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Levels of Analysis; or Where ’ s the Action?. Bruce Russet. Kenneth Waltz. J A Morrison. Lecture 5 Tuesday, 22 February 2011. Admin. Plan for this Week Today: Unit-level Analysis Thursday: Constructivism Discussion: Goldstein & Keohane Constructivism is Tough

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levels of analysis or where s the action

Levels of Analysis;or Where’s the Action?

Bruce Russet

Kenneth Waltz

J A Morrison

Lecture 5

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

admin
Admin
  • Plan for this Week
    • Today: Unit-level Analysis
    • Thursday: Constructivism
    • Discussion: Goldstein & Keohane
  • Constructivism is Tough
    • Take “layered” approach
    • Thursday lecture will help
lec 5 levels of analysis
Lec 5: Levels of Analysis
  • Grouping Theories of IP
  • Levels of Analysis
  • Deploying the Levels
  • Several Unit-Level Analyses
lec 5 levels of analysis1
Lec 5: Levels of Analysis
  • Grouping Theories of IP
  • Levels of Analysis
  • Deploying the Levels
  • Several Unit-Level Analyses
slide5

Remember that the traditional way to organize theories of IP is into the three major schools.

This assumes that all the theories cluster around one another into three clear groups: Liberalism, Realism, and Constructivism.

slide6
But, as we saw in our discussion, there are any number of dimensions along which we can arrange these theories of IP.
optimism pessimism
Optimism/Pessimism

Hobbes

Athenians

Keohane

Axelrod

Carr

Mearsheimer

?

Optimists

Pessimists

Waltz

Jervis

= It Depends

absolute relative gains
Absolute/Relative Gains

Hobbes

Keohane

Axelrod

Melians

Mearsheimer

Athenians

?

Prefer Absolute Gains

Prefer Relative Gains

Waltz

?

Carr

discount rate time horizon
Discount Rate/Time Horizon

Hobbes

Keohane

Axelrod

Melians

Mearsheimer

Athenians

?

Long Time Horizon

Short Time Horizon

Waltz

?

Carr

morality and power
Morality and Power

Hobbes

Athenians

Carr

Waltz

Mearsheimer

Melians

(Grotius)

Keohane

Axelrod

Jervis

IR Can & Should be Moral

Might Makes Right

slide12

So, here’s the moral of the story:

The groupings you get depend on the issues you use to organize them.

Our traditional schools might not be particularly useful!

slide13

There is, however, yet another way to slice and dice these theories of IP.

We might also organize the theories based on the level of analysis.

lec 5 levels of analysis2
Lec 5: Levels of Analysis
  • Grouping Theories of IP
  • Levels of Analysis
  • Deploying the Levels
  • Several Unit-Level Analyses
slide15

In Man, the State, & War (1959), Ken Waltz described the three “images of international relations.”

These were “defined according to where one locates the nexus of important causes.”

Waltz, K. Man, the State, and War: A Theoretical Analysis. Columbia University Press, New York: 2001. See p 12.

the level of analysis question is really

Where is all of the action?

The “level of analysis” question is really:

At what level do we find the variables that have the greatest influence on outcomes in IP?

ken waltz s 3 images
Ken Waltz’s 3 “Images”

1st Image: Individual-Level

2nd Image: State/Unit-Level

3rd Image: System/Structural-Level

here s an example what was the primary cause of the second world war
Here’s an example:

What was the primary cause of the Second World War?

slide19

The Individual Level…

- Adolph Hitler was crazy

- Winston Churchill hated Germans

- Chamberlain had the wrong perceptions of Hitler’s intentions, and he miscalculated

slide20

The State/Unit Level…

- Autocracies + Democracies = War

- Hitler wanted economic stimulus

- German pride was wounded  nationalism

slide21

The System Level…

- Bad distribution of power

- Offense dominance

- Lack of rigorous international regimes

- Economic (dis)integration

where do we look to explain ip outcomes
Where do we look to explain IP outcomes?
  • At the crucial statespersons and diplomats?
  • At the character and properties of the states themselves?
  • At the environment in which states operate?
lec 5 levels of analysis3
Lec 5: Levels of Analysis
  • Grouping Theories of IP
  • Levels of Analysis
  • Deploying the Levels
  • Several Unit-Level Analyses
levels of analysis
Levels of Analysis

Individual Level

?

Carr

?

Athenians

Melians

Unit Level

?

Waltz

Mearsheimer

Keohane

Axelrod

Jervis

System Level

slide27

You’ll notice that all of the theories in the tradition of the Waltzian Paradigm emphasize systemic variables.

(No, duh!)

But we haven’t always thought about IP that way…

and an increasing number of scholars are looking within states are opening waltz s black boxes
And an increasing number of scholars are looking within states—are “opening Waltz’s black boxes.”
levels of analysis1
Levels of Analysis

Today, we’ll focus on this level: the unit level.

Individual Level

?

Carr

?

Athenians

Melians

Unit Level

?

Waltz

Mearsheimer

Keohane

Axelrod

Jervis

System Level

lec 5 levels of analysis4
Lec 5: Levels of Analysis
  • Grouping Theories of IP
  • Levels of Analysis
  • Deploying the Levels
  • Several Unit-Level Analyses
iv several unit level analyses
IV. Several Unit-Level Analyses

Russett: Electoral Politics

Rogowski: Special Interests

BGW: Domestic Political Institutions

it s the economy stupid

“The best single predictor of the governing party's electoral fortunes is the direction and rate of change in real (that is, inflation-adjusted) disposable income during the nine or twelve months preceding the election, perhaps mostly only the last three months.”(Russet, 27)

It’s the Economy, Stupid

but controlling the economy is hard

“Economic conditions, however, often cannot be controlled sufficiently to insure electoral success. Fine-tuning of a complex modern economy is less than an exact science…The business cycle thus is substantially less controllable than the policy cycle, and less predictable than the electoral cycle.”(Russet, 29-30)

But Controlling the Economy is Hard

slide35

Political leaders, however, have much more control over the military.

And they can use this authority to both influence the economy and distract attention from it.

slide36

“What is clear is that seeming tough rarely hurts much, at least in the short run. Given the benefit of the doubt often accorded to a president when acting

in the arcane arena of foreign affairs, manipulation of foreign crises for domestic political purposes may be less visible than similar manipulation of macroeconomic policy.”(Russet, 37)

how do they do this
How do they do this?
  • Pursuit of national economic interests –capitalist imperialism
  • “Pump-priming” – stimulate economy through military expenditure
  • Distraction – Blame the foreigners; rally ‘round the flag
the domestic economy war
The Domestic Economy & War

The economy matters…

…but the economy can be hard to manage.

But with military policy…

…politicians enjoy greater control.

Under electoral pressure…

…politicians might use military policy toward economic ends.

the implication

“The timing of international disputes is related to domestic economic conditions, and to the election cycle.”(Russet, 49)

The Implication

 Is that a unit-level analysis, or what?

iv several unit level analyses1
IV. Several Unit-Level Analyses

Russett: Electoral Politics

Rogowski: Special Interests

BGW: Domestic Political Institutions

slide41

Foreign economic policy has significant implications for domestic interest groups.

For instance…

In the US, free trade tends to hurt low-skill workers and benefit capitalists.

slide42

As a result, political cleavages often develop along the lines of economic interests.

(Republicans tend to support trade liberalization while Democrats are more suspicious.)

political cleavages ipe
Political Cleavages & IPE
  • Foreign economic policies depend partly on rivalries between domestic groups (e.g. land, labor, capital)
  • Distribution of power between groups is shaped by:
    • changes in policy
    • exogenous changes in conditions
the implication1

Exogenous Change in Conditions

Foreign policy interacts with domestic political empowerment.

The Implication

iv several unit level analyses2
IV. Several Unit-Level Analyses

Russett: Electoral Politics

Rogowski: Special Interests

BGW: Domestic Political Institutions

slide46

But Rogowski forgets about domestic institutions!

After all, domestic political institutions shape which interests are represented in the policymaking process.

slide47
Bailey, Goldstein, & Weingast cite the 1934 Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (RTAA) as an important example…
who sets trade policy matters
Who Sets Trade Policy Matters
  • US Constitution delegates tariff-setting authority to Congress
  • Congress traditionally prefers high tariffs
    • Party: Protectionist Republicans dominate after Civil War
    • Structure: Smaller districts  parochial interests  logrolling
  • President prefers low tariffs
    • Party: FDR is a Democrat!
    • Structure: Larger district  broader interests  broad-based policy
bgw key institutional shift
BGW: Key Institutional Shift
  • President given power to negotiate trade agreements
  • Satisfying Congress with Reciprocity
    • Reciprocity created export opportunities
    • Now: Broadened Range of Acceptable Tariff Cuts
    • Later: Exporters become entrenched advocates of liberalization
  • Conclusion: RTAA jumpstarted export industry which never looked back
the implication2

Change in Institutions

Institutional changes can shift foreign policy to new equilibrium.

The Implication

to do
To Do…
  • Rethink your “slicing & dicing”
  • Start thinking about your papers
  • Give Wendt the old college try
  • Read Katzenstein carefully
  • Get Goldstein & Keohane into position for Thursday