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Fall 2017: Core Concepts

Ronnie Olesker

Ronnie Olesker

on 22 January 2018

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Transcript of Fall 2017: Core Concepts

when do we know if an entity is a state or not?
Most IR issues revolve around ONE key problem: Collective goods problem

The problem of how to provide something that benefits all members of a group regardless of what each member contributes to it => examples?
Today's Agenda:
What is IR really about? Core Concepts of the discipline
CGP and Solutions
Levels of Analysis
Actors: The State
The evolution of the international system
class exercise 1
class exercise 2
Core principles for solving the collective good problem
IR analysis: explaining the "why" question
The evolution of the IS system: Between conflict and cooperation
Nation state system developed after the 30-years' wars in Europe => Peace of Westphalia (1648) => development of
what is Sovereignty? what does it mean to be sovereign?

New era - post WWII - The UN system

The cold war era (1945-1990)

Post CW era (1990-2001)

Post 9/11 era - current
Actors in the International System
Example: Problem of global warning. Solving it can only be achieved by many countries acting together
The Study of IR: between Cooperation and Conflict

Global Level: Affects all actors in the system
Interstate level: the interactions between states
Domestic level: types of regimes, institutions within a country, bureaucracies
Individual level: psychology of decision makers, individual decision making process, personal motivation of leaders
Categorize the following issues as explanations relating to the global level of analysis, interstate level of analysis, domestic level of analysis and individual level of analysis:
Public opinion



Information Revolution

Crazy Leaders





Citizen’s participation (ex: voting)

Ethnic conflict

Leader’s decision making in crises

Foreign policy bureacracies
Levels of Analysis:
Individual - how do individuals behave? what is their psychological make up?
Domestic - what is the nature of the regime?
Interstate - what is the relations between states?
Global - indiscriminate effects of global actors - affects multiple states regardless of leader and regime
How can a group (such as two or more nations) serve its collective interests when doing so requires its members to forgo their individual interests? (Goldstein book pp. 3)
ex: Why did the 2003 war in Iraq erupt?
Terrorism (Iraq supports AQ)
WMD (Iraq has Weapons on Mass Destruction and will use them)
Bring democracy to the Middle East (the domino effect)
George W. Bush has something to prove to his dad who didn't finish the job in 1990-1
Is Palestine a state?
Full transcript