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Liberalism: The Interwar Years

by: Kerrigan Unter

Liberalism: The Interwar Years PSC 1003

Marketplace > George Washington University > Political Science > PSC 1003 > Liberalism The Interwar Years
Kerrigan Unter
GPA 3.0
Introduction to International Politics
Olson, L

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Introduction to International Politics
Olson, L
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kerrigan Unter on Monday October 19, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSC 1003 at George Washington University taught by Olson, L in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Introduction to International Politics in Political Science at George Washington University.

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Date Created: 10/19/15
PSC 1003 Liberalism The Interwar Years Complex Interdependence stability in the international system is the highest when there are strong interdependent ties between actors backed by international institutions during the interwar years interdependency was low and international institutions were generally effective these conditions according to liberals made World War 11 almost inevitable Wilson s Fourteen Points one of the founding documents of the contemporary liberal perspective Wilson rejected the realpolitik practiced in Europe during the 19th century proposed a series of reforms intended to create interdependency backed by international institutions 0 Proposed a free trade system an end to secret diplomacy and secret alliances arms control freedom of the seas the diplomatic settlement of colonial claims and the creation of the League of Nations Interdependency during the Interwar Years In the 19th century a robust free trade system initiated by Britain created high trade ows such that this era was known as the first age of globalization o The British pound was back by silver allowing it to become a stable international currency 0 Britain practiced unilateral free trade which would eventually be followed by other states no international institutions existed to back Britain s efforts so Britain paid high cost to maintain this system After World War I Trade came to a halt between states severing the interdependent ties that existed before World War I states sought to rebuild through exports using beggarthyneighbor policies 0 One state would erect high tariff barriers while simultaneously devaluing its currency to make its exports more attractive 0 Other states would response by erecting higher tariff barriers and devaluing currency more that the first state all the major European states engaged in this practice making trade unattractive and leading states to turn inward and practice autarchy economic selfsufficiency Collective Security and the League of Nations collective security organizations are international institutions tasked with managing insecurity and resolving con icts between states rely on the centralization of hard power as the last method for dealing with con ict 0 An all for one one for all approach where participants pledge Assumptions of a Collective Security Organization aggression is always wrong aggression is clearly defined such that all members agree on what constitutes an act of aggression equality of threat in the sense that members will come to the aid of any victim of aggression o Relies on the idea of peace as a collective good all states enjoy peace or none do Collective Security and Hard Power military force is generally seen as a last resort other tactics such as diplomatic pressure economic sanctions and other actions short of the use of force are pursued first to try to pressure the aggressor to withdraw 0 Assumes that interdependent ties exist such that an aggressor can be pressured using tactics such as economic sanctions to increase the cost of aggression such that the aggressor state will withdraw 0 Requires concerted effort on the part of the organization as a whole to be effective if military force is used all members are expected to contribute The League of Nations he first attempt at a collective security organization that would last from 1919 to 1946 during the interwar years it would prove ineffective the United States did not join Germany was excluded until 1926 and the USSR did not join until 1933 several institutional problems within the League would also limit its effectiveness Principles and Structure of the League principle of unamity 0 Every state had an equal voice in the League regardless of size or power 0 Any action taken by the League had to have unanimous consent 0 In essence each member exercised an effective veto power over any decision the Council and the Assembly 0 The Council consisted of 9 members 5 permanent 4 rotating 0 The Assembly was made up of all League members 0 No real difference between the two Could both debate the same issues and no special privileges rights or powers were given to one branch exclusively use force governed by the League Any use of force had to be authorized by the League Each member theoretically committed itself to punish any act of aggression against any member of the League Arms Control during the Interwar Years In additional to the League of Nations states sought to reduce or limit military power KellogBriand Pact in 1928 signed by most sovereign states outlawed war and the use of force in international affairs 0 Each country immediately declared exceptions US Japan and Britain signed Washington Naval Conference setting ceilings on naval power Great Britain and Nazi Germany signed an agreement in 1935 that Germany would limit ts naval power to 35 of Britain s cheating was rampant during this period starting with Rapallo Treaty between the Weimar Republic and the Soviet Union for liberals the lack of interdependency limited the possibility of developing trust leading most of these agreements to be unenforcable Challenges to the League of Nations The Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931 0 Declared an act of aggression by the League 0 Japan withdrew from the League of Nations in 1933 The Italian invasion of Ethiopia 0 Again declared an act of aggression 0 Sanctions imposed but only partial sanctions Italy still has access to steel oil and coal and could still use the Suez Canal The Spanish Civil War 0 Britain and France imposed a Neutrality Act denying the Spanish government the right to buy arms 0 Italy sent approximately 30000 soldier to aid Franco 0 Germany tested many of the tactics it would use in World War II in Spain 0 The Soviet Union would also aid the Spanish government with arms but this aid was partial directed towards Spanish Communists


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