This seminar will examine two fundamentally different approaches to the analysis of international relations.  The first of these is based largely on a study and understanding of history, philosophy and, to a lesser extent, law (or normative considerations).  The second relies heavily on the behaviouralist and other methods of the social scientist.  The first is commonly referred to as the ‘classical’ approach; the second is the ‘scientific’. 

 

WEEK THREE PRESENTATION

WEEK THREE POWERPOINT

Seminar Questions:

  1. Outline the main features of the ‘Classical’ and ‘Scientific’      approaches to IR.
  2. How would a behaviouralist explain the current situation in Syria compared to a more traditional theorist? 
  3. Can facts be separated from values in IR? Discuss with reference to behaviouralist (scientific) and traditional (classical) approaches to IR.

Readings:

Baylis, Smith and Owens, The Globalization of World Politics, Chapter 7

Hedley Bull, “International Theory: The Case for a Classical Approach”, World Politics, April 1966.

Morton A Kaplan, “The New Great Debate: Traditionalism vs Science in International Relations”, World Politics, October 1966.

K. Waltz, Theory of International Politics  (Excerpt from Book - Chapter 8 is key)

Other readings

Brown and Ainley, Understanding International Relations, Chapter 3.

Burchill et al., Theories of International Relations, Chapters 2 and 3.

Dunne et al., International Relations Theories, Chapters 4 and 6.

Jackson and Sorensen, Introduction to International Relations, Chapters 3 (p.  70-96) and Chapter 4

Suggested Movie: Wargames (1983) - A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III.

Here are some more clips to help understand some of the key concepts in this class:

 

 


This one is a little more... uh... sexist, but it dramatizes the formulation of Nash's theory.