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Midterm Study Guide

by: Sara Brown

Midterm Study Guide POL-UA 710 U.S. Foreign Policy

Sara Brown


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Course is 50/50 midterm/final Midterm covers FP theories in mult. choice. and has you apply them in an essay
U.S. Foreign Policy
Jeffrey Togman
Study Guide
50 ?




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This 27 page Study Guide was uploaded by Sara Brown on Tuesday October 4, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to POL-UA 710 U.S. Foreign Policy at New York University taught by Jeffrey Togman in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see U.S. Foreign Policy in Politics at New York University.

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Date Created: 10/04/16
1 U.S. Foreign Policy Midterm Study Guide Theories of International Relations: Realism, Liberalism, Neoconservativism, Constructivism 1. Realism: Realism is a state centric theory, meaning, that for realists, states are the principal actors in world politics and we should understand international relations from their perspective. o States exercise more power than any other class of actors in the international system:  States organize power and military forces, control the flow of commerce, mobilize populations, have tax and spending power, and police their own territories Realists posit that states are self interested and only act in accordance with their own interests o States will only help others if it also helps themselves  states will do whatever is in their national interest: vital national interest is the only real motivation for state action (normatively and empirically)  When states are acting benevolently, it is essentially a rouse: even if a state claims that it has high ideals motivation their actions this is just rhetoric  self interest is always the true motivation Primary component of a state’s self interest: survival and national security o What is in the interest of the state is always what will help ensure its survival; states want to feel secure (protect their territory & independence, and ensure that they are safe from attack) Realism is a power maximization theory: the best way to assure a state’s survival is through the acquisition of power, especially military power o Other pursuits (i.e. wealth, technology) are important to realists but ONLY because they enhance the power of a state o A state that lacks military power is weak and vulnerable o Realists say that you can only talk about power when comparing the power of one state relative to another  war is decided based on the relative strength of opposing militaries  Can’t compare your own power to your power at an earlier time (according to realists, you’re no longer talking about power) only to the power of other states/rivals Realism assumes that states are rational actors o States calculate their behavior by choosing the best means to a desired ends based on their beliefs  judging the rationality of actions not beliefs Realists say that the international system is characterized by anarchy o There is no central authority or government to enforce law among states; states are the supreme power; states are sovereign (no overarching government above them) 2 o International institutions, international law, norms, and the international community are all constructs of the most powerful nations and directly serve these nations  they CANNOT alter the behavior of states o Only states can alter the behavior of other states (ability to alter the actions of other states is a prime component of power) o For realists, anarchy is a binary proposition (either the system is characterized by anarchy or it isn’t)  and it is [contrast this to liberals who see anarchy as a spectrum i.e. the world can be more or less anarchic] International relations are based on power politics: using force or the threat of force is the primary method states use to advance their interests o Realists say we should look at the international arena as a struggle among states for power o Realism makes a distinction between the use and threat of force  Realists say that the threat of force is often more powerful than the use of force and states are more often threatening to use force than actually using it o Ex of threat of force versus use of force: Realists argue that the United Sates should have never gone to war in Iraq (used their force) because doing so reduced their threat power in North Korea and Iran because the force that they could have otherwise threatened to use was already being used elsewhere  Iran and North Korea then banded together against the United States  Rationale is that because power is finite, you must use the power that you have strategically: [preserve your threat] Using a considerable amount of American power to actually exert force in Iraq weakened their ability to threaten North Korea and Iran (who assumed that the United States would be too busy with the war in Iraq to stop development of nuclear weapons in their respective countries) Instead, America should have simply threatened to go to war with all 3 (especially because of the strength of America’s threat power) Realists assume that human nature is wicked o People have a natural and fundamental will to power and desire to dominate others that can’t be eradicated by ANYTHING (norms, institutions, religious revivals etc.) States must be self-reliant/self-sufficient in this self-help system o The only way to help yourself is through the acquisition of power; can’t depend on other states or international law/institutions for a state’s survival  States should try to maximize their power to ensure that they can defend themselves unilaterally o Kuwait Example: It was in the interest of the entire world that oil continued to flow a basic, common interest of ALL states; if Saddam Hussein controlled Kuwait, oil would not flow 3  United States and Soviet Union came together in a joint communique denouncing the invasion because of the nature of this common interest [STILL, acting out of self-interest] Realism says that conflict is inevitable because states will stop cooperating whenever it is in their self interest to do so o Example: Relations between the United States and the USSR before and after the end of WWII o States are in constant competition over inherently scarce resources  Territory, power, and security are limited and relative o For any state to gain power/security, another state must lose power/security o The power to protect oneself is the power to endanger others o Nothing is objectively good Contemporary realism says that there is no place for morality in international politics because questions of “good” and “bad” are not applicable or relevant concepts o Places a greater emphasis on power and anarchy Realism is a balance of power theory o 1. When you have two sides of relatively equal power, they will not go to war or at least the probability that they will go to war is greatly reduced o 2. Since we are often dealing with multiple states: these states form coalitions and alliances that are also relatively equal in power (countries arrange themselves in relatively equal sides)  States are not myopic and are looking at all possible future consequences  sometimes it is in a state’s best interest to join the weaker side because: IF you join the more powerful force initially and that force wins, it could then turn on you Realism is a state centric, power maximizing, anarchic, isolationist theory of foreign policy that assumes that states, being the most crucial, influential actors in the international system, are self-interested, rational actors and posits a pessimistic view about human nature being inherently wicked. The international system is characterized by anarchy because states are sovereign and there is no overarching government regulating the behavior of states; only states can influence the behavior of other states, and being able to change the behavior of other states is an indication of power. Power is a concept that is relative for realists in that, you can only compare your current power level to that of your rivals/other states (not your own power at an earlier time, this is not power by realist definition). Realists say that survival/security is the primary objective of states when pursuing their own self-interest; the only way to ensure a state’s security/survival is through the aggrandizement of power. The pursuit of things like wealth or technology are only important to realists because they enhance power. Since states cannot depend on other states or international institutions for survival, states must be self-reliant and should try to build their defense to be capable of defending their state unilaterally; because all states are only pursuing their own vital national interests, conflict is inevitable. This conflict is reflective of the fact that when it is no longer in one state’s interest to cooperate, that state will stop cooperating and of the fact 4 that states are competing for resources that are inherently scarce. Contemporary realists say there is no place for morality in international politics because the concepts of “good” and “bad” are both irrelevant and inconsequential; these theorists place far more emphasis on power and anarchy in defining the contours of realism. For a realist, nothing on an objective level is “good.” Realism is based in power politics, meaning that the primary method that states will use to advance their interests is the use of or the threat of force; the distinction between the two is essential to some realists who posit that the threat of force is often far more powerful than actually utilizing it. Finally, realists believe in the balance of power theory which posits, first, that two sides of relatively equal power will not go to war with one another, and, second, that countries arrange themselves in “sides” (via alliances/coalitions) that are also relatively equal in power. 2. Liberalism  Liberals believe that cooperation between states is possible o States cooperate with each other as often as they come into conflict with one another, possibly more often if you were to do an objective analysis of every binary pair of countries  Liberals firmly believe in International Institutions o International institutions reduce and mitigate the anarchy of the international system that causes conflict [note: liberals don’t believe that you can eliminate anarchy, just reduce it]  Constructing well established institutions gives us a say in how much anarchy there is o These institutions enhance the ability of states to cope with problems and lowers the transaction costs of diplomacy and cooperation  Without these institutions ad hoc organizations would be needed for negotiations (WWII marked the shift from ad hoc organizations to permanent international institutions)  Liberals posit that growing economic linkages between states have made them increasingly interdependent o Expansion of global trade and investment blurred the distinction between domestic and foreign economic policy o The action of one state will affect another or all others and the wellbeing of one nation is similarly dependent on the well being of other nations o Central banks and international organizations are often working together and are increasingly critical to the global economy  Unlike realists, liberals stress the growing importance of non-state actors o Intergovernmental organizations (bunch of governments) o Non government organizations (Al Qaeda, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, The International Red Cross, The Catholic Church) o Multinational corporations are becoming increasingly untethered to a particular state  therefore these global companies are very powerful actors domestically and internationally  they will use this power to influence states to do things o These non-state actors, according to liberals, have a significant effect on foreign policy and their actions must be accounted for. 5  Liberals depart from realists about the overall goal of states: liberals say that states seek prosperity and stability, not just power and survival o This is a rejection of the power maximization theory: liberals say that some states are not maximizers and that in terms of power/security but instead that states are sufficers.  To suffice in terms of power and security means that these states don’t want to maximize their security, they just want to feel secure and will utilize the rest of their resources/budget for other issues after that feeling of security is reached. o States are only seeking their own peace and prosperity  they don’t need to project their power far into other continents, just need to feel secure o If states value prosperity and stability: it is very difficult to achieve these things unilaterally  this contributes to cooperation between states in a world where the economy is expanding Liberals again depart from realists in recognizing the presence of a regime which, in a liberal context, comprises the entire system of international governance o Liberals agree with realists that there is no “international government” and that the international system is characterized by anarchy but the two theories split on their view of international governance o Liberals say this international governance is a regime of many uncoordinated and coordinated parts and that these things govern relations among states o There is a matrix of international institutions, international law, and non codified rules (norms) that influence state action  matrix of overlapping regimes o These regimes are highly decentralized and have many different points of power, influence and authority but constitute a decentralized, rule based governance o Landmine Example: Notion that landmines should be outlawed because they constitute an inhumane form of warfare  nations came together and signed a treaty banning landmines in war and peacetime (the United States did not sign this treaty)  BUT the United States formally recognizes international law and internalizes that law into domestic law  U.S. doesn’t really use landmines Liberals posit that there is a growing harmony of interests among states o Numerous political and economic issues where cooperation will benefit many, if not all, involved o Avoid saying that states have the same interests (caricature)  interests are, instead, complementary of one another and can find common ground o Liberals reject the zero sum theory (this is the opposite) Liberals, unlike realists, believe there is a role for morality in international politics o The role of morality should center on the promotion of liberty because it is both in the fundamental interest of the United States 6 and is the morally superior choice (in comparison with other options)  4 ways to promote liberty  Spread of Democracy: democratic peace exists  democracies do not go to war with one another so the spread of democracy eliminates rivals of the United States  non democratic states are our only rivals  as democracy spreads, so does a zone of peace; democracies are objectively better for the people who live under those governments (democratic governments don’t kill large numbers of their citizens or allow their citizens to starve to death)  Protection of Human Rights: Human rights are a central axiom of the political philosophy of liberalism  human rights are inalienable, the state derives its authority from the people  states VIOLATE human rights, they can’t take them away  Self Determination of Peoples: Peoples must be free from foreign control; empires and colonization are illegitimate processes and foreign domination contradicts modern nationalism  inevitably leads to conflict and instability; the core of a nation is a moving target, self-determination was really important to early liberalism when the world was carved up by European Powers  Expansion of Free Trade: Free trade promotes global growth that will benefit all (these benefits are uniform across rich and poor nations  “a rising tide lifts all boats”); promotes democracy and peace and increases economic linkages. Barriers to free trade restrict growth and economic well being of the people. Free trade precludes imperialism and can reinforce self determination. Liberals, offering an alternative from the realist Balance of Power Theory, argue for a system of collective security o Alliance of all states (doesn’t balance anything because all states are within the alliance)  these (all) state in the alliance make commitments to not commit acts of aggression against other states and to defend states that are attacked o Those who defect from the agreement would be ostracized and this threat works as a form of deterrence (all forms of deterrence are threats) o For liberals, this de jure (laws as they are written) system is not one that is currently in place and working, but an aspirational one and although slightly idealistic, the UN Charter essentially establishes this system of collective security  1 Persian Gulf War example of this working successfully  when Iraq invaded Kuwait, the entire world came to the defense of Kuwait by enacting economic sanctions and authorizing collective military force Liberalism offers what, at least in comparison to realism, may be seen as a more hopeful and activist theory of international relations. Cooperation is 7 essential to liberalism; liberals posit that states are capable of cooperation as much as, if not more than, they are capable of conflict and that there is a growing harmony of interests between states. This cooperation is largely because of growing economic linkages between states, meaning that as the economy becomes more globalized, states are increasingly interdependent on one another (and the line between domestic and foreign economic policy becomes less clear). The actions of one state will directly affect another, if not all states, and the wellbeing of states is similarly dependent on that of the wellbeing of other states. To say that states’ interests are in harmony with one another’s is not to say that they are the same, but instead offers an alternative to the zero sum game: states’ interests are complementary to each other and states can find common ground. Liberals, like realists, believe that the international system can be characterized by anarchy, but, unlike realists, believe firmly in the ability of international institutions and law to reduce (not eliminate) that anarchy. Where realists believe that only states can influence the behavior of other states, liberals posit that these international institutions and law/norms can influence state action. Liberals will often critique realism for its lack of accounting for the influence of non-state actors in the international arena; liberals see intergovernmental groups, NGOs, multinational corporations and the like as increasingly important in determining foreign policy. Especially with multinational corporations, these non- state actors, according to liberals, can also influence the action of states. Rejecting the power maximization theory of realism, liberals say that instead, states are not always maximizers in terms of power and security. States will, alternatively, do what is necessary or sufficient to feel secure and then utilize the rest of their defense budget on other areas; they don’t need to project their power onto other continents and are simply seeking their own peace and prosperity. On morality, liberals also differ from realists in that there is a place for morality in international politics and the role of morality should be centered on promoting liberty through the spread of democracy, encouraging self-determination of peoples, the protection of human rights, and the protection of free trade. Spreading democracy eliminates rivals for the United States as our only rivals are non-democratic states and, thus, as democracy spreads so does a zone of peace. Liberals also offer an alternative to the realist balance of power theory, a system of collective security. This refers to an alliance that is inclusive of all states and that binds states in the alliance to a contract that prohibits committing acts of aggression on other states and promises to come to the defense of those states who are attacked. While this is a slightly idealistic concept, the UN Charter calls for st this very behavior and in instances like the 1 Persian Gulf War, has proven successful. Liberals do not see the collective security system as one that is currently working (it is de jure at best), but an aspirational one. A final point that liberals firmly disagree with realists on is the presence of a regime, referring to the entire system of international governance. While, superficially, liberals agree that there is no single international government and that the international system is characterized by anarchy, they differ on whether or not there is international governance. Liberals believe that there is a regime of many uncoordinated and coordinated parts that comprise a sense of world governance; this regime is a matrix of international institutions, international law, and non codified rules (norms) that ultimately do influence the way that states behave and make up a highly decentralized, rule based governance with many different points of power, influence, and authority. 8 3. Neoconservativism:  A central tenant of this theory is that is espouses a confrontational, hawkish foreign policy o Neoconservative policy is often framed as an argument against appeasement because diplomatic solutions to aggressive states can often be self defeating (Ex: appeasing Hitler in Natzi Germany) o Similarly, neoconservatives often reject negotiations as defeatism o The United States should encourage our rivals and enemies when it is unwilling to fight o Better to use force early when it is going to be used eventually o Use force for the sake of using force to send signals about your seriousness  Neoconservatives think that morality does have a place in foreign policy o Raegan’s presidential campaign called for a morality plank in the Republican Platform that called for a new approach to foreign policy that placed morality at the center  Cold War Morality = confront and defeat communism (immoral form of government) self interest of U.S. and moral cause  Post Cold War morality= notion of morality is expanded to promoting democracy (more general)  Neoconservatives believe that the United States should be a benevolent global hegemon (hegemonic state) o Rejection of realist balance of power theory and liberal collective security  Neoconservatives embrace a system of hegemonic security o Dominant, unipolar power that is willing and able to maintain the rules of the game and enforce them; this hegemon can play a dominant role in making new rules and may not follow existing ones o Some people think a hegemonic state is the only way to achieve stability because instability is caused by transitions from one dominant power to another o Not only should the United States be a hegemon, but a benevolent one  here is a departure from the self-interested realism  the United States should promote morality in the global sphere for its own benefit and for the benefit of others  Neoconservativism is the most unrestrained theory of foreign policy  could argue that the purpose of this theory is to free foreign policy from the restraints on realism and liberalism o Realism is restrained by self-interest: acting/using force only when vital national interest is at stake  this produces isolationism o Liberalism is restrained by its emphasis on multilateralism and international institutions/law 9 o Neoconservativism specifically rejects the merely self interested foreign policy of realists and the notion of multilateralism/international institutions o Neoconservatives argue that, although unrestrained, this is for the best because the United States will be a dominant force of good in the world  Neoconservatives are even more critical of international institutions/law than realists, where realists think that these organizations/structures are ineffectual neoconservatives think international institutions can inhibit the actions of the United States and prevent it from acting in a hegemonic fashion  Traits that Neoconservativism shares with realism (Neoconservativism is, in a way derived from realism) o Both place a strong emphasis on power/are theories of power o Both embrace unilateral foreign policy and both reject international institutions/law (but neoconservatives are more critical of these as stated above)  Traits that Neoconservativism shares with liberalism o Both promote morality and embrace democratic promotion  the United States should not be neutral on the question of democracy and should speak out in favor of democratic governance o Both approve of using force when vital national interest is not necessarily at stake (unlike realism)  Neoconservatives support the use of force as a means of promoting democracy o More activist view of foreign policy (isolationist = realist) Neoconservativism is the most unrestrained and confrontational foreign policy theory of the United States; it is considered to be a more activist view of foreign policy than that of the isolationist policy derived from realism. The hawkish foreign policy espoused by realism is often framed as an argument against appeasement, as diplomatic solutions often are ineffective and self-defeating when used on aggressive states; similarly, neoconservatives often reject negotiations as defeatism. On morality, neoconservatives agree with liberals that there is absolutely a place for morality in foreign policy making; the onset of the Cold War defined morality for neoconservatives as confronting and defeating communism (immoral form of government) and, after the dissipation of the Cold War, this definition of morality became more generalized to promoting democracy (liberals, too, believe in the moral value of democratic promotion). However, Neoconservatives do not view individual human rights as something states should use force to protect the way that liberals do. In perhaps the most striking departure from both realism and liberalism, Neoconservativism rejects the realist balance of power theory and the liberal collective security theory. Instead, neoconservatives pose a model of a hegemonic state, and not just a hegemon, but a benevolent hegemon. A hegemon is a dominant, unipolar power that has the will and ability to maintain and enforce the rules of the game (the hegemon may not follow existing rules and will likely be a part of creating new ones). Neoconservatives argue that the United States should promote morality in the global sphere not solely for its own interests, as realists would posit, but for the 10 benefit of other nations; they offer the hegemonic state as an answer to instability that is seen in transitional periods from one all-powerful state to the next. In regards to the unrestrained nature of Neoconservativism, it could be argued that the very purpose of Neoconservativism is to free American foreign policy from the restraints placed on liberalism by its emphasis on international institutions and multilateralism and from the restraints placed on realism by its emphasis on states only acting/using force when their vital national interest is at stake. Neoconservativism staunchly rejects, even more so than realism, the notion of international institutions insisting that, while realists see them as ineffectual, these organizations can actually inhibit the actions of the United States and prevent it from acting as a hegemon. Neoconservativism further rejects the self-interested foreign policy of realists and moves away from the isolationist ideals and toward more activist ones, especially in terms of using force. Both liberals and neoconservatives disagree with realists that the only appropriate time to use force is when vital national interests are at stake; neoconservatives would certainly approve of using force as a means of spreading democracy and generally advocate the early use of force if force will eventually be used. The fact that it is unrestrained, neoconservatives say, is for the best because the United States will then be a dominant force of good in the world 4. Marxism  Economic Class is always the primary unit of analysis for Marxists o Like power for realists, Marxists say that classes do not exist in that of themselves but only in relation to another class  Marxists are interested in the relations between the 2 classes  Bourgeoisie: highest class, controls means of production, pays workers wages, sells commodities [commodification is a Bourgeoisie process]  Proletariat: can only sell their labor for wages  Surplus Value is at the center of Marxist theory; the Bourgeoisie retains all surplus value o Only labor can create value and your labor should, thus, be worth whatever the value of what you create is o However, workers are not paid the actual value of the commodity that they create by the Bourgeoisie; the capitalist class retains a profit because they own the means of production and have the ability to sell commodities  this profit is surplus value o Exploitation of the Proletariat (Bourgeoisie takes most of what the Proletariat creates)  Marxism is a revolutionary theory because the only way to change this exploitative relationship is to end the Bourgeoisie’s ownership of the means of production (overthrow the entire system)  Marxism is a materialist, not idealist, theory o Ideas can’t change a material reality; underlying material conditions change and that produces new ideas  The material world constitutes a substructure that determines the superstructure (laws, norms etc.) 11  Capitalistic substructure leads to Bourgeoisie Culture being the superstructure o Societal structures are determined by production and the exchange of materials o Ideas of the ruling class become “the ideas”  they present their ideas as the interests of all; this is relevant to foreign policy because when the Bourgeoisie presents its interests as the “overall interests” for common good, those interests are typically in direct opposition with those of the proletariat  Marxism says the the modern state manages the common affairs of the Bourgeoisie o Exists to protect private property, but a Marxist definition of private property that is essential to capitalism  Bourgeoisie ownership of the means of production gives them the ability to say because I own these things I can employ you (proletariat) and you can create commodity value for me and I can sell those commodities  this is private property o International Institutions and law function the same way as the state in serving the capitalists  A critical idea for Marxism is imperialism o The international arena is divided between developed wealthy states of the world [the core] and the rest of nations [periphery]  The core exploits the periphery o The core [dominant group of nations] functions in the international arena the way the Bourgeoisie [dominant class] functions in the domestic arena o The periphery (poorer nations of the world) are a global proletariat  the periphery provides raw materials and exploitable labor  When multinational corporations from the United State go overseas for cheap labor they are only paying a fraction of the value of the labor (exploitation) and then extract the rest of the value created by that cheap labor and thus: value is transferred from the periphery to the core o The need to constantly reinvest and expand in order to combat inflationary forces (because the second you make money it starts to lose value) drives imperialism  Marx says that there is no such thing as objective theory; theory is always for somebody or some purpose o Realism, liberalism, and Neoconservativism are theories for the Bourgeoisie to perpetuate their domination o Marxism is a theory for the Proletariat  Marx says that imperialism is profoundly immoral [for Marx, morality does have a place in foreign policy] o The core moral issue of the international arena is the exploitative relationship between the core and periphery countries  12  The immoral act is the exploitation of the periphery and creation of surplus value that is transferred to the core  Marxism is a revolutionary theory o Revolutions drive history through various moments  Marxists acknowledge capitalism as an improvement over feudalism, but to further the wellbeing of the people we would need a revolution to overthrow capitalism  Proletariat overthrows the Bourgeoisie o The only way to end exploitation is for the capitalist system to come to an end  reforms, minimum wage laws, child welfare laws, health rules etc. all improve the condition of the working class but do not end the exploitation o The Bourgeoisie needs to cease to exist in order for the means of production to no longer be owned by anyone  Marx is critical of United States foreign policy o Marx focuses on the harm that America does to periphery and semi-periphery countries; neoconservatives, liberals, and realists are all debating over what is best for the United States  Marx says imperialism must always expand and move forward o Money is constantly losing value o Imperialism requires incorporating more and more people into your territory  the primary mechanism of imperialism is free trade  Marxists say that free trade is simply an ideology used to advance the interest of the Bourgeoisie and that the “idea” that free trade is good for everyone is a fallacy, it’s only good for the capitalists o Elites in the developing world move up by forcing their countries to open up to free trade  Jamaica Example: America pressured Jamaica to open markets to American dairy products, America brought cheap subsidized powdered milk to a poor country where cheaper is better (less nutritious), Jamaica’s original pasteurization centers are transformed into slaughter houses and they consume all they animals that they would have otherwise used for dairy products, then America takes away the subsidies and the prices rise  end of the free trade movement results in Jamaicans consuming more expensive, less nutritious milk  Marx believes in an objective reality and that people are unaware of that reality  false/mendacious consciousness o This is an inability to see one’s own condition (false consciousness of the proletariat), inability of the working class to see or understand their exploitation Marxism is a revolutionary and material theory of foreign policy that uses economic class as the primary unit of analysis to evaluate the relations between classes and places a strong emphasis on imperialism. For Marx there are only two economic classes in the domestic arena: The Bourgeoisie (capitalists) and The 13 Proletariat (working class). Classes, for Marx, cannot exist on their own, but only in comparison to other classes (relations). The Bourgeoisie is the ruling class because it owns the means of production; because of this ownership, they have the power to employ the Proletariat (who can only sell their labor, not commodities) to sell and apply their labor to create valuable commodities. The Bourgeoisie then sells these commodities for that value and pays the workers a fraction of this, retaining a profit that Marx defines as surplus value. The creation and retention of surplus value by the Bourgeoisie is the core of the exploitative relationship between the two classes; Marx posits that there is a false consciousness of the proletariat, an inability for the working class to see the nature of its own condition/exploitation. These classes then transcend the domestic arena to the international and manifest in 2 groups of nations: what Marx refers to as core nations are well developed, wealthy countries who hold the exploitation power and the remaining poorer countries comprise the periphery. In the same way that the Bourgeoisie exploits the Proletariat, and in the spirit of imperialism, core nations exploit periphery ones. Marxism is considered a material theory because he posits there is a substructure of the material world that determines the superstructure (laws, ideas, norms etc.); in a capitalistic substructure, the superstructure is Bourgeoisie culture and ideas. Meaning, all ideas are really the ideas of the ruling class and, similarly, all ideology or theory is a means of serving this ruling class; for Marx, there is no such thing as objective theory, all theory is for somebody or some purpose. While liberalism, realism, and Neoconservativism are theories for core nations (global Bourgeoisie), Marxism is a theory for the periphery (global Proletariat). Marxism sharply contrasts against these three other theories because while they all posit and debate over what is best for American foreign policy, Marxism is extremely critical of the United States and focuses largely on the harm that America does to periphery and semi-periphery countries. Marx says that the nature of imperialism is to always expand and move forward; because money loses value as soon as you make it, there is a need to reinvest that drives imperialism. He posits that free trade is the primary mechanism of imperialism; in the way that all ideas really are the ideas of the ruling class, the Bourgeoisie presents its own interests and ideas as the ideas for all. The ideology that free trade is good for everyone, Marx says, is a fallacy: free trade is actually only good for the Bourgeoisie. Marx is interested in this phenomenon of the Bourgeoisie presenting its interests as the best interests for all because those interests are often in direct opposition with that of the unconscious proletariat. Elites in developing countries move up by forcing their countries to open to free trade, but this just further enables the exploitation of the periphery. When huge corporations in America outsource cheap labor from periphery nations, they pay a minimal fraction for the labor, exploit that labor to create value that is, then, transferred back to the core. This imperialism, according to Marx, is incredibly immoral; thus, morality has a place in Marxist foreign policy, but it is a very specific one. The core immoral act that Marx is concerned with is the exploitation of the working class and the creation of surplus value. The annihilation of this exploitative relationship between the core and the periphery is what drives the revolutionary component Marxism. Marxism is a revolutionary theory because, although Marxists see capitalism as an improvement from feudalism, capitalism still fails to eradicate the plight of the working class. In order for the condition of the proletariat to truly be free from exploitation, the Bourgeoisie must cease to own the means of production (i.e. cease to exist), a complete overthrow of capitalism. Under 14 capitalism, things like minimum wage laws, child labor laws, health regulations, etc., only improve the working conditions of the Proletariat, they do not change the exploitative relationship. 5. Social Constructivism  Focus attention on ideational forces o In a sharp contrast to Marxism, social constructivists caution that we shouldn’t reduce the world of foreign policy to material forces o Norms, rules, meanings, etc. help us to deepen our understanding of the origins of state interest, origins of states themselves, and the organization of politics  2 Central Criticisms o Many “facts” are not facts but really they are ideas that we consider facts.  Liberals, neoconservatives, and realists all act under the assumption they are facts, but really things like anarchy, democracy and sovereignty are ideas o Even when you have real facts, you have to interpret them in order to understand their importance (facts don’t speak for themselves, we have to understand what we make of facts)  Example: Fact: U.K. has over 200 nuclear warheads, Fact: China has about 200 nuclear warheads  United States will interpret the British nuclear arsenal as an extension of our own and the Chinese nuclear arsenal as a serious threat facts in context are important  The process of determining meaning through context is an ideational process; reality is determined by our interpretation (interpretation is the ideational process) o Facts in foreign policy have little importance outside of the interpretation of said facts  State interests, for constructivists, are not fixed (in the way that realists and liberals think they are) Social constructivism as a theory of foreign policy is centered on the impact of ideational forces and cautions against delineating the international arena to only material forces. Norms, meanings, ideas and the like, for social constructivists, can immensely help to deepen our understandings of state behavior, the origins of states themselves, and the organization of politics. Unlike liberals and realists, social constructivists do not think that states are fixed and often criticize liberals and realists for assuming things are facts when they are not; these assumed facts are actually ideas that are considered to be facts (ex: democracy, anarchy, the state etc.). Further, constructivists posit, that even when we have real facts that are undisputable, they still need to be interpreted in order for us to understand them; facts cannot speak for themselves, instead ideational processes like interpretation (determining meaning through contexts) are what give facts real meaning and importance. 15 Institutions: How much power should the president and institutions have and how much power does the president actually have?  3 Normative Models: Presidential, Congressional, Constitutional Balance Presidential Model: The president and his team of executive foreign policy experts (top officials) should control most foreign policy decisions. What is the rationale for this model?  Efficiency: Decisions that relate to foreign policy are more urgent (especially on matters of national defense) and thus require rapid and efficient decision making (anything else puts the United States at a disadvantage from our rivals)  Information: President has the access to the best, most reliable, most highly classified information available to the U.S. government and he can therefore make the best, most informed decisions  National Mandate: the president is the only elected official that the entire country that is eligible to vote can vote for and is thus elected with a national mandate (he can claim to speak for the nation as a whole) o The president speaks with a singular voice  this is why in crisis we see the rally around the flag/president effect  Rally around the flag effect: in times of crisis, the people will rally around the president regardless of partisan affiliation or previous sentiments toward the president  The public vests their face in the White House for making foreign policy decisions  President appears on TV and addresses the public the most  The president directly addresses his constituents about foreign policy more than any other official  Resources: President controls the resources necessary and the core apparatus of national defense (CIA, NSC, DOD, DOS) all report directly to the president  Constitutional Authority: the constitution is far more limiting to the president/executive power and more often than not describes what he/they cannot do but he is given the affirmative power to sign treaties with foreign nations Legislative Model: Foreign policy decisions should be left almost exclusively to Congress, the role of the President is to execute congressional decisionsWhat is the rationale for this model?  Democratic Argument: Members of Congress are much closer to the constituency and are therefore a more accurate representation of the people, congressional decision making is more democratic  Deliberation: Congress is the deliberative body of our government; foreign policy decisions should be deliberated upon the same as domestic decisions; foreign policy decisions should not be made in haste or in an imperial manner, but instead a matter of open public debate o Some instances won’t allow for the time to deliberate but these are few and far between  Constitutional Authority: The Constitution says that Congress has the power to raise an army and to declare war 16 o Here it is clear that the Constitution supports the Congressional model; the rationale for what is actually happening with presidential power is that people are misinterpreting the role of commander in chief.  Restraint: Congress is much less inclined toward intervention than the executive branch. Isolationists and conservatives tend to support the congressional model because of the restraint that it exercises. o Congressional decision making by structure leads to less adventurism  “Power of the Purse”: Congress has absolute control over the budget Constitutional Balance Model: Foreign policy should be based on a process based on the cooperation of coequal branches. What is the rationale for this model?  Congress and Executive branch should jointly formulate the goals/objectives of foreign policy  Should be a true partnership o The President must keep Congress informed and the President should execute policy that is based on the jointly formulated goals (not his own)  Consultations between 2 branches leads to more fully informed policy How much power does the president actually have?  Power of the president has increased dramatically across all party areas but most noticeably in foreign policy  critics of this trajectory call it an “Imperial Presidency”  The president has taken over the war power (in a de facto way) from Congress o Last time nation formally declared war was WWII (through Congress) o President instead asks for “authorization to use force”  becomes a blank check and he never comes back to Congress to ask for a formal declaration of war o President can use military force WITHOUT congressional approval in conflicts that do not end up amounting to war but involve military action International Structures 1. The National Security Counsel: The core of U.S. foreign policy and the principle forum for considering foreign policy issues  foreign policy team. Created by Truman in 1947 to advise the president on matters of foreign policy in a very planned, structured, and legally binding way. It is the principal arm for coordinating the implementation of foreign policy amongst the various government agencies that do so. The NSC has 4 statutory members: the president, vice president, secretary of state, and secretary of defense. The National Security Adviser heads the NSC and is the most important person in foreign policy. The NSA advises the president, coordinates his team and implements the president’s decisions and is the person most closely associated with the president on foreign policy maters (essentially mirror one another). The NSA is appointed directly by the 17 president and this appointment does not need to be approved by the Senate. The NSC staff is huge and influential. 2. Department of Defense: Responsible for providing the armed military protection of the United States; it is the largest employer/bureaucracy in the world (about 2 mil). The Secretary of Defense is a prominent member of cabinet, a statutory member of the NSC, and runs the largest organization in the world; he is often viewed as above politics and its in the chain of command (unlike the chair of JCS). The DOD has its own intelligence gathering organizations/agencies which often leads to competition over which intelligence to use (intra-DOD agencies vs. CIA). The office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff contains the military advisers to the president (the head of all branches of force: army, air force, navy, marines) and is responsible for the preparation of strategic planning. The DOD and the DOS are often in conflict. 3. Department of the State: Responsible for diplomacy with other nations; it is the oldest cabinet level department in the executive branch and is much smaller than the DOD. The preferences of the State and Defense department almost perfectly conflict with one another; where the state prefers diplomatic solutions, the defense prefers military solutions (history of institutional tension between 2 departments). Ambassadors, political appointees that serve as personal representatives of the president to foreign countries, fall under the DOS. The rest of the staff is made up of “international service lifer” types and there is political patronage in the state department. Peterson Reading: “The President’s Dominance in Foreign Policy Making” Notes Research question: Why is the president dominant in foreign policy making? (Starts with the theoretical assumption that is he dominant in foreign policy making)  Peterson says the reasons for presidential dominance are counterintuitive; there are several reasons that would otherwise lead us to believe that Congress should be dominant like o Increased partisanship in foreign policy over time  divided partisan control of both branches should undermine consensual, executive led foreign policy decision making  Note: conservatives advocate for executive dominance and liberals advocate for congressional dominance o Vietnam and The Watergate Scandal should have absolutely eroded executive branch credibility  Vietnam also increased the role of political parties and accentuated their difference  However, Peterson stresses over and over “the nature of the international system” which for, him, is anarchic  Anarchy makes it imperative that there is a central, coordinated method of decision making and this is why we have a president who is unrestrained in his foreign policy decision making o Anarchy has a stronger effect on smaller, weaker, economically dependent nations BUT even the strongest nations (i.e. the United States) are affected 18  The U.S. should be less effected by “external constraints” (anarchy) but is also burdened with the responsibility of “protecting the free world”  this can be constraining  If the United States could challenge anarchy, it would o If there was NO anarchy  we would have a deliberative system o Urgency of threat places emphasis on executive action  Peterson does not think the constitutional framework of our government explains the president’s dominance, if anything, it would explain congressional dominance  Despite increased partisanship, in order for Congress to supersede the executive branch, Congress would need to have the stance that is more reflective of national interest i.e. public opinion would need to oppose the presidential action and Congress would have to provide an alternative that is in line with this public opposition  Effectiveness of policy is always championed in foreign policy  When anarchy is lessened, national priorities shift from security to wealthy maximization [need economic development to ensure political coherence and external security]  Anarchy limits the sensible choices that a country can make and shapes decision making processes; more anarchy increases the need for centrality o It doesn’t just affect relations among states (outcomes and decisions); it penetrates the shell of the state and helps determine its institutional mechanisms  Peterson departs from the most classical realist argument here (classic realists are unconcerned with the relations within governmental branches) but at his argument’s core is the power of anarchy and the way it absolutely characterizes the international system, a traditional realist sentiment.  Peterson says policy should reflect the long term interests of a country within the anarchic framework of the international system o Policy determinations should be based on accurate assessments of the “international situation” not ideological thought Wildavsky Reading: “The Two Presidencies” Notes Research Question: Why is the president so powerful in issues of foreign policy, but not on domestic?  Wildavsky first offers an argument of a structural tendency: it is easier to get congressional support for foreign policy because it is less ossified by partisan preferences than domestic policy; domestic politics are stagnant where international politics are ever changing. There are no existing policy positions to contend with in the international arena and there is far less constraint from partisan preferences.  He also poses an argument for urgency: foreign policy requires urgent action because things in the international arena happen much quicker and have far more permanent and significant consequences than in in the domestic arena. The events and their consequences in the international arena happen really close to one another  domino effect  higher presidential priority  Voters know more about domestic issues and their correlating domestic interests and therefore will fight harder for them; on foreign policy they are 19 relatively clueless and TRUST their president (who has access to the information and resources necessary) to make their foreign policy decisions without challenging him  The formal powers of the president enhance his foreign policy making abilities  Foreign pressure/interest groups are far more decentralized and less unified than domestic pressure/interest groups  Public opinion is difficult to interpret and derive policy from o In times of crises, presidential action will always increase support of the public (no matter what the action) BUT the public will hold the president accountable for his mistakes  Self-denying ordinance of Congress: Congress members don’t see it as their job to determine foreign policy anymore  Defense Contractors/Military Industry and the military rarely influence foreign policy; the disunity of the military characterized the post war period  they’re never united enough on defense policy to enact change  Weaknesses of the Professional Soldier o Once the military internalized the idea of living under a “civilian rule” and the fact that there is a fixed size expenditure for the military that the public feels is appropriate  caused internal fissures over who gets what o Subordination of the military through program budgeting o Military members lack the abstract thinking necessary for foreign policy design where there are no “existing examples” of what to do  Wildavsky concludes: Presidential control over foreign policy is based on


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