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Chapter 15 – International Relations - Political Science 101

8 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
POL S101
Davina Rousell

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Chapter 15 – International Relations Liberalism and the Rise of IR (page 300-301) o Formal academic discipline o Emerged in WWI o Total War  Definition: the militarization of a state’s entire resources for the purpose of annihilating the enemy.  A military strategy  Prompted an urgent search for a new international order that would make peace and security possible  Under the influence of US presidentWoodrow Wilson  President from 1913-1921  A democrat  Brought US into WWI to help “make the world safe for democracy” – an idealist notion that has resonated with US foreign policy ever since.  Wilsonian Idealism – reflected in efforts to establish a new international order at the end of the war  A chief architect of the League of Nations  Committed to establishment of a peaceful international order  Led his country into war in the belief that once the forces responsible for the conflict were defeated, a strong international organizing dedicated to preserving the international peace and security could flourish.  He proposed a general association of nation states whose members would promise to respect one another’s economic and political independence and territorial integrity. o Liberal international theorists drew on a pre-existing body of philosophy in constructing their notion of international order. o Modern liberal thinkers advocated concrete political action to achieve reform when the existing order was found wanting o Important contributors to liberal ideas in international politics.  Hugo Grotius (1583-1645)  Spoke of the “sociability” of the international sphere.  Promoted the view that the natural condition of humanity was peace, not conflict (foundation of liberal thought)  Samuel Pufendorf (1632-94)  Natural law theorist  Emphasis on universal jurisprudence  Incorporated a basic natural law of self-preservation in his work on universal jurisprudence and the law of nations.  He argued against Hobbes that humans are essentially sociable and not excessively self-interested  Immanuel Kant  Seminal work Perpetual Peace (1795)  He proposed a set of principles for a law of nations founded on a federation of free states; these ideas have remained highly influential in peace theory.  He also proposed that under republican forms of government, the rational concern of the individual for self-preservation would ensure that citizens effectively vetoed warmongering.  He believed that democracies are inherently peaceful, both within themselves and in their relations with each other, and he thought that if all countries were governed democratically, then warfare would be basically eliminated.  War could have been avoided in Europe in 1914 if all the countries were democracies  Argues that republics would see war as too costly and disruptive of trade relations to be rational. Major Themes Uniting Liberal Thinkers o From Grotius onwards o Helps distinguish liberal from realist thought o They are optimistic view of the potential for peaceful relations o Positive view of human nature (people can learn from their mistakes) o Liberals believe that the rational chosen, self-regarding action of individuals tends to lead to better outcomes for all, or at least for the majority o Humans can progress over time towards a better state of existence as individuals within their political communities and in their relations between communities o Human rationality and agency are required to build a satisfactory social and political order within a state o Rationality is required in the construction of international institutions designed to overcome the negative effects of anarchy. Discipline, Definitions, and Subject Matter o International relations (also “international politics”, “world politics”, “global politics” o Emerges as a discipline following WWI o Initial focus on the causes of war and conditions of peace o Primary focus on relations between sovereign states o The discipline has since broadened to include political, social, and economic factors o Also includes a range of non-state actors (NGOs, MNCs, organized crime, and terrorist groups) o “World politics” is replacing “international relations” because the the narrower concept is still useful “State”: A formally constituted, sovereign political structure encompassing people, territory and government “Nation”: A people, a kind of collective identity that is grounded in a shared history and culture and may or may not lay claim to some kind of political recognition as well as a specific territory  These two terms are often combined in the “nation-state”, even though pure forms rarely, if ever, actually exist.  Strictly speaking, the “United Nations” is a misnomer, since the members are states  “International” is also a misnomer, since the big players are also states  “Interstate” might be more appropriate, but it risks confusion with the relations between states in a federal system. Modern State: o Criteria for a modern sovereign:  “A permanent population; a defined territory and a government capable of maintaining effective control over its territory and of conducting international relations with other states.” (1993 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, Article 1) Traditional Theories of International Relations Liberalism and the Rise of IR o WWI sees the rise of “total war” – the militarization of a states entire resources for the annihilation of the enemy o Impetus to find a way of securing peace o Woodrow Wilson (US President 1913-21) makes use of a liberal ideology to create post-war order Liberalism in IR o Operates on an optimistic view of human nature (potential for peaceful relations) o Rational, self-regarding action tends to produce outcomes beneficial for all, or at least a majority. o Humans can progress over time towards a better state of existence o Progress is based on the actions of individual agents Treaty of Versailles o Completed June 28, 1919 o Established the League of Nations, but also imposes harsh penalties on Germany o Combination of progressive liberal ideas and measures harsh enough that they ensured a future war o Reparations imposed on Germany take 93 years to pay off, the final payment being made in October of 2010 Self-Determination o Multiple aspects 1. Right of states to freely determine their own policies and practices 2. Right of states to determine their own government 3. The quest of a nationalist group to secure political autonomy o Principles of self-determination originally only applied in Europe o Later adopted in South America, but did not spread onto the rest of colonized world until after 1945 o Liberalism dominated the discipline of IR through the inter-war years until it was challenged by realism The Realist Turn o Treaty of Versailles established a series of ‘buffer states’ between Western Europe and the USSR o Also set the state for the rise of ultra-nationalism in Germany under Hitler’s rule o In Asia, Japan emerges as a major power and begins a program of empire building, particularly on the invasion of China in 1937 o With the German invasion of Poland in 1939, WWII begins o Ultimately costs over 50 million lives including those of at least 6 million Jews, Roma, and Sinti (Gypsy) in a program of genocide known as the holocaust o For liberalist IR, which was focused on the prevention of war, this was a major setback
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