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International System and the Cold War.docx

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University of Calgary
Political Science
POLI 381
Robert Neil Huebert

International System and the Cold War What is the “international system”?  Anarchy is the “Fundamental ordering principle” in that there is an absence of a single overarching authority  States are constrained by the relative power of other states (military/ economic)  Systematic forces heavily effect the way in which states behave with regard to foreign policy Neo-Neo Interpretations  Neo-realists such as Kenneth Waltz generally view the international system as the product of state power. o International system itself will define how states act  Neo-liberals such as Robert Keohane generally agree with neo-realists, but contend that other non-state forces, primarily economic, also impact the international system.  While these two interpretations will not be the focus of discussion, they are important to know for further examining the international system  Neo – have a chance to see some of the weaknesses in original view points, also the strengths Origins of the Bipolar Era  End of WWII o Arrival of two super powers. Requirements of defeating the double threat of imperialistic Japan and Germany. US and Soviet Union achieved Super Power status. Outweighed everyone else. Part economics, part nuclear weapons, part surviving WWII.  Nuclear Weapons (USA 1945, USSR 1949) and Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)  United States gains military and economic supremacy in the world o Development of a Cold War. Stemmed from ongoing suspicions of who was the bigger threat to the international system and who the US would align with. These suspicions returned. Soviets were aggressive after the war (take over and restructure governments) o 1947 – Dropping of the Iron Curtain. 1950 – Seal the Deal. North Korea invades South Korea. (Not certain if Soviets had something to do with it) West took this as the Soviets were trying to copy the Germans. o Canada comes up with NATO. Means of protecting against Soviet Union. Terrified that Americans would disengage from the International System.  Growth in the Soviet sphere of influence o North Korea vs. South Korea. Physical force to extend their sphere of influence.  Ideological clash  Decolonization o Asia leading the rush of decolonization o British gave up quickly due to increased opposition. o French tried to fight against the process but were defeated. o Americans were anti-colonial. o Idea in international system that colonization is unacceptable. Rule us when you can‟t rule yourself? Initial American Influence (1945-1955)  Development of favourable economic and military treaties and institutions  Europe and Canada o Marshall Plan (1948) o Establishment of NATO (1949)  Called upon to ask. Russia left the room and couldn‟t vote. American called for a vote and ended up having military influence moved in.  Latin America  Middle East (Turkey, Gulf States, Iran)  East Asia o Occupation of Japan 1945 o Korean War (1950-1953) and subsequent military presence Early Soviet Influence (1945-1955)  Eastern Europe (Warsaw Pact 1955)  East Asia: o Chinese Revolution (1949)  Fighting multidimensional war against Japan + America  Series of ongoing battle (mobile civil war, nationalists and communists). Japanese try to take advantage.  Up until 1949 at the UN – the security chair was held by a nationalist chair until 70‟s  Taiwan, critical friction point where America says they will support its independence.  2013 – String of Pearls strategy. Intercept America before they can help Taiwan. o North Korea (1945/1948/ 1953)  Numerous Revolutionary groups… Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)  The so-called “third world”  Primarily former European Colonies o Show the ability of being independent from the West and Soviet union. Worked better in principle than action.  Major members included Egypt, India, Indonesia, Yugoslavia (was communist, not a direct Soviet satellite)  Never really free of influence of major powers  Many countries became the sites of proxy wars between the major powers  Most leaned toward one side or another o Because of overall power happening in this particular context Major Points of Tension…  Europe o “Iron Curtain” o Berlin (divided into four sectors) (Especially after the construction of the wall in1961) East and West Germany  The Middle East o As Egypt moved into independence and has issue over Suez Canal Zone with British. British give independence to Egypt but didn‟t want to give the canal. o Where Canada creates the idea of Peace keeping (to ensure that NATO would be protected?). o Suez Canal Zone o US Missiles in Turkey  Useless. Soviet Union can see where they are being prepared and Russia would be preemptive.  East Asia o China/ Taiwan o Koreas o Vietnam (French Defeat in Indochina 1954)  Three small wars against the Chinese  Americas o Cuba after 1959  Bottom line  series of conflicts through this period with an overlay of nuclear weapons Nearing Catastrophe  Two critical turning points  Suez
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