 th -century Europe. Peter’s Projection.

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1 exploring twenty first century world politics

1. Exploring Twenty-First-Century

World Politics

M ercator projection

Mercator Projection

1 exploring twenty first century world politics

  • A classic Eurocentric view of the world

  • it placed Europe at the center of the world

  • it exaggerated Europe’s importance and size

  • popular in 16th-century Europe

Peter s projection

Peter’s Projection

1 exploring twenty first century world politics

  • each landmass appears in correct proportion

  • but it distorted the shape and position of landmasses

  • it draws attention to the Global South, Africa, Latin America, Asia

Orthographic projection

Orthographic Projection

1 exploring twenty first century world politics

  • it centers on the mid-Atlantic

  • the sizes and shapes of continents toward the outer edges of the circle

    : distorted to give a sense of spherical perspective

1 exploring twenty first century world politics

  • all maps of the globe: distorted.

  • each

    : a model of reality

    : an abstraction that highlights some features of the globe while ignoring others.

  • almost impossible to perfectly represent

    the three-dimensional globe on a two-dimensional piece of paper.

  • we cannot capture fully the complexity and

    configurations of even physical objects.

Images in world politics

Images in World Politics

  • Anti-Americanism in Middle East Asia

    : the US is a global bad guy, founded on the impulses of materials and expansionism.

  • Westerners (Americans)

    : view the US as a place of democracy, liberty, and opportunity.

1 exploring twenty first century world politics

  • From competing images arise intense disagreements, conflicts and hostilities.

    (1) the tragedy of the destruction of the World Trade Center on Sep. 11, 2001

    (2) Bombing in London on July 7, 2005

    : the “have-not” is unhappy about the U.S. and British involvement in Middle East affairs.

Should we believe what we see

Should We Believe What We See?

  • mental map, picture, and structure

    : a habitual way of organizing information

  • many of our images of the real world

    : be built on our mental map, consciousness, unconscious, experiences, memories, expectations, illusions, and misconceptions.

  • We all are prisoners of the perceptual predispositions

    : shape our identities, attitudes, beliefs and the images of world.

1 exploring twenty first century world politics

  • What we observe is influenced

    : by our preexisting values and expectation

    : by a mental map

    - society has constructed about how to view objects

  • we are prone to distort reality in accord with our needs.

  • the mind

    : selects, screens, and filters what it perceives.

Factors influencing perceptions in world politics

Factors Influencing Perceptions in World Politics

  • early childhood experiences

  • the socialization or learning we receive as children (at home and school etc.)

  • images advanced by mass media, leaders and groups

  • our images of world history shaped by the teachers and books

  • opinions about world affairs articulated by close friends

  • our positions and roles (student, parent, bureaucrat, diplomat etc.)

Seven blind men and the elephant

Seven Blind Men and The Elephant

  • Old fable from India

  • “They talked quietly.”

    “Each one of us knows only a part.”

    “To find out the whole truth we must put all the parts together.”

    – Communication and Sharing Ideas

  • The Man in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole.

Ii theories of world politics

II. Theories of World Politics

The role of theory

The role of theory

  • Theory

    : an intellectual tool

    • provides us with a way to organize the complexity of the world

    • helps us to see how phenomena are interrelated.

  • The role of theory

    : to make the world more intelligible or better understood.

  • 1 exploring twenty first century world politics

    • The two core perspectives throughout history

      : Realism and Liberalism.

    • other major approach: Constructivism

    1 exploring twenty first century world politics

    • Realism

      : focuses on the concept of power

      : states are the most important actors

    • Liberalism

      : emphasizes the role of institutions

      : state is not a unitary actor

    • Constructivism

      : pays attention to the powerful roles of ideas and norms (ideational factors) in world politics

    Is objective and scientific theory possible

    Is objective and scientific theory possible?

    • religion, ethical systems, other elements of culture, and economic conditions

      : influence people’s value, and judgments.

    • we are not neutral.

    • there may be an objective reality in world politics.

    • But we perceive it

      : only through prisms fashioned by

      • our past experiences

      • present values

      • our training etc.

    1 exploring twenty first century world politics

    • Theory

      : not so much a value-free enterprise as a value-explicit one.

    • However, at least theory

      : helps us clarify our thinking about values.

    • The most efficacious way to break conceptual jails

      : to find conceptual equipment that is relatively free of bias.

    1 exploring twenty first century world politics

    • Social Scientists construct different theories

      : to make international events understandable.

    • A paradigm or dominant way of looking at a particular subject

      : influences judgments regarding what analytic criteria should govern investigations.

    • Throughout history, paradigms

      : have been revised or abandoned

      - when their assertions have failed to mirror the prevailing patterns of international behavior.

    1 exploring twenty first century world politics

    • Major wars

      : brining about significant changes in the theoretical interpretation of world affairs.

    • In 20th C. three system-transforming wars: WWI, WWII, the Cold War.

    The evolution of theory

    The Evolution of Theory

    Early 20 th c liberalism idealism

    Early 20thC – Liberalism (Idealism)

    • At the dawn of the 20th Century, the world was optimistic.

    • Hague Peace Conferences in 1899 and 1907:

      : hope of controlling arms.

    • Russia’s Bolshevik revolution in 1919 and the rise of the Hitler in the 1930s

      : challenged conventional European thinking (liberalism).

    • Nonetheless, liberalism was still popular after WWI.

    • They advocated creating international institutions

      : to replace the anarchical and war-prone balance-of-power system

    After wwii rise of realism

    After WWII – Rise of Realism

    • The consequences of WWII

      : provoked strong criticism of the liberal idealist paradigm.

    • Critics

      : blamed idealist’s (liberalist) naïve moralistic assumptions about the possibility of peace.

    • The lessons from WWI and WWII

      : led many to construct a revised set of perceptions and beliefs known as Realism.

    • Among the principal thinkers

      : E. H. Carr, George Kennan, Hans Morgenthau etc.

    The cold war dominance of realism

    The Cold War – Dominance of Realism

    • The pessimistic realist thinking

      : fit the needs of a pessimistic age: 1940s – 80s

      - conflict between the US and the Soviet Union

      - the expansion of the Cold War

      - the stockpiling of nuclear weapons

      - arms races between the US and the Soviet Union

      - incessant competition among states

    The cold war challenge of liberalism

    The Cold War – Challenge of Liberalism

    • But realism did not account for

      : significant new developments in world politics in 1950s and 60s.

    • In Western Europe the cooperation pursuit of mutual advantage rather than narrow self-interest appeared.

    • Karl Deutsch, “Security Community.” (1957): Transactionalism

    • Ernest Haas, “The Uniting of Europe.” (1958): Neo-functionalism

    • Détente

    1 exploring twenty first century world politics

    • Furthermore, many of the assumptions of the realism

      : were not testable

      : realism began to be questioned.

    • By the end of 1960s, realism

      : was criticized by behavioral scientists

      - who apply scientific methods to the study of world politics

    The cold war neorealism

    The Cold War – neorealism

    • Kenneth Waltz, “Theory of International Politics” (1979)

    • In late 1970s and 80s, the neorealism within the realist theoretical tradition

      : has arisen to overcome realism’s limitations.

    The cold war and the end of cold war reemergence of liberalism neoliberalism

    The Cold War and the End of Cold War – Reemergence of Liberalism (Neoliberalism)

    • Keohane and Nye, “Power and Interdependence.” (1977)

    • In 1970s, a new analytical perspective know as “complex interdependence”

      : arose to question’s key assumption that states are the only important actors on the global stage.

      : emphasizes the growing importance of nonstate actors

    1 exploring twenty first century world politics

    • Krasner (ed.). “International Regime.” (1983)

    • Regimes

      : are institutionalized or regularized patterns (principles, norms, rules and decision-making procedures) of cooperation in a given issue area.

    • Informal and formal international institutions

      - Free Trade Regime, Japan-the US Whale Regime

      - UN, IMF, EU

    The end of cold war and 21 st c

    The End of Cold War and 21st C

    • In the last decade of 20th Century, dissatisfaction with realism/neorealism began to rise.

      - realism/neorealism failed to predict the peaceful end of the Cold War

      - it appears that realist approach would not be an adequate guide for the future of international politics



    • Nicholas Onuf. “World of Our Making.” (1989)

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