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POLSCI 2I03 (101)
Andrew Lui (26)
Lecture 2

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McMaster University
Political Science
Andrew Lui

Lecture 2 Why did fascism appeal so much? After the Great Depression there was no stimulus, people were left with failed banks. The fascist economy had corporations that put people back to work. That is how Germany got itself out of Depression. United States borrowed from itself and poured it in the economy, to create jobs etc. Theory and history of international relations go together; theory and practice go together too. Early scholars thought if they thought a little bit differently from their predecessors, they could change the problems dealing with international relations. Foreign policy was also called the „sport of kings‟ because the state did it, the people weren‟t involved in it. All spoke French, were of a certain background, etc. They thought war was rational, and even after that they could go for dinner afterwards. The gentry were from that class and were seen as someone with respect. However, World War 1 changed it because it was national and civilians were caught in it. Thus early scholars said that wars are not rational, so if we are a little bit different in our thinking we can eradicate it. These people did not carry cards or identification around to identify themselves as „idealists‟. The term idealism came from E. H. Carr. He said that „ in the field of action, realism tends to emphasize the irresistible strength of existing forces and the inevitable character of existing tendencies, and to insist that the highest wisdom lies in accepting, and adapting oneself to these forces and these tendencies." Basically he said we need to accept the world as it is, in its reality. People who think otherwise are utopians. Be a realist, and we need to have more scientific research, etc. This was the first seminal in international relations. Realism is not as monolithic, its much more richer. Carr is important because he introduced realism and said at the end that we need to balance realism and idealism. Scientific objectivity of the forces which constraints human beings to do what they want, and balance it with idealism which is where humans would like to go. We cannot wishfully achieve peace, but knowing the forces out there would enable us to better tackle them. His book foreshadowed Second World War, and his book was published in 1935. His book said there will be another war because the policies present are wrong. Second World War was the most devastating war human beings have seen so far, 17 million people died. Scholars said they get what Carr is trying to do with realism, but his final chapters say that we need to balance idealism with realism but how? How do we take some structures and notions from international relations and structure them in scientific ways. Given the devastation of WW2, we need to make IR more rational. This means getting rid of idealism completely. Realism began with a noble cause, trying to eliminate war as much as possible. Morgenthau wrote the 2 most important books in international relations „politics among nations‟. He tried to systematize general principles of loss of international relations. He said Carr‟s idea was a good one but it didn‟t give us a recipe for a discipline. He came up with 6 general principles: 1. Politics is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature. As human nature is fixed and unchanging, it is possible to develop a rational, scientific theory that reflects these objective laws. How can we find scientific rules on international relations? He said that wars always happen, what is common? None other than human nature. Since humans have gone on wars since beginning of time. He said we need to ground human nature. 2. The main signpost of political realism is the concept of interest defined in terms of power (the central concept of political science and IR). It means states inevitably seek to maximize power. 3. Realism assumes that interest defined as power is an objective category which is universally valid but not with a meaning that is fixed once and for all. Power is the control of man over man (i.e. the ability of actor „x‟ to get actor „y‟ to do what they would not normally do). Sources of power and resources may change over time. Morgenthau‟s definition of power was a social one- interrelationship between two actors. We look and examine that actor independently but we need to examine everything. Thus, the power and resources in that relationship may change over time. 4. Political realism is aware of the moral significance of political actio5n. It is also aware of the tension between the moral commitment and the requirements of successful political a
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