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Flashcards in 3-IR Theories Deck (22)
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What is a theory? What are the characteristics of a good theory?

o a collection of propositions to explain phenomena by specifying the relationships among a set of concepts, e.g., explanatory variable-> dependent variable (response variable)

o good theories are generalizable across time and space

o they are never absolute, i.e., new evidence or a better theory may be out there; however they are more or less supported/stronger or weaker


What is a hypothesis?

o a falsifiable statement about the proposed relationship among two or more concepts

o often made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation


What are international institutions?

o more than formal organizations

o sets of rules meant to govern int'l behavior, i.e., to forbid, require, or permit behaviors, e.g., treaties, conventions, and organizations


What is identity?

o a sense of self based on certain qualities and beliefs that serve to define a person or group


What are norms?

o norms are collectives expectations for the proper behavior of actions with a given identity, e.g., human rights


What are 6 characteristics of realism?

o Actors: states

o Individuals: insecure, selfish, power-seeking

o States: unitary actors, rational, power seeking

o System: states exists within an anarchic system which promotes self-help behavior and a focus on power and security; polarity/distribution of power constrains; states prefer sovereignty in a system at risk of war over peace under a absolute ruling state or leviathan

o Change: war can be managed, but not eliminated; force is an effective foreign policy tool

o Theorists: Thucydides, Saint Augustine, Hobbes, Morgenthau, Waltz, Gilpin, Mearsheimer


What is a rational actor?

o a rational actor makes decisions by weighing the costs and benefits of various options against the goal to be achieved


What is balancing?

o when states work together to offset the strength of powerful states


What is the difference between relative and absolute gains?

o absolute gain = a state gains more power for itself

o relative gain = a state gains more power compared to another state; can bolster a sense of internal security while making the other state feel less secure


What is a security dilemma?

o relative power gains for one state can make another state feel less secure, thus driving both sides to seek increasingly more power (John Hertz)

o security is a zero-sum game


What are the two types of balancing?

o internal balancing - a state builds its military resources to stand against more powerful states

o external balancing - a state allies with other states to offset the power of more powerful states


What is the difference between defensive realists and offensive realists?

o defensive - war rarely benefits the aggressor because of external balancing; states benefit from using power defensively, e.g., Iraq '90 invasion of Kuwait

o offensive -war can yield significant benefits for the aggressor; states benefit from using power offensively in the short (spoils) and long-run (reputation)


What is bandwagoning?

o states that might have opposed a threatening state choose to ally with it instead, e.g., Libya agreeing to give up nuclear weapons after US invasion of Iraq


What are 5 characteristics of neorealism?

o Key Actors: states

o Characteristics of Individuals: Insecure, selfish, power seeking; however, neorealists focus on the structure of the international system instead of human nature (classical realism)

o Characteristics of States: unitary actors, rational, power seeking

o Characteristics of Int'l System: anarchic; polarity/distribution of power constrains, e.g., uni-polar, bipolar, and multi-polar determine outcomes

o Beliefs About Change: peace unattainable


What are 5 characteristics of liberalism?

o Key Actors: states, NGOs, and IGOs

o Individuals: individuals are basically good and capable of cooperating

o States: states are rational; states' internal characteristics & actors, common interests, and relationships matter

o System: interdependence among states and international order tempers the effects of anarchy

o Change: institutions enable cooperation and reduce the self-help imperative; peace possible

o Theorists: Montesquieu, Kant, Wilson, Keohane, Moravcsik


What are 5 characteristics of constructivism?

o Key Actors: individuals, elites, and cultures

o Individuals: individuals create meaning; culture, norms, and identities influence interests and behavior

o States: state identities are socially constructed and they matter

o System: significance is socially constructed through discourse; distribution of identities (rather than power) matter and constrains behavior

o Change: possible through socialization, diffusion of ideas, or internationalization of norms

o Theorists: Kratochwil, Hopf, Wendt


What are the 4 primary characteristics of Marxism?

o Actors: social classes and MNCs are key actors; emphasis on economics

o Individuals: the textbook doesn't mention this, is that because it's not a prominent feature in Marxism? Does it discount the role of the individual?

o States: states act on behalf of the upper-class

o System: hierarchical; by-product of the expansion of certain economic forms throughout the world

o Result: imperialism

o Theorists: Marx, Hobson


What are the 4 primary characteristics of dependency theory?

o Actors: dominant / dominated states and MNCs; emphasis on economics

o Individuals: ???

o States: advanced industrialized states dominate developing states

o System: hierarchical; controlled by dominant states

o Result: underdevelopment in dominated states

o Theorists: Prebisch, Pinto


What is power?

Power is the ability to influence others and control outcomes, i.e., produce results that would not have occurred otherwise


What are the sources of state power potential?

NTI (think also PMESII)

o Natural: geographic size and position (assuming not a wasteland), natural resources (unless other invade you for them), and population (not diseased and dying)

o Tangible: industrial development, economic diversification, level of infrastructure, military characteristics

o Intangible: national image, public support, leadership


What is soft power?

the ability to attract/persuade others because of the appeal of a state's values or policies

power of example


What is smart power?

combination of the hard power of coercion with the soft power of persuasion and attraction (Nye)