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PSC 1003; Lecture 3

by: Eleanor Parry

PSC 1003; Lecture 3 PSC 1003

Eleanor Parry
GPA 3.81

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About this Document

These notes cover what was on lecture 3
Introduction to International Politics
Farrell, H
Class Notes
Political Science; International Politics
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Eleanor Parry on Friday February 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSC 1003 at George Washington University taught by Farrell, H in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Introduction to International Politics in Political Science at George Washington University.

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Date Created: 02/12/16
Melian Dialogue Basic Situation: • Athenian negotiations with Spartan colony-city, Melos. • Athenians are far more powerful. • Melians - fear being besieged and desperate to make a deal. • Athenians- in a strong bargaining position and unwilling to make any real concessions Melian Position: • They have no quarrel with Athens. • It would be unethical for Athens to attack them. • Athens has good reason to play fair with neutral states. • Wants to set good example - as if not, its own eventual fall "would be visited by the most terrible vengeance and would be an example to the world." "State Based Argument": • Melian analysis • States may behave in different ways in world politics - badly or well. • But states should have interest in behaving well to those much weaker than themselves. • States that do not are bad states. ◦ Will erode common norms, and make it likely that they too will suffer terribly when their time of weakness comes. Athenian Position: • Ethics and appeals to justice are meaningless ◦ Power and self-interest are all. • Hegemon's key concern is maintaining support of its dependent states. • Needs to behave harshly to 'neutral' states to preserve its position within the state system. ◦ "by conquering you we shall increase not only the size but the security of our empire." An Argument from the "war" • Athenian position - suggests that the key factor explaining war is the international system of politics. • Athens is not especially evil - but if following its obvious interests, given that it is the hegemony. ◦ Other states in same position would do likewise. ◦ Pretends amazement at Melians' failure to understand this. Thucydides own position: • Not stated in dialogue but can be inferred from elsewhere in history. Challenge of war at individual level • Obviously, it's hard to change human nature. • If war is hardwired, limited options... • But may be possible to channel aggression in other directions. • Purpose of many humanist philosophers. Challenge of war at state level • If war is a product of the state level. • Some kinds of states are more likely to create instability than others. ◦ autocracies vs democracies • Policy could aim at limiting and preventing war through turning warlike states into peace-seeking ones. Problem of war at international system level • If war is a product of the international system then hard to see how to eliminate it, without changing system. • Realists argue that system cannot be changed. • Constructivists argue that it is based on ideas and beliefs UKRAINE: Individual Level Explanation • Putin as cause State Level Explanation • Ukraine as part of Russia and did not want protests against him • Ukraine protests threatening power of Russia and Putin System Level Explanation • Any gov't would do this to gain/secure power Security Dilemma • States self defense measures may have perverse consequences. • By seeking to increase ones military to defend oneself, one may make other states worry that you see to invade them. • Security dilemma - measures taken to enhance state security can lead to destructive spirals. Offense - Defense Balance SECURITY DILEMMA - Glaser Undesirable Outcomes: 1. Reduces States Military Capability 2. Makes Ones Adversary Less Secure, Which Increases Value of Expansion 3. Simply Waste Money Offense Defense Balance Ease of taking territory compared to the ease of holding territory. Offense Defense Differentiation Whether weapons and policies that protect the state also provide the capability for attack. Greed Incompatibility of state's goals provide a straight forward explanation for competition and conflict. Unit Level Knowledge of States Motives Security Dilemma is driven by the adversary's uncertainty about whether a state is in fact driven purely by security concerns. Critiques 1. Greedy States are Issue Not Security Dilemma 2. Security Dilemma Does Not Exist A. Logically Flawed B. Security Seekers are Uninhibited by Security Dilemma C. SD is Constructed by States 3. Offense Defense Theory is Flawed A. Indistinguishability Between Offensive and Defensive Weapons Undermines Theory B. Perceptions of the Balance, Not the Balance, are Key


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