Waltz: Political Structures

Part 1 pp 81-88

Before you read

I. Think over the following questions

  1. What do you know about the author of the text? What is his contribution to the theory of international relations? Have you read anything by this author before?
  2. Skim the text very quickly and say who it is intended for.
  3. What is the register of the text?

While you read

Read the text carefully, pencil in hand and

  • find the following words in the text; try to guess their meanings using the context
  1. elusive
  2. subtle
  3. astute
  4. impetuous
  5. attain
  6. impel
  7. embrace
  8. deem
  9. acquiescence
  10. ambiguity
  • find Russian equivalents of the words above
  • match the words from the list with their less formal synonyms
force, urge
uncertainty, doubtfulness
acquire, achieve
impetuousdelicate, precise
vague, obscure
impulsive, hasty
embraceprudent, insightful 
include , enclose
consent, obedience
ambiguitythink, consider
  • match the collocations from the text:
relative penalties
successive the rule
ideological liabilities
levy asserts
preserve capabilities
perpetuate to the needs
party commitment
nationalto the highest post
elevate the unity

Read the text again and elucidate on the following notions:

  1. hierarchy
  2. restraint
  3. endurance
  4. inclination
  5. distinction
  6. juxtapose

After you read

I. Answer the following questions:

  1. What is the definition of structure, political structure, domestic political structure?
  2. In what way do political structures shape political processes, the country’s leadership?

II. Summarise the ideas of the chapter. Assess the text critically according to the following criteria:

  • novelty (have you learned anything new?)
  • relevance (is this information relevant? Will it be of any use in your own research paper?)
  • complexity (was it hard to grasp the main ideas of the text?)

Part 2 pp 88-101

  • match the collocations from the text:
palpable agent
small-scalethe operation
structural realities
contradictory condition
cogent matter
  • match the term with its definition:
indicateto form an idea; think; envision; imagine
inferto mention or name specifically or definitely; state in detail
conceiveto be or give a sign or symptom of; imply; to state; suggest
specifyto consider thoroughly; think about fully or deeply; to have in view as a purpose; intend
contemplateto conclude or judge from premises and evidence; to derive by reasoning
  • elucidate on the following notions:
  1. attribute
  2. analogy
  3. domain
  4. sequence
  5. stipulation

I. Answer the following questions:

In what way does Waltz apply the definition of domestic political structures to international politics?

How can international structures be defined in terms of states?

II. Summarise the ideas of the chapter.

Speak about structures, systems, units in general; odering principles, the character of the units, the distribution of capabilities.