Latest Posts Under: Theorie

von Sebastian Schindler

Ist es zum Lachen oder zum Weinen? Diese Frage stellt sich immer wieder bei der Beobachtung der Worte und Taten des neuen US-Präsidenten – zum Beispiel anläßlich seines ersten Fernsehinterviews mit dem Journalisten David Muir (ABC America, 27.1.2017). Trump benahm sich wie ein rechthaberisches, selbstbezogenes, liebesbedürftiges Kind. Er beharrte auf seiner Version der Amtseinführung, nach der noch nie so viele Menschen wie diesmal an der Zeremonie teilgenommen hätten. Er sprach nicht nur davon, er verwies auch auf Fotos, die er an Wänden im Weißen Haus hat aufhängen lassen. Trump wiederholte außerdem seine Behauptung, dass es viele illegale Stimmen gegeben hätte, und alle für Hillary Clinton. Natürlich würde man auch den einen oder anderen finden, der illegal für ihn abgestimmt habe. Diese Person würde man dann, sagte Trump, als Gegenbeweis vor die Kameras zerren. Aber die Wahrheit sei, dass Millionen von illegalen Stimmen fast ausnahmslos für Clinton abgegeben worden seien.

by Hakim Khatib

Practicing politics within religious frameworks is more likely to increase states‘ fragility. While employing religious references in political discourses could foster positive outcomes such as avoiding dangerous eruptions of violence under authoritarian regimes, it could also increase the space for political and religious elites to instrumentalise religion for their own interests. Such patterns of instrumentalisation are more common in the Middle East; especially the dominant religion in the region is Islam, which enjoys a decentralised mode of function.

Political Instrumentalisation of Islam means ‚Islam‘ serves as a means of pursuing a political aim or relating to Islam’s function as a means to a political end. Like the Marxist theory views the state and social organisations as tools taken advantage of by the ruling class or by individuals in their own interests, Islam seems to function as a tool exploited by the powerful elites or individuals in their own interests.

by Hakim Khatib

Political rationality as a theory is important in its own right. Government leaders must calculate political costs such as the resources needed to generate support for a policy, the implications of a policy decision for re-election, and the possibility of provoking hostility for decisions not well received. Bounded rationality approach has yielded an enhanced understanding of how government organizations may produce unexpected or even unpredicted policy or program results. With public organizations not operating under full rationality conditions, administrators aspiring toward rationality may nonetheless find their goals undermined by a variety of forces, such as informational uncertainties and non-rational elements of organisational decision-making.

Organisational procedures and constraints may come to shape political attitude and decision making at the highest levels. The theory of rationality, as explained by Anthony Downs, claims that individuals in political and governmental arenas are guided by self-interest as they pursue choices with the highest levels of utility. Government officials and political parties, for instance, seek to maximize support from voters. In his article „A theory of the calculus of voting“ for the American Political Science Review, William Riker explained that the focus of political rationality should be on how individuals decide with information available 
to them, from knowledge of their own preferences or through the consequences of alternatives themselves. Individuals are assumed to act „as if“ they decided according to principles such as utility maximization and the pursuit of self-interest.

Von Christoph Günther

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Teil VII unserer Serie zum „Islamischen Staat“

Viel ist in den letzten Wochen und Monaten über den so genannten „Islamischen Staat“, ISIS oder ISIL gesprochen und geschrieben worden. Die „abstrakte Bedrohungslage“, die von der „Terrormiliz“ und ihren Anhängern ausgeht, scheint jedoch der deutschen Öffentlichkeit kaum deutlicher vor Augen geführt zu werden, als bei den Demonstrationen, die von Dresden ausgehend seit geraumer Zeit in verschiedenen Großstädten stattfinden bzw. stattgefunden haben. Die Wendung gegen das Austragen von „Glaubenskriegen auf deutschem Boden“ und noch deutlicher die Sorge vor einer bevorstehenden „Islamisierung des Abendlandes“, speist sich bei diesen zu einem gewissen Teil auch aus den Bildern und Tönen, die von und über den Islamischen Staat mittels unterschiedlicher Medienkanäle verbreitet werden. Zudem werden Befürchtungen artikuliert, die durch den Islamischen Staat ausgelösten Flüchtlingswellen bewirkten einen signifikanten Zuzug von Muslimen, der zu tiefgreifenden sozio-kulturellen Veränderungen führe.

by Martin Schmetz

Last week, I wrote a rambling post about the future of IR theories and the challenges posed by current political events. The starting point for the post was a certain narrative of how the field of International Relations developed: Certain political events created challenges that the dominant theory at that point couldn’t cope with. Thus, it was replaced by another theory that was better equipped to deal with it. That narrative, however, might not really describe what happened, even it if is often how students are first introduced to the development of the field of IR (I know I was).

by Martin Schmetz

The discipline of International Relations has always been impacted by its historical political context. In fact, the way its theoretical genesis is often presented, critical points in history led to the advancement of new theories that could cope with them. The advent of ISIL in Syria and Iraq, the continued conflict in the South China Sea and all sorts of cyber-related security issues pose new challenges for the discipline, specifically with regard to interventions and multipolarity. How do these challenges affect the discipline and what will its reactions be?

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