Political Culture and Decision-Making Theories - Liberal democracy

Terms and concepts to know:

State / government Sovereign(ty)
Foreign policy Regimist / Civilizationist
Political culture Liberal democracy / Pluralism
Authoritarianism / Elitism “End of History”
Cultural fault lines Bureaucracy
Decision-making / SOP’s Incrementalism
Rational actor model Organizational process model
Bureaucratic politics model
Study and discussion questions:

1. First off, we should discuss the differences between system level theories and state level theories. What are the benefits to studying international relations at the state level? What are the drawbacks?

2. According to Russett in his article “Why Democratic Peace?”, are democracies more or less prone to war than other systems of government? How would a realist respond to this essay?

3. What was Fukuyama’s “End of History” article meant to convey and why do Stanley and Lee suggest we are still not at the end of history? Would you agree that radical Islam is not going to be a substitute for liberal democracy?

4. Describe what Huntington was arguing in his famous essay, “The Clash of Civilizations?” Of the various civilizations he presents, which seem the most incompatible and thus likely to “clash”? How have things changed with regard to this thesis since 9-11?

5. Barber argues in his article “Jihad vs. McWorld” that the forces of tradition and modernity are at the heart of conflict in the 21st century. Would you agree that the two are incompatible? Why or why not?

6. Is there any theoretical underpinning to Allison’s “Essence of Decision’? Why would a decision-making process theorist argue that such a support is not necessary for such an analysis to be useful in I.R.?

7. Comment on the film Islam: What the West Needs to Know. Are the commentators making a fair analysis of why the west and Islam are clashing?

Genest. Conflict and Cooperation, Chapters 6 and 7, pp. 370-485.
The Unknown Known.

Political Culture and Decision-Making Theories - Liberal democracy

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