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Lecture 11

CLASSICS 1M03 Lecture 11: Political Science 1AB3 2017 Lecture 7a International Relations Theory overhead

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Claude Eilers

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Political Science 1AB3 2017 Lecture 7a International Relations Theory - Is politics in the international realm fundamentally different than politics in the domestic realm? - If so, why? - The Discipline of International Relations is divided into different theoretical camps - Each theory offers a different explanation for why the international realm looks as it does o Why war and peace o Why cooperation and conflict - Political Idealism - Context of World War I - Given its frequency throughout human history, is war inevitable? - Idealists suggested no – it may be widespread and recurrent, but it is not inevitable - The logic here is as follows: - 1. Human Nature is essentially cooperative, not antagonistic nor belligerent - We know this to be the case from the fact that humans always group together into social organizations - 2. This being so, war must be caused by something that channels this natural cooperation into something more destructive - Poorly designed institutions can pervert the natural human tendency to cooperate - 3. Because war is caused by institutional failure rather than Human Nature, war can be rendered obsolete o Provided that defective international institutions are reformed - Peace requires the right International organizations and well-designed international law - Collective security is an institutional mechanism that can contribute to peace – where an attack against one state automatically triggers a war by all states against the aggressor - Idealism in Practice in the Interwar years (1919-1939): - 1. League of Nations - 2. Permanent Court of International Justice - 3. Washington Naval Treaty, 1922 - 4. Kellogg-Briand Pact, 1928 – “The High Contracting Parties solemnly declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another” - BUT - The ultimate failure of the League of Nations to prevent the outbreak of World War II cast this particular theoretical perspective in a very negative light - Nevertheless, the commitment to international organizations, international law, arms control, and collective security as the means to transform the warlike nature of the international realm still has a strong resonance amongst some scholars of international relations Realism - In the Twenty Years Crisis (1939), E.H. Carr questioned the Idealist outlook - Are all states interested in Peace? - Peace serves the interests of some states more than others - It serves the interests of states that are not being exploited or hindered by current international arrangements - In a context where peace will not serve every state equally, the idea that reasoned appeals, treaties, or legal documents are sufficient to stop war is simply unrealistic - It is in this context that Realism emerges as a theoretical framework - Our model of the international system should be based on a realistic assessment of what is, rather th
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