Ruya Tutku Gokhan
Fort Hays State University
This assignment is helping us to see the world from different perspectives and importance or multiple ideas. International relations is a very important part of world politics. Importance of human rights are highly promoted. It is also showing differences between liberal and realist world view. After all this book is encouraging people to understand politics with an open minded perspective.
Chapter 1 Discovering World Politics
In this chapter the author mentions three main topics about discovering world politics. The first one is explaining the difficulty of investigating international relations. The author claims that international relations could be the most difficult task someone will ever face because the study of international relations requires taking into account every factor that influences human behavior. Another problem is new information and new developments, and people’s tendency to not believe innovations if they are not similar to their old beliefs. The second topic is about how do people distinguish reality and how these perceptions can affect international politics. The author is telling that we tend to react according to the way the world appears to us rather than the way it is. And giving an example by using topography, when we look at to a same thing with another perspective it may look different but that doesn’t mean they are neither wrong nor right. The last part is showing us concepts and units of analysis used to assess world politics such as, individual level of analysis, state level of analysis and global level of analysis. What I think about this chapter is, we need to improve our understanding, learn to look from different perspectives and be open-minded to new ideas.
`Chapter 2 Interpreting World Politics Through the Lens of Theory
In this chapter the author explained theories such as, realism, liberalism, constructivism and tenets of feminism and maxims. He clarifies why multiple theories and worldviews are needed to understand world politics by saying there is no agreement about which one is most useful (Snyder, 2004). The reason is primarily that the world is constantly changing, and no single theory has proven capable of making international events understandable for every global circumstance. Depending on the global conditions, popularity of a theory may rise and fall so it is necessary to have options. Realism defined as the first original political theory; drives greed to grow military, economic power, and the power of a nation with little to no regard of repercussions on other countries. Liberalism was founded on ideas of liberty and equality. They support free marketing and low politics such as, human rights and diplomacy. Concepts of constructivist theory are ideas, images, identities, shared knowledge and persuasion to normative change. Marxism is a type of economic system proposed by Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) in which there are no classes. Feminism aims to understand the nature of gender inequality. Multiple theories are good because our world is changing so we need to keep up with changes.
`Chapter 3 Theories of international decision Making
This chapter, which is based on historical experience and theories of international relations, looks at patterns of international decision making by all transnational actors—the individuals, groups, states, and organizations that play a role in world politics. We can construct a framework of the determinants of decision making in the foreign policy-making process by reference to three major sets of causal variables at the individual, internal, and global levels of analyses. rational choice, as purposeful, goal-directed behavior exhibited when decision makers consider “all possible costs and benefits from a self-interested perspective and then make a thoughtful … decision” (WDR, 2015, p. 3). History making individuals model of policy decision making perceives world leaders as the people who create global changes. Geopolitical location of a country is also an important factor while decision making. When Russia invaded Afghanistan the U.S wasn’t happy because it was close to their alliance India.
`Chapter 4 Great Power relations and Rivalries
Rivalry between great powers has long characterized world politics. Long-cycle theory elaborates on this understanding of world politics and provides a framework for our analysis of evolving great power rivalries. For the reason of WW1 there are many options, most popular are structural realist explanations, which hold that World War I was inadvertent, not the result of any master plan. WW2 Germany’s defeat in World War I and its humiliation under the Treaty of Versailles did not extinguish its hegemonic aspirations. On the contrary, they intensified. Thus conditions were ripe for the second great power war of the twentieth century. Cold War The forty-four-year (1947–1991) rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as their competing coalitions, which sought to contain each other’s expansion and win worldwide predominance. end of the Cold War, bipolarity was superseded by unipolarity—a hegemonic configuration of power with only one predominant superstate.
`Chapter 5 World Politics and the Global South
Global North A term used to refer to the world’s wealthy, industrialized countries located primarily in the Northern Hemisphere. Global South a term now often used instead of “Third World” to designate the less developed countries located primarily in the Southern Hemisphere. The process by which sovereign independence was achieved by countries that were once colonies of the great powers. The diversity evident in the Global South invites the conclusion that underdevelopment is explained by a combination of factors. They argued that major barriers to development were posed by the Global South country’s own internal characteristics. Whereas classical theory attributes the causes of most developing countries’ underdevelopment to internal conditions within states, dependency theory emphasizes international factors, specifically the Global South’s dependence on the dominant great powers.
`Chapter 6 Nonstate Actors and the Quest for Global Community
There are two main types of international nonstate actors, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). IGOs are purposely created by states to solve problems. IGOs are generally regarded as more important than NGOs, in part because IGO members are powerful state governments and tend to be more permanent. The term NGO can be applied to all nonstate and nonprofit organizations that operate as intermediaries to build transnational bridges between those with resources and a targeted group. The United Nations (UN) is the best-known global organization. What distinguishes it from most other IGOs is its nearly universal membership. Increasing numbers of people have found that through joining nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) they can influence international decision making. Transnational Crime Organizations take advantage of increased travel, trade, rapid money movements, telecommunications and computer links, and are well positioned for growth.
Chapter 8 the Pursuit of Power through Arms and Alliances
Realist theorists since antiquity have based their thinking and policy recommendations on the belief that all people and states seek power. The Elements of State Power are military, size of economy, row materials and technology. Military expenditures incur opportunity costs—when what is gained for one purpose is lost for other purposes—so that any particular choice means the cost of some lost opportunity must be paid. During the Cold War, many states sought to increase their security by purchasing arms produced by suppliers eagerly seeking allies as well as profits from exports. The transfer of arms across borders has produced some unintended and counterproductive consequences. For example, during the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union thought they could maintain peace by spreading arms to strategically important countries. The rules for the rivals in the process of equilibrium remain vigilant, remain flexible in alliances, resist any state that seeks hegemony, and are benevolent in victory.
Chapter 9 the Quest for Peace through international law and Collective Security
Liberal and constructivist views on war and peace are influenced by the importance of shared ethics and morality around the globe. The realist road to national security counsels, “If you want peace, prepare for war.” History provides many examples of multilateral arms control and disarmament efforts. For an example Second Lateran Council prohibited the use of crossbows in fighting. However, there are problems of this control such as slow ban to most dangerous weapons. One of the main aim of international organizations is preservation of peace. Such as League of Nations help to calm down World War I.
Chapter 11 international trade in the Global Marketplace
Production is getting more global. Global supply chain is a proof of it. So each country production something specific such as Mexico produces keyboards for Dell computers. There are usually international trade barriers in the international trade and global markets. At the same time labor is globalizing too, it is easier to immigrate to a developed country if a labor has good skills. Many countries prefer highly skilled labor however, some of them prefer to bring the work to the countries where labor is cheap. One of the problem in the global market is, rich and strong countries are dominating the market, and this is slowing down the poor country’s development.
Chapter 12 The Demographic and cultural Dimensions of GlobalizationCultural dimension means transmission of ideas, meanings and values around the world in such a way as to extend and intensify social relations. Nowadays cultural dimension is easier because of technology. People can easily communicate and share their culture, that will cause diversity. Demographic division refers to the growth in an economy that is the resultant effect of a change in the age structure of a country’s population. The change in age structure is making a decline in fertility and mortality rates. Immigration is causing demographic division especially if it’s between the Global South and the Global North.
Chapter 13 the Promotion of human Development and human rights
Human rights can be provided by governments. When human security is ensured it would be easier to protect human rights. There are some universal rights for every human being such as education, the right to work and freedom of assembly. Liberals support low politics so human rights however, realists reject promoting human rights. European Court of Human Rights is an example of intergovernmental organization that protects human rights.
Chapter 14 Global responsibility for the Preservation of the Environment
Environmental problems are as much a threat to humanity as they are to the environment. Humanity faces significant challenges of unusual scope and danger. On the global ecopolitical agenda there are three interrelated problem clusters: climate change and ozone depletion, biodiversity, deforestation, and water shortages and energy supply and demand. The impact of continued rising temperatures around the world will be dramatic and devastating because rainfalls and storms will be more common and sea levels will rise and people who are living in low-lying coastal lands such as Venice and Netherlands will be under danger.
Chapter 15 Looking Ahead at Global Trends and Transformations
According to the UN report A More Secure World (2004, p. 2) highlights six types of threats with which the world must be concerned now and in the decades ahead: interstate conflicts, terrorism, Nuclear, radiological, chemical, and biological weapons, transnational organized crimes, internal conflicts and Economic and social threats.