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Lecture 3

Lecture - Week 3.docx

4 Pages

Peace and Conflict Studies
Course Code
PACS 201
Nathan Funk

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INTRODUCING POWER POLITICS “Power Politics” as a Paradigm  Aka realpolitik: state policies based on consideration of material power and expediency, as opposed to ethical or ideological considerations  Aka machtpolitik  Aka ―political realism‖  History as a drama of military political competition among ―sovereigns‖/states seeking to survive and/or acquire greater wealth, status, and power i.e. Peloponnesian War: Athens vs Sparta International Politics as a “Zero-Sum” Game  One wins, other side loses something  Thirty Years War (1618-1648) - emergence of modern state system (Peace of Westphalia, 1648)  Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815) - struggle for hegemony th - gives way to 19 century - balance of power system Basic Assumptions about Conflict, Violence, and Peace  Conflict and violence = ―state of nature‖; inherent aggressiveness or competitiveness of individuals and/or groups  Peace = absence of war; ―If you want peace, prepare for war‖ KEY TENETS OF THE POWER POLITICS PARADIGM Scarcity and Competition  Not enough resources in the world to satisfy everyone  Resources not evenly distributed  Individuals and groups inevitably compete Pre-eminence of the Nation-State  Strong nation-state is the only basis for security - monopoly on the use of ―legitimate‖ physical violence within its territory  No real ―community‖ beyond the state Absence of Universal Human Values  Morality is largely group-specific and ―created‖ by political power  Moral values have little effect at the international level (outside the state) Infeasibility of World Government  International ―anarchy‖: no realistic prospect for world government  There can be no dependable arbiter of international disputes  We live in a self-help system Pre-eminence of National Interest  Authorities must constantly work to guard and advance state interests  There is little scope for altruism or universal moral principles  ―raison d’état‖ (reason of state): ―right of state‖ to act on its own best interests Dominance of National Security Concerns  States can and will use military force to protect or advance their interests vis-à-vis other states  Each state must remain on guard to ensure its own survival Broader Implications of these Assumptions  Order/stability is a higher priority than justice  Power = most capacity to use force = military capability  Mechanisms for preserving (―negative‖) peace: deterrence, diplomacy, the balance of power  Non-state actors (NGOs, international organizations) cannot change the game PERSPECTIVES ON INSECURITY AND WAR War:  Related to Germanic were ―strife‖ and werran ―to confuse‖  ―an extreme form of contention…‖ – Jeong  High-intensity armed conflict  Is the continuation of politics by other means… - violence is therefore the means; imposing our will on the enemy, the end Types of War  Limited or small-scale vs. Total war  Inter-state vs. Internal/Civil war  Status quo, hegemonic, and revisionist war  Imperial wars and Wars of liberation  Asymmetrical warfare (one has much more power than the other)  One who knows the enemy and knows himself will not be in danger in a hundred battles—Sun Tzu War According to Power Politics  Reflects competition in the international system  Is the ―final arbiter‖ of disputes  Is based on rational calculations  National interest is the principle consideration, not justice Deterrence and the Security
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