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International Relations


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War (KW)
A condition arising within states (civil war) or between states (interstate war) when actors use violent means to destroy their opponents or coerce them into submission.
Discord, often arising in international relations over perceived incompatibilities of interest.
The methodological research movement to incorporate rigorous scientific analysis into the study of world politics in order to base conclusions about patterns on measurement, data and evidence rather than on speculation and subjective belief. (Attempt to estimate frequency or armed conflicts and ascertain in trends exist)
A scholarl approach to inquiry emphasizing the importance of agents (people and groups) and the shared meanings they construct to define their identities, interests, and institutions--understandings that influence their int'l behavior.
A military strategy in which the primary purpose is to prevent a foreign adversary's attack.
Long Peace
Peace between great powers since 1945
Intraspecific aggression
Killing members of one's own species.
Interspecific aggression
Killing members of species other than one's own.
A theory that states are driven to compete for power through war and imperialism because of human nature, which is flawed by the urge to engage in aggression.
The processes by which people learn the beliefs, values, and behaviors that are acceptable in a given society.
National Character
The collective characteristics ascribed to the people within a state.
Rational Choice
The assumption that decision makers make choices through cool headed calculations of costs and benefits and pick the options that have the best chance of realizing preferred goals.
The propensity for members of a decision making group to accept and agree with the group's prevailing attitudes, rather than speaking out for what they believe.
State Level of Analysis
An analytical approach to the study of world politics that emphasizes how the internal attributes of states explain their foreign policy behaviours.
The so-called structural version of realism that explains state conduct as a function of changes in the global system's structure, such as shifts in the distribution of the states' military capabilities.
External interference in a state's internal affairs.
Feminist theory
A body of scholarship emerging from the social feminist mov't to promote the political equality of women with men. Critiquing sexual biases and challenging gender roles that encourage female subordination and warfare.
Communist Theory of Imperialism
The Marxist-Leninist economic interpretation of imperialist wars of conquest as driven by capitalism's need for foreign markets to generate capital.
Laissez-Faire economics
Free markets in which goods are exchanged within minimal management by the state.
Relative Gains
A situation in which some participants to an exchange benefit more than others.
Human Rights
Political Rights and civil liberties recognized by the int'l community as inalienable and valid.
Democratic Peace
The liberal theory that lasting peace depends on the deepening of liberal democratic institutions within states and their diffusion throughout the globe, given the "iron law" that democracies do not wage wars against each other.
Self Help
The principle that in anarchy states in the global system must rely on themselves.
Security dilemma
The tendency of states to view the defensive arming of adversaries as threatening, and when they arm in response, everyone's security declines.
Global anarchy
The absence of global institutions for global governance with the power to enforce rules and regulate disputes.
Power Transition theory
The theory that war is likely when a dominant great power is threatened by the rapid growth of a rival's capabilities, which reduces the difference in their relative power.
Structural Realism
A neorealist theory that emphasizes the influence of the structure of world power on the behavior of the states within it.
War weariness hypothesis
The contention that a state at war will become exhausted and lose its enthusiasm for another war, but only for a time.
Relative deprivation
Inequality between the wealth and status of individuals and groups, and the outrage of those at the bottom about their percieved exploitation by those at the top.
Displaced people
people involuntarily uprooted from their homes but still living in their own countries.
Failing states
Those govt's that are in danger of losing the loyalty of their citizens, who are rebelling against corruption and administration failure, and, in the process, tearing the country into separate political parts.
United Nations Human Development index (HDI)
an index that uses life expectancy, literacy, avg. # of years in school, and income to assess a country's performance in providing for its citizen's welfare and security.
Diversionary Theory of War
The contention that leaders initiate conflict abroad as a war of increasing national cohesion at home.
premeditated politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agenst, usually intended to influence an audience.
State-sponsored terrorism
Formal assistance, training, and arming of foreign terrorists by a state in order to achieve foreign policy goals.
Just War
The theory originating in the Middle Ages that identifies the conditions under which it is morally permissible, or "just" for a state to go to war and the methods by which a just war might be fought.
Postmodern terrorism
To Walter Laquer, the terrorism practiced by an expanding set of diverse actors with new weapons "to sow panic in a society, to weaken or even overthrow the incumbents, and to bring about political change."
Transgenetic Crops
New crops with improved chracteristics created artificially through genetic engineering which combines genes from species that would not naturally interbreed.
Food Security
Access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.
power potential
The relative capabilities or resources held by a state that are considered necessary to its asserting influence over others
Coercive diplomacy
The use of theats or limited armed force to persuade an adversary to alter its foreign and/or domestic policies
Opportunity Costs
The concept in decision-making theories that when the opportunity arises to use resources, what is gained for one purpose is lost for other purposes, so that every choice entails the cost of some lost opportunity.
Peace dividend
The global savings from arms expenditure reductions made possible by the end of highly hostile international rivalries such as the Cold War.
Relative Burden of military spending
a measure of the economic burden of military activities calculated by the share of each state's GDP allocated to military expenditures.
Military-industrial complex
The term coined by U.S. President Eisenhower to describe the coalition among arms manufacturers, military beuracracies, and top gov't officials that promotes unnecessary defense expenditures for its own profit and power.
Nuclear nonproliferation Treaty
An international agreement that seeks to prevent horizontal proliferation by prohibiting nuclear weapons sales, acquisitions, or production.
The spread of weapon capabilities from a few to many states in a chain reaction, so that an increasing number of states gain the abiity to launch an attack on other states with devastating weapons.
Nth country problem
The addition of new nuclear states
Horizontal Nuclear proliferation
An increase in the number of states that possess nuclear weapons
Vertical Nuclear Proliferation
An increase in the capabilities of existing nuclear powers.
Nonproliferation regime
Rules to contain arms races so that weapons or technology do not spread to states that do not have them.
Multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs)
A technological innovation permitting many weapons to be delivered from a single missle.
Revolution in Military Technology
The sophisticated new weapons technologies that make fighting war without mass armies possible.
The psychological barrier between conventional and nuclear war
Strategic weapons
Weapons of mass destruction that are carried on intercontinental ballistic missles (ICBMs), sub launched ballistic missles (SLBMs) or long range bombers and are capable of annihilating and enemy state
Virtual Nuclear Arsenals
The next generation of "near-nuclear" military capabilities produced by the revolution in military technology that would put strategic nuclear wmd at the margins of national security strategies by removing dependence on them for deterrence.
Infowar tactics
Attacks on telecomm or network systems. Cripple enemy.
No First Use (Russia)
The doctrine that a nuclear state would not use its strategic weapons in the event of an attack by another state using nuclear or conventional weapons.
Yoshida Doctrine
Japan's traditional security policy of avoiding disputes with rivals, preventing foreign wars by low military spending, and promoting economic growth through foreign trade.

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