Category Archives: UNL / International Politics

Last of the Notes for UNL’s International Politics

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.

Spectrum of Currency Relations: Fixed – Pegged – Floating

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

Minsky’s Stages
1. Displacement / external shock
2. Euphoria
3. Mania/bubble
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

Transnational Corporations

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

horizontal investment
– relatively self-sufficient “clones”

vertical investment
– 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”

Conclusion and Bibliography for Example Political Science Literature Review & Research Design

Note: This is part of an example political science literature review and research design. An abstract and table of contents are also available.


Democracy and economic development are vital to states, and geography doubtless is a factor. Regardless of its results, this study should be hopeful in determining how great a factor it is. Whatever the outcome, geographic effects and the cultural aspects they engender should always be considered to be conditioners, not determinants. Writing in 1951, Scalapino looked skeptically on political development for Asia

Nowhere in Asia, including Japan, has democracy yet demonstrated its capacity to survive an develop. In the absense of this demonstration, Communism, among all the authoritarian creeds, has recently shown the greatest dynamism and strength.

We live in a world where Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and India are stable democracies, many other states have fledgling democracies, and even the “Communist” republics of China and Vietnam have abandoned the idea of economic communism as a creed of dynamism and strength.

If this study does not show a strong correlation between access to the sea and development, we will be more likely to believe that human ingenuity trumps democracy. But a positive outcome for this study does not consign landlocked states and underdevelopment and autocracy, any more than Scalapino’s observed trends condemned Asia to authoritarianism and communism.


Bartlett, David and Seleny, Anna. “The Political Enforcement of Liberalism: Bargaining, Institutions, and Auto Multinationals in Hungary.” International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 42, No. 2. (Jun., 1998), pp. 319-338. Stable URL:

Dahlberg, Kenneth A. “Contextual Analysis: Taking Space, Time, and Place Seriously.” International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Sep., 1983), pp. 257-266. Stable URL:

Duch, Raymond, M. “Economic Chaos and the Fragility of Democratic Transition in Former Communist Regimes.” The Journal of Politics, Vol. 57, No. 1. (Feb., 1995), pp. 121-158. Stable URL:

Enterline, A. J. “Regime Changes, Neighborhoods, and Interstate Conflict, 1816-1992.” The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 42, No. 6 (Dec., 1998), pp. 804-829. Stable URL:

Hausmann, Ricardo. “Prisoners of Geography.” Foreign Policy, No. 122 (Jan., 2001), pp. 44-53. Stable URL:

Huang, Yasheng. “Why China Will Not Collapse.” Foreign Policy, No. 99. (Summer, 1995), pp. 54-68. Stable URL:

Ishiyama, John T. “Communist Parties in Transition: Structures, Leaders, and Processes of Democratization in Eastern Europe.” Comparative Politics, Vol. 27, No. 2 (Jan., 1995), pp. 147-166. Stable URL:

Janos, Andrew C. “Social Science, Communism, and the Dynamics of Political Change.” World Politics, Vol. 44, No. 1. (Oct., 1991), pp. 81-112. Stable URL:

Jennings, M. Kent. “Political Participation in the Chinese Countryside.” The American Political Science Review, Vol. 91, No. 2. (Jun., 1997), pp. 361-372. Stable URL:

King, Charles. “Beyond Bosnia: Contextualizing the Politics of Southeastern Europe.” PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol. 30, No. 3. (Sep., 1997), pp. 507-510. Stable URL:

Lewthwaite, Gordon R. “Environmentalism and Determinism: A Search for Clarification.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 56, No. 1 (Mar., 1966), pp. 1-23. Stable URL:

Liu, Alex. “Index Correlation, Measurement Reliability and Biased Estimation.” R M Application Papers. (Downloaded 13 December 2005). Stable URL:

Madison, James. “Federalist No. 10: “The Same Subject Continued: The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection.” New York Daily Advertiser, (November 22, 1787). Stable URL:

Menon, Rajan. “In the Shadow of the Bear: Security in Post-Soviet Central Asia.” International Security, Vol. 20, No. 1. (Summer, 1995), pp. 149-181. Stable URL:

Midlarsky, Manu I. “Environmental Influences on Democracy: Aridity, Warfare, and a Reversal of the Causal Arrow.” The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Jun., 1995), pp. 224-262. Stable URL:

Mishler, William and Rose, Richard. “Support for Parliaments and Regimes in the Transition toward Democracy in Eastern Europe.” Legislative Studies Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 1 (Feb., 1994), pp. 5-32. Stable URL:

Powers, Denise V. and Cox, James H. “Echoes from the Past: The Relationship between Satisfaction with Economic Reforms and Voting Behavior in Poland.” The American Political Science Review, Vol. 91, No. 3. (Sep., 1997), pp. 617-633. Stable URL:

Scalapino, Robert A. “Democracy in Asia: Past and Future. Far Eastern Survey.” Vol. 20, No. 6. (Mar. 21, 1951), pp. 53-57. Stable URL:

Sprout, Harold. “Geopolitical Hypotheses in Technological Perspective. World Politics.” Vol. 15, No. 2 (Jan., 1963), pp. 187-212. Stable URL:

Starr and Most. “A Return Journey: Richardson, “Frontiers” and Wars in the 1946-1965 Era.” Vol. 22, No. 3 (Sept., 1978), pp. 441-467. Stable URL:

Spkyman, Nicholar J. “Geography and Foreign Policy, I.” The American Political Science Review, Vol. 32, No. 1 (Feb., 1938), pp. 28-50. Stable URL:

Teune, Henry. “Local Government and Democratic Political Development.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 540, Local Governance around the World. (Jul., 1995), pp. 11-23. Stable URL:

Williams, Whiting. “Geographic Determinism in Nicaragua.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 132, Some Outstanding Problems of American Foreign Policy (Jul., 1927), pp. 142-145. Stable URL:

"Post-Communism" – Example Political Science Literature Review and Research Design

Note: This is part of an example political science literature review and research design. An abstract and table of contents are also available.

A useful segue between geographic and ex-Communist factors is found in Teune (1995). Teune surveys the rise of local governments relative to centralizing governments, using the declining influence of Moscow over eastern Europe and Russia as examples. In contrast to Williams who sees local differences as a cause for oppression and autocracy, Teune sees local power as very strong and democratic. Territoriality matters, says Teune, “even after the gradual opening of national borders in the second half of the twentieth century and the near encapsulation of the entire world in a single trading system.” Additionally, territorially based localities lean democratic.

The linkage between local government and democracy is based on the proposition that political participation is meaningful insofar as it deals with the familiar, a tenet of the Federalist Papers. Another aspect of this argument is that the incentives for participation are stronger locally than nationally in that visible consequence are more visible and immediate on the local level. There are two supporting propositions for this part of the argument: the larger the political unit, the longer it takes to form a democratic political coalitions; and the larger the unit, the greater the diversity of the groups and individuals required for compromise, the less likely decisive action will be taken at all, frustrating the collective aspirations of the many.” (Teune)

Teune’s argument thus runs counter to the thesis of this study. Elsewhere in this article, Teune combines these factors with technological change and connectivity in a way which implies greater communication with the outside world will retard democratic evolution. Specifically, he argues that the more diverse the influences on a population, the harder it will be to form a governing coalition and accomplish anything meaningful. In Teune’s eyes, this undermines democracy and the intent of the federalist papers. However, Teune’s conclusion here is far from universal; it famously contradicts Madison (1787).

More narrowly, Duch (1995) examines the observed behavior of post-Communist in maintaining economic and political development. Specifically, Duch examined how fragile economic progress was in a democratically progressing states. For example, if a new post-Communist democracy experienced steep economic decline, would its democracy level also fall accordingly? Duch’s surprising answer is no:

In the early reform period, perceptions of a declining economy promoted support for both free markets and Democracy in the former Soviet Union. And while there is some evidence in Latin America supporting the association of economic crisis and coups d’etat, the recent wave of democratization in Latin America during a period of economic crisis challenges this economic determinism argument). Political experience of the 1980s indicates that, even in Latin American countries facing serious economic and political crises, citizen attachments to democracy institutions are not undermined by acute economic crisis. Also challenging conventional wisdom, Zimmerman in Sallfeld present European historical evidence for the 1930s suggesting that economic chaos had little direct or indirect effect on the survival of democratic regimes in that period. And while many students of Eastern and Central European democratization have argued that political and economic reforms are seriously threatened by the economic chaos that has accompanied the reform process, the reforms are proving resilient.

Duch’s perspective informs this study. Because economic and political progress do not have to be correlated (that is, democratic progress can continue while economic decline is experienced), both are meaningful dependent variables. More troublesome, it also raises questions of whether the economic deprivation of being landlocked would negatively effect democratic development; if this is true, the central idea of this study is negated.

Mishler and Rose (1994) explore six Eastern European countries: Bulgaria, the old Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Slovenia, as well as Austria to examine the stability of democracy several years after the end of Communism. They use the “New Democracies Barometer,” a “multinational survey of post-Communist countries of central and eastern Europe” to provide a standard gauge of democratic norms in those states. Assuming a strong relationship between economic growth and access to the sea, at least one of Mishler’s and Rose’s findings should support the thesis that landlocked ex-Communist states will have less economic and political development:

Arguably the most cosmopolitan citizens in the survey include the very small number in each country (less than 15% overall) who — whatever other identities they might have — also think of themselves as Europeans. European identifiers are significantly more likely to be Confident Supporters [of parliamentary government] than Hopeful Authoritarians, by a ratio of more than 5:1. These individuals also have higher educations and incomes.

At the same time, however, the lack of statistical significance and widespread support of democracy in many areas imply that the relationship will not be found, as they write:

The data confirms that members of traditional subgroups, including older citizens, residents of smaller towns and rural areas, and those with strong religious ties, are more likely to support the suspension of parliament. However, these relationships are consistently weak and inconsistently significant. Even among groups whose opposition to parliament is strongest, the majority of citizens are Confident Supporters and less than one-quarter are Hopeful Authoritarians. The largest difference in these regards are those associated with church attendance… however, even among frequent church attendees, Confident Supporters outnumber Hopeful Authoritarians by more than 2:1 (52% to 21%).

Besides the Eastern European ex-Communist states, this analysis will also examine the former soviet socialist republics in Central Asia. It is assumed that the trend between connectedness to the sea and development will be further shown here, as the Central Asian states are all landlocked.

As the plight of the Central Asian states were specifically mentioned by Haussman in the comment that inspired this study, seeing whether their economic and democratic development correlates with their landlocked status will be interesting.

"Geography" – Example Political Science Literature Review and Research Design

Note: This is part of an example political science literature review and research design. An abstract and table of contents are also available.

Before the ample literature on economic and political freedom in post-Communist societies is examined, some work on geographic determinism will be reviewed. Specifically, an overview of geographic determinist viewpoints will be presented, examples of geographic determinism with respect to democracy earlier in the literature will be highlighted, and an interesting synthesis on geography, democracy, and war will be examined.

Without getting bogged down into the morass of terminology that Lewthwaite (1968) explores, it is important to say that geography is an important factor in development without being the only factor. As Spykman (1938) writes

It should be emphasized, however, that geography has been described as a conditioning rather than as a determining factor. The word was chosen advisedly. It was not meant to imply that geographic characteristics play a deterministic, causal role in foreign policy. The geographical determinism which explains by geography all things from the fourth symphony to the fourth dimension paints as distorted a picture as does an explanation of policy with no reference to geography. The geography of a country is rather the material for, than the cause of, its policy, and to admit that the garment must ultimately be cut to fit the cloth is not to say that the cloth determines either the garment’s style or its adequacy. But the geography of as state cannot be ignored by the men who formulate its policy. The nature of the territorial base has influenced them in that formulation in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

Understanding the conditioning effect of geography, one may look at previous studies of how geography impacted the development of certain states.

The field is limited for detailed geographic-political examinations of specific states. Williams (1927) is an example of this literature. While not ignoring the effects of illiteracy, ethnicity, regionalism, and political culture, Williams examines geographic factors that led to corruption and lack of freedom for the east coast of Nicaragua. “[O]ne of the prime purposes of thus making the [east coast]’s head an appoint of the central government is to overcome the centrifugal influence of difficult transportation and so to furnish a federal or national “safety-first…”. After some further exposition, where he looks at a geographic-taxation nexus, Williams looks at corruption:

From this same geography of isolation there follows another factor which causes discontent and instability not only in Bluefields and on the coast, but in many other isolated parts of the almost roadless nation. His usual remoteness from the capital not only permits but practically forces the Commandante or district governor to demonstrate the absolutism of a Spanish regent, rather than the leadership of a republic’s civil servant. All the difficulties of the jungle forbid his getting daily orders, just as they make extremely unlikely any sort of check-up of his actions by the distant federal powers which appointed him. The natural result is that every province is likely to feel — and fell in proportion to the square of the distance — the pressure of the Commandante’s belief that his services are wroth considerably more than his regular monthly salary.

An inspiration for this paper is a comment made by Ricardo Hausmann in 2001. While outlining his theory of latitude dependency in development, Hausmann notes:

Nations with populations far from a coastline also tend to be poorer and show lower rates of economic growth than coastal countries. A country whose population is farther than 100 kilometers from the sea grows 0.6 percent slower per year than nations in which the entire population is within 100 kilometers of the coast. That means, for example that the post-Soviet republics will experience as much difficulty battling their geographical disadvantages as they will overcoming the aftereffects of communism…

This study will look at the absence of sea borders, or being landlocked, instead of the more precise measure of distance from a coastline. However, the theory is the same: lack of access to the ocean retards commercial interchange with the rest of the world, slowing growth and reducing a population’s exposure to political norms such as democracy.

While looking at earlier research on the development of Democracy, Midlarsky (1995) highlights the importance of sea-borders on the development of democracy. These reasons are relevant, because they point to problems that states without sea-borders, those that are landlocked, would have. Midlarsky relates that an earlier quantitative study has demonstrates that democratic outliers, that is “those countries least well explained by domestic variables” were highly connected to the sea. States like Sri Lanka, Jamaica, Ireland, and Greece were much more democratic than predicted by existing models. However, these same states were islands (and so the opposite of land-locked) or peninsulas.

Another argument is that sea borders minimize the threat of war. That is, the more land borders a country has the more its chances of war are maximized (Starr and Most 1978). Summarizing the first study that found this, Lewis Richardson‘s Statistics of Deadly Quarrels, Starr and Most explain:

Although Richardson reports a positive association between borders and war and eventually concludes that the relationship operates from frontiers toward war, he fails to develop explicit hypotheses or a theoretical explanation about why this relationship should be expected to exist. And an explicit level, however, Richardson’s argument appears to develop in two stages. First, he conceptualizes frontiers as creating opportunities for internation interaction. Quite simply, nations with large numbers of borders have greater opportunities for interacting with other countries than those countries which have only a few borders. Going a step further, Richardson then draws an analogy between war and murder. Asking why nationals tend to slay each other rather than foreigners, he concludes that the explanation lies in the very simple fact that nationals have few contacts with foreigners. One is most likely to be murdered by one’s close relatives and friends because close contacts and high levels of interaction provides opportunities for such actions. Returning to the problem of the border / war relationship, Richardson then makes the obvious linkages: if frontiers create opportunities for interaction, and the greater the opportunities the greater the level of actual interaction, then the greater the number of frontiers the greater the probability of war.

To demonstrate his theory of geographical influences on development, Midlarsky first gives the standard explanations or why Britain developed a democratic culture, including high average rainfall, geographic safety, industrialization, and land inequality:

England may be the archetypical example of a country that experienced very early democratization and that also embodies the four principal variables examined here. Average rainfall is consistently high. As an island nation, especially after the subjugation of surrounding peoples such as the Irish, Scots, and Welsh, she was relatively free from the threat of war. At the very least, she had leeway in choosing her time of entry into continental wars and with force sizes pretty much at her own discretion. The English economy, of course, industrialized earlier than any other, leading to a very high gross domestic product (GDP) / capita (CAP) and consequent impact on democracy. Also, land inequality, especially in terms of land holdings by the nobility, was substantial. … “No Continental landed elite in the nineteenth century owned so large a part of its nation’s territory as did the English” … His explicit comparisons are with the French, Spanish, Prussian, and Russian elites, all of whose societies, of course, democratized at much later dates than did the English.”

Midlarsky also cites another state that also had high rainfall, geographic safety, and industrialization yet veered towards authoritarianism. This demonstrates the role of another important factor that is central to this paper: land borders

One of the closest counterparts to the English-landed elite in terms of residence patterns, political dominance of the local countryside and thence of the state, and inheritance laws that tended to maintain entire estates intact over time was the Prussian. And here, this basic similarity that might have led to a similar democratic evolution is vitiated strongly by the Prussian military tradition. Where as the English-landed elite opposed standing armies and evolved a strong libertarian tradition, it was said of the Prussian, “What they loved best next to their estates was an army and all that went with it — splendid uniforms, military pomp, and chivalric codes of honor”… What is obvious here is the critical role of the maximization of the threat of war by many land borders and its diminution of th positive impact of other variables on the evolution of democracy.”

This study seeks to go one steep beyond Midlarsky’s earlier work. Midlarsky was looking at land-borders from the perspective of being surrounded by the sea (either through being on an island or a peninsula). Other geographic-conditioning studies, such as Enterline (1998), also looked at neighboring states. This research, by contrast, will examine sea-borders from the perspective of being surrounded by land (that is, being landlocked). In order to make the examination more readily testable, the economic and democratic fate of the ex-Communist states will be compared with respect to their being landlocked or not

"Introduction" – Example Political Science Literature Review and Research Design

Note: This is part of an example political science literature review and research design. An abstract and table of contents are also available.

The fall of the Soviet Union and of Communism generally created many post-Communist states, from the Mediterranean Sea to across Asia. These states now range from liberal democracies, to authoritarian dictatorships, to “Communist” countries that have abandoned the socialist economic model. Some have experienced strong economic growth and democratic normalization, while others are mired in poverty and autarchy. One approach is to look at a state’s access to the sea as a factor in economic and democratic development. A study will be devised to examine the possibility that post-Communist states which do not have access to the sea, which are “landlocked,” will have less economic and democratic development than other post-Communist states. This is the literature review for that study.

Geography as an important factor in economic and political development has an old history. As far back as 1938 Spykman examined geography as a “conditioning factor” in foreign policy, and later Dahlberg noted that a land’s ultimate carrying capacity is important (1983). While even earlier Williams looks at the geography of Nicaragua as a cause of political corruption and repression around Bluefields, an eastern coastal region of that country (1927). Literature of this kind steadily expanded leading Lewthwaite to survey many interpretations of geographic determinism that had since developed (1966). While geographic determinism is not universally accepted — Sprout (1963) emphasized technology as far more important, it should be considered an important part of analysis.

Likewise, a large if more recent body of work exists on development in post-Communist states. Most relevant to this study are prior examinations of the post-Communist economic-political nexus, whether generalized through a region (Mishler and Rose 1994, Duch 1995) or limited to specific countries (Powers and Cox 1997, Bartlett and Seleny 1998). Even economically transformed but nominally communist states such as China are examined (Huang 1995, Jennings 1997). The field has been widely developed even beyond these, to questions of the fate of the Communist political parties (Ishiyama 1995) to smaller sub-regions (King 1997) to more strictly political concerns during the transition from Communism (Janos 1991).

A rare synthesis on democratic and geographic factors is provided by Midlarsky (1995). Heavily relying on Wittfogel’s writings on hydraulic governments, Midlarsky examined how democracy, rainfall, and seaborders intertwined as factors in warfare. While this study will not be as broad as Midlarsky’s — it examines only post-Communist states and excludes rainfall — it also looks at geographic or “environmental” influences on development. However, while this study does not go into details such as rainfall, it looks at both the political and economic dimensions of development.

Both of these research fields, geographical and post-Communist effects on development, will be surveyed in this literature review. Specific attention will be paid to the geography and the environment because less has been written in this area, and so the material is likely to be less familiar than the effects of Communism.

Example Political Science Literature Review and Research Design

When I posted my analysis of Midlarsky’s literature review, I got a lot of google hits from people looking for literature review examples.

As the Gods of Fate have conspired to make this week as busy as possible, I have decided to post a Literature Review & Research Design that I complete for my International Politics class. The paper, which explores the relationship between lack of sea access and post-Communism, will be added to this blog over the next several days. It is B+ quality for a first-semester international relations student, so be skeptical of the work quality. Still, for any students (like me!) who were assigned a political science research design and literature review and haven’t the faintest idea how to begin, this should help. Alternatively, check out my Computer Science graduate thesis.


This paper explores the role of geography in the democratic and economic development of formerly Communist states. An introduction to the paper is given, followed by discussions of both geographic determinism and the ex-Communist nations. A research design is included that outlines how the final investigation will be done. The paper ends with a conclusion and a bibliography.

Table of Contents

International Political Economy

Cold War IPE
3 Functions of Breton Woods Systems
– reduce trade barriers
– control capital mobility
– maintain system of fixed (mutual pegged) exchange rates
The Trilemma (“choose 2 of the following 3)”
– exchange rate stability
– domestic autonomy
– capital mobility
Breton Woods system threw out capital mobility, in order to maximize exchange rate stability and domestic autonomy
The Failure of the Breton Woods System in the 1970s
– 1973 Oil Crisis
– stagflation
– high rates of international capital movements began to undermine the dollar
“closing of the gold window” as coup de grace…
… and opened the door to competing political outlooks for IPE
Gilpen: “every economic system rests on a political foundation”
“embedded liberalism” – have methods to deal with displacement costs of economic liberalism
Prof: “Breton Woods System (IMF/EBRD-WB/GATT-WTO) were a “solution to the nightmare of the 1930s.”
– Breton Woods preperations began months after Pearl Harbor
– becaues there never was structural capital mobility, and exchange rate stability was gone, only “domestic autonomy” remained of the trilemma
– eventually, capital mobility supplanted the old exchange rate stability

Second Great Age of Capitalism
– symbolized by Reagan and Thatcher (Carter also important — tdaxp)
– extensive freeing of market forces
– importance of air traffic controller strike breaking
– triumph of economic liberalism / individualism / democracy /growth
– (but trade-off with stability)
– corresponds with information technology revolution
– clustering: technological change not randomly distributed in time or space
– capita flows dwarf ($1500 tril/day to $25 bil/day) goods-services flows

European Integration
– goal of political integration with economic integration as mechanism
European Coal and Steel Community (Franco-German in 1951)
Treaty of Rome
– 1957
– started European Economic Community / Common Market
– France, FDR, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg
Single Europe Act (1986: goal that by 1992 to have one common market)
Madrid Meeting – 1989, laid grown-work for…
Maastricht Treaty
– 1991
– switch from slow to fast union
– pushed by France-Germany
– failed to establish Federal System, but strived to …
— common economic and monetary union
— try to form common foreign policy
— harmonize domestic policies in immigration, &c
1994: European Monetary Institution guides government to adopt Europ in future
– European Central Bank
– 1998
– established, takes responsibilities for monetary issues in ’99
– Germans wanted strong Euro, France wanted weak Euro
1999: Adoption of Euros, but no bills until January 1, 2002
4 Convergence Criterea for Euro
– maintain price stability (inflation)
– no gov deficit over 3%
– stable economy
– stable exchange rates
Benefits of the Euro
– maintain monetary stability
– lowering transaction costs
– encourages political integration (?)
– ecourages growth of large firms (economies of scale)
– economic growth through economic integration
Criticisms of the Euro
– focus on convergence criterea may short-change other issues (unemployment, etc)
– may be wasteful
– perhaps Euroland “not optimal currency areas,” so perhaps hurting national economies
is Euro a “symbol of European sovereignty” ?
Prof: American support for European regional integration not always in American economic interests, but supported by Washingto to help fight Communism

East Asian Integration
focus on asian/pacific integration
– but region is very diverse politically, economically, agenda, etc
– no regional hegemon or hegemonic team (such as France/Germany)
– three major powers are USA/Japan/PRC
– backlash of American efforts, some desire of “native” free trade area? (esp by Malaysia – “caucus without caucasians”)
– Japanese efforts to outsource production of goods to Pacific-Asia to Pacific-Asia (“Japan as brain, Asia-Pacific as brawn”; “japan as lead goose”)
– Japanese ambitions challenges by emergence of China
— but 3/4 of “Chinese” quarters are by international firms in China
– China joined WTO in 2001; more internationally integrated
– unlike Europe, Pacific-Asian integration entirely through economics without political union [alternative model than Europe -esp with TPMB’s “inevitable” aborption of Taiwan by China? — tdaxp]
but, would 1997 economic crisis been mitigated by regional supernational governance?
– Japan did propose Asian Monetary Fund, but shot down by US and IMF (see earlier notes)
– Prof: emphasis on Japanese agricultural protection during Uruguay Round sabotaged Japanese leadershp & economic growth
– Prof: APEC essentially abandoned as driving vehicle because Japan-USA joint opposition to reforms, different priorities, &c
– Prof: yet another problem: European physical contiguity, culturaly, politically similarity greater than in East Asian;
– Prof: Japanese firms “notoriously” less likely to share technology with international partner firms

American Economic Response
a new trilemma in American Politics?
1. Military Spending
2. Tax Cuts
3. Budget Discipline
US tired ot Japan’s “infant industry” / Europe’s “regional integration” as Europe, Japan “grew up”
In 1990s, US began “multi-track” policy which added unlitearlism, bilateralism, regionalism to multilateralism
– US switch to “results-oriented policy” whether than traditional liberal “rules-oriented policy”
– US-Canada lumber dispute, with conflicted NAFTA and WTO rulings, raises question of how to deal with overlapping trade associations

World Trade Organization
(rather biased presentation, arguable points at about 3/minute)
“killing of animals are not taken seriously” – but then how US dominated?”
human rights helped by banning?
non-democratic representation… so this discourages slow-growth strategies
“surplus capital” … but PRC is biggest destination for foreign direct investment
“richer get richer” … but, the poorest countries are those that aren’t trading
“north/south tech transfer” — but see earlier comments re PRC

Various Problems with the System
adjustment problem – (does US debtor status portent problems)
liquidity problems – there have to be cash reserves to meet deficits in the balance of payments (imagine problems if every state had own currency)
confidence problem – belief that the currency is meaningless, leads to loss of signorage
signorage = the benefits of a currency being the dominate international currency

Possible Solutions to the System
a world central bank?
monetary hegemony (Dollar-Euro-Yen trifecta?)
political-economic coordination of individual currencies / monetary policies

Today Is Constructivism Day

Emile Durkheim and Max Weber
– individuals, ideas, social factors as important

“collective intentionality” –

regulative v. constitutive rules
– regulative rules should have causal effects (eg drive on the right side of the road)
– constitutive rules define what is the system (eg “the rules are the game”)

“intersubjective” = “qualitative“? “frictional“?

“critical construvism” – identities are never fixed

(Prof: convergence of constructivist security community theory & cultural explanation of the democratic peace)

“authoritarian peace” – in Latin America and Africa, noted lack of war between certain kinds of dictatorships

security communities
loosely-coupled: shared fears, agreement on no war in between
tightly-coupled: supernational institutions; collective security; policy coordination
mature: no internal borders, only “us”

“balance of threat” – how far to states ally not against power but against threats?
– so “perception of threat” is based on quality/friction between states (especially from “threatened” state point of view)
– example: EU and US view of Middle Eastern radical Islam

Anarchy in Constructivism
– because identities and relations are constructed, anarchy is interpreted
– therefore, “self-help” isn’t as central in the same way to constructivism
– but then isn’t all action a form of self-help? unless state is depersonified?

sovereignty is constructed as property-rights
– social learning reinforces

(Prof: Range of constructivism from “common sense” constructivism to science constructivism;
Constructivism relatively unpopular because of abstract history of the field;
Agent-Structure problem: but why?, Marx’s “Men remake the world, but not as they see fit”, structurationist;
constructivist approaches often lack predictive power (but remember ER diagram analogy! fill in the context… );
how do we falsify constructivism?;
“the strength of constructivism is its focus on norms”

Literature Review Example from Midlarsky’s "Environmental Influences on Democracy"

Environmental Influences on Democracy: Aridity, Warfare, and a Reversal of the Causal Arrow,” by Manus Midlarsky, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 39, No. 2. (Jun., 1995), pp. 224-262,

So I need to write a literature review for Prof. I’ve done a fair bit of academic writing already, but that was in computer science and so I’m new to the this particular version of style. I chose to outline the first section of Manus Midlarsky’s Environmental Influences on Democracy Influences on Democracy: Aridity, Warfare, and a Reversal of the Causal Arrow, partially because it overlaps with Chirol‘s and my work on the generations of Empire.)

Environmental Influences on Democracy

Literature Review Example

1. “A conundrum…. why (define problem)”
2. “Macroinfluences… theories…” (4 citations to papers, general approaches, some old)
3. “rise of hydraulic civilization… This theory” (2 citation)
4. One theory well known, the other not well known

Hydraulic Civilizations
5. Intro to hydraulic civ theory (2 citations)
6. Extended quote from one reference
7. Another quote from same reference
8. Existing criticisms look at hydraulic as state-building, not hydrology as democracy or autocracy building (2 references)
9. Problems in testing Wittfogel’s Hydrology. What about rainfall? (1 reference)
10. Extended quote (from that reference)
11. dependent variable / political rights / scale
12. a more modern example (de Rivera’s Spain) of “ancient” hydraulic dictatorship (1 reference)
13. another (qualitative) reason linking hydrology and government
14. Spanish government storing for hard times (1 reference)
15. extended quote from that reference
16. commentary on extended quote
17. a third reason linking rainfall and democracy (2 references)
18. extended quote from the reference
19. conclusion of importance of rainfall

Warfare and Democracy
20. Transition from Rainfall-Democracy to Warfare-Democracy (1 citation, older)
21. overview of warfare-democracy approaches (many references)
22. Compare this study to an existing one (1 reference)
23. warfare and democracy conclusion

Interestingly, the “hydraulic civ” section can be further broken down into

5. Intro to hydraulic civ theory (2 citations)
Ancient Hydraulic Civs
6. Extended quote from one reference
7. Another quote from same reference
8. Existing criticisms look at hydraulic as state-building, not hydrology as democracy or autocracy building (2 references)
9. Problems in testing Wittfogel’s Hydrology. What about rainfall? (1 reference)
10. Extended quote (from that reference)
11. dependent variable / political rights / scale
A Modern Hydraulic Civ
12. a more modern example (de Rivera’s Spain) of “ancient” hydraulic dictatorship (1 reference)
13. another (qualitative) reason linking hydrology and government
14. Spanish government storing for hard times (1 reference)
15. extended quote from that reference
16. commentary on extended quote
17. a third reason linking rainfall and democracy (2 references)
18. extended quote from the reference
19. conclusion of importance of rainfall


[Welcome ZenPundit readers. A post with charts derived from these notes is also available. Likewise, the original walk without rhythm post. — tdaxp]

[today was the best day of this class yet. A recent Iraq War vet is now auditing the class. He and I spent a fair amount of time developing a Marxist-Gramscist Theory of Theological Hegemonic Stability, much to the delight of Prof and the bemuzement of most of our fellow students. I will try to turn that into a blog post — tdaxp]

Socialist and Marxist Approaches to International Relations
circi et panem
Marxist stability theory? Marxist Commercial Pacifism?
(EU/G7 as example of Marxist anti-Leninist “Ultraimperialism” ?)
Schumpater / Marxist uneven growth
what is the cure for “opium addiction”?
why not an “opium for the burgeious”?

Marxist Methods
private property establishes a state system — but what about midaeval Iceland?
“emancipation” — states exist because we say they do – Marx as constructivist?
Marx as anti-economic-reductionist?
dialecticalism as anti object-subject: anti-science? observer as warrior?
Marxist Theological Stability? “religion isn’t the opium of the masses — it is the masses”
– diversion of the diolectic to immaterial
– Lenin: state is the executive committee of the bougeouis — so Marxist Theocratic Stability?
— … unless the cause is endemic, not agreed, by the rich
— applying Gramsci… Marxist Theological Hegemonic Stability?
— Marxist Structural Theories of the State)
— gives the state partial autonomy; for example, Steel Capitalist v. Auto Capitalists
— “capitalist strikes” like during 1970s?
— or even Randist/Objectivist strike?

Marxist-Leninist Theory of War
– (Lenin’s theory of Imperialism “essentially borrowed from British liberal JA Hobbson”)
– raw materials
– underconsumption / overproduction
– external markets

Marxist-Gramscian Theory of Hegemony
– (Gramsci wrote while in prison in Fascist Italy)
– the idea that an elite can exert power only if it exerts cultural power over social classes
– hegemony as soft power?
– so global hegemony isn’t nation based
– an interpretive theory, not prescriptive (?)
– focuses on temporary hegemon — “historic blocs” (financiers are not industrialists, etc)
– Gramscian Communist strategy community-oriented?
– how would gramsci view a “better” religion as cure / partial cure?

Burkey: “International Relations” problematizes Marxism
– (disagrees with Wallerstein)
– “can’t square any units (communes, states, etc) with stateless society”
– so accepting nations implies accepting multi-unit horizontal diversity — so same thing as “states”?
– Marx /assumes/ state-capitalism interreliance, without backing it up
– capitalism could survive in stateless world
– does “stateless society” mean no external compelling unit or no “hegemonic” regime?
– “stateless society in one state”?
– so “voluntary societies” are conflicting states?
– tribal “early communism” as “stateful statelessness”?
– similarity between church “individual poverty” v. “collective property” monastary debates

– capitalism is selling for external markets: “means of production” really doens’t matter too much
– so any form of specialization / division of labor is a form of capitalism?
– any sort of society can be externally capitalist
– similar to Maoist/Chinese Communist criticisms of USSR trade with the west
– Wallerstein’s Core / Semi-Peripherary / Peripherary similar to Barnett’s Core / Seam / Gap?