Outline: International Relations and Sovereignty Positive- Capabilities Essay examples

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PSC285 International Relations Fall 2012 Midterm Exam Study Guide

1. Identify the actors that participate in international system and explain how each affects international relations.

* States- states dominate the conventional discourse * International Organizations- spreaders of global norms * Nongovernmental organizations- fulfill social and political or economical objectives * Individuals – independent leaders, that usually are more effective when they operate from an organization base- states, international organizations, or nongovernmental

2. Define sovereignty and list the four criteria that define a state.
Sovereignty- the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area

Government control of territory and populations

3. Explain the evolution of the international world system, from the Treaty of Westphalia to present-day. Important concepts to be familiar with include sovereignty (positive and negative), national self-determination, European imperialism, bi-polarity, and American hegemony.
Evolution of Sovereignty a. 1648 to late 18th century—sovereignty based on monarch b. Late 18th century to present—popular sovereignty
Rise of European Imperialism c. Industrial revolution led to promotion of colonialism/imperialism d. Positive sovereignty e. European balance of power
National Self-Determination f. Proposed by Woodrow Wilson post-WWI g. Established idea of negative sovereignty

IWS started as a feudal system political power was held by private systems, weak king, and de-centralized government the treaty of Westphalia marked the end of rule by religious authority in Europe. The Greek city-state system, the Roman Empire, and the Middle Ages are each key developments leading to the Westphalian order

* Feudal system * Peace in Westphalia – started a modern army

Positive- capabilities to prevent colonization
Negative- each state recognizes that each state is sovereigned therefore won’t imperialized
National self-determination- nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status.
European Imperialism- industrial revolutions lead to promotion of colonialism and imperialism

4. Explain the basic arguments of neo-realism, neo-liberal institutionalism, and constructivism, including how each theory explains international relations, the role of the anarchical system, and the assumptions of each theory.
* Assumptions * Anarchical system * States are unitary and rational actors * Interests are fixed and primarily focused on security

* Key points of theory * Anarchical system * Capabilities * Relative gains * Self-help * Deterrence * Waltz—Theory of International Politics * Greater emphasis on constraints of anarchical system * States seek security and calculate interests in terms of power * Cooperation is possible under hegemon, but in less important areas * Variants of Neo-realism
Offensive realism * Uncertainty of intentions leads states to act offensively
Balance of power/threat perception * Distinguishes between offensive and defensive capabilities to explain actions * Focus on threat perception
Defensive realism * Anarchical system does not have as great an effect as assumed by Waltz * States pursue security by responding to external threats
Critiques of Neo-realism: * Lacks predictive power * Lacks explanatory power * Focus on systemic level may miss important domestic level explanations * Concept of power is vague/not measurable * Ignores different implications of economic vs. military capabilities

Neo-liberal institutionalism:
* State is unitary and rational actor * Anarchical