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Political Studies
POLS 261
Stefanievon Hlatky

Jan 6 , 2013 POLS 261: INTRO • Key thinkers within field of study o Hans Morgenthau  Founding father of Realism o Bernard Brodie  Influenced US deterrent policies in Cold War o Henry Kissinger o Albert Wohlstetter o Thomas Schelling • Field was founded by a very homogenous and narrow part of society o Old Caucasian men • Realism o Starting point of most discussions of IR o Theory focussing on narrow set of explanatory factors, particularly “power”, security and state interests o Assumptions  Unit of analysis: States (power maximizers) • Less focussed on domestic politics and other influences such as civil society and transnational corporations • Focus of particular states assumed to possess a certain level of power or influence (eg: US, USSR, not Canada) • Power maximization as a zero-sum game  International system: anarchic • There exists no real overarching authority to moderate the selfish interactions of states • A classical realist view would discount the influence of the UN  IR = power politics o Criticisms  Obsessed with politics?  Insufficiently concerned with ethical issues?  Not scholarly in their approach? • Traditionally based on loose historical analysis  State-centric?  Narrow theoretical approach? • Liberalism o IR not viewed as necessarily zero-sum o There are incentives in entering long-term cooperational arrangements • Enduring concepts o The Security Dilemma o Deterrence o The Democratic Peace o The End of History • Critical approaches o Refers to specific theories (post-positivist) o “Critical Security Studies”  Constructivism: ideas, norms and culture • Ideational view of IR  Marxism  Feminism/gender • Syria o What diplomatic and military options have been considered by the international community in response to the August chemical attacks? o After a “successful” intervention in Lybia, could the same model be applied to Syria? o What would it take for the key players to engage in peace talks? • Iran: the next chapter o Can Iran be convinced to abandon its nuclear program? o What are the foreign policy tools available to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis? o What are the domestic and international pressures felt in both the US and Iran Jan 8 , 2013 The Security Dilemma • Overcoming the vicious cycle (aka the spiral of insecurity) • Measures a state takes to increase its own security usually decreases the security of other states. Thus, it is difficult for a state to increase its own chances of survival without threatening the survival of other states o States perceiving the increase in measures of another state will in turn increase their own, leading to an arms race • Is it the permanent feature of state-to-state relations, or can it be overcome? o Realist approach:  States will always act selfishly to increase their own security, since there is no supernational entity to regulate such behaviour, thus the international system is characterized by power politics and war is inevitable due to the security dilemma, as it cannot be overcome  Opposition will always form to deter states that are perceived to have increased their power too greatly  Times of peace are possible when the balance of power is maintained, but war is inevitable o Liberal approach  Security dilemma can be overcome, or least tempered, as IR is not a zero-sum game  Two key explanations • Democratic peace theory (intrastate) o With the spread of democracy, states will act in ways that promote cooperation • Liberal institutionalism (interstate) o International institutions will encourage cooperation between states o Constructivist approach  Anarchy is not a permanent feature of IR • States can learn to view others as friendly, rather than as rivals. • Anarchy is what states make of it, and therefore is a social construct  The security dilemma can be overcome when states foster cooperative social identities  Anarchy of friends, rather than rivals, can ultimately defeat the security dilemma • Yalta Conference (February 1945) o Meeting of FDR, Churchill and Stalin o Yalta Declaration  “Destroy German militarism and Nazism and to ensure that Germany will never again be able to disturb the peace of the world”  “Bring all war criminals to just and swift punishment”  “Exact reparation in king for the destruction wrought by Germany”  “Establishment of order in Europe” • The League of Nations had failed • Isolationsim had also failed  Assisting states hold free and fair elections • Collective Security o Aims to keep the peace by preventing war by any aggressor o Ties states to multilateral arrangements that guarantee military defeat for any aggressor that breaches the peace o Supported by the strongest states following WWII • New World Order (emerging after WWII) o International institutions o International economic system  World Bank, IMF, etc…, promoting prosperity o Regional alliances  Collective defense  NATO and the Warsaw Pact • Bipolar world emerges, led by US and USSR • Roosevelt and Truman o Truman ascends to the presidency following Roosevelt’s death, and was responsible for both the nuclear bombings and the formation of the UN Jan 9 , 2013 • Research in IR (three approaches) o Historical o Social Scientific  Causality: dependence of variables  Positivist o Constructivist  Social meaning  Post-positivist • Explanatory Factors o Levels of Analysis  Individual  Domestic/national • Society o Political culture o Societal values o Public opinion • Government o How institutions functions o Eg: implications of majority vs. minority government • Roles o Occupied by individuals playing roles within the process o Role gives context, socializes, and impacts behaviour  Systemic  Global • Wilson, Roosevelt and Truman o Transformational leadership o Wilson’s 14 points were not implemented in his time, but would influence FDR and Truman • Yalta 1945 o The US  Prosperous  Politically stable  Strong military • Shift from isolationist to interventionist mentality following the war  Preponderance of power and expectation of Soviet goodwill • Stalin’s expansionism would soon change this • What’s the solution to dealing with the USSR? • Option 1: Churchill o No tolerance o US and Britain should maintain presence in Europe to deter Soviet expansion • Option 2: Henry A. Wallace o Build mutual trust and peaceful coexistence • Option 3: George Kennan o The Long Telegram in 1946 o The Soviet worldview is fundamentally incompatible with that of the West o No concession o Formation of allies (NATO) • Containment Grand Strategy o Inspired by Kennan’s Long Telegram o Balance of power vision o Spheres of influence o Reconciles means and ends • Truman Doctrine (March 1947) o Europe’s business is America’s business  No more isolationism o Support free people from outside pressures (i.e. communism) o Beginning of the Cold War • Marshall Plan o Secretary of State George Marshall o $1.3 Billion o Assisting in reassuring prosperity in Europe, and in turn democracy o Democracy vs. Strategy  Even assisting non-democratic states to oppose the USSR (Turkey, Iraq, etc…) • Europe = Priority o Resolve demonstrated to the USSR: bipolar standoff o Provocations would result in full response by US and NATO o US maintained troops abroad o Making it clear that the US was committed to Europe • Which configuration of power is most stable? (according to realists) o Multipolarity  Viewed as most prone to war, as more parties are vying for power  Unpredictability of power shifts  Model prior to Great Wars o Bipolarity  Viewed as most stable  Even during the Cold War, there was no Global war o Unipolarity  As soon as one power rises, others will rise to challenge  Today’s model • Why haven’t we yet seen a challenger? • Dimensions of power o Defense expenditures (military) o Size of economy (share of world GDP) o Innovation (science and technology indicators)  Ability to sustain military power o Broad appeal of state’s culture and values globally • Hard vs. Soft Power o Hard power  Military might o Soft power  Ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments  Arises from the attractiveness of a country’s culture, political ideals and policies • Unipolarity vs. Bipolarity o Under the current system it is too costly for any one power to attempt to equal the US, as the lead is too great o The system appears to be more durable than realists suggest th Jan 15 , 2013 Crises • Crises in foreign policy o Threaten high priority goals o Limited time for response o Element of surprise o See Graham Allison – The Essence of Decision Making  Rational Decision making model • Decision makers deliberate in a rational manner, and decision that ensues is the optimal option  Organizational Decision making model • Different governmental organizations, departments and agencies that produce outcomes. Little individual agency considered.  Bureaucratic decision making model • Focus on department and agencies, but with individual agency considered • Impact on decision-making o Shortcuts: using analogies  Standard decision making processes may be too cumbersome o Urgent need for consensus o Importance of individual personalities • Levels of analysis (Cuban Missile Crises) o Global  Consequences of nuclear explosion (environmental, demographic, economic…), ideological struggle o Systemic  Power distribution, how states respond to power shifts and perceived threats, escalation dynamics, UN diplomacy, role of allies o National/Domestic  Bureaucratic politics, offensive military doctrine, role of Congress, public opinion media, religion, cultural stereotypes o Individual  Personal characteristics of decision-makers, cognitive approaches and rationality (stress, fatigue), misperceptions, historical analogies • Options (Cuban Missile Crisis) o Diplomatic pressure  Not seen as forceful enough o Invasion  Incredibly risky  Bay of Pigs invasion had failed previously o Surgical strike o Blockade  Military solution, but not one that is directly confrontational  Compromise option  Khrushchev can save face  Better than ground invasion  Controls escalation • Cold War Crises o Berlin Blockade, 1948 o Invasion of South Korea, 1950 o Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962 o Vietnam War • Deterrence o A conditional commitment to retaliate or to exact retribution if another party fails to behave in a desired, compliant manner o Mutually assured destruction  A situation of parity between the superpowers where both possess such offensive capabilities so as to be able to credibly threaten each other’s homelands with devastation levels that would be rationally unacceptable • Problem of credibility o Threat must be communicated o The potential aggressor must believe that the costs of an attack would be higher than its benefits  And must believe that the threat will be enforced Jan 20 , 2013 Historical Overview • Containment had initially been in Europe, so… • Why Asia? o Chinese revolution 1949  Mao’s successful revolution  US backed the ousted government, and Mao’s communism now rules  PRC and USSR sign treaty o Korean War, 1950 o Vietnam War, 1965-1973  France refuses to relinquish colonial rule in Indochina  Communist opposes French • Highlights 70s and 80s o Carter  Less aggressive foreign policy, emphasizing cooperation  Camp David  Iran Hostage Crisis • Islamic regime takes over, and foreign policy disagreements, leading to tension  Afghanistan war (USSR) o Reagan  Strategic Defense Initiative (STAR WARS) • Doubling defense budget, when the USSR cannot match financially  Arms control • Proposes control and disarmament agreements • USSR is forced to accept due to lack of financial backing  Reagan doctrine • Global foreign policy initiative to push back communism • Pressure on USSR from outside, as internal pressures build • The Gorbachev Factor o Withdrawal from Afghanistan to save money
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