Notes on Textbook Reading for Week 3
Notes on Textbook Reading for Week 3 Pol 180
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Michelle wilde on Thursday September 17, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Pol 180 at University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point taught by Mert Kartal in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 69 views. For similar materials see international relations in Political Science at University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point.
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Date Created: 09/17/15
Realist Theories Chapter 2 page 43 to 65 Realism school of thought that explains international relations in terms of power The power exercised by states towards each other is sometimes called power politics Realism developed in reaction to liberal tradition that is called idealism Emphasises that international law morality and international organisations instead of power are the key influences on international events Think that human nature is basically good International system based on a community of states Principles of IR must follow morality Realists ground themselves in a long tradition They don t favour using military power but recognise it as a necessity at times Realists see states w very different religionsideoogies or economic systems as quite similar in their actions with regard to national power R can be best explained by the choices of states operating as autonomous actors rationally pursuing their own interests in an international system of sovereign states without central authority Power centra concept in IR and for realists Defining often defined as the ability to get another actor to do what it would not otherwise have done Powerful to the extent where they affect others more than others affect them Probem of circular influence power explains influence influence measures power R scholars believe that influence is based on specific characteristicspossessions Capabilities are easier to measure and less circular in logic GDP is a useful estimator of material capabilities but not a precise one Power of ideas ability to maximise the influence of capabilities through a psychological process Soft Power If a states values are shared among other stateswill influence others Relative Power State can only have power relative to other states39 power Ratio of power that two states can bring to bear against each other Estimating Power Big GDP means country is rich can buy a large army popular support and even allies Has large population too But it may help win a war but does not eliminate the elements of complexity and luck as situations can evolve over the long term Elements Long term total GDP population territory and natural resources Less tangible longterm power resources political culture education technological base and patriotism Short term military forces are a capability that allows actors to exercise influence The size composition and preparedness of two states39 military force matters more in ST than in their respective economies or natural resources Ability to produce weapons loyalty of nation39s army and politicians to their leader Fungibleto extent that one element of power can be converted into another Money is the most Geopolitics the use of geography as an element of power Tied to the logistical requirements of military forces EG Securing allies along strategic trade routes and controlling key natural resources The International System States interact within a set of established quotrulesquot governing what is considered a state and how states treat each othershape the international system Anarchy and Sovereignty Realists IS exists in a state of anarchy not complete chaosabsence of structure and rules but lack of central gov That enforces rules States should pay attention not to intentions but to capabilities IS is not chaotic majority of states interact based on norms of behaviour even though norms can change over time but have changed little in recent centuries Sovereignty a gov Has the right to do whatever it wants in its own territory States are separate and autonomous and answer to no higher authority All states are equal in status but not in power States are not supposed to interfere in the internal affairs of others Some states have trouble keeping other states out of their internal affairs EG Human rightsbecome concerns of the international community Respect for territorial integrity of all states is an important principle of IR States have developed norms of diplomacy to facilitate their interactions realists know that the rules of IR cause security dilemma a situation where state39s actions taken to ensure their own security threaten the security of other states Negative consequence of anarchy Realists think this dilemma is unsolvable but liberals think it can be solved through the development of institutions Balance of Power One or more states39 power being used to balance that of another state or group of states Any ratio of power capabilities betw States or alliances or can refer to the process of counterbalancing coalitions to prevent one state from conquering an entire region Occurs regularly and maintains the stability of the international system but does not imply peace States do not always balance against the strongest actors smaller states bandwagon instead of balancing Shifts in public opinion make the gov In those countries more or less likely to cooperate with or oppose Great Powers and Middle Powers Great Halfdozen or so most powerful states Often defined as states that can be defeated militarily only by another great power Generally have the world39s strongest military forces and economies etcMembership changes slowly Even after defeat still has status EG Russia Middle Below the great powers in influence some are large not highly industraialised others have specialised capabilities but are smallEG Canada Australia Do not receive as much attention in IR as great powers do Power Distribution Most often it refers to the great powers Neorealism 199039s adaptation of realism Explains patterns of nt39 events in terms of system structure rather than internal make up of individual states Polarity the no Of independent powers centers in the system Both underlying power of various participants and their alliance groupings Multipolar 5 or 6 centers of powers not grouped together into alliances Each state participants independently and on relatively equal terms Wars occurred frequently to adjust powers of relations Tripolar 3 great centers of power EG China Soviet Union and US Bipolar 2 predominate states2 great rival alliance blocs IR scholars do not agree if warlike or peaceful Power transition theory The largest wars result from challenges to the top position in the status hierarchy when a rising power is surpassing the most powerful state When rising power39s status diverges from its actual power the rising power may suffer from relative deprivation According to the theory peace among great powers results when one state is firmly in the top position and the positions of others in the hierarchy are clearly defined and correspond with their actual underlying power Hegemony One state39s holding a preponderance of power in the IS singlehandedly dominate the rules and arrangements Hegemony of ideas EG Democracy and Capitalism Extreme power disparities resulting from major wars slowly diminish over long periods of time as other states rebuild Hegemony stability theory Hegemony provides some sort of order similar to a central gov EG reducing anarchy deterring aggression promoting free trade etc Can help resolvekeep in check conflicts among middle powerssmall states Can maintain global free trade and promote world economic growth The largest international traders have an inherent interest in the promotion of integrated world markers Does not fear competition from industries in other states fears only that its own superior goods will be excluded from competing in other states Hegemons use their power to achieve free trade and the political stability that supports free trade Hegemony may seem an infringement of state sovereignty The Great Power System 15002000 Key to this system was the ability of one statecoalition to balance the power of another state so that it could not gobble up smaller units and create a universal empire Placed special importance on the handful of great powers with strong military capabilities global interests and outlooks etc States defeated in wars might have been stripped of some territories but were generally allowed to continue as independent states rather than being subsumed into victorious states Alliances Coalition of states that coordinate their actions to accomplish some end Due to written treaties common concern of a threat related issues of international security and endure a range of issues and period of time Purposes By pooling capabilities Smaller statesalliances can be their most important power element Of all the elements of powernone can change as quickly and decisively as alliances Most alliances form in response to a threat Realists emphase fluidity of alliances Convenience Based on national interests and can shift as national interests change The fluidity helps balanceofpower process operate effectively Breaking an alliance may ruin reputation and future alliances may be harder Fuidity of alliance depends on the security dilemma Since any state can decide who to join alliance with states have to protect themselves against possible threats Alliance Cohesion ease with which the members hold together an alliance Tends to be high when national interests converge and when cooperation becomes institutionalized and habnuaL Extended deterrence strong state39s use of threats to deter attacks on weaker clients If great powers do not come to the aid of smaller states who are allies then they may lose credibility and end up fighting a bigger war
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