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International Affairs


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Absolute gains (non-zero sum)-
states only worry about their own gains. (The liberal perspective tends to emphasize.)
formal of informal arrangements made between sovereign states usually to ensure mutual security.
meaning the absence of any ruler. [an anarchic system of states is a system of states that are relatively cohesive but with no higher government above them.]
the act of accommodating the demands of an assertive power in an attempt to prevent conflict. Western Europe’s appeasement of Hitler in the late 1930s is the classic example of the dangers of appeasement.
Arab-Israeli Conflict-
has produced six wars; Israelis claim dates to biblical times and cite the Balfour Declaration, a letter written by the British government promising that the British government would work for a Jewish homeland in Palestine following WWII; Arabs respond that they have lived in the area for many centuries. Israel is recognized by the United Nations.
Asian tigers-
refers to the economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan. Today also includes mainland China. These territories and nations were noted for maintaining high growth rates and rapid industrialization between the early 1960s and 1990s. They achieved high growth by pursuing an export-driven trade strategy. Domestic consumption was discouraged through government policies such as high tariffs. Singled out education as a means of improving productivity and improved the education system at all levels.
Balance of Payments-
an account of all transactions between one country and all other countries- transactions are measured in terms of receipts and payments. From the US perspective, a receipt represents any dollars flowing into the country or any transaction that requires the exchange of foreign currency into dollars. A payment represents dollars flowing out of the country or any transaction that requires the conversion of dollars into some other currency.
Current Account
including Merchandise (exports and imports), Service (exports and imports), Investment income and payments (interest and dividends), government (exports, imports, and aid)
1. The Capital Account
measures foreign investment in the US and US investment abroad
2. The Balancing Account
allows for changes in official reserve assets (SDR’s, gold, and other payments)
Balance of Power
a term commonly used to describe (1) the distribution of power in the international system, (2) a policy of balancing foreign powers to prevent one state from gaining a preponderance of power, or (3) the balances of military power that existed in the multipolar system of Europe in the nineteenth century.
any effort to prevent supplies, troops, information or aid from reaching an opposing force.
Bretton Woods
New Hampshire resort where a 1994 conference established the IMF, the World Bank, and the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
Cardinal de Richelieu
cardinal of France who showed allegiance to the state instead of allegiance to the Pope; decided that power of the state was more important than alliances to religion; made alliances with Protestant nations.
Clash of Civilizations (Huntington)-
theory that states that the next great war will occur along lines of civilization, or religions.
Cold War-
the standoff between the US and the USSR that lasted from roughly the end of WWII until the fall o f the Berlin Wall in 1989. Through proxy wars were fought on behalf of both sides around the globe, US and Soviet troops did not engage in direct combat, making this a “cold “ war rather than a “hot” shooting war.
Collective Good-
public goods that could be delivered as private goods but are delivered instead by the government for various reasons (usually social policy) and financed from public funds like taxes.
Collective Security-
embodied in the League of Nations Covenant; the idea that a general association of nations is formed for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity; involves sovereignty and international law.
Common Agricultural Policy-
is a system of EU agricultural subsidies, which represent about 44% of the EU’s spending. These subsidies work by guaranteeing a minimum price to producers and by direct payment of a subsidy for crops planted. This provides some economic certainty for EU farmers and production of a certain quantity of agricultural goods. Reforms of the system are currently underway including a phased transfer of subsidy to land stewardship rather than specific crop production from 2005-2012.
Comparative Advantage-
a country has the comparative advantage when it is beneficial for it to trade for something even when it may be able to produce that item more cheaply than its trade partner.
Absolute Advantage-
a country has the absolute advantage when, with the same amount of inputs, it is able to produce outputs more than another country.
Complex Interdependence-
thought experiment that reverses the three key assumptions of realism and supplies that (1) states are not the only significant actors, transnational actors working across state boundaries are also major players; (2) force is not the only significant instrument- economic manipulation and the use of international institutions are the dominant instruments; and (3) security is not the dominant goal—welfare is the dominant goal. It is an “ideal type”; an imaginary concept that does not exist in the real world.
Concert of Europe-
describes the broad co-operation between Europe’s great powers after 1815. Its purpose was to maintain the peace settlement concluded at the Congress of Vienna following the defeat of Napoleonic France. fell apart in 1822 when the revolutions of liberal nationalism challenged the practices of providing territorial compensation or restoring governments to maintain equilibrium.
Congress of Vienna-
restored the old multipolar order after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815; had five powers balancing each other, agreed on certain rules of the game to equalize the players; established the general framework for the European international system in the nineteenth century.
a foreign policy designed to contain a potential aggressor. Containment was the cornerstone of US foreign policy toward Soviet communism during the Cold War.
value individuals over sovereign states and limit the moral importance of national borders.
arguments that run contrary to facts. These are often phrased as “what if” questions and are employed in the analysis of scenarios in international relations to explore casual relationships.
Cuban Missile Crisis-
a standoff in October 1962 between the US and the USSR over the presence of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba. The crisis was resolved when the Soviets removed their missiles partly in exchange for a secret agreement that the US would remove missiles based in Turkey.
Debt Crisis (OPEC)
mid 1970s when many of the OPEC countries amassed great wealth. These countries borrowed large sums of money at low, but floating, interest rates. As a result of the irresponsibility of both creditor and debtor governments the countries did not use the money for productive investment rather, they spent these new dollars on immediate consumption. these governments amassed debt and refused to repay their loans. With nowhere else o turn, these nations have relied heavily on the World Bank or IMF
Democratic Peace Theory-
theory that holds that democracies never or almost never go to war with one another
the relaxation of tensions; occurred in the Cold War from 1963-1978; highpoint of 1972-1973.
a strategy of discouraging a political aggressor through threat or fear
Development (characterized by)
-Material growth
-Alleviating poverty and inequality
-Quality of life- health, environment
o Political and security development
o Domestic economic policies and institutions
o External trade, investment and foreign assistance
o Socio-cultural equality and development
Economic Interdependence-
situations characterized by reciprocal economic effects among countries or actors in different countries
European Union-
an intergovernmental and supranational union of 25 European countries, known as member states. Was established in 1992 by the Treaty on European Union. The EU’s activities cover all areas of public policy, from health and economic policy to foreign affairs and defense.
Fixed Exchange Rates-
the government (or the central bank acting on the government’s behalf) intervenes in the currency market so that the exchange rate stays close to an exchange target.
Floating Exchange Rates-
changes demand and supply of a currency cause a change in value.
Export-Led Development-
the restructuring of an economy towards producing goods for export markets in order to afford more imports and stimulate economic growth. In developing countries, exports are also needed to pay off debts. The experience of export-led policies is mixed and policies have often been at the expense of the environment, economic stability, and social justice and to the benefit of Northern importing countries. It is promoted by the IMF, World Bank, OECD, and WTO.
Feminist Views of International Relations-
“the discipline of international relations, as it is presently constructed is defined in terms of everything that is not female”
Fiscal policies-
domestic macroeconomic policy of taxing and spending
Foreign Direct Investment-
movement of capital across national frontiers in a manner that grants the investor control over the acquired asset; distinct from portfolio investment which may cross borders, but does not offer such control.
G-7 and G-8-
G-7 consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US. G-8 also includes Russia. The hallmark of the G8 is an annual economic and political summit meeting of the heads of government with international officials, though there are numerous subsidiary meetings and policy research.
GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade)-
an international agreement on tariffs and trade that began in 1947 and was replaced in 1994 by the World Trade Organization.
Gorbachev’s strategy of open discussion and democratization that he used to try and discipline the Soviet people as a way to overcome existing economic stagnation; an intermediate cause of the end of the Cold War was the spread of liberal ideas
at its broadest, the term is used to describe worldwide networks of interdependence. It has a number of dimensions, including economic, cultural, military, and political globalization. It is not a new phenomenon—it dates back to the Silk Road—but due to the information revolution, its contemporary form is “thicker and quicker” than previous ones.
Gold Standard-
a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is a fixed weight of gold and currency issuers guarantee, under specific rules, to redeem notes in that amount of gold. The gold standard is not longer used by any nation. The US went off the Gold Standard in the 1970s.
Group of 77-
the largest third world coalition in the UN. Provides the means for the developing world to articulate and promote its collective economic interests and to enhance its joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues in the UN system, and to promise economic and technical cooperation among developing countries.
the ability to exercise control within a system of states. The US is often said to exercise military hegemony today.
Hegemonic Stability Theory-
holds that imbalanced power produces peace; when there is a strong dominant power, there will be stability; when that strong power begins to slip and a new challenger rises, war is more likely. (ex//Thucydides’ explanation of the Peloponnesian War: the rise of power in Athens and the fear it created in Sparta. Also WWI).
Humanitarian Intervention-
intervention into a country for the purpose to Protect people from arbitrary violence like starvation or torture, not from political tyranny
an analytical approach to international relations that emphasizes the importance of ideas, cultures, and social dimensions.
a collection if ideas; a comprehensive vision; philosophical tendencies
a policy of extending control or authority over foreign entities as a means of acquisition and/or maintenance of empires, either through direct territorial conquest or indirect methods of exerting control on the politics and/or economy of other countries. This term is often used to describe the policy of a country in maintaining colonies and dominance over distant lands, regardless of whether that country calls itself an empire.
Import Substitution Development-
a development strategy followed by many Latin American countries and other FDCs that emphasize import-substitution accomplished through protectionism as the route to economic growth.
necessary municipal or public services, provided by the government or private companies. Includes transportation, public utilities, public services, and national services. Also, public education, public health systems including hospitals, public libraries, and social welfare.
International Criminal Court (ICC)-
established in 2002 as a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, as defined by several international agreements, most prominently in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
International Institutions-
institutions created to facilitate international cooperation. The UN, World Bank, and IMF are all examples of international institutions.
International Monetary Fund (IMF)-
an international institution set up after WWII to lend money, primarily to developing countries, to help stabilize currencies or cover balances of payments. (see Bretton Woods)
International Trade Organization-
expected UN specialized organization successor to the GATT, but never materialized.
external actions that influence the domestic affairs of a sovereign state. Most often this term is used to refer to forcible interference in another state’s domestic affairs.
national policy of avoiding political or economic entanglements with other countries; has been a recurrent theme in US history; term is most often applied to the political atmosphere in the UIS in the 1930s; America’s reluctance to concern themselves with the growth of fascism in Europe; encouraged the British in their policy of appeasement and contributed to the French paralysis in the face of the growing threat posed by Nazi Germany.
Jus Ad Bellum-
a moral code of justifications that must be satisfied for a war to be considered a just war. The elements of this have traditionally included: having a just cause; being declared by a proper authority; possessing right intention; having a reasonable chance of success; and the end being proportional to the means used. From the Latin: “justice to go to war”
Just In Bello-
a moral code of conduct that holds states and individuals responsible for their actions during wartime. From the Latin: “justice in war”
Kellog-Briand Pact-
1928- states agreed to outlaw war after WWI; named after the American and French foreign ministers.
Kyoto Protocol-
an international treaty on climate change; amendment to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change; countries which ratify this protocol commit to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases, or engage in emissions trading if they maintain or increase emissions of these gases. The US, a signatory to the protocol, has neither ratified nor withdrawn from the protocol. The protocol is non-binding over the US until ratified.
policy dictating a minimum of governmental interference in the economic affairs of individuals and society.
League of Nations-
an international organization dedicated to collective security that was founded at the end of WWI. Woodrow Wilson, the League’s chief advocate, called for its creation in his 14 Points at the end of the war. The League failed due to its inability to prevent the aggressions that led to WWII.
states have legitimate use of power (realist perspective); international institutions as actors (liberal perspective)
an analytical approach to international relations in which states function as part of a global society that sets the context for their interactions.
Lost Decade (Latin America)-
1973-1987- debt and inflation up, per capita growth down to 0.8% per year, and inequality up
study of the entire economy in terms of the total amount of goods and services produced, total income earned, level of employment of productive resources, and general behavior of prices. Domestic-wide policies: fiscal (tax and spend) and monetary (interest rate).
study of the general behavior of individual consumers, firms, and industries and the distribution of total production and income among them.
Marshall Plan-
Secretary of State George Marshall’s plan for economic aid to Europe after WWII; initially invited the Soviets and Eastern Europe to join, but Soviets did no want American involvement in their security barrier in Eastern Europe.
ideology and socioeconomic theory developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles; holds that all people are entitled the enjoy the fruits of their labor but are prevented from doing so in a capitalist economic system, which divides society into two classes: non-owning workers and nonworking owners.
economic theory and policy influential in Europe from the 16th to the 18th centuries that called for government regulation of a nation’s economy in order to increase its power at the expense of rival nations; emphasis on the importance of gold and silver holdings as a sign of a nation’s wealth and power led to policies designed to obtain precious metals through trade by ensuring “favorable” trade balances, meaning and excess of exports over imports; colonial possessions were to serve as markets for exports and as suppliers of raw material so the mother country, a policy that created conflict between the European colonial powers and their colonies, in particular fanning resent of Britain in North American colonies and helping bring about the American revolution.
Monetary Policy-
measures employed by governments to influence economic activity, specifically by manipulating the money supply and interest rates; an attempt by governments to achieve or maintain high levels of employment, price stability, and economic growth; directed by a nation’s central bank; in US responsibility of Federal Reserve System which uses open-market operations, the discount rate, and reserve requirements.
Most favored nation-
a status accorded by one nation to another in international trade. Does not confer particular advantages on the receiving nation, but means that the receiving nation will be granted all trade advantages that any third nation also receives; having MFN means that one’s nation will not be treated worse than anyone else’s nation; the member of the WTO accord MFN status to each other.
Newly Industrializing countries-
a social/economic classification status applied to several countries around the world by political scientists and economists; countries that are not quite yet at the status of a full-fledged first world nation, but still more advanced than countries in the third world or in the category of least developed countries; the most significant feature in a country being classified as a NIC is obtaining a considerable leveling of industrialization, the switching of primary business from agricultural to industrial economies; often include common features including increased social freedoms and civil rights, an increasingly “open” economy, allowing for freer trade with its neighbors, such as that obtained by joining a trade block. Current examples: Mexico, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, South Africa. Former examples: Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan.
policy of preventing the spread of nuclear technology
Non-tariff barrier-
restrictions to imports but are not in the usual form of a tariff; they are criticized as a means to evade free trade
rules that are socially enforced
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)-
a 1994 agreement among the US, Canada, and Mexico that created a free-trade zone in North America.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-
an international organization for defense collaboration established in 1949 in support of the North Atlantic Treaty signed in Washington, DC on April 4, 1949; the parties agree that an attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America is considered an attack against them all; will assist the party or parties so attacked by taking forthwith such actions s it deems necessary, including the use of armed force to maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.
Oil shock-
1973- began when Arab members of OPEC, during the Yom Kippur War, announced that they would no longer ship petroleum to nations that had supported Israel in its conflict with Syria and Egypt- that is to the US and its allies in Western Europe.
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)-
an organization of the world’s largest oil producing states that tries to coordinate policy on oil production and pricing among its members.
Otto von Bismarck-
German military leader who unified Germany in 1870; changed the face of European politics; was an agile diplomat who allayed the sense of threat on the part of his neighbors, thus delaying the effects of this major structural change on the system’s political process; was fired by the Kaiser in 1890.
Peloponnesian War-
a conflict between Athens and Sparta lasting from 431 BC to 404 BC that resulted in the defeat of Athens and the end of the Golden Age of Athenian democracy.
Gorbachev’s idea of “restructuring”, but he was unable to restructure from the tope because the bureaucrats kept thwarting his orders (see Glasnost)
the Athenian leader in the early days of the Peloponnesian War; told the Athenian people they had no choice; made policy mistakes by giving and ultimatum to Potidaea and in punishing Megara by cutting off its trade.
Portfolio Investment-
represent passive holdings of securities such as foreign stocks, bonds, or other financial assets, none of which entails active management or control of the securities’ issuer by the investor. Include loans, mutual funds, etc. (are volatile)
Post revisionists-
explanation for the Cold War that focuses on the structural level; argue that traditionalists and revisionists are both wrong because nobody was to blame for starting the Cold War; it was inevitable because of the bipolar structure of the postwar balance of power; bipolarity plus the postwar weakness of the European states created a power vacuum into which the US and USSR were drawn; bound to come into conflict. They say it is pointless to look for blame.
divided into hard and soft power
 Hard power-
rests on inducements or threats (payment v. coercion)
 Soft power-
getting others to want what you want; rests on the attraction of one’s ideas or on the ability to set the political agenda; intangible power resources such as culture, ideology, and institutions.
Prisoner’s Dilemma-
a thought exercise in which two prisoners that are separated make independent rational decisions about sharing and withholding information to obtain outcomes for themselves. It is part of Game Theory and can be used to learn and discuss the 3 perspectives.
the process of transferring property, from public ownership to private ownership and/or transferring the management of a service or activity from the government to the private sector; opposite process is called nationalization.
Product life cycle-
the succession of stages a product goes through
the amount of output created (in terms of goods produced or services rendered) per unit of input
Purchasing Power Parity-
an estimate of the exchange rate required to equalize the purchasing power of different currencies, given the prices of goods and services in the countries concerned; are also used to compare the standard of living of two or more countries.
a prescribed number or share of something; a time-measured goal fir production or achievement; a form of protectionisms used to restrict the import of something to a specific quantity.
Raison d’Etat-
the national interest; a country’s goals and ambitions whether economic, military, or cultural
an analytical approach to international relations in which the primary actors are states and the central problems are war and the use of force.
regional integration; began with the Schumann Plan in Europe, integrating coal and steel industries; Treaty of Rome established the European Common Market, which provided a step-by-step reduction of trade barriers and harmonization of a whole range of agricultural and economic policies that culminated in the creation of the EU in 1992.
Relative gains (Zero-sum)-
states worry about gains of other states in relation to their own gains (realist perspective tends to emphasize)
Security dilemma-
a system where, under anarchy, independent action taken by one state to increase its security may make all states more insecure; act out of fear caused by the threat perceived in the growth of the other
the right of a people to form a state. Woodrow Wilson was a strong advocate for self-determination.
Service Sector-
industry that provides services rather than goods’ includes banking, communications, wholesale and retain trade, all professional services, all consumer services, and all government services.
Shadow of the Future-
past actions reflect possible future actions
the idea that a state has a government that exercises authority over its territory.
Spheres of influence-
areas where one power has economic, social, and political influence over a separate region of states.
State Moralists-
argue that international politics rests on a society of states with certain rules, although those rules are not always perfectly obeyed; most important rule is state sovereignty, which prohibits states from intervening across borders into each others’ jurisdiction
Strategic Trade-
a policy that seeks to exploit power by subsidizing exports.
Suez Crisis-
Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956. Britain saw this as a threat; Israel crossed into the region in collusion with Britain and France because of Egyptian guerilla attacks on the Israeli border; British and French were to intervene because of an apparent threat to the Canal; UN eventually intervened; British and French caved in and agreed to a cease-fire (it is a historical example of roles of international law and organization)
an Athenian whose book History of the Peloponnesian War, a chronicle of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, is one of the earliest known works of history and international affairs (used the realist perspective)
Trade adjustment assistance-
monetary compensation or training programs paid for by governments to compensate for loss of jobs due to Free Trade
argue that the aggressive and expansive nature of Stalin and the Soviet Union caused the Cold War; cite the Eastern European sphere of influence
Treaty of Westphalia-
the 1648 peace treaty that formally concluded the Thirty Years’ War (series of European wars fueled by international, religious, and dynastic conflicts that took place from 1618-1648) and established state sovereignty as the highest principle in the international system.
the distribution of power
 Unipolar-
the structures of an international system in which one state exercised preponderant power. Some analysts refer to the current military power structures as a unipolar system dominated by the US.
 Bipolar-
the structure of an international system in which two states or alliances of states dominate world politics. The Cold War division between the US and the Soviet Union is often referred to as bipolar system.
 Multipolar-
the structures of an international system in which three or more states or alliances dominate world politics. Many scholars describe nineteenth-century Europe.
Uruguay Round-
a trade negotiation lasting from September 1986 to April 1994, which transformed the GATT into the WTO.
Washington Consensus-
a term used in debates about trade and development
-Latin American countries as of 1989
these policies include:
tax reform, interest rate liberalization, a competitive exchange rate, trade liberalization, privatization, deregulation, and secure property rights.
World Bank-
an institution set up after WWII to provide loans, technical assistance, and policy advice to developing countries (see Bretton Woods)
World Trade Organization (WTO)
- an international organization created in 1994 to regulate trade and tariffs among its member states (see GATT)
Quadruple Alliance
1815 Quadruple Alliance of Britain, Austria, Prussia, an Russia

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