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Introduction to International Relations

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Matthew Funaiole

on 3 March 2015

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Transcript of Introduction to International Relations

What is International Relations?
Dr. Matthew P. Funaiole
What
is it that we study as researchers?
Questions of the Day
How
do we go about studying international relations?
What
is the difference between
i
nternational
r
elations and
I
nternational
R
elations?
Defining international relations is harder than you might think. It's a problem common to social science. It depends upon who is doing the defining.
Defining international relations?
Political:
States, IGOs, and NGOs
What are
international relations
?
Traditional
: War, diplomacy, military alliances, etc.
Non-traditional
: NGOs, terrorism, drug trade
Economic:
States, Multinational Corporations
Trade in goods, financial services, remittances, sanctions, drug trade.
Social/Cultural:
Ideas and individuals
Culture, patriotism, migration, tourism, human rights, religion, etc.
Actors:
States
Traditional inter-
national
relations
UK, US, Russia, China, Japan, etc.
Issues:
War, Peace, Alliances, Trade
NATO, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Syrian Civil War
Principles:
State sovereignty, self-interest
De facto
vs
de jure
Taiwanese independence
Power metric:
Military and economic strength
Aircraft carriers, fighter jets, ballistic missiles, etc.
Actors:
States, international organizations, multinational corporations, NGOs.
Transition to global affairs?
Issues:
War, peace, trade, environment, global justice, development
Principles:
State sovereignty, interdependence, human rights
Power metric:
Stronger focus on economic cooperation and technological advancement
"A theory in politics and IR is a set of assumptions about knowledge, human nature, social life, and the conditions and organizing principles of a particular order that guide research questions and investigations into important political dilemmas."
Use
theory
to refine research focus!
Levels of Analysis
First Level:
Political leaders. The preferences or beliefs of presidents and prime ministers make a big difference.
Objects of Analysis
Schools of Thought
I
nternational
R
elations (IR) is the academic discipline or the name of the field.
So what is
I
nternational
R
elations?
Next week we will expand our discussion of states. We will look at the differences between a
nation
and a
state
. The characteristics of states, such as
sovereignty
and
self-determination
, will also be examined.
Preview of Next Week
Theory is a
tool
that reduces complexity and narrows research upon a particular subject or issue.
-Dr. Tony Lang
First Level:
Looks at
individuals
and focuses on human nature and decision making.
Second Level:
The
domestic
level. Interested in the structure and society of states and the characteristics of political systems.
Third Level:
The
international
level. Centered upon the character of the international system. Deals with international and global issues.
Second Level:
The structure of a state. Capitalist vs socialist economies. Democratic vs non-democratic systems.
Third Level:
Foreign policy. Geopolitics, global trade, international war, power distributions.
Realism:
Focuses mainly on power struggles between states and the perception of threats.
Liberalism:
Concerned with the shared interests between states and/or institutions. Focuses on economics or political rights.
Constructivism:
Primarily centered upon understanding the differences in identities and norms. Less focus on the state.
i
nternational
r
elations is are the objects that we study. The focus on the discipline.
Full transcript