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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sara Matthews on Wednesday September 30, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to INR2001 at University of Florida taught by Dr. Sjoberg in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 69 views. For similar materials see Introduction to International Relations in Political Science at University of Florida.
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Date Created: 09/30/15
Module B4 The English School By Tim Dunne The English school was never very English and is even less so today Detractors view the enterprise as being conceptually underdeveloped still others who regard it as being overly complacent about the political and social conditions which af ict the vast majorities of people in the world Those who identify with the English school today see it as occupying the middle ground in IR They are drawn to an English school perspective because it offers a synthesis of different theories and concepts The English school purports to offer an account of IR which combines theory and history morality and power agency and structure A classical approach was de ned as 39that approach to theorizing that derives from philosophy history and law and this is characterized by explicit reliance upon the existence of judgment Hedley Bull s considered account of what an interpretive methodology ought to involve 1 The subject matter of IR The appropriate frame for IR was not 39interstate relations or the interaction of any other 39units IR was establishing a body of general propositions about 39the global political system by which he meant states and also regions institutions NGOs transnational and subnational groups individuals and the wider community of human kind He placed a high premium on the role of IR theory to de ne concepts and theorize relations between them This emphasis upon concepts constitutes a particular kind of theorizing designed to illuminate complex changes in world order The important of historical understanding There is no escape from values Values will inform the selection of topics to be studied and the writings and statements of academics will in turn have an impact on the political process 4 IR is fundamentally a normative enterprise Values matter not just in terms of the relationship between the researcher and their subject but are central to the subject of IR properly studied What mattered were not normative ideas per se but the ideas that practitioners believed in and sought to implement This involves elaborating the context within which actors take decisions as well as understanding that in politics values are often irreconcilable and that terrible choices have to be made These claims serve as a good guide to the English school view of the eld of IR and how to study it JUN In the 19705 and early 19805 the English school s commitment to an interpretive mode of inquiry rendered it marginal to developments inside the North American heartland of IR The English school and constructivists both regard the interstate order as a fundamentally social sphere which constitutes states as agents and socializes them into following its rules and conventions And both view norms and institutions as expressions of shared knowledge and shared values Difference in the basic unit of analysis Wendt constructivist believes that states are the key actors and they are 39Iike people too While English school scholars sometimes attribute agency to states as a form of shorthand they believe that the real agents in international society are the diplomats and leaders who think and act on behalf of the state and its institutions Knowledge of how diplomats and leaders understand their world can be enhanced by being attentive to the language they use and the justi cations they employ 2 important inferences can be drawn from this relationship between language and social action 1 an action will be constrained to the degree that it cannot be legitimated 2 the range of possible forms of innovative action is limited by the prevailing morality of international society Actors cannot hope to stretch the application of existing rules and meanings inde nitely International law provides a testing ground for these interpretive insights What ostensibly appears to be an act of aggression is invariably justi ed as an act of selfdefense Whether this is condoned or not depends on how much 39stretch is being demanded of the normative vocabulary The English school continues to offer an alternative way of studying IR which is rooted in the history of current and past states systems and guided by moral questions about the adequacy of the current inter state order States form an international society a claim that distinguishes the English school from other IR theories System society and world society all are bundles of properties that highlight certain important features while minimizing that which is thought to be less relevant Rather than the English school operationalizing concepts and formulating testable hypotheses the emphasis upon contending concepts is driven by a search for de ning properties which mark the boundaries of different historical and normative orders The most persuasive case in defense of the English school is that it is potentially more illuminating than mainstream alt because it seeks to provide a synthetic account of global politics that avoids the series of false dichotomies thrown up by the alts such as power vs norms materialism vs idealism anarchy vs hierarchy reasons vs causes Bull s classical de nition international society comes into being when a group of states conscious of certain common interests and common values forms a society in the sense that they conceive themselves to be bound by a common set of rules in their relations with one another and share in the working of common institutions The rst key element of international society is the unique character of the membership which is con ned to sovereign states What is signi cant here is that actors both claim sovereignty and recognize one another s right to the same prerogatives Clearly the act of mutual recognition indicates the presence of a social practice recognition is fundamental to an identity relationship amp the rst step in an international society Membership was de ned in the 19th century by a standard of civilization which set conditions for internal governance that corresponded with European values and beliefs The systemsociety dynamic can usefully capture historical boundaries of inclusion and exclusion What does it mean to attribute agency to collectivities like states States act through the medium of their representatives or of ce holders Every state employs of cials who act eternally on its behalf from the lowly consulate dealing with 39nationals who have lost their passports to the head of state This is the original sense in which the term international society came into existence in the 18th century in 1736 Antoine Pecquet argued that the corps of ministers formed an independent society bound by a community of privileges The actors of an international society must have some minimal common interests such as trade freedom of travel or simply the need for stability Aspects of the system impinge on the possibilities for a society to develop The higher the levels of economic interdependence the more likely it is that states will develop institutions for realizing coming interests and purposes The independence of sovereign states however remains an important limiting factor in the realization of common goals For this reason the purposes states agreed upon for most of the Westphalian era have had a fairly minimal character centered upon the survival of the system and the endurance of the dominant units within it At the more minimal end of international societies we nd an institutional arrangement that is restricted solely to the maintenance of order In a culturally diverse world where member states have different traditions and political systems the only collective venture they could all agree on was the maintenance of international order In a pluralist international society the institutional framework is geared towards the liberty of states and the maintenance of order among them The rules are complied with because delity to them is relatively cost free but the collective bene ts are enormous Pluralist rules and norms provide a structure of coexistence built on the mutual recognition of states as independent and legally equal members of society on the unavoidable reliance on selfpreservation and selfhelp and on freedom to promote their own ends subject to minimal constraints Remember great powers limited war and the balance of power were thought by the English school to be 39institutions To what extent are pluralist rules and institutions adequate for our contemporary world This question has provoked widely different responses within the English school On one side traditionalists like RobertJackson believe that a pluralist international society is a practical institutional adaptation to human diversity the great advantage of a society based on the norms of sovereignty and nonintervention is that such an arrangement is more likely to achieve the moral value of freedom Pluralism asserts that states are entitled to equal rights regardless of their capabilities or internal arrangements Pluralists regard interventionism as a practice that threatens to undermine the liberal code of toleration and mutual respect in international society Critics of pluralism charge that it is failing to deliver on its promise The persistence of interstate wars throughout the 20th century suggests that sovereignty norms were not sufficient to deter predatory states The rule of nonintervention that was central to pluralism was enabling statist elites to violently abuse their own citizens with impunity Solidarism a different account of international society in which universal values such as human rights set limits on the exercise of state sovereignty The guiding thought here is that the ties that bind individuals to the great society of humankind are deeper than the pluralist rules and institutions which separate them Solidarist international society originally de ned as the collective enforcement of international rules and the guardianship of human rights Solidarism is an extension of an international society not its transformation Like pluralism it is de ned by shared values and institutions and is held together by binding legal rules Where it differs is in the content of the values and the character of the rules and institutions In terms of values in a solidarist international society individuals are entitled to basic rights This is turn demands that sovereignty norms are modi ed such that there is a duty on the members of international society to intervene forcibly to protect those rights For much of the post Cold War period the normative debate within the English school fractured along a pluralistsolidarist divide In our globalized word the dynamics of governance outstrip these traditional English school categories Pluralism seems predicated on an interstate model of international society that does not connect with transnational ows of goods and services let alone shared identities Solidarism too often focuses on the enforcement of transnational liberal values by intergovernmental institutions thereby omitting the dense networks of actors and institutions which have penetrated international society The third understanding of international society is neatly captured by the label complex governance The concept of a system plays 3 important roles in the English school s theory of world politics 1 The systemsociety distinction provides a normative benchmark for addressing the question of how far international society extends 2 By looking at the formation of the system it is possible to discern mechanisms which shape and shove international and world societies 3 The category of the system can usefully be used to capture the basic material forces in world politics ows of information and trade levels of destructive capability capacities of actors to affect their environment The English school was interested in the system primarily for what it tells us about the history of international society Systemic interactions remain a possible future arrangement if the dominant actors in international society cease to comply with the rules and act in ways which undermine the international security The idea of a states system is also useful to identify the current boundaries between members and those states who nd themselves shunned by international society One can nd in the English school the view that there is a logic of balancing in the states system Looking through the systemic lens shows not only the ordering of units it also directs our attention to the levels of technology the distribution of material power and the interaction capacity of the units These attributes are systemic in that for the most part they fall outside the institutional arrangement developed by states to regulate order and promote iustice The 3rd element in the English school triad is world society This concept runs in parallel to international society with one key difference it refers to the shared interests and values 39Iinking all parts of the human community 0 Human rights are at the center of the classical English school s conception of world society Videos 0 English school comes from the intellectual work of Hugo Grotius Grotius introduces an idea that Bull nds crucial that there is an international society a society between states 0 Bull argues these ideas social norms were crucial to the Peace of Westphalia and why it was successful it noticed that not only do states interact they can interact with rules and norms without gov 5 features of international society 1 5 central place of natural law where realists believe central place of human nature 2 universality of international society 3 4 Solidarism in the enforcement of the rules actual or potential place of individuals and nonstate groups solidarity in enforcement The absence of international institutions quotget togetherquot rather than formal affair o Pluralist framework geared to the liberty of states and maintaining order among them Solidarist framework geared towards rue enforcement and guarding human rights
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