Waltz’s belief about the impact of structure on an agent’s (in the case of IR, a state’s) identity and behavior

Which of the following best reflects Waltz’s belief about the impact of structure on an agent’s (in the case of IR, a state’s) identity and behavior?

  1. A reductionist theory would hold that by understanding the internal characteristics of a state, such as its culture or leadership, one can understand why it makes the foreign policy choices it does. How would a systemic theorist criticize this logic?
    -By arguing that it does not take account of the environment/context in which the state finds itself.
    -By agreeing with it.
    – By arguing that internal systems matter more than these characteristics.
    -By arguing that systems truly reduce, so systemic theories are the ones that should be called reductionist.
    6.7 points
  2. Which of the following best reflects Waltz’s belief about the impact of structure on an agent’s (in the case of IR, a state’s) identity and behavior?
    -Structure has no real impact on its identity and behavior.
    -Structures effectuate tense inter-relationships to achieve synergistic ephemera while dichotomously accruing inverse incentives.
    -An agent becomes something qualitatively different by virtue of its place in the system, but without losing its previous features. For example, when an individual joins a crowd, s/he remains an individual while also becoming a mere faceless part of the crowd.
    -Structure can make a difference, or it can make no difference. Whatever.
    6.7 points
  3. Which of the following components of a scientific research program is expressed by this phrase: “inviolable assumptions and initial conditions, defining [a theory or research program’s] scope”?
    -positive heuristic
    -auxiliary hypothesis
    -hard core
    6.7 points
  4. According to Keohane which of the following is NOT one of the three core assumptions of realism, as outlined by Thucydides and Morgenthau?
    -states are rational actors
    -states prefer war over peace whenever feasible
    -states are the most important actors in IR
    -states compete for power and define the national interest in terms of power
    6.7 points
  5. Which of the following processes generates similar behavior among actors in a system?
    A. competition
    B. elucidation
    C. socialization
    D. none of the above
    A and B
    A and C
    B and C
    all three—A, B, and C
    6.7 points
  6. What does Waltz use as an analogy for international relations to help explain how systems influence and constrain the actors that exist as a part of that system?
    -Markets influencing firms
    -Governments influencing citizens in a state
    -Cultural icons (movie stars or pop stars) influencing audiences
    -Parents influencing children
    6.7 points
  7. What is the primary goal that Waltz is trying to accomplish in the following quote: “Saying that stable states make for a stable world amounts to no more than saying that order prevails if most states are orderly. But even if every state were stable, the world of states might not be. If each state, being stable, strove only for security and had no designs on its neighbors, all states would nevertheless remain insecure; for the means of security for one state are, in their very existence, the means by which other states are threatened. One cannot infer the condition of international politics from the internal composition of states, nor can one arrive at an understanding of international politics by summing the foreign policies and external behavior of states”?
    -He is arguing that security is rooted in stability.
    -He is illustrating how and why systemic theorists of IR critique reductionism.
    -He is explaining why realism is better than liberalism—or any other theory—when explaining international relations.
    -His goal is to drive home the fact that states are not all stable.
    6.7 points
  8. Realists argue that great powers compete against each other for power. Only greater power relative to others can ensure security. Given these assumptions, how would Keohane characterize a factual situation in which two great powers did not display this behavior?
    -an anomaly within realist theory that would require an auxiliary hypothesis to account for the observed behavior in a manner consistent with the theory’s hard core
    -proof that realism is wrong
    -a negative heuristic that, if serious enough, could cancel out realism’s positive heuristics
    -an outlier that can be ignored, since the theory is accurate most of the time
    6.7 points
  9. Which of the following statements about systems and structures is most accurate?
    -Structures have no causal influence on actors’ behavior.
    -Structures are actors that make others act as they dictate
    -Systems and structures do not act, but they place constraints upon actors, thus influencing their behavior.
    -None of the above.
    6.7 points
  10. What is the significance of competition in systemic theory?
    A. It produces the “best” behaviors in a moral sense. Laziness should be penalized.
    B. It leads to inequality, thus generating difference in the international system.
    C. It produces similarity of behavior by encouraging actors (states in IR) to model their actions on those who are successful.
    D. It “selects out” unsuccessful behavior; actors who do not exhibit successful behavior do not survive.
    A and B
    C and D
    none of the above
    6.7 points
  11. True or false: The underlying theme of Waltz’s chapter is as follows. Systemic logic is superior to reductionist logic because only it can account for the uniformities that we observe in the behavior of actors on the world stage, and it is these continuities, such as the recurrence of war, that are central to international relations.
    6.7 points
  12. True or False: The underlying theme of Waltz’s chapter is as follows. Inside-out logic is almost identical to systemic logic in most important respects. Once we introduce concepts such as socialization, structure, and rationality, we add much support for the explanatory power of reductionist arguments. This is why reductionism is so important in the study of international relations.
    6.7 points
  13. What is Waltz getting at when he writes, “There is, however, no logically sound and traceable process by which effects that derive from the system can be attributed to the units”?
    -Since units are states, and the system is the world, then effects that “derive from the system” come from the world, like globalization or the environment, and can’t be rooted in nations, since they are political and war-like. The system will one day lead to peace, in other words.
    -If the structure of the system requires all states to behave a certain way, then when we see states act consistently with those expectations, we should not seek to explain why they are acting as they are by looking, for example, at their foreign policy decision-making process.
    -Since states seek war, we don’t need to understand them any further; knowing that they want war is sufficient.
    -Systems and structures are not units or actors, except sometimes they are, and when one doesn’t happen, then the other might choose to happen, because it is all very complicated.
    6.7 points
  14. Which of the following claims is the most consistent with what Waltz argues about systemic theory?
    -Systems put constraints around the range of options realistically available to actors.
    -Systems are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.
    -The political system of a state accounts for the kinds of policies it will pursue.
    -States can ignore systems and choose not to join them. Alliances were made to be broken.
    6.7 points
  15. Which of the following statements is closest to what Waltz argues?
    -A structural theory is best for understanding how the details of a given situation effect what is happening.
    -A structural theory gives one the “big picture” of the core dynamics and underlying forces at work in the situation. It isn’t so good with the details.
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