Sunday, February 05, 2006

Last of the Notes for UNL's International Politics

Here's a retro post: notes for International Politics that I never got around to posting last semester.

They aren't that useful, or interesting, but I've tried to post as much class-related material as I can, so the notes are included before for completeness sake.

The only "cool" notes I took for this class were on Marxism, which evolved into a pretty post on theological capitalist stability and also an exploration of Tom Barnett's Marxist roots. This class also saw me write my first political science literature review and research design -- a task I should not have even attempted without first taking Scopes & Methods.

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Conclusion and Bibliography for Example Political Science Literature Review & Research Design

Note: This is part of an example political science literature review and research design. An abstract and table of contents are also available.

Conclusion


Democracy and economic development are vital to states, and geography doubtless is a factor. Regardless of its results, this study should be hopeful in determining how great a factor it is. Whatever the outcome, geographic effects and the cultural aspects they engender should always be considered to be conditioners, not determinants. Writing in 1951, Scalapino looked skeptically on political development for Asia

Nowhere in Asia, including Japan, has democracy yet demonstrated its capacity to survive an develop. In the absense of this demonstration, Communism, among all the authoritarian creeds, has recently shown the greatest dynamism and strength.


We live in a world where Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and India are stable democracies, many other states have fledgling democracies, and even the "Communist" republics of China and Vietnam have abandoned the idea of economic communism as a creed of dynamism and strength.

If this study does not show a strong correlation between access to the sea and development, we will be more likely to believe that human ingenuity trumps democracy. But a positive outcome for this study does not consign landlocked states and underdevelopment and autocracy, any more than Scalapino's observed trends condemned Asia to authoritarianism and communism.

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

"Post-Communism" - Example Political Science Literature Review and Research Design

Note: This is part of an example political science literature review and research design. An abstract and table of contents are also available.

A useful segue between geographic and ex-Communist factors is found in Teune (1995). Teune surveys the rise of local governments relative to centralizing governments, using the declining influence of Moscow over eastern Europe and Russia as examples. In contrast to Williams who sees local differences as a cause for oppression and autocracy, Teune sees local power as very strong and democratic. Territoriality matters, says Teune, "even after the gradual opening of national borders in the second half of the twentieth century and the near encapsulation of the entire world in a single trading system." Additionally, territorially based localities lean democratic.

The linkage between local government and democracy is based on the proposition that political participation is meaningful insofar as it deals with the familiar, a tenet of the Federalist Papers. Another aspect of this argument is that the incentives for participation are stronger locally than nationally in that visible consequence are more visible and immediate on the local level. There are two supporting propositions for this part of the argument: the larger the political unit, the longer it takes to form a democratic political coalitions; and the larger the unit, the greater the diversity of the groups and individuals required for compromise, the less likely decisive action will be taken at all, frustrating the collective aspirations of the many." (Teune)

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"Geography" - Example Political Science Literature Review and Research Design

Note: This is part of an example political science literature review and research design. An abstract and table of contents are also available.

Before the ample literature on economic and political freedom in post-Communist societies is examined, some work on geographic determinism will be reviewed. Specifically, an overview of geographic determinist viewpoints will be presented, examples of geographic determinism with respect to democracy earlier in the literature will be highlighted, and an interesting synthesis on geography, democracy, and war will be examined.

Without getting bogged down into the morass of terminology that Lewthwaite (1968) explores, it is important to say that geography is an important factor in development without being the only factor. As Spykman (1938) writes

It should be emphasized, however, that geography has been described as a conditioning rather than as a determining factor. The word was chosen advisedly. It was not meant to imply that geographic characteristics play a deterministic, causal role in foreign policy. The geographical determinism which explains by geography all things from the fourth symphony to the fourth dimension paints as distorted a picture as does an explanation of policy with no reference to geography. The geography of a country is rather the material for, than the cause of, its policy, and to admit that the garment must ultimately be cut to fit the cloth is not to say that the cloth determines either the garment's style or its adequacy. But the geography of as state cannot be ignored by the men who formulate its policy. The nature of the territorial base has influenced them in that formulation in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

"Introduction" - Example Political Science Literature Review and Research Design

Note: This is part of an example political science literature review and research design. An abstract and table of contents are also available.

The fall of the Soviet Union and of Communism generally created many post-Communist states, from the Mediterranean Sea to across Asia. These states now range from liberal democracies, to authoritarian dictatorships, to “Communist” countries that have abandoned the socialist economic model. Some have experienced strong economic growth and democratic normalization, while others are mired in poverty and autarchy. One approach is to look at a state's access to the sea as a factor in economic and democratic development. A study will be devised to examine the possibility that post-Communist states which do not have access to the sea, which are "landlocked," will have less economic and democratic development than other post-Communist states. This is the literature review for that study.

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Monday, January 09, 2006

Example Political Science Literature Review and Research Design

When I posted my analysis of Midlarsky's literature review, I got a lot of google hits from people looking for literature review examples.

As the Gods of Fate have conspired to make this week as busy as possible, I have decided to post a Literature Review & Research Design that I complete for my International Politics class. The paper, which explores the relationship between lack of sea access and post-Communism, will be added to this blog over the next several days. It is B+ quality for a first-semester international relations student, so be skeptical of the work quality. Still, for any students (like me!) who were assigned a political science research design and literature review and haven't the faintest idea how to begin, this should help. Alternatively, check out my Computer Science graduate thesis.




Abstract


This paper explores the role of geography in the democratic and economic development of formerly Communist states. An introduction to the paper is given, followed by discussions of both geographic determinism and the ex-Communist nations. A research design is included that outlines how the final investigation will be done. The paper ends with a conclusion and a bibliography.




Table of Contents


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

International Political Economy

Cold War IPE
3 Functions of Breton Woods Systems
- reduce trade barriers
- control capital mobility
- maintain system of fixed (mutual pegged) exchange rates
The Trilemma ("choose 2 of the following 3)"
- exchange rate stability
- domestic autonomy
- capital mobility
Breton Woods system threw out capital mobility, in order to maximize exchange rate stability and domestic autonomy
The Failure of the Breton Woods System in the 1970s
- 1973 Oil Crisis
- stagflation
- high rates of international capital movements began to undermine the dollar
"closing of the gold window" as coup de grace...
... and opened the door to competing political outlooks for IPE
Gilpen: "every economic system rests on a political foundation"
"embedded liberalism" - have methods to deal with displacement costs of economic liberalism
Prof: "Breton Woods System (IMF/EBRD-WB/GATT-WTO) were a "solution to the nightmare of the 1930s."
- Breton Woods preperations began months after Pearl Harbor
- becaues there never was structural capital mobility, and exchange rate stability was gone, only "domestic autonomy" remained of the trilemma
- eventually, capital mobility supplanted the old exchange rate stability

Second Great Age of Capitalism
- symbolized by Reagan and Thatcher (Carter also important -- tdaxp)
- extensive freeing of market forces
- importance of air traffic controller strike breaking
- triumph of economic liberalism / individualism / democracy /growth
- (but trade-off with stability)
- corresponds with information technology revolution
- clustering: technological change not randomly distributed in time or space
- capita flows dwarf ($1500 tril/day to $25 bil/day) goods-services flows

European Integration
- goal of political integration with economic integration as mechanism
European Coal and Steel Community (Franco-German in 1951)
Treaty of Rome
- 1957
- started European Economic Community / Common Market
- France, FDR, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg
Single Europe Act (1986: goal that by 1992 to have one common market)
Madrid Meeting - 1989, laid grown-work for...
Maastricht Treaty
- 1991
- switch from slow to fast union
- pushed by France-Germany
- failed to establish Federal System, but strived to ...
-- common economic and monetary union
-- try to form common foreign policy
-- harmonize domestic policies in immigration, &c
1994: European Monetary Institution guides government to adopt Europ in future
- European Central Bank
- 1998
- established, takes responsibilities for monetary issues in '99
- Germans wanted strong Euro, France wanted weak Euro
1999: Adoption of Euros, but no bills until January 1, 2002
4 Convergence Criterea for Euro
- maintain price stability (inflation)
- no gov deficit over 3%
- stable economy
- stable exchange rates
Benefits of the Euro
- maintain monetary stability
- lowering transaction costs
- encourages political integration (?)
- ecourages growth of large firms (economies of scale)
- economic growth through economic integration
Criticisms of the Euro
- focus on convergence criterea may short-change other issues (unemployment, etc)
- may be wasteful
- perhaps Euroland "not optimal currency areas," so perhaps hurting national economies
is Euro a "symbol of European sovereignty" ?
Prof: American support for European regional integration not always in American economic interests, but supported by Washingto to help fight Communism

East Asian Integration
focus on asian/pacific integration
- but region is very diverse politically, economically, agenda, etc
- no regional hegemon or hegemonic team (such as France/Germany)
- three major powers are USA/Japan/PRC
- backlash of American efforts, some desire of "native" free trade area? (esp by Malaysia - "caucus without caucasians")
- Japanese efforts to outsource production of goods to Pacific-Asia to Pacific-Asia ("Japan as brain, Asia-Pacific as brawn"; "japan as lead goose")
- Japanese ambitions challenges by emergence of China
-- but 3/4 of "Chinese" quarters are by international firms in China
- China joined WTO in 2001; more internationally integrated
- unlike Europe, Pacific-Asian integration entirely through economics without political union [alternative model than Europe -esp with TPMB's "inevitable" aborption of Taiwan by China? -- tdaxp]
but, would 1997 economic crisis been mitigated by regional supernational governance?
- Japan did propose Asian Monetary Fund, but shot down by US and IMF (see earlier notes)
- Prof: emphasis on Japanese agricultural protection during Uruguay Round sabotaged Japanese leadershp & economic growth
- Prof: APEC essentially abandoned as driving vehicle because Japan-USA joint opposition to reforms, different priorities, &c
- Prof: yet another problem: European physical contiguity, culturaly, politically similarity greater than in East Asian;
- Prof: Japanese firms "notoriously" less likely to share technology with international partner firms

American Economic Response
a new trilemma in American Politics?
1. Military Spending
2. Tax Cuts
3. Budget Discipline
US tired ot Japan's "infant industry" / Europe's "regional integration" as Europe, Japan "grew up"
In 1990s, US began "multi-track" policy which added unlitearlism, bilateralism, regionalism to multilateralism
- US switch to "results-oriented policy" whether than traditional liberal "rules-oriented policy"
- US-Canada lumber dispute, with conflicted NAFTA and WTO rulings, raises question of how to deal with overlapping trade associations

World Trade Organization
(rather biased presentation, arguable points at about 3/minute)
"killing of animals are not taken seriously" - but then how US dominated?"
human rights helped by banning?
non-democratic representation... so this discourages slow-growth strategies
"surplus capital" ... but PRC is biggest destination for foreign direct investment
"richer get richer" ... but, the poorest countries are those that aren't trading
"north/south tech transfer" -- but see earlier comments re PRC

Various Problems with the System
adjustment problem - (does US debtor status portent problems)
liquidity problems - there have to be cash reserves to meet deficits in the balance of payments (imagine problems if every state had own currency)
confidence problem - belief that the currency is meaningless, leads to loss of signorage
signorage = the benefits of a currency being the dominate international currency

Possible Solutions to the System
a world central bank?
monetary hegemony (Dollar-Euro-Yen trifecta?)
political-economic coordination of individual currencies / monetary policies

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Today Is Constructivism Day

Emile Durkheim and Max Weber
- individuals, ideas, social factors as important

"collective intentionality" -

regulative v. constitutive rules
- regulative rules should have causal effects (eg drive on the right side of the road)
- constitutive rules define what is the system (eg "the rules are the game")

"intersubjective" = "qualitative"? "frictional"?

"critical construvism" - identities are never fixed

(Prof: convergence of constructivist security community theory & cultural explanation of the democratic peace)

"authoritarian peace" - in Latin America and Africa, noted lack of war between certain kinds of dictatorships

security communities
loosely-coupled: shared fears, agreement on no war in between
tightly-coupled: supernational institutions; collective security; policy coordination
mature: no internal borders, only "us"

"balance of threat" - how far to states ally not against power but against threats?
- so "perception of threat" is based on quality/friction between states (especially from "threatened" state point of view)
- example: EU and US view of Middle Eastern radical Islam

Anarchy in Constructivism
- because identities and relations are constructed, anarchy is interpreted
- therefore, "self-help" isn't as central in the same way to constructivism
- but then isn't all action a form of self-help? unless state is depersonified?

sovereignty is constructed as property-rights
- social learning reinforces

(Prof: Range of constructivism from "common sense" constructivism to science constructivism;
Constructivism relatively unpopular because of abstract history of the field;
Agent-Structure problem: but why?, Marx's "Men remake the world, but not as they see fit", structurationist;
constructivist approaches often lack predictive power (but remember ER diagram analogy! fill in the context... );
how do we falsify constructivism?;
"the strength of constructivism is its focus on norms"

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Literature Review Example from Midlarsky's "Environmental Influences on Democracy"

"Environmental Influences on Democracy: Aridity, Warfare, and a Reversal of the Causal Arrow," by Manus Midlarsky, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 39, No. 2. (Jun., 1995), pp. 224-262, http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-0027%28199506%2939%3A2%3C224%3AEIODAW%3E2.0.CO%3B2-2.

So I need to write a literature review for Prof. I've done a fair bit of academic writing already, but that was in computer science and so I'm new to the this particular version of style. I chose to outline the first section of Manus Midlarsky's Environmental Influences on Democracy Influences on Democracy: Aridity, Warfare, and a Reversal of the Causal Arrow, partially because it overlaps with Chirol's and my work on the generations of Empire.)

Environmental Influences on Democracy

Literature Review Example


Introduction
1. "A conundrum.... why (define problem)"
2. "Macroinfluences... theories..." (4 citations to papers, general approaches, some old)
3. "rise of hydraulic civilization... This theory" (2 citation)
4. One theory well known, the other not well known

Hydraulic Civilizations
5. Intro to hydraulic civ theory (2 citations)
6. Extended quote from one reference
7. Another quote from same reference
8. Existing criticisms look at hydraulic as state-building, not hydrology as democracy or autocracy building (2 references)
9. Problems in testing Wittfogel's Hydrology. What about rainfall? (1 reference)
10. Extended quote (from that reference)
11. dependent variable / political rights / scale
12. a more modern example (de Rivera's Spain) of "ancient" hydraulic dictatorship (1 reference)
13. another (qualitative) reason linking hydrology and government
14. Spanish government storing for hard times (1 reference)
15. extended quote from that reference
16. commentary on extended quote
17. a third reason linking rainfall and democracy (2 references)
18. extended quote from the reference
19. conclusion of importance of rainfall

Warfare and Democracy
20. Transition from Rainfall-Democracy to Warfare-Democracy (1 citation, older)
21. overview of warfare-democracy approaches (many references)
22. Compare this study to an existing one (1 reference)
23. warfare and democracy conclusion


Interestingly, the "hydraulic civ" section can be further broken down into

5. Intro to hydraulic civ theory (2 citations)
Ancient Hydraulic Civs
6. Extended quote from one reference
7. Another quote from same reference
8. Existing criticisms look at hydraulic as state-building, not hydrology as democracy or autocracy building (2 references)
9. Problems in testing Wittfogel's Hydrology. What about rainfall? (1 reference)
10. Extended quote (from that reference)
11. dependent variable / political rights / scale
A Modern Hydraulic Civ
12. a more modern example (de Rivera's Spain) of "ancient" hydraulic dictatorship (1 reference)
13. another (qualitative) reason linking hydrology and government
14. Spanish government storing for hard times (1 reference)
15. extended quote from that reference
16. commentary on extended quote
Conclusion
17. a third reason linking rainfall and democracy (2 references)
18. extended quote from the reference
19. conclusion of importance of rainfall

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Marxism

[Welcome ZenPundit readers. A post with charts derived from these notes is also available. Likewise, the original walk without rhythm post. -- tdaxp]

[today was the best day of this class yet. A recent Iraq War vet is now auditing the class. He and I spent a fair amount of time developing a Marxist-Gramscist Theory of Theological Hegemonic Stability, much to the delight of Prof and the bemuzement of most of our fellow students. I will try to turn that into a blog post -- tdaxp]

Socialist and Marxist Approaches to International Relations
circi et panem
stability?
Marxist stability theory? Marxist Commercial Pacifism?
(EU/G7 as example of Marxist anti-Leninist "Ultraimperialism" ?)
Schumpater / Marxist uneven growth
what is the cure for "opium addiction"?
why not an "opium for the burgeious"?

Marxist Methods
private property establishes a state system -- but what about midaeval Iceland?
"emancipation" -- states exist because we say they do - Marx as constructivist?
Marx as anti-economic-reductionist?
dialecticalism as anti object-subject: anti-science? observer as warrior?
Marxist Theological Stability? "religion isn't the opium of the masses -- it is the masses"
- diversion of the diolectic to immaterial
- Lenin: state is the executive committee of the bougeouis -- so Marxist Theocratic Stability?
-- ... unless the cause is endemic, not agreed, by the rich
-- applying Gramsci... Marxist Theological Hegemonic Stability?
-- Marxist Structural Theories of the State)
--- gives the state partial autonomy; for example, Steel Capitalist v. Auto Capitalists
--- "capitalist strikes" like during 1970s?
--- or even Randist/Objectivist strike?

Marxist-Leninist Theory of War
- (Lenin's theory of Imperialism "essentially borrowed from British liberal JA Hobbson")
- raw materials
- underconsumption / overproduction
- external markets

Marxist-Gramscian Theory of Hegemony
- (Gramsci wrote while in prison in Fascist Italy)
- the idea that an elite can exert power only if it exerts cultural power over social classes
- hegemony as soft power?
- so global hegemony isn't nation based
- an interpretive theory, not prescriptive (?)
- focuses on temporary hegemon -- "historic blocs" (financiers are not industrialists, etc)
- Gramscian Communist strategy community-oriented?
- how would gramsci view a "better" religion as cure / partial cure?

Burkey: "International Relations" problematizes Marxism
- (disagrees with Wallerstein)
- "can't square any units (communes, states, etc) with stateless society"
- so accepting nations implies accepting multi-unit horizontal diversity -- so same thing as "states"?
- Marx /assumes/ state-capitalism interreliance, without backing it up
- capitalism could survive in stateless world
- does "stateless society" mean no external compelling unit or no "hegemonic" regime?
- "stateless society in one state"?
- so "voluntary societies" are conflicting states?
- tribal "early communism" as "stateful statelessness"?
- similarity between church "individual poverty" v. "collective property" monastary debates

Wallerstein
- capitalism is selling for external markets: "means of production" really doens't matter too much
- so any form of specialization / division of labor is a form of capitalism?
- any sort of society can be externally capitalist
- similar to Maoist/Chinese Communist criticisms of USSR trade with the west
- Wallerstein's Core / Semi-Peripherary / Peripherary similar to Barnett's Core / Seam / Gap?

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