October 24, 2012
Liberal conception of war:
Can help explain war and provide an explanation of war
Do not deny the significance of war
o unlike constructivists
o but there’s a bridge
inspired by demoniac ideas
convergence on certain points
can be moderated (security dilemma)
domestic level of consideration
lots of different kind of liberals
looking at foreign policy, how its determined and how foreign
policy can put us on the path towards war
more than a systemic or structural considerations
o more than just bargaining states to determine relative
War is an outcome that reflects domestic level preferences
War may be an intentional choice for some actors
o Domestic level interest
Or unintentional outcome.
Liberalism, like realism hold the actors primarily pursue
o Often understood economically
Pursuit of trade, commercial activity
Liberals argue that commerce tends to lead to peace.
o Blainey-bargaining theory of war.
War is disruptive of trade
For domestic level consideration:
o Liberals try to highlight.
o What shapes foreign policy?
How is it shaped, how does it lead to war?
Various economic actors can obvs influence how foreign policy
is determined or shaped
o To make war more likely
Not same claim that states fight for economic
Marx says the state reflects class interests.
In the determination of foreign policy, certain actors have the
influence/contributon to the determination of foreign policy
o War becomes more probable. o The give/take of politics in terms of economic interest,
can contribute to a stiuatin where war becomes more
Britain prior to WW1, split in Britain
Conservatives, they tend to reflect the
financial interests of London (trading,
Where their view is oriented: foreign
investment was outside of the empire.
o In terms of political interest,
they’re concerned about empire.
This is not the case for the industrial
interest. (Liberals and Labour)
The people who make things,
They look towards Europe, less
concerned about empire.
o Biggest trading partner is Germany
When Germany turns belligerent, they are nicer to
These two groups can’t agree so they equivocating in terms of
what they should do.
o Sends a weak signal to Germany
When Germany turns belligerent, everyone was more
cooperative to cooperate.
o Not direct link, economic interests
o Affect/cause support the likelihood of war.
The play between the industrial interests creates a context
that foreign policy led to war
Relating back to bargaining,
The bargaining space shrinks.
Economic interest has an undue interest in foreign policy
o result: ability of state to bargain and negotiate with
others is destroyed
pandering economic interests impact the negotiation between
foreign policy is not aimed at external actors
o aimed to satisfy domestic level interests
o Germany doesn’t want to fight Britain but he doesn’t
want to piss off the own classes in Germany.
Foreign policy here is aimed at domestic level actors interests
Secondly type of actor: Bureaucratic actors
not traditionally a liberal force
o forces us to take this into account.
Idea is that there are diff institutional interests within the
state that also affect the determination of foreign policy.
o These other institutional interests can affect foreign
policy leads to causes of war.
Military—distinct actors within the state.
Iraq war, Rumsfeld and Kolpaw
o Rumsfeld won out… it was what he was doing as
secretary of defense
Germany prior to WW1—The schliefffen plan:
o Military fight and win war
o open to invasion from two different sides (Russia and
o Invade France first, win, then take troops and invade
o Keiser (in charge of diplomacy) engaging in negotiation
with those countries,
Only play is to invade another country
Bureaucratic interests can shape the way foreign policy… and
by doing this may or may not lead to war.
o Specify what is the organizations purpose?
o Think about how they try to come up with plans to
achieve that purpose
The social/cultural factors:
Ideas and beliefs that exist at the domestic level which can
also impact foreign policy of war.
Psychological filters that affect how actors perceive things.
o Reflect a given attitude towards a certain position
Influence how preferences are shaped
Explains how misperception takes place
Gets a hand on specific attitudes.
States will often have particular views about the relative
o Reflect the stance that has an impact on foreign policy
US with isolationism
o Material circumstances affecting cultural and social
o manifest destiny for American continent
o how they affect misconception?
Stereotype of particular people/cultural beliefes leads to
misconception of what people would do (increase. Decrease
probability of warO) militarism/imperialism—atitudes you would find predominant
o they foister antagonistic attitude towards others
o this leads to colonization
certain set of beliefs can help shape/underline foreign policy
determination of foreign policy and shape preferences
how liberals talk about regimes—equivocate constructivism
o non-liberal democracy (demo is basically saying
o liberalism and democracy ado not automatically go
but in the class, they are synonyms
o Demo peace—liberal democracies do not fight one
Will fight other nations
Assumptions that are embedded: idea that
citizens are pacifists—no interest in fighting.
So when you set up institutions to elect
leaders that are equally pacific.
Because individuals bear the cost of
war, serve in the military, there is no
incentive to fight.
The idea that the demo decision making is transparent.
o Anarchy--How it reflects the condition of uncertainty.
o North Korea-- do we know what's going on?
No, it’s a non-democracy.
Because they’re transparent, they decrease the conditions of
uncertainty that can lead to war.
o Demo institutions that reflect popular will—elective
leaders pursue politicies that are cooperative.
War: focuses our attention on how non-demo regimes
o How they might contribute to the increase eo likelihood
o anticipate them being more belligerent.
o doing things that render more probable.
o domestic level stability—non democratic regimes often
are more unstable than democratic regimes.
Non-demo regimes, are held within the hands of a
minority or an elite. Under pressure from the rest of the
population to shrare power.
There is a question of political
o They engage in politics of
Play up the idea of an
external threat to them
Only way to get rid
fo them is to have a
small number of
people who can act
This increases the
probability of war.
o What about the people up
Domestic instability and non demo regimes
Hegemonic stability theory---
Mearsheimer, idea that nations pursue
power BC they want to achieve hegemony.
Want to be preeminent state in the
Nations will fight war to achieve
preeminence, they will achieve peace.
Athens vs. Sparta
France v. everyone else in 19 th
Germany v. EE in 20 century
What liberalism adds to this is that its not just a war for preeminence,
it’s a war for a particular character type.
rules reflect the regime
WW2--war for hegemony
Focusing on regime type tells us what’s at stake.
o Theyr’re not going to challenge realism about how the
war will be fought
They’ll clarify once the wars are over.
Idea of collective security:
o arises in 20 thcentury trying to articulate how to
manage peace once the war is over
and how do we fight wars in the future.
o The idea of collective security is meant to be an
alternative to alliance building. o CS-an alternative to alliance building
they have a specific purpose
NATO was created to confront USSR in
Alliance against soviet union
o Once USSR falls, do we keep it?
CS is not meant to be specific, it’s enduring pattern of
cooperation between actors.
instead of finding a certain # of allies to achieve your goal,
October 29 , 2012 Alliances