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The Causes of War and Peace and the Structure of the International System

by: Sophia Shore

The Causes of War and Peace and the Structure of the International System PSCI 150 001

Marketplace > University of Pennsylvania > Political Science > PSCI 150 001 > The Causes of War and Peace and the Structure of the International System
Sophia Shore
GPA 3.65
Introduction to International Relations
Jessica Stanton

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These are the notes for the week of September 21. They are on the Causes of War and Peace and the Structure of the International System. Enjoy!
Introduction to International Relations
Jessica Stanton
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sophia Shore on Monday September 28, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSCI 150 001 at University of Pennsylvania taught by Jessica Stanton in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Introduction to International Relations in Political Science at University of Pennsylvania.


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Date Created: 09/28/15
Week of September 21 I The Causes of War and Peace and the Structure of the International System 0 Polarity I Multipolarity I Where multiple states split the distribution of power 0 For example Great Britain Austria France Russia Prussia I Traditional view is that multipolarity promotes stability because it allows for exibility I Waltz Multipolarity is actually unstable I Large amount of uncertainty because of instability within states anarchic higher chance of miscalculation I Tripolarity is the most unstable I Bipolarity is the most stable For example US and USSR during Cold War with minor countries allying with different states 0 With Bipolarity internal capabilities rather than alliances keep the balance I Mearsheimer Bipolarity makes deterrents easier There is one other state to worry about I Blainey in a bipolar system you can have instability because both states want to compete for power within the system greater chance for con ict I Unipolarity I Currently the US is a unipole I Unipolarity is particularly stable according to Blainey because you don t have two states with different people I Long periods of peace and unipoles develop from decisive wars I Changes in the distribution of power precipitate change and increase con ict 0 Interdependence I Economic Interdependence leads to peace I When two states have free trade systems states rely on one another and war would upset that balance I Sometimes states do not want to go to war against realists I Realist Challenge I Neoliberals have mistaken correlation for causation O Neoliberals have looked into history and observed periods of time during which there was peace and they determined that this was based on economic ties this causational effect does not stand in that it merely correlates I Perhaps then international economic interdependence may lead to con ict because there is so much more they can fight over 0 The Security Dilemma I How do states protect themselves in an anarchic world The dilemma actions that the first state takes affect other states spiral to war I If it doesn t do anything but build up its military other states will do the same Geography affects offense or defense Medieval Europe Fortresses were an advantage but as firearms and trenches and machine guns developed then airplanes and tanks and military evolves Even though its not possible to defend against nuclear attacks they deter other states from attacking Jervis In reality its very difficult to distinguish between offense and defense mechanisms more mobile though the more offensive If they are distinguishable I Proximate Causes of War Domestic Politics Bargaining and the Use of Force 0 Con icts of Interest Why do con icts of interest lead to war I War is an instrument of policy 0 Rationalists weigh all possible options of policy I Clausewitz the best option was to achieve political objectives without going to war but it is always an option I After war the best option is to constrain the behavior of states 0 Coercion I If a territory is in dispute one state may just take it I Gulf War I Make preparations to defend yourself in case of an attack I Compellance Achieve policy objective by using threats of force but no war fully 0 Iran develops a nuclear program covertly then everyone finds out other states compel Iran to stop developing the program I Deterrence Prevent your opponent to take an action I Capability do you have the ability to carry out a threat I Credibility is a state likely to carry out this threat I Does a state have a concrete reason to do this I Resolve Is the state committed enough to that issue even as costs rise 0 Preventing War Strategies of Deterrence vs Strategies of Reassurance I How do states choose between these options deterrence etc I What if you are a state status quo state with only defensive intentions how do you decide between deterrence and reassurance I Uncertainty 0 Can lead to miscalculations overestimate underestimate etc I Look at your opponent 0 Deliberately aggressive opponent deterrence is key I May make coercive threats to remind opponent of consequences I Decision for war 0 Security Dilemma I Option for war I Reassurance of opponent 0 Aggressive State 0 Deterrence Prevent opponent from attacking O Reassurance Embolden opponent possibly tempt opponent to attack 0 Status Quo State 0 Deterrence Exacerbate the security dilemma possibly provoke the opponent to attack 0 Reassurance Prevent con ict with opponent 0 Bargaining Approaches to War 0 War is costly 0 If states are rational they should want to reduce costs I Misunderstood Germany in W11 0 Reassurance decided to allow Germany to annex Sudetenland Germany took over the rest they were underestimated by other European States US I Bargaining Approaches to War 0 War is costly 0 If states are Rational they should want to reduce costs 0 Private Information 0 Incentives to misrepresent this I Make it seem like they are resolved or more capable that they are so they can get the best deal possible 0 If these two sides have different expectations they may find difficulty in bargaining 0 Commitment problems 0 IndiVisible Issues 0 There are ways of diViding territories there are always ways to bargain in that way 0 Jerusalem is it indiVisible based on faith I Domestic political causes of war 0 Explain Russia s challenge to Chechen separatists 0 Gilpin instability is most difficult during transitional periods


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