Poli 260 - Global politics 2 - Critical theories
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What is the difference between explanatory theories (problem solving theories) and constitutive theories?
Explanatory theories see the world as external to the theory. We use the theory to explain the world. Constitutive theories on the other hand help us to construct the world and to think about the world the way we want to.
What is the difference between foundational and anti-foundational theories?
- Foundational theories such as realism and liberalism use scientific approaches to reach conclusions that are falsified or deemed to be true.
- anti-foundational theories on the other hand reject truth claims and believe that there can be no neutrality. Auntie foundational theories reject positivism.
What famous saying did Robert Cox come up with in respect to theories?
Theory is always for someone and some purpose
What is positivism?
Theory in international relations which believes that the methodologies of the natural sciences can help explain the social world.
What are the characteristics of post positivism which include anti-foundational theories? (4)
- 1. They reject the idea that social science can use the same methodologies as natural sciences
- 2. The future cannot be predicted in the social world as it can in the natural sciences
- 3. Rejects that neutral facts can act as arbiters between rival truth claims
- 4. Rejects that theory can discover regularities in the social world
What are the four key elements of Marxism?
- 1. it analyzes the world in totality. Academic divisions such as economics, political science, and sociology are not helpful
- 2. materialist conception of history. Economics determines the political superstructure throughout history. to understand state behavior we need to look at economic influences
- 3. Class analysis. derives from the mode of production and relations of production. the struggle between capitalists those who own the means of production and the workers the proletariat.
- 4. Emancipation. Changing the status quo. The movement towards economic and political equality.
Name five types of Marxism
- 1. Dependency theory
- 2. post dependency theory
- 3. World system theory
- 4. Gramci and Italian School Marxism
- 5. Robert Cox's Neo-Gramcian approach
What are the four core ideas of dependency theory?
- 1. It is a critique of modernization theory and the global capitalist system
- 2. there is a structural division of states into core States and peripheral States
- 3. The capitalist world economy ensures the underdevelopment of periphery or satellite states by turning them into raw material producers. Cocoa/chocolate example
- 4. As the core States exploit the periphery, dependency theory calls for state Run industrialization and to cut off ties with the west
What is modernization theory?
Theory that maintains the traditional societies will develop as they adopt more modern practices
What is post dependency theory?
Influenced by Henrique Cardoso, expand upon dependency theory and believes that it is possible for periphery States to become developed. Sites Brazil and South Africa as examples
Explain world system theory (3)
- 1. It suggests a hierarchy of state in the world
- 2. There is an exploitativeve relationship between core, semi periphery and periphery countries. BRICS are semi-perifery where the core states exploit the semi periphery States and the semi periphery states exploit the periphery.
- 3. The semi periphery States have characteristics of both the core States and the periphery States. Very rich and very poor segments of their populations.
Explain Gromci and Italian School Marxism (2)
- 1.Focuses on structure of the international system.
- 2 Explorers the process by which hegemoni influences the international system
Explain Robert Cox's Neo-Gramcian approach (4)
- 1. It is a critique of realism
- 2. Hegemony is it the key instrument in maintaining stability and continuity in the international system
- 3. Hegemony is maintained through coersion and consent. Example poor countries in the 1970s had to borrow money and in the 1980s the IMF imposed austerity measures on them.
- 4. Emancipation can occur through counter-hegemonic movements such as protests at the g20 and the Occupy movement
What is a Marxist view on globalization? (3)
- 1. Marxism is skeptical about the benefits of globalization
- 2. Views globalization as another step in the development of capitalism
- 3. Globalization is a hegemonic tool to justify reducing workers rights and to disregard environmental standards
What is the aim of feminism in international relations? (2)
- 1. To explain why women are subordinated and absent in political life
- 2. What is a movement dedicated to women's political, social and economic equality. it has a political agenda to change the status quo
What are the 6 different strands of feminism?
1. Liberal 2. Marxist 3. Socialist 4. Postmodern 5. Postcolonial 6. Standpoint
What is gender?
- A set of socially constructed characteristics that define masculinity and femininity and is distinct from sex
- Example. courage and decisiveness are seen as male attributes as indecisiveness is seen as weak and feminine
Define postmodernism (3)
- 1. It denies the possibility of stablishing truth of statements outside of discourse
- 2. Those who have power create knowledge and those who have knowledge have the power.
- 3. The world is meant to be interpreted rather than understood
What is the criticism against postmodernism?
It is too theoretical and is not concerned with the real world
Define postcolonialism (3)
- 1. It focuses on the persistence of colonial forms of power
- 2. Explains how the social construction of race, gender and class differences uphold the relations of power and subordination
- 3. Reject that positivist claims are value neutral
what is a famous constructivist saying?
Anarchy is what states make of it
what are the key tenets of constructivist? (2)
- 1. Knowledge and culture shape how actors interpret and construct their social realities
- 2. Social factors such as anarchy, sovereignty and human rights exist because of human agreement
What is the focus of constructivism? (4)
- 1. It is concerned with human consciousness
- 2. It treats ideas as structural factors
- 3. ideas give meaning to material forces
- 4. It is interested in how agents produced structures and structures produced agents
What are the tenants of environmentalism? (4)
- 1. It is a critique of global capitalism and of realism
- 2. Environmental issues transcend state borders
- 3. Stresses the need for global cooperation on the environment
- 4. Stresses the need for international law and global norms
What is the difference between liberal environmentalism and radical environmentalism?
Liberal environmentalist promote sustainable growth whereas radical environmentalists call for zero growth
Give a brief description of realism Marxism and constructivism
- Realism helps us understand security
- Marxism says that politics is about economy
- Constructivism states that the world we live in is socially constructed and only exists because of agreements. anarchy in international relations only exists because we believe it does
What are the key factors that led to the Arab Spring?
It began as peaceful demonstrations against oppressive regimes. its spread through social media across the Middle East into many different countries. it led to revolutions in several countries including Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. (Read Snow text)
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