By Gary Goertz
This ebook examines the methods and potential during which realms have interaction with their atmosphere. the writer proposes a concept of context that examines the best way approach constitution, normative atmosphere, and background can act as contexts for choice makers, both as reasons, limitations, or through altering meanings. The theoretical and methodological fabric is illustrated by means of a few case experiences that practice context concept to express difficulties, akin to decolonization, USSR-East ecu family members, and enduring army rivalries.
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Extra resources for Contexts of International Politics
This is the case with context as barrier. Part of the concept itself is a proposition about what an actor would have done had the barrier not existed. In the chapters on oil nationalization and USSR-East European relations part of the analysis consists in trying to demonstrate the validity of this counterfactual proposition. Early tests of the barrier are important because they support the counterfactual condition necessary for the validity of barrier models. If, on the other hand, cause is denned as a sufficient condition then counterfactual analysis loses its value.
But I claim that the two are really different types of explanations and that therefore it is important not to confuse context as cause with context as barrier. The images do point in different directions; cause is normally seen in a positive sense of producing change (Blalock 1961), while barriers prevent or counteract change. This corresponds to the distinction between positive and negative power or between compellence and deterrence. , if A causes B and B causes C then A is also a cause of C.
For example, in chapter 4 I will show that a given level of military spending can have different implications depending on the context within which that spending takes place. This occurs since how states interpret the military spending of their adversaries depends on what is normal for that period. Bueno de Mesquita's expected utility model (1981) also illustrates how this can work. He proposes that governments make standard expected utility calculations in order to determine whether to initiate a war.