Here’s a retro post: notes for International Politics that I never got around to posting last semester.
They aren’t that useful, or interesting, but I’ve tried to post as much class-related material as I can, so the notes are included before for completeness sake.
The only “cool” notes I took for this class were on Marxism, which evolved into a pretty post on theological capitalist stability and also an exploration of Tom Barnett’s Marxist roots. This class also saw me write my first political science literature review and research design — a task I should not have even attempted without first taking Scopes & Methods.
International Finance System
good/services = “trade system”
capital = “financial system”
assumption of how markets should facilitate international financial system,
economies with savings surplus => economies where investment opportunities > savings
* but what about China?
remember the trilemma (pick 2 of 3)
capital mobility v. domestic autonomy v. fixed exchange rates
1. Displacement / external shock
4. Panic / crunch
5. Crash / crisis
(1997 East Asia as an example?)
(disputed by many economists)
does currencies dropping when it floats imply government failure?
* investors “knew” countries couldn’t sustain their peg
“not taking into account any domestic factors”
– but before you were criticising an over-reliance on domestic factors
when did the crisis start?
1. when Thailand devalued
2. when investors realized Thailand had an unsupportable baht
3. when Thailand first had an unsupportable baht
market failures / government failures
comparative advantage of stuff
– but percent of economy in manufacturing has remained constant
“The Capital Myth” argument against capital liberalization
Multinational Corporations (MNCs) are widespread due to foreign direct investment (FDI)
“unfortunate thing is that MNCs are here to stay”
Three Views of MNC
1. Force for good
2. Force for bad
3. Force for statist-realism
– relatively self-sufficient “clones”
– internationalization of production processes
– will invest “in unstable countries”
– student comment “looks like sweat-shops to me”
– Prof: “based on a complex division of labor”
“obsolescing bargain-pattern” – an MNC holds the maximum bargaining power just before the investment
“R&D” – tendency of corporations to locate research/development in home country
if you’re a poor country… it’s basically a company “exploiting” you
MNCs hurt LDC (Least-Developed Countries)
Prof: History of MNS
First Wave: The Great Trading Company (East Indies Company, etc)
– like dinosaurs – huge bodies, small brains
– “over time, better technologies have allowed more complex specialization”
– much international trade are internal to a multinational (1/3 of American trade)
– firms try to maximize global operations, not for each-and-every branch
– firms adroit at tax-minimization
– but remember currency risk
“Western understanding” — but use of Eastern concepts
Is Imperialism Hyperimperialism inherently “feminine”?
“environmental degradation” — but what about environmental improvement?
presentation> public : private :: male : female (?)
feminist theory as essentially normative? (apparently!)
good phrase: “or, in third world countries, the ‘survival sector’ [of the economy]”
originality of the critique of rational man [a rational actor would only spend money on food]
“men rewarded disproportionately to women” — but what about disproportionate empowerment of women in developing countries?
– student critique: “this hurts women, because of introduction of capitalism”
“an ethic of care and responsibility”