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Tuesday September 24th 2013 Poli 2f20 Lecture 3

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Political Science
Blayne Haggart

Tuesday September 24 2013h Poli 2f20: Lecture 3 Realism and Liberalism Slide 1: Hegemony: Two views - Liberal institutionalist (Keohane 2005): “A situation in which one state is powerful enough to maintain the essential rules governing interstate relations and willing to do so” o Not just about domination o About getting consent o What is Chinas role? - Critical theory (Cox 1993): “A structure of values and understandings about the nature of order that permeates a whole system of states and non- state entities. [These values] appear to most actors as the natural order.” o Underpinned by a structure of power o A “state’s dominance is not sufficient to create hegemony.” Slide 2: Theory: The world’s most powerful force? - The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas. John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money - Lets just focus on the facts and what is in front of us - How the world is structured - MIDTERM “What is a theory” o What are the things we should focus on o What things should we not focus on Slide 3: What is a theory? - Simplifying device that allows one to decide which facts matter and which do not - Theory as “lens” - Concrete effects Slide 4: Realism: You can’t handle the truth! - Wall between domestic and international - International arena: Dangerous and amoral - State: Guarantees the freedoms of domestic society - International relations: Immoral (or amoral?) acts for moral ends Slide 5: Realism: You can’t handle the truth! (Con’t) - Dominant theory in International Relations - Extensive claimed history, going back to Ancient Greece - Emphasis on security issues - Focus on “power” - Grounded in skepticism about the capacity of human reason to deliver moral progress - Key concept: Balance of power - Used to understand the world - Ethical state - Human nature is unchanging - Can talk about technological progression Slide 6: Realism’s basic tenets - Basic assumption: States exist in a condition of anarchy - Anarchy (in IR): “international politics takes place in an arena with no overarching central authority above the individual collection of sovereign states” - State (Weber’s definition): “monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory” - Authority within state: Hierarchical (sovereignty) - Authority among states: Horizontal (no sovereign authority) - Realist focus on state Slide 7: Three main elements of all realist theories - Three S’ - States in anarchy cannot take their security for granted, and therefore rationally compete for power and security - Statism o State is the main actor, sovereignty is its distinguishing trait o Critique: Is this accurate? o Determined by its exercise in sovereignty - Survival o National interest: guarantee the survival of the state  All other goals (e.g., prosperity) are secondary  Actions judged according to outcomes  Further its survival o Problem: Defining the “national interest” o Critique: Limits on what the state is allowed to do? o Do states provide security?  Supposed to protect the people within its state Slide 8: Three main elements of all realist theories (Con’t) - Self-help: Ensuring state survival in conditions of anarchy  Cannot rely on anyone else o Security dilemma: Cannot tell if other states’ military preparations are for defensive or offensive purposes  Everyone else is going to be doing the same thing o Irony: States often feel no more secure than before they undertook measures to enhance their own security.  Because everyone else is doing the same you are worse off than before  No possibility of war because no one would be armed o Critique: Self-help is a strategy, not an inevitability.  E.g.: European Union, trade relations Slide 9: Key issues - Definition of power: Material capabilities o Which ones? Other sources of power? - Realism’s morality: o Dual moral standard” o Justification: Guarantees the existence of a domestic ethical political community - Realism’s ethics: Avoiding unnecessary conflict - Policy options - Provision of collective goods? o Can cooperate with other states - Non-security issues, e.g., economic issues? o A world in which there are walls Slide 10: Three versions of realism: Classical realism - Human nature drives power politics (drive for power; will to dominate) - Key texts: Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War o “The strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept” - Hans J. Morgenthau (1948): Politics is driven by objective laws grounded in human nature - Machiavelli: Drive for power is universal Slide 11: Three versions of realism: Structural realism (neorealism) and neoclassical realism - Neorealism: Struggle for power driven by anarchy [structure], not human nature o Key text: Waltz, Theory of International Politics (1979) - Neoclassical Realism: Domestic politics matters, not just structure o E.g., leaders’ perceptions of the international environment - States may differ in their interests and objectives Slide 12: How will liberals and realists react to the coming zombie apocalypse? (on exam) - Realists: o Anarchy o States
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