POLSCI 1G06 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Collective Action, Collective Security, Washington Naval Treaty

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Political Science 1G06 2013 II Lecture 6a 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 is structured as it is
oWhy war and peace
oWhy Cooperation and discord
-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 collectivities
-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, at least potentially, be ended, if those institutions can
themselves be reformed
-In other words, the international system can be reformed in such a
way that war will end
-It merely requires the right International organizations, well designed
international law, and sufficient arms control to reduce the threat that
all states feel from militarization
1
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