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Psychological needs, drives, dispositions
Our views of international affairs (received as result of
childhood experience)—tolerance or fear of cultural
images of world history as shaped by teachers and books
opinions about world affairs articulated by close
associates, peers
attitudes expressed by policymakers or authority figures
we respect
positions we occupy and roles we perform—student,
parent, bureaucrat, diplomat etc.
Decision makers tend to seek cognitive balance
(consistency) by discounting ideas or information that
contradict their existing views
Cognitive dissonance is a feeling of anguish caused by
holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. These
ideas (cognitions) may include attitudes and beliefs, the
awareness of one's behavior, and facts.
This influential theory in social psychology holds that
people have an internal motivation to reduce
dissonance. They either change their attitudes, beliefs,
and behaviors or integrate them within their existing
belief system.
Theory is an explanatory framework; it helps us
to see the wood for the trees.
Theory exists to explain, comprehend, and
interpret reality.
Without theory, it is impossible to understand
it is a vehicle to gain understanding
foregrounds certain aspects of the world and
provides a guide as to what to investigate
it acts as a useful filing system, a framework within
which to place observations of reality
it enables us to look for patterns and allows for
creates framework for logical coherence and depth
systematically links together concepts, ideas, and
Why is it important to distinguish levels of analysis?
No single source produces transformation in international
Interrelationships exist across the levels of analysis
Trends and transformations in international relations are
affected by forces operating at each level and by interactions
among them
Methodological rigor—pursuit of scientific standards by stating
assumptions and thus limitations
Disciplines our observations so that we don’t overlook or
dismiss evidence that runs counter to our intuition/perception
First level: individual
Second level: domestic
Third level: interstate/systemic
Fourth level: global/transnational/transsovereign
Pearson Education, Inc.
publishing as Longman © 2010