Mingst and Snyder–Chapter 3 Reading Questions

Morgenthau, Hans–“A Realist Theory of International Politics”
  • Does Morgenthau’s explanation of realist theory focus on any of the levels of analysis in particular? Explain.
  • Morgenthau writes “political realism is aware of the moral significance of political action. It is also aware of the ineluctable tension between the moral command and the requirements of successful political action.” What does he mean by this and why is this important for international relations?
  • How does Morgenthau define political power, and how is it used in internaitonal politics?

Mearsheimer, John–“Anarchy and the Struggle for Power?”
  • Does Mearsheimer’s neorealist theory of IR focus on any of the levels of analysis in particular? Explain.
  • Why do states pursue power?
  • How does anarchy relate to the quest for hegemony?
  • The pursuit of power by states leads to what kinds of regular behaviors?
  • What is the “security dilemma”?
  • What is the effect of power on fear?
  • Describe the hierarchy of state goals.
  • Is world order maintained through cooperation?
Doyle, Michael W.–“Liberalism and World Politics”
  • In simple terms, why are democracies less likely to act belligerently on the world stage?
  • What does Doyle call Schumpeter’s liberal approach to international relations? What does Schumpeter’s approach predict for the level of belligerence with which states with liberal regimes will act?
  • Answer the question above for both Machiavelli and Kant, as well.
  • What does the actual evidence suggest for whose version of liberalism most closely matches the empirical reality?
  • What is the “democratic peace theory” and what does it predict for the actions of democracies in international affairs?
Wendt, Alexander–“Anarchy is what States Make of it: The Social Construction of Power Politics”
  • Does the absence of centralized political authority (i.e., anarchy) force states to play competitive power politics?
  • What in anarchy is given and immutable, and what is amenable to change?
  • How does understanding the difference between structure and process help us understand the “logic of anarchy”?
  • What does this mean: “U.S. military power has a different significance for Canada than for Cuba, despite the similar ‘structural’ positions, just as British missiles have a different significance for the United States than do Soviet missiles.”
  • Ultimately, what does Wendt mean by “anarchy is what states make of it?”
Tickner, J. Ann –“Man, the State, and War: Gendered Perspectives on National Security”
  • How do the quotes by de Beauvior and Fussell in the epigraph help us understand Tickner’s feminist critique of international relations? Which broad theory of IR is she critiquing?
  • What is Tickner’s critique of “political man” and how does Hobbes fit in?
  • What is the realist view of citizenship and security? Is that the only possible view?
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