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Lecture 3

Lecture 3- Power Politics Paradigm.pdf

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Peace and Conflict Studies
PACS 201
Nathan Funk

Lecture  3-­‐  The  Power  Politics  Paradigm   A.  Power  politics  as  a  paradigm   • Also  known  as  the  paradigm  of:  Realpolitik  (German):  state  policies  based  on   consideration  of  material  power  and  expediency,  as  opposed  to  ethical  or   ideological  considerations-­‐  Otto  von  Bismarck  (1815-­‐1898)   • Machtpolitik  (german)   • “Political  Realism”  (modern  Anglophone  equivalent)  as  opposed  to  Idealistic   • This  is  an  intellectual  tradition  or  philosophical  outlook  that  includes  verse   formulations  with  family  resemblances.  Its  not  just  one  theory.  The   resemblances  are  derived  from  overlapping  deep  assumptions  about  politics.   Also  a  shared  attitude  towards  history  and  the  nature  of  human  behavior   • Sees  history  as  a  drama  of  military  and  political  competition  among   “sovereigns”/states  seeking  to  survive  and/or  acquire  greater  wealth,  status   and  power   • Starts  with  rivalry  between  Greek  city  states-­‐  Peloponnesian  War  (431-­‐404   BCE):  Athens  vs  Sparta   International  Politics  as  a  “Zero-­‐Sum”  Game   • Most  important  conflicts  that  take  place  are  Zero-­‐sum   • If  I  win  you  lose,  if  I  win  you  give  me  blah.  Each  side  has  to  be  ready  to   protect  its  interests   • Eg.  “The  Thirty  Years  War  (1618-­‐1648):  most  destructive  war  in  Europe’s   history-­‐  Protestant  reformations  against  Catholic  states.     • Forget  what  they  started  fighting  for  and  start  supporting  their  own  selfish   interests   • Emergence  of  the  modern  state  system  (Peace  of  Westphalia,  1648)-­‐  its  seen   as  a  threshold  that  marked  the  transition  from  futile  order  to  modern  nation   states  that  didn’t  need  to  justify  order  by  religious  basis.  Instituted  new  rules   to  limit  conflict  in  Europe  and  to  protect  state  sovereignty   • Eg.  Napoleonic  Wars  (1799-­‐1815):  Struggle  for  hegemony  gives  way  to  19   century  balance  of  power  system   Basic  Assumptions  about  Conflict,  Violence,  and  Peace   • Conflict=  Violence=  “state  of  nature”  (inherent  aggressiveness  or   competitiveness  of  individuals  and/or  groups)-­‐  assumes  pessimistic  position   on  human  behavior  and  naturalizes  violence  in  politics.  State  has  to  threaten   violence  to  prevent  violence-­‐  internally  and  externally   • Peace-­‐  Absence  of  war  (“if  you  want  peace,  prepare  for  war”)  –this  is  direct   peace-­‐  preoccupation  with  power  distribution-­‐  who  has  more  and  who  has   less       B.  Key  Tenants  of  the  Power  politics  Paradigm   • 1.  Scarcity  and  Competition-­‐  assumed  to  be  chronic  condition  in  the   world   • The  idea  is  that  there  are  not  enough  resources  in  the  world  to  satisfy   everyone   • Resources  are  not  evenly  distributed-­‐  this  is  a  fact   • Thus,  individuals  and  groups  inevitably  compete-­‐  This  is  why  we  organize   ourselves  into  groups   • Thomas  Hobbes  and  Adam  Smith   • Survival  is  not  a  given   • 2.  Preeminence  of  the  Nation-­‐State   • A  strong  nation-­‐state  is  the  only  basis  for  security-­‐  “Monopoly  on  the  use   of  ‘legitimate’  physical  violence  within  its  territory”   • The  state  is  a  mandatory  social  organization-­‐  regulate  competition  within   boundaries  and  arbitrate  disputes   • The  is  no  real  “community”  beyond  the  state   • 3.  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)   • 4.  Infeasibility  of  World  Government   • International  anarchy:  no  realistic  prospect  for  world  government   • No  government  in  the  world  that  can  rule  the  world   • There  can  be  no  dependable  arbiter  of  international  disputes     • We  live  in  a  self-­‐help  system-­‐  popular  world  in  power  paradigm   • 5.  Preeminence  of  National  Interest   • Authorities  must  constantly  work  to  guard  and  advance  state  interests-­‐   looking  out  for  number  one   • “The  concept  of  national  interest…assumes  continuous  conflict  and  threat   of  war…”  Hans  Morgenthau   • He  was  not  a  war  monger  but  felt  it  was  necessary   • There  is  limited  scope  for  altruism  or  universal  moral  principles   • Distinction  between  foreign  policy  and  domestic  policy-­‐  because  there  is   not  international  community  so  cant  apply  values  internationally   • “Raison  d’etat”  (reason  of  state):  “’right  of  state’  to  act  on  its  own  best   interests”  (B&W,  p.195)-­‐  states  have  own  reason  for  what  they  do,  reason   are  short  term  and  usually  related  to  security   • 6.  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  higher  priority  than  justice   • Power=mostly  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   C.  Perspectives  on  Insecurity  and  War   • War:   • Related  to  the  Germanic  Were  “strife”  and  Werran  “to  confuse”   • “an  extreme  form  of  contention…”  (Jeong)   • More  than  1000  deaths  per  year  if  less  considered  conflict  with  high   intensity   • High  intensity  armed  conflict   • War  is  he  continuation  of  politics  by  other  means…  Violence  is  therefore   the  means;  imposing  our  will  on  the  enemy,  the  end.”  (B&W,  p.197)-­‐  Karl   von  Clausewitz   • He  said  war  was  not  always  the  way  and  has  to  draw  the  line.  It  must  be   lead  by  political  objectives   • 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  side  has  more  power  then  another,  start   attacking  civilians  etc  sometimes  referred  to  as  terrorism   • Sun  Tzu-­‐  “  One  who  knows  the  enemy  and  Know  himself  will  not  be  in   danger  in  a  hun
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