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Bretton Woods Agreement
A monetary policy that focuses on fixed exchange rates to ensure political and economic stability. It is important because the Bretton Woods Agreement allowed for the U.S. to adopt the gold standard and allowed o…
A situation in which neither state can attack another without suffering dame from a catastrophic retaliatory strike. MAD is an important concept in Dr. Strangelove and in the Cold War, which involves the importanc…
International Monetary Fund: An organization that helps regulate exchange rates and monetary policies to ensure economic stability. The IMF was created after Bretton Woods and is important because it is an example of international cooperation.
The branch of the UN without universal jurisdiction where two parties decide on disputes. The ICJ is important because it is one of the four courts (ad hoc tribunals, national courts, ICC, ICJ) tha…
Indivisible policy space
Indivisible policy space is one of Fearon's three exceptions to the claim that there is always a settlement that rational actors prefer over war. Indivisible policy space includes the division of holy sites, which rev…
Engaging in an international conflict to divert public attention away from pressing domestic/economic matters. This is important because it was used by Margaret Thatcher in the Falklands War.
Compellence is getting another state to pursue an action its not already pursuing or to stop an action it is already pursuing. Compellence is important because it is one of the components of hard po…
is the process of preventing a state from doing something it otherwise might do. Deterrence is important because it is also a component of hard power but also because the U.S. used a polic…
An intellectual tool that shows how phenomena are interrelated and organizes the complexities of the world. Theories are important because they use deductive and inductive reasoning and because they determine not only the answer…
A theoretical statement that links explanations to possible real world examples. Hypotheses are important because they use deductive and inductive reasoning to help organize the complexities of the world and answer questions.
Changing other people's behavior. This is important because it uses both compellence and deterrence, which are components of hard power.
Joseph Nye. Using attraction as opposed to coercion. Influencing others by changing the environment of decision-making. This is important because it limits other people's options and also changes the perception of preferred decisions in o…
Is the assumptions about the world. This is important because in order to generate a theory, one must use deduction and induction (observations about how the world works).
Rational Actor Model
The rational actor model allows rational actors to make rational decisions by selecting goals, identifying options, evaluating consequences, and making decisions. This is important because it is a decision-making tool that allows decision-makers to …
Probability x Utility - (cost)
A perspective that stresses the importance of self-help, power, and the competitiveness of states in an anarchical international system. This is important in international relations because realism includes Structural Realists, like Waltz, and Classical Realists like Morgenthau.
A perspective that stresses the importance of cooperation, coordination, and non-violent modes of conflict resolution. Liberalism is important because it includes three main assumptions, including 1)States as primary actors, 2) states represent societal interests…
A perspective that emphasizes the conflicting economic interests of social classes and the injustices experienced by the less advantaged. This is important because it is an economic theory that Marx discussed in order to exp…
Wrote the Melian Dialogue, which discussed the battle between the Melians and the Athenians. This is important because Thucydides revealed that the strong do what they can and the weak accept what they must, w…
A person who benefits from private goods without paying any costs. One example of this are NPR listeners who A situation in which individuals who stand to benefit from a collective good have on incen…
Tragedy of the Commons
A type of collective action problem in which goods are divisible but non-excludable, meaning that one person cannot prevent another person's use of that good, but that my use of the good does restrict …
Collective Action Problem
Mancur Olson: The idea that individual incentives lead to inefficient collective outcomes, which is a type of market failure. This is important because there are two types of collective action problems: Tragedy of the Com…
Costs/Benefits accrued to non-producers. This is important because positive and negative externalities explain how collective action problems can both positively and negatively impact non-producers. Ex) Negative externality: Asthma
This is the idea that the international system is anarchical, that there is no central authority to enforce rules or ensure safety, meaning that each country cannot depend on others for constant support. Thi…
Neorealist ordering principle of the international system
Second strike capability
This is the idea that a state has the ability to absorb a nuclear attack from one country and still be able to mount a catastrophic retaliatory strike. The second strike capability is importan…
The ability to launch an initial nuclear strike against a country and greatly reduce its ability to retaliate. It is important because it is an example of a pre-emptive strike used to prevent attack by disabling the enemy.
This is the requirement that the aims for the war outweigh the harms resulting from the prosecution of war. This is important because proportionality is one of the seven concepts of the that mus…
The Democratic Peace
This is the idea that generally, stable democracies are unlikely to engage in war with other democracies. This is important because there are both normative arguments, shared norms of conflict resolution, and structural arguments,…
Customary practice regarded as binding because a majority of states feel a legal obligation to conform. Customs are one of the sources of international law, which makes customary law very important to international law.
Are actors that work as entities across borders. Non-State actors like the IMF and WTO are important because they help foster cooperation in the international community.
MID: Militarized Interstate Dispute
The treat, display, or use of military force short of war by one state is explicitly directed toward the government, official representatives, of fiscal forces, property or territory of another state. These are important bec…
found that global welfare is maximized if everyone chooses free trade. This is important because Ricardo contributed to the comparative advantage and suggested that all countries should trade with each
A model that suggests that countries differ in terms of factor endowments (land, labor, capital). This is important because countries that have a comparative advantage in one good should trade with other countries who …
Factor Price Equalization Theorem
Free trade between two countries will tend to cause factor prices to equalize. The FPET is an important theorem because it serves as a benefit of free trade and suggests why countries should incorporate free trade into their economies.
Mundel Flemming Trilemma
Is a model whereby countries can pursue economic policies with openness and fixed exchange rates or domestic monetary policy autonomy, which greatly impacts economic policy. This is important because a country can only implement…
This is the idea that as commodities increase, the chances of civil wars also increase. This is important because having resources can sometimes be beneficial to a country but can also negatively impact and increase risk of international conflict.
Separating the antagonists; the idea that separate identities lead to less conflict. This is important because partition was a method used to lessen the possibility of civil war.
A structural realist who believed that the goal of states is survival and security. Waltz is important because he offers a different perspective of realism while Morgenthau, a classical realist, feels that the goa…
A classical realist who believed that the goal of states is the accumulation of power. Morgenthau is important because he offers a different perspective than Waltz, a structural realist, who felt that the goa…
First Strike Advantage
A countries ability to strike first and greatly reduce the other countries ability to retaliate. The first strike advantage is important because if both sides have a first strike capability, it will be harder…
First Mover Advantage
The ability to move first so that all other actors must react to you. This is important because the first mover advantage is important in the Dating Game and Chicken because if one person m…
North South Gap
Most of the globes developing countries are located in the Southern Hemisphere while the industrialized economics are more often found in the North.
is a countries military and economic predominance over other states and its exercise of leadership. This is importance because hegemony includes the preponderance of power and the ability to use power and can impact…
Justice in War
Is the idea that if a country decides to go to war, the war must be just. This is important because justice in war is a part of the Just War Theory, which states …
when two nations possess nuclear weapons, it is likely that neither will strike first since the consequence could be mutual destruction
An action-reaction process of acquiring arms in response to the arms acquisitions of an adversary.
The United Nations
An organization of nations that was formed in 1945 to promote peace, security, and international cooperation.
Just war Doctrine
A set of principles that identify the circumstances justifying the resort to war and once begun, the requirements for just conduct
Jus ad bellum
Justice of War
Jus in bello
Justice in war. Considerations on how a war is prosecuted. Who, By What Means, Treatment of Prisoners
The claimed authority to try an accused individual whether or not the accused is a national or committed crimes against nationals.
An arrangement by which all members of the international community agree to oppose together a threat to the security of any of them.
The International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression (although it cannot currently exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression)
A government's responsibility to its population, usually by periodic popular elections and by parliament's having the power to dismiss the government by passing a motion of no confidence. In a political system characterized by accountabil…
A good, provided to the collective, that cannot be consumed exclusively by those who pay for it, or denied to those who do not; also called "public good."
A threatened penalty for disobeying a law or rule.
Ability of one country to produce more output per unit of input than any other country
Ability of a country to produce a product at a lower opportunity cost than another country
Fixed Exchange Rate
An aspect of a monetary regime in which foreign currency values are pegged to a common currency, like the U.S. dollar.
Floating Exchange Rate
An aspect of a monetary regime in which foreign currency values vary relative to each other in response to supply and demand in currency markets.
Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)
A group of states that constitute a free trade area, a customs union, a common market, and a currency union.
Is an economic and political union between 27 member countries, located primarily in Europe. Committed to regional integration, it has developed a single market through a standardized system of laws which apply in all me…
The Gold Standard
A provision of the Bretton Woods Agreement that all printed money, such as a paper dollar, would be convertible to gold and could be cashed in at any time for that gold.
The World Bank
Created after the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944. Looks to increase growth and reduce poverty in developing countries and to fund specific infrastructure projects.
A perspective that attributes underdevelopment in the Global South to the unequal economic relationships linking industrialized and nonindustrialized countries.
Shocking acts of violence in which the principal purpose is not destruction itself but the dramatic psychological effects on populations and governments.
A state whose government, if it exists at all, cannot provide citizens with the minimum level of security and well-being expected of a sovereign state.
The Resource Curse
refers to the paradox that countries with an abundance of natural resources tend to experience things like poor governance, low levels of economic development, civil war, and dictatorship.
The Montreal Protocol
International agreement signed by more than 150 countries to limit the production of substances harmful to the stratospheric ozone layer, such as CFCs. One of the most important international treaties of all time.
The Kyoto Protocol
Modeled after Montreal Protocol, but...Kyoto Protocol (1997) defines emission reductions for Annex I (developed) countries
Morgenthau - man strives for power
The main goals of a states are security and survival--Waltz
Describes an international system with a single major actor, usually a single state, that possesses a predominant share of capabilities and influence.
Balance Of Power
A balance of power is a state of equilibrium in which no nation or group of nations is able to dominate others.
Distribution of Power
A characteristic of the international system emphasized by realists based on the number of great or major powers and how power is distributed among them in a given period of time.
Introduced in Organski's "World Politics" (1958), this is the view that war is cyclical, and that the risk of war is greatest at a time when a challenger to the dominant world power emerges…
Joining the weaker alliance of states in an effort to offset the power of the stronger state or alliance of states.
A strategy in which states join forces with the stronger side in a conflict
Independence from authority outside one's territory (external sovereignty); supreme authority over all other entities within one's territory (internal sovereignty).
Rally 'Round the Flag
The phenomenon whereby a leader is able to gather popular support for foreign policy initiatives, especially during an international crisis.
A phenomenon often observed in small-group decision making in which individual views tend to conform to group views.
Harvard Graduate who served in the air force during WWII, who worked his way up the corporate ladder at the Ford Motor Company to become the company's president. Kennedy made him his Secretary of Def…
The Security Dilemma
A situation in which one state's security is seen as another state's insecurity, leading to a vicious circle of competitive power accumulation.
The Prisoner's Dilemma
A game in which the best strategy for both opponents is to defect, but that yields an outcome worse than the one achieved by mutual cooperation.
A game in which each of two opponents threatens the other with great harm or death in an effort to force capitulation.
A conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air.
An equilibrium in which all players are playing their best responses to everyone else's best response.
A reliable sign of a person's purpose, showing that the person is committed and trustworthy.
National Missile Defense (NMD)
A system designed to protect a state's homeland from ballistic missile strike.