POLS 30201: Partial List of Study Terms for the Midterm Examination

In class, 2/22 (NOTE NEW DATE).

Dan Lindley

Exam Task: Define and Explain the term. Define means giving the meaning of the term (mention source of term -- author/article, if particularly relevant). Explain means describing the term's effects in the real world and its relationship to other course concepts, theories, and topics. Make your examples and references to concepts, theories, and topics specific. Time permitting, give examples, arrow-diagram the argument/theory, offer counterarguments, etc. In addition to current events, I reserve the right to ask about a term or two not on this list.




          Security Dilemma

          Offense Vs. Defense Dominance (Or Offense/Defense Balance)

          Balancing (Vs. Bandwagoning)

          Balance of Threat

          Components of Threat (according to Walt)

          Other Explanations for Alliance Formation (described by Walt)


          Prisoners' Dilemma

          Collective Action Problem

          Free-rider (and burdensharing)

          Tragedy of the Commons



          Newtonian Pattern of Misperception

          Pre-Copernican Pattern of Misperception

          Bowling Shoe Pattern of Misperception


          Spiral Model

          Lindley's 4-stage policy process model

          Horne and Racism (start by giving main argument/s, then critique)

          Rosenberg and Imperialism (start by giving main argument/s, then critique)

          Leffler's "National Security, Cores Values, and Power" (start by giving main argument/s, then critique)


          Two-Level Game

          Win Set

          Briefly describe and explain at least three interesting or counterintuitive insights provided by using a 2-level game analysis.

          Formal vs. informal governmental authority - describe the difference, and give examples.

          Organization chart (What is it? What does it tell you and not tell you? What questions does it raise?

****The following are based on Allison and Zelikow (and other CMC readings):


          The three models (I may ask about all 3 models as a 10 pointer, or about 1 or 2 of them as 5 pointers)

          Components of rationality

          Some rational model reasons why Khrushchev put the missiles in Cuba

          Give two examples of organizational routines leading to actions that raised risks during the CMC

          Give two examples of organizationally motivated behavior (parochialism) leading to actions that deliberately undermined President Kennedy's policies and the tone he was trying to create during the CMC

          What values and goals motivate organizations?

          What values and goals motivate bureaucratic players?

          Give an example of bureaucratic politics during the CMC

          (T-1) and (T+1)


          The actors in each of the 3 models

          What evidence do you need to make predictions about state behavior based on model I?; model II?; model III?

          Outputs vs. resultants

          Action Channels and Positions


          Some lessons from the book for current policy makers

          "Where you stand depends on where you sit" (explain)

          Black Box

          Short argument about why model II or model III help explain a recent current event

          Mongoose, Bay of Pigs, and pre-CMC US relations with Cuba

          Influence of domestic politics on USFP in CMC

          Khrushchev’s second letter

          Jupiter Missiles and other aspects of the ‘deal’ to end the CMC

          Munich and Pearl Harbor analogies (M&P, pp. 409-410, and elsewhere).

PLUS: Identification of recent current events will count for around 10% of the exam grade. Please balance against the threat. Study hard, do well. You are welcome and encouraged to study together. If you can explain these terms clearly to someone else, chances are good you know what you are talking about. In contrast, things may seem clear in your mind, but are in fact garbled.



            Start each of your theory answers on a fresh clean page. Group the current events answers on a fresh page. Answer all items. There are 65 points worth of questions, so budget about a minute per point. Clearly number each answer.

11 theory questions worth 5 points/5 minutes each:

1.         Security Dilemma









10.       (Note: this one is worth 10 points/, so it’s equivalent to two questions):

****Current Events (worth 1 point each) (Examples from 2/00)

1.         Recent developments in Mitrovica, Kosovo

2.         The peace talks between Israel and Syria are...(describe recent trend)

3.         Where is Grozny and what has Russia just done there?

4.         China just said what about Taiwan...

5.         China’s statement will succeed/backfire (pick 1) if it is a balancing/bandwagoning (pick 1) world.

6.         Recent developments in Northern Ireland

7.         The current US Secretary of State is...

8.         President Clinton is about to visit which 2 or 3 countries (list all 3)?

9.         The UN, with US backing, is beginning planning for sending a peacekeeping force to... (where?)

10.       Why did 150,000 people recently march in Austria?




Grading: We will make a grading template for each answer containing all the elements for an ideal answer. Distribution of the five points per answer varies by term, but is often something like .5 for identifying the author/article of the term, 2 for a correct and thorough definition, 2 for relating it to other theories (compare/contrast/derived from/leading to, etc), and .5 for relating it to current events. These points can vary by term as, for example, the author may be irrelevant for some terms or the term may be a springboard for many other concepts. Other terms may require that you describe the historical event, in which case adding a few words of context and explanation of importance will help make for an excellent answer. TAs have discretion to grade upward in cases where mastery of one component of the answer is so good that the student clearly knows what he/she is talking about. Downward grading often results from imprecise definitions, absence of obvious components, wrong relationships to other theories, etc. Very short answers suffice for the current events section.


We try to be thorough and fair in grading, and we will try to indicate where and why points were taken off. Usually, you can be sure that if points were taken off for X or Y reason, then many other students experienced the exact same grading criteria applied to them. Keep in mind that if the same criteria is applied across cases, then fairness is achieved in the final curve. Any math or factual errors will be corrected ASAP and with sincere apologies.


I set the final curve by looking at the exam, thinking how hard it was, looking at your tests, thinking what kind of effort should receive an A, A-, B+, etc, and setting cut off points there. This is why there is no pre-set curve, and why all of you can get A’s (or C’s), depending... Typical GPAs for the midterm are around 3.0-3.3+. As I am giving you the terms in advance, and being very clear about what is expected, and having a review session, I expect a fairly good degree of mastery in return.