Political Science 7 – International Relations - Power Point #1
Dr. Tabakian’s Political Science 7 Modern World Governments – Spring 2013 Power Point Material #1
LECTURE HIGHLIGHTS (1)• Defining Political Science• Introducing International Relations• Applying Theory• Rational Choice Theory• Elitism & Pluralism – Review From Political Science 1• Spheres Of Influence – Review From Political Science 1• Manipulation – Review From Political Science 1• Interdependency Theory – Review From Political Science 1
LECTURE HIGHLIGHTS (2)• Realism• Power Theory• Transparency
WHAT IS POLITICAL SCIENCE?Political Science is a branch of the Social Sciences like Sociology. Bothfields are fairly similar as each is primarily interested in individual as well asgroup behavior. Their fundamental difference is exhibited by what theoryserves as the foundation for each respective discipline. Social scientists arebiased towards elitism while political scientists are prone to pluralism. Thisdoes not mean that elite theory is not utilized in the political sciences. It isrecognized, but only in contrast with pluralism. Both theories complimenteach other, but pluralism is generally favored by political scientists. Politicalscientists examine how political behavior is influenced as Sociology, whichlooks at individual behavior that is determined according to elite influence ingeneral. Elite theory serves as the primary basis of the social sciences(sociology) while political scientists are biased towards pluralism or theresult of competing interests and the end result of conflict and compromise.
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (1)International relations theorize mainly on conflict in the world system andhow to prevent chaos from ensuing by managing power relations throughthe use of deterrence. Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr. states that decisionsmade by foreign poly decision makers examines problems by equatingfive variables:(1) the societal and individual values of their state and that of the case being examined;(2) their own and the world’s understanding of the problem at hand;(3) those capabilities available on hand and what the goals of their nation in correlation to other nations;(4) the bureaucratic and organizational framework where decisions affecting foreign affairs are constructed; and(5) how that individual defines the international system, whether it may be bipolar, multipolar, classical balance of power, unilateral, etc.
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (2)International relations is like the philosophy of science as both aredefined as, “a symbolic construction, a series of inter-related constructsor concepts, together with definitions, laws, theorems and axioms.” Thefield of study came about following World War I by those who sought tounderstand what causes conflict so that the barrage of conflict may notbe repeated again. The field consists of contending theories that somehave argued has not been able to reign uncontested. One can argue thatthe field as a whole is wrought with contesting theoretical approaches,which have yet to achieve recognition as a new paradigm or standing asa law that all researchers can depend on. Found within the naturalsciences are certain laws retaining equal standing among researchers inthat field. None of the subfields of IR or the entire discipline for thatmatter have yet achieved this state. All of the competing theoreticalapproaches and methodologies applied in IR depend on each other toform a nucleus of knowledge that researchers may utilize in differentconfigurations to strengthen or attack hypotheses.
ROLE OF THEORYEveryone uses theory whether they know it or not. Manyof us devise our own theories through our childhoodsocializations up to adulthood. Disagreements within thefield of political science for example come about whenthere is no agreement over the basic forces that shapethe discipline. Students become disillusioned whensituations arise that sweep forecasts into the abyss.Elitism and Pluralism serve as the foundation for thesocial sciences with political science being more inclinedto adhere to pluralist arguments. Readers are encouragedto utilize both theories throughout the text. This will assiststudents of the political sciences to critically analyzethose arguments presented by the author in order todevise their own methodologies concerning politicalscience. Theory also helps researches to classify certainvariables. It may be thought of as a pair of sunglassesthat helps us filter unwanted information.
EXAMPLE OF THEORY – REALISMRealism accords that as human nature remainsthe predominant factor in a nation-state’sforeign policy, it is further determined that suchpolicies are focused upon self-interest. As theinherent motive for man is survival, it applies tothe applied foreign policies of nation-states forthe actions of a state are determined accordingto the actions of a state are determined according to the tenets of politicaldetermination. Considered to be a synonym for power politics, though at timesconstrued as pragmatic and wrought with simplicity, it is a somewhat abruptphilosophy focused on the inherent evils of mankind. Let us look at a clip from themovie “Failsafe”. Walter Matthau plays the role of National Security Advisor whoapplies rational choice and realist theory to explain why striking at the SovietUnion is necessary to survive.
RATIONAL CHOICE (1)What is the primary goal of the individual? The answer may besummed up in one word: Survival. This basic human requirementserves as the foundation for all action. If survival is the ultimate goal,then one must assume that individual parties are determined to makedecisions that are based on rationality. This of course assumes thatpeople as individual units will base all decisions on self-interest. Let useven assume that the decision maker is in possession of perfectinformation. Why then do people make irrational or even foolhardydecisions even when all signs point to negative or even disastrousresults? The answer is simply that human beings are not robots orcomputers. We are fallible to emotions that encompass belief systemslike religion that in turn are great influences over individual behavior.
RATIONAL CHOICE (2)Decisions are based on self-interest…as we define our self-interest tobe. Consider this example. We have a nun and a real-estate mogul.The nun gives up all her worldly possessions and dedicating herself tohelping those in poverty. Her justification may be great rewards in theafterlife. The real-estate mogul does not believe in an afterlife, butdoes believe in making as much money as , spending it all on anoverly extravagant and abusive lifestyle. Who is acting rationally? Bothindividuals are for they are fulfilling their self-interest…as they definetheir self-interest to be.
POWER THEORY (1)To exert power one must first possess adequate reserves to drawupon. This is defined simply as “capacity of power”. Achieving higherpositions is dependent on various factors that may include: education;wealth; profession; charisma and other talents either developed orengrained from birth. This “capacity of power” is not determinedaccording to a single resource, ability or possession. It is instead acombination of different variables that serve to make up the individual.This is just like a battery consisting of energy resources drawn uponwhen it comes time to draw power in order to achieve a set objective.Just like a battery powering a flashlight so does one’s individual“capacity of power” serve to assist one in achieving a set goal or inthis case influencing or affecting political behavior to maintain, expandor protect one’s standing in order to survive in society.
POWER THEORY (2)Our example of “capacity of power” is applicable toindividual capacity of power and all associations up tothe nation state as all combined units consist ofindividuals pursuing their set of priorities or self-interestthat is in turn based on survival. Drawing upon thesereserves allows one to pursue agendas of self-interest.Power is the ultimate pursuit, as the ultimate goal ofhumanity is survival. Individual participants in pursuit ofthese goals join together in common pursuits under theumbrella of common interest. These resulting “spheresof interest” in turn join under broader umbrellas thatalso offer another distinct set of common goals that inturn competes with respective peers.
POWER THEORY (3)Power equals resources (capacity of power) times compliancesquared, divided by force. Every accounting of power theory istaken into consideration in the construction of this formula. Wehave explored the contention that the pursuit of self-interestencourages man to engage in political behavior. This serves asthe foundation for rational choice theory, which in turn has led usto power theory. One may argue that the pursuit of powermaintains the never ending cycle of political: conflict; compromise;alliances; and wars.
POWER THEORY (4)Many have countered this argument with a direct assault on thestatement that “there is no morality in politics”. These critics areboth right and wrong. It is true that morality has no directcorrelation with political science if the pursuit of self-interests andpower resources maintains utmost priority. On the other handthey may be correct if one party sells their pursuit as a moralcause in order to achieve their agenda. For example, one mayargue that good may come from conflict even if it leads to thedestruction of a nation-state and the slaughtering of thousands ormillions of people if the seed of democracy is planted andnurtured to maturity.
TRANSPARENCY (1)America has grown from the days of a colony to major power,superpower, and hegemon, to its present empire status. Americanpower is felt throughout the international community. Playingpoker requires one to adopt what is commonly known as a “pokerface”. Players will hide their true emotions, even faking their trueintentions to catch other players off guard. Some have even takento wearing sunglasses. The exact opposite tactic that the UnitedStates has adopted is “Transparency”. This involves disclosing allroutes the nation-state will undertake with regards to all forms ofpublic policy pertaining to its political, economic and militarystrategies.
TRANSPARENCY (2)Alexander Hamilton initiated thispolicy as the chief financialphilosopher of the United Stateseven if he did not coin the term.Hamilton is regarded as the chiefarchitect of our economic policy,which in turn was developed in orderto win the confidence of domesticUS business and financial elites aswell as gaining the confidence ofinternational business.
TRANSPARENCY EXAMPLE #1America possesses the mosttechnologically advancedmilitary hardware. This videodemonstrates one of the firstdeployable force fields for lightarmored vehicles (LAVs).“Trophy” was built in partnershipwith General DynamicsCorporation & Rafael. Welcometo the 21st Century!
TRANSPARENCY EXAMPLE #2America is not the only nation thatutilizes Transparency. This videoshows the Israeli Defense Forcedemonstrating a new type of gunthat can shoot around corners. Abrief interview with the inventor ofthis amazing weapon follows thedemonstration.
TRANSPARENCY EXAMPLE #3Some forms of transparency areboth political and military in nature.The military sponsored thedevelopment of the MassiveOrdinance Aerial Burst (MOAB). It iscommonly referred to as “TheMother Of All Bombs”. It is thelargest conventional bomb in ourarsenal. There is a psychologicalcomponent to this bomb. Amushroom cloud forms followingsuccessful detonation. It lookssomewhat like a nuclear devicebeing detonated.
TRANSPARENCY EXAMPLE #4Javelin is a fire-and-forget missilewith lock-on before launch andautomatic self-guidance. The systemtakes a top-attack flight profileagainst armored vehicles (attackingthe top armor which is generallythinner) but can also take a direct-attack mode for use againstbuildings or fortifications. This missilealso has the ability to engagehelicopters. Javelin is supplied byRaytheon/Lockheed MartinsJAVELIN Joint Venture.
ELITISMElitism does not promote elite rule. It merely helps us tounderstand how the rules of a society, especially a democraticone, may actually obstruct the social progress of the masses.Elitism argues that elites are needed, due to the ignorance of themasses and their unwillingness to act responsibly. One thingthat elites are particularly fearful of is the tendency for masses tobe vulnerable to demagogic appeals. Demagogues or counterelites are mass-oriented leaders who express outright hostilitytoward established order and appeal to the mass sentiments.This can be from the far left or far right. This also helps toexplain why domestic elites remain fearful of direct democracyand why the Founding Fathers were against the establishmentof national referenda.
ELITISM SUMMARIZED1. Society is divided between the powerful few and the majority weak.2. Governing few are not typical of the governed masses. Elites are not drawn mostly from the upper class socioeconomic section of society.3. Non-elites have to be given the opportunity to rise up to elite positions. The masses have to believe that the process is continuous or revolution may occur. Barriers prevent finite elite positions from being overtaken by unqualified individuals. This is a classic rat and cheese scenario.4. Elites share a common belief on the basic values of the elite. Any change of public policy will be incrementally slow rather than revolutionary.5. Elites may base their actions either on narrow, self-serving motives and risk undermining mass support, or they may initiate reforms, curb abuse, and undertake public-regarding programs to preserve the system.6. Active elites are not typically influenced from apathetic masses. Elites influence masses more than the masses influence elites. Sufficient Cheese Sufficient Cheese Lack Of Cheese
ELITISM – HOW INFORMATION FLOWSElite theory also argues that information flowsfrom opinion elites down to opinion leaderswho are looked to the public for information.News is first “created” by opinion elites andthen sent to opinion leaders to helpdisseminate the information. Those at thevery top of the elite network decide whatinformation is deemed as necessary to offersociety. These elites may be news makersthemselves or in charge of large mediacorporations. Opinion leaders may be thoughtof as journalists, news anchors, expertpundits or even celebrities who possesslegitimacy among those in society.
MANIPULATION EXAMPLE #1Governmental elites find itnecessary to manipulate themasses if doing so serves avested interest. Here is agreat example of how asafety video can serve as atool for manipulating themasses from childhood. Whodoes the monkey represent?
MANIPULATION & MIRROR MYTHNews media outlets possess a greatpower. They are able to “decide what willbe decided”. Bias is exhibited throughoutthe mainstream press. This is also truefor nontraditional news sources aseveryone is biased in some way. Many inthe news media stress that they arenonbiased since they only reflect reality.Even if the news is merely reflected orreported, it is their choice of subjects thatproves their bias. All news is biased.This is the “Mirror Myth”.
WHAT WE CALL THE NEWSClaims have been maderegarding the motivations behindwhat stories are chosen by themajor media. Advertising revenuegreatly influences those storieschosen. Securing market share isvital, for without it, the majormedia would lose advertisingrevenue. It is really our fault thatthe major news networks willfullyfocus on sex, violence andvarious negative pieces. Thisshort clip provides a humorousspin to “What We Call The News”.Enjoy.
PLURALISM – SPHERESPluralism insures that groups are Political Parties “Checking” Each Otherrestricted from single handedlyinfluencing public policy. Rather,cross-cutting cleavages would form,as groups seek compromise withothers to build coalitions that wouldsucceed in affecting change. Thishelps to assure that minority factionsare protected from an overwhelmingmajority. Majority power-holdersamong the “Spheres of Influence” areessentially “checked” by theformation of cross-cutting cleavagesin an effort to balance againstoverwhelming forces.
PROPAGANDA – CITIZEN BASEDTechnological advancements haveempowered common citizens withcreative minds to produce their ownpropaganda. “The War On Terror”sparked a great deal of media distributedvia the Internet. Elites no longer maintaintotal control over distribution. Manycitizens may deem these video asoffensive. Keep in mind that propagandais meant to produce an “Us” versus“Them” mindset. Does this video haveany impact over your belief system?
PLURALISM SUMMARIZED (1)1. Society is divided into numerous groups with all making demands on government while none of the participants are able to dominate all decision- making.2. Citizens do not directly participate in decision-making, but they are able to vote for leaders to make decisions through a process of bargaining, accommodation, and compromise.3. Competition among leadership groups helps protect individuals’ interests. Countervailing centers of power – for example, competition among business leaders, labor leaders and government leaders – can check one another and keep each interest from abusing its power and oppressing the individual. Each of these individual “spheres of influence” allies themselves with other spheres that possess similar goals. See “Spheres Of Influence”.4. Individuals may not participate directly in decision-making, but they can exert influence through active participation in organized groups, political parties and elections.
PLURALISM SUMMARIZED (2)5. Leadership groups are open; new groups can form and gain access to the political system.6. Political influence in society is unequally distributed, but power is widely dispersed. Access to decision making is often determined by how much interest people have in a particular decision. Because leadership is fluid and mobile, power depends on one’s interest in public affairs, skills in leadership, information about issues, knowledge of democratic processes, and skill in organization and public relations.7. Multiple leadership groups operate within society. Those who exercise power in one kind of decision do not necessarily exercise power in others. No single elite dominates decision making in all issues.8. Public policy does not necessarily reflect majority preference, but is an equilibrium of interest interaction – competing interest group influences are more or less balanced, and the resulting policy is therefore a reasonable approximation of society’s preferences.
ELITISM VS. PLURALISM (1)Comparing and contrasting elitism and pluralism allows us to observe how they differ:1. Elitism asserts that the most important division in society is between elites and masses.2. Elitism emphasizes the importance to leaders to maintain their position of power – Pluralism emphasizes this devotion to their group interests.3. Elitism asserts that mass membership of organizations rarely exercises influence on elite leadership. That these organizations have no democratic processes and are controlled by leaders who operate for their own self-interest. Pluralists offer no evidence that the giant organizations represent the interests of their individual members.
ELITISM VS. PLURALISM (2)4. Elitism takes into account of all power holders – private and public. Pluralism focuses on governmental leaders and those who interact directly with them.5. Elitism emphasizes shared characteristics of leaders on top of their interest in preserving the social diversity among leaders, differences in backgrounds, ideologies, and viewpoints. Pluralism also argues that decisions made by leaders are a product of their role perception, institutional constraints, interest group pressure, public opinion, etc. Elitism focuses on leadership consensus – Pluralism focuses on elite conflict.
SPHERES OF INFLUENCEPluralism is best in describing how competingspheres of influence protect minority rightsagainst majority factions. These majority factionsmay consist of individual powerful elite entities orgroups of “spheres of influence”. Alliances willform among once competing spheres in order to“check” another sphere or individual elite basethat acquires too much power. This constant“checking” as described in the “competingspheres of influence” diagram describes how thisplays out in all systems. Individual spheres ofinfluence are always on the alert for one of theirpeers assuming too much power.
COMPETING SPHERESCompeting Spheres of Influenceessentially check each other within thepolitical system. This is seen as essentialfor the protection of minority rightsespecially as it pertains to majorityfactions. Elites in our society are notdefined according to race, gender, religion,etc. They are seen mainly as those whohold positions of power with society. OurFounding Fathers considered theprotection of minority rights as those fewindividuals who retained control oversociety. These individuals were propertyholders, policy makers or those whopossessed positions of power.
TRANSITIONAL EFFECTSCompetition among spheres of interest produces great returns for humanity.The constant strive for marketplace acceptance has resulted in Americaprogressing from a predominantly agricultural society to an industrial,nuclear, and information based society. The United States is unique in that itexcels in more than one particular capitalist endeavor. Innovation has led toadvancements that have greatly influenced every aspect of society. Societyhas benefited from constant advancements in energy harvesting,computers, communication, water purification, medicine and all other areasnot listed for the list would be enormous. Every significant discovery has inturn greatly influenced societal norms of behavior. Masses today viewinternet communications as a vital necessity. It is nearly impossible tooperate in a complex society without easy access to the web. The majorityof masses did not have this belief fifteen years ago. Only societydetermining that the internet allowed for greater efficiency was it adopted asa societal norm. Those not willing to adapt became obsolete.
STABILIZATIONSudden instability is the greatest threat to humanity for it threatens tocause irreparable harm to the individual. One may never considerharming another person in a state of nature. Elimination of one’ssustenance throws the individual into a state of war, because theirsurvival is now threatened. Nation-states consist of multiple spheres ofinterest in turn consisting of individual units consisting of people. Assurvival is the primary goal of man, so it is the ultimate pursuit ofnation-states. The primary concern is that of stability. This philosophyhas prevented a major war from taking place over the last sixty years.Instability is the primary cause of all conflict both within and betweennation-states.
SPHERES OF INFLUENCE - CONTINUEDSpheres consist of individuals who sharea common set of interests and/or beliefsystems. Individual participants are theabsolute micro-level of every sphere.Here are some examples of spheres:family, work, school, political parties, andreligion. Different spheres of influencecommunicate with one another throughthe individual who is a member of thosesame spheres. Various societalinteractions influence individual behavior.
ELITE STAGESElites are the true minority notonly within the United States,but in all societies, regardlessof location. The triangleillustration shows that the trueminorities are elites inpossession of large capacitiesof power. Maximum level ofeducation acquired is used forour argument.
PLURALISM – ALLIANCESPluralism is best in describing how competing Interdependent Spheresspheres of influence protect minority rights againstmajority factions. These majority factions may Government Businessconsist of individual powerful elite entities or groupsof “spheres of influence”. Alliances will form amongonce competing spheres in order to “check” anothersphere or individual elite base that acquires toomuch power. This constant “checking” as described Individualin the “competing spheres of influence” diagramdescribes how this plays out in all systems.Individual spheres of influence are always on thealert for one of their peers assuming too muchpower. Certain situations may also call for certainspheres of influence to realize that they share acommon agenda with one or more of theirrespective peers. Cooperation among spheressharing a common agenda serves to hastenanticipated results.