Review history of Liberalism, Realism, Behaviouralism
neo lib: 70s-today
neo real: 80s-today
So until 90s, IR debate was dominated by lib, real, neo lib and neo
real. Then in UK the "English School" (International Society School)
became more vigorous. Rejecting behavaiouralism wholesale, it focused
on traditional epistemological approach of educated judgement,
cultural norms and history. It rejected a strict difference between
liberal and realist views, too.
IS theory says that BOTH power and law are present. So, it has
elements of the realist and the liberal, but only elements. It
recognizes the importance of power in int'l affairs (realist). It
'solves' the debate between them by rejecting the sharp division
It recognizes the state and state system as the core of IR, and yet
rejects the realist view that world politics are a Hobbsian State of
Nature in which there are 'no rules' or that is 'a jungle.'
No there is no world government, so there is a kind of anarchy, but
within a group of states exists a 'society of states.' This 'society'
has common values and shares in developing institutions. The elements
of a 'society' has always existed in the modern int'l system.
Realists are right to think in terms of power's importance, but if
that's it, then the conclusion is that we will always play the game of
power politics and that's it. In an anarchy, there can be no real
trust. So realism is misleading. The telos of realism is flawed, and
so is that of Liberalism. In liberal idealism, there is a perfect
world of mutual respect and the rule of law. No. Yes there are rules
that are common, but these rules' existence does not guarantee them.
Hence the realist balance of power. So IS better describes the
UN proves it: it is made up of all nations in the General Assembly
(liberal enough- after all, every state has legal equality with every
other) but has a security council of powerful states: USA, RUS, GB,
FR, CN (real enough- as they have the power to veto any decision,
which they would anyway in real life). Like the US House and Senate.
IS does not try to 'disprove' other theories, but use them to the
degree they accurately describe the state of affairs. Its not seeking
scientific 'laws' of IR, just 'understanding.'
Elements of Liberal theory are here too. Focus on rules, procedures, Int'l law.
Finally, the individual is taken care of in IS. UN promotes
international law and human rights, those based on the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. Statesmen have a responsibility to their
citizens and and international responsibility to follow Int'l law.
They also have the responsibility to defend human rights around the
Uh oh. When do we 'go in' to sovereign countries and stop human rights
violations? And, who is 'we', anyway?
INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY IPE
So far, economy has played a secondary role. Weak states of the 3rd
world were not considered in the equation much. Not any more. IPE in
the house. The 'new' countries born from decolonization sprang forth
with a new set of problems. A LOT of new countries.
A new set of IPE theories emerged: Neo- Marxist, Liberal IPE and Realist IPE.
Neo-Marxism, explained their situation like this: since in a society
the bourgeoisie capitalists use 'capital' to oppress the proletariat,
global capitalists use the capital of wealthy to impoverish the
world's poor countries. So no, countries of the world are not poor
because they are just inherently backward or underdeveloped. Its cause
they have been actively underdeveloped on purpose by the rich West.
Who would believe such a thing? A lot of people: The 3rd World is
subject to unequal exchange: in order to participate in the global
economy they must sell low. The rich West buys low and sells high.
That's exploitation. Andre Gunder Frank: As long as capitalism exists,
poverty will exist.
Liberal IPE though is the opposite. It says that free globalization,
or, the global expansion of capitalism without hinderance (ie: borders
of nation states) will raise human prosperity absolutely in the 3rd
World better than anything else.
So, Neo-Marxists claim global capitalism is the worst thing for the 3rd World,
and Liberal IPE claims it is the best- a so-called instrument of
Realist IPE is different. It says economic activity should be geared
to the national interest. Mercantilism is a good example of how and
why this works. The creation of wealth is the way to increase the
strength of the state, and a prosperous country and people will
result. Wealth is therefore a national security asset.
Big debate in IPE:
Globalization is a huge issue. Does globalization undermine national economies?
Are there winners and losers in globalization? If so, who?
To what extent should governments interfere with economics?
These theories are the main analytical tools and frameworks in which
to think about IR. The subject developed through a series of debates
between them, and got better for it.
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