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Sovereignty, States and Geopolitics

IR1005 Lecture 6 Oct 14

Simon Taylor

on 2 October 2015

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Transcript of Sovereignty, States and Geopolitics

Sovereignty, States and Geopolitics

Simon Taylor

Closely related to Authority
Authority vs "Authority On"
The primary concept in the study of IR, any time there is a difference in power between two more groups (and especially if there is an international dimension or comparison) then we as IR scholars are going to be interested in it.

Some definitions:
Power contd.
The justification or the right of the state to exercise power in the form of issuing commands and binding decisions. (Jackson & Jackson, 1997, 10)
Authority contd.
Hobbes vs Locke
Legitimacy contd
Related concepts
1) Charismatic
Weber's 3 Types of Authority
Eliot Ness has the power and authority, but do his actions have legitimacy?
Power, Authority & Legitimacy
Lecture 1: Foundational Concepts
Lecture 2: States & Sovereignty
Lecture 3: Geopolitics & Balance of Power
Why are concepts important?
Nuts and bolts of arguments.

We all know what we are talking about, that we are talking about the same thing. Need agreement as to what we are talking about.
The building blocks of ideas.

Greatest lesson: always define your terms. Be clear as to what you are talking about.

Remember this: all concepts are dependent on a particular context, what “war” means in one context can be very different from what in means in another.
What is Power?
Question: Who has more power? The US President or the British Prime Minister?
Power is the ability of A to make B do, what B would not otherwise do. (Dahl,1957, pp 202-203)
Power is the probability that one actor in a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance, regardless of the basis on which this probability rests. (Weber, 1947, p 152)
Power is the capacity of some persons to produce intended and foreseen effects on others. (Wrong, 1979, p 2)
The ability to persuade or convince others to accept certain objective or behave in a certain way (Jackson & Jackson, 1997,10)
The deliberate setting back of a person’s interests in order to shape his or her behavior. (Ripstein, 2004, 4)
Primary tool of governments
Threat or use of force
Compare to mobs & vigilantes, kangaroo courts
Implies some sort of right, or legal justification - rather than just power or coercion
2) Traditional
3) Legal-Rational
Large element of Subjectivity:
Who determines whether a government, a group, an international action is legitimate or not?
Example of British Airstrikes against Syria: authority vs legitimacy
Social Contract
Consent of the governed
Question: How did Eliot Ness eventually get Al Capone?
Further Reading
Mark Haugaard (2006) Power: a reader. Manchester: Manchester Univ. Press. (Chapters by Dahl, Bachrach & Baratz, and Parsons)
David Beetham (1991) The Legitimation of Power, Palgrave Macmillan
Arthur Ripstein, “Authority and Coercion.” Philosophy & Public Affairs 32, no. 1 (January 2004): 2–35
In other words, the exercise of power is deemed to be acceptable or rightful. We follow the rules of the state, or the University because we accept that they have the right to make the rules and enforce them.
Question: Where does this 'right' come from?
Jens Steffek, "The Legitimation of International Governance: A Discourse Approach", European Journal of International Relations, (2003)
Whether a given rulership is believed to be based on good title by most men subject to it (Carl Friedrich, 1963, p. 234)
Definitions are very difficult to come by because of the inherent subjectivity of 'legitimacy'
Peter G. Stillman, "The Concept of Legitimacy" Polity, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Autumn, 1974)
Need to
your definition
How do you know it when you see it?
How do you measure it?
Answer: Depends entirely on context
Full transcript