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International Relations Grand Debates

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  1. International Relations Grand Debates University of Helsinki, Department of Political Science, Fall 2003 Christer Pursiainen For downloading the Power Point presentation, go to: www.kolumbus.fi/christer.pursiainen  teaching

  2. Contents • Development of the Discipline • Idealism vs. Realism • Traditionalism vs. Scientism • Realism vs. Liberalism vs. Marxism • Neorealism vs. Institutionalism vs. Constructivism

  3. 1. Development of the Discipline Economics Strategy History Philosophy International Law ThucydidesAquinas 16th 17th Machiavelli Grotius 18th Smith 19th MarxClausewitz Rousseau Kant 20th Imperialism theories History of Diplomacy Geography Geopolitics WWI The birth of the discipline 1920-30s IDEALISM WWII REALISMTraditionalism First Debate 1950s Functionalism Natural sciences SCIENTISM (Behavioralism, FPA) Second Debate 1960s Peace research Realism revisited Third Debate 1970s Dependency (Marxism) NEOREALISMLIBERALISM 1980s Critical theory Rationalism INSTITUTIONALISM Humanities Feminism Fourth debate 1990s Postmodernism CONSTRUCTIVISM 2000s Postructuralism Developed Game theory Fifth Debate?

  4. 2. Idealism vs. Realism IDEALISM: • WWI  How to avoid major wars • peaceful changes instead of changes through war • international law • League of Nations

  5. 2. Idealism vs. Realism REALISM: • international relations should not be studied on the basis how they should be but how they are • politics is governed by objective laws • the roots of those laws lie in the human nature • the laws are objective because human nature does not change in the course of times

  6. 2. Idealism vs. Realism REALISM: • we can distinguish between the ’economic person’, the ’religious person’, the ’moral person’, the ’political person’ etc. • in order to understand politics, we must study only the ’political person’ • we should study the political actions of a statesman (as a synonym of a state)

  7. 2. Idealism vs. Realism REALISM: • the theory of political realism is based on the idea of a rational actor • we should compare the real events to this ideal, normative picture

  8. 2. Idealism vs. Realism REALISM: • the behaviour of a political person in social context is based on power • maintenance of power; strengthening of power; demonstration of power

  9. 2. Idealism vs. Realism REALISM: • power does not mean only physical or military power, but refers to all kind of control over the minds and actions of other individuals • power is important, because whatever interests or goals we have, in order to achieve them in politics this brings the desire to control the actions of others

  10. 3. Traditionalism vs. Scientism TRADITIONALISM: • Realism, historical approaches etc. • understanding politics requires historically based wisdom rather than data-based models or mechanistic theories

  11. 3. Traditionalism vs. Scientism SCIENTISM (Behavioralism): • ”Scientific Study of international relations” • no a priori theories • hypothesesobservable data regularities/correlations theory/model • graphic or mathematic models • Foreign Policy Analysis (foreign policy models)

  12. 4. Realism vs. Liberalism vs. Marxism REALISM slightly revisited: • more ”scientific” methods, models, classifications • state as an actor, less focus on ’human nature’ • realism as a theory of balance of power

  13. 4. Realism vs. Liberalism vs. Marxism LIBERALISM: • ”complex interdependece”: • a) societies are connected not only by interstate relations but transgovernmental and transnational relations as well

  14. 4. Realism vs. Liberalism vs. Marxism LIBERALISM: • b) there is no hierarchy between issue areas, i.e., military security does not dominate other issues • c) where complex interdependence prevails, military power is ineffective and irrelevant to resolve disagreements • d) international organisations important in setting the agenda and inducing coalition formation

  15. 4. Realism vs. Liberalism vs. Marxism MARXISM: • theories of imperialism • dependency theories • world system theories; centre-periphery

  16. 5. Neorealism vs. Institutionalism vs. Constructivism NEOREALISM: • objective environment: anarchic structure of international system  competitive security system • states behave rationally according to their national interests, since those who do not will not survive

  17. 5. Neorealism vs. Institutionalism vs. Constructivism NEOREALISM: • zero-sum  states are calculating relative gaines • ’self-help’ system: cooperation difficult/superficial/temporary

  18. 5. Neorealism vs. Institutionalism vs. Constructivism NEOREALISM: • security dilemma is always present: • a) the unintended decrease in the security of others when one state increases its own security

  19. 5. Neorealism vs. Institutionalism vs. Constructivism NEOREALISM: • b) the uncertainty of present or future intentions of other states • c) a state feels insecure if it does not act and insecure if it does

  20. 5. Neorealism vs. Institutionalism vs. Constructivism NEOREALISM: • security dilemma is regulated by balance-of-power politics

  21. 5. Neorealism vs. Institutionalism vs. Constructivism INSTITUTIONALISM: • Subjective environment: individual security system • international institutions can change states’ cost-benefit calculations • institutions can help states to overcome some relative gain problems and therefore states are calculating also absolute gains

  22. 5. Neorealism vs. Institutionalism vs. Constructivism INSTITUTIONALISM: • though we may not completely remove the security dilemma, it can be mitigated by creating interdependence and common security regimes, norms and rules, creating reciprocal relations and positive expectations of each other’s behaviour

  23. 5. Neorealism vs. Institutionalism vs. Constructivism CONSTRUCTIVISM: • intersubjective environment: cooperative security community possible • agency and structure are interrelated: ”anarchy is what states make of it”

  24. 5. Neorealism vs. Institutionalism vs. Constructivism CONSTRUCTIVISM: • the security dilemma is often regulated and sometimes mitigated but it can also be resolved through changes in identities and threat perceptions

  25. 5. Neorealism vs. Institutionalism vs. Constructivism Self-understanding of the theories C I NR -only most important things, like the law of gravity does not explaing the path minimalistic theory -explains of a leaf in wind • explains the same as • NR + more • explains the same as • NR + I + more

  26. 1. Development of the Discipline Economics Strategy History Philosophy International Law ThucydidesAquinas 16th 17th Machiavelli Grotius 18th Smith 19th Marx Clausewitz Rousseau Kant 20th Imperialism theories History of Diplomacy Geography Geopolitics WWI The birth of the discipline 1920-30s IDEALISM WWII REALISMTraditionalism First Debate 1950s Functionalism Natural sciences SCIENTISM (Behavioralism, FPA) Second Debate 1960s Peace research Realism revisited Third Debate 1970s Dependency (Marxism) NEOREALISMLIBERALISM 1980s Critical theory Rationalism INSTITUTIONALISM Humanities Feminism Fourth debate 1990s Postmodernism CONSTRUCTIVISM 2000s Fifth Debate? Developed Game Theory

  27. 1. Development of the Discipline Economics Strategy History Philosophy International Law ThucydidesAquinas 16th 17th Machiavelli Grotius 18th Smith 19th MarxClausewitz Rousseau Kant 20th Imperialism theories History of Diplomacy Geography Geopolitics WWI The birth of the discipline 1920-30s IDEALISM WWII REALISMTraditionalism First Debate 1950s Functionalism Natural sciences SCIENTISM (Behavioralism, FPA) Second Debate 1960s Peace research Realism revisited Third Debate 1970s Dependency (Marxism) NEOREALISMLIBERALISM 1980s Critical theory Rationalism INSTITUTIONALISM Humanities Feminism Fourth debate 1990s Postmodernism CONSTRUCTIVISM 2000s Postructuralism Developed Game theory Fifth Debate?

  28. International Relations Grand Debates University of Helsinki, Department of Political Science, Fall 2003 Christer Pursiainen For downloading the Power Point presentation, go to: www.kolumbus.fi/christer.pursiainen  teaching