An Introduction to International Relations





Pasco-Hernando Community College






The Big 5: Terrorism, Environment, Gender, Sovereignty, Statehood


Values and theory should both be employed in a good analysis of the issue.

Each of these has consequences for the core problems in IR:

                        war / peace, conflict / cooperation, wealth / poverty.


TERRORISM (Groups pg. 252)


-The unlawful use of violence or threat of violence against civilians.

Used for political, religious or similar objectives.


Unresolved:     If terrorism is different than other political violence

               If state-sponsored terrorism within its own territory is

               Nature of a 'civilian'… maybe 'non combatant' is better


Used often in weak states, in political transitions like in Colombia,

Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. Used very often by and in failed

states, mostly in Africa, in permanent civil war. Used against the

state in the 1st World: USA (NYC) Britain (London), Spain (Madrid),

Japan (Tokyo- a cult bombed the subway there).


1950s – not much terrorism

1960s -1970s – scattered airplane hijackings

1980s – Muslim groups attack American targets in Lebanon, Iran, Somalia…

1990s – today - increase after Cold War


Is Islamic terrorism different? Mafia is organized crime, drug cartels

too, why the focus on radical Islam? Its presentation of an

existential threat is not great, but is there.

- Other belief-systems do not harbor embittered anti-Western focus to

the same degree.

- Complex and open societies are especially vulnerable, lo-tech bombs

can be used

- People with relatively 'normal' backgrounds in the middle class were

responsible in UK

- Recruiting ground for terror using groups is not limited to the poor

or to the Middle East

- US led Iraq War's 'blowback effect' may increase resentment and

engender terrorism

- Possibility of terrorists using a WMD on a city or society (pg. 254)


A Realist 911? Was the Realist view (of the Bush Administration in

2000-01) partly responsible for lack of preparation? Ss. C. Rice is

'state-centric' in her IR thinking. "Her preferred means are military

(realist), clear division in her mind about the national and

international realms." Realists tend to focus on state-state activity

and 'territorialize' it.


Liberal view appreciates non-state actors. Emphasize international

cooperation and not unilateralism. "Best weapon against terror is

cooperative government agencies".





A growing number of earthlings in the Western world believe that Earth

itself is degrading in its habitability for humanity, and that less

action on the part of earthlings to stop it, could 'runaway' into a

state of unsuitability for all or many inhabitants.


Why now? Global population, food shortages in the 3rd World (which

lead to over-exploitation of land, ie: deforestation,

desertification), pesticides, acid rain and air pollution, water

usage, energy consumption and all that is without global warming



The 'victory' over CFCs is seen by 'modernists' as proof we can 'do

it' through advancing science and technology. (Modernists vs.

Ecoradicals pg. 258).


'Ecoradicals' think the ecosystem of Earth has a limited carrying

capacity, like every other ecosystem ever encountered. Strict controls

on population, changes in modern lifestyles (less consumption,

renewable energy, recycling), are encouraged.


Problem for IR? Environmental troubles = greater international

conflict. Lack of water resources in the Middle East already spells

trouble. Arab-Israeli problem exacerbates it:


     Syria                    Jordan

-----------------------------------------  they all share the Jordan

River. Arab League in 60s

  Lebanon              Israel          tried to divert the water from Israel

(which helped

                                       cause the 1967 War. 40% of Israel's water today

                                       comes from land won in that war.

Is water going to be an issue in the Middle East peace process? The

Arab-Israeli 'war'?


IR finds environmental problems to be intrastate as well as

interstate. Intrastate? Stresses lead to migration from rural to

urban, urban chaos and degradation, less social cement, authoritarian

regimes. Do we see this already?


Realist stance lessens the interstate character of the debate. In some

way grounded in the Judeo-Christian view: "And God said… let them have

dominion over…"


Liberal stance is for cooperation between states due to the threat to

the 'global commons' by this issue: the seas, the ozone, climate, etc.

Only global cooperation can face down this problem.


IPE says that wealth in the global economy should be more equitable so

that people in stressed areas do not over-stress them further.