Security and International Relations

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Bishop's University
Political Studies
POL 140
Dr.Heather Mc Keen- Edwards

International Relations International Security Whose Security? - Who/what are we trying to secure? Ex. State vs. state. Are we trying to secure people, a community, everything? - Traditionalist narrow view o Well matched with Realism o Needing to secure ‘my state’ against ‘your state’ o Narrowly focused on ideas of war and peace - Broad view o Middle ground o Security in a physical sense o Tends to start looking at individuals o Might be able to see peacekeeping, etc. o It has more space o Liberal-constructivist - Critical security studies o Critical theories (Marxism, etc.) sit here o They want to take an even broader view, look at security in a comprehensive sense o Broadest view of them all - Traditionally a centre part of the study of security studies has been the study of war … - War is … o A form of social and political behaviour  How did the war happen? How did it end?  This is how we get actors o A central feature of world politics and history  14,400+ wars in recorded history Contested Definitions of War - Clausewitz: o “an act of force to compel our opponents to fulfill our will” o Context: large scale military confrontations between state representatives - Bull: o “organized violence carried on by political units against each other” - Differences between the two: o Bull is more broader o Clausewitz limits you The Puzzle - War is an extremely costly way for states to settle their disputes. - So why do states sometimes wage war rather than resolve their disputes through negotiations? Revolution in Military Affairs (RMAs) - It’s a concept. - A major change in the nature of warfare brought about by a combination of: o New technologies  A change that fundamentally changes the way you would fight a war o Dramatic changes in military doctrine o Significant changes in operational and organizational concepts.  A new technique of fighting - Fundamentally alters the character and conduct of military operations Which of the following could be considered a Revolution Military Affairs? - Discovery of gunpowder - Creation of national armies - “smart” weapons - German use of Blitzkreig in WWII Some examples of RMAs th - Gunpowder -> 14 century - French Revolution -> late 18 century o Large-scale national military warfare - German Blitzkreig in WWII o A change in the technique o The idea that you wouldn’t declare war, and that you’d attack civilians. Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) - Biological, chemical and nuclear weapons o Distinguished by their enormous potential lethality (and their relative lack of discrimination in whom they kill) - Provide states with different leverage than the leverage that one would get from more conventional military sources Nuclear Weapons - Invented during WWII in the USA o First use was in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki o Led to the unconditional surrender of Japan o Nothing compared to what was developed afterwards - Nuclear weapons are different based on their shear destructive power - There are two types of nuclear weapons: o Fission Weapons  Explosive material (TNT) into a weaponized amount of Uranium-235  Creates a massive push of energy  While powerful, nowhere near as powerful as fusion weapons o Fusion weapons  More complex -> in this case two atoms fuse together creating the nuclear reaction  Much more powerful - Nuclear strategy o ‘first strike’ capability  Ability to strike first  If you’re attacked first, you don’t have a chance to respond o ‘second strike’ capability  Leads to a situation of ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’ (MAD)  Even if we were attacked, we would still have the ability to strike back  The USA and the USSR worked really hard at developing this idea o Usefulness -> through deterrence  The relative stability of the Cold War is often attributed to mutual deterrence. - Deterrence Theory o Basic premise of deterrence theory where an opponent’s behaviour was changed through the threat of punishment o Neo-realists -> the large numbers of nuclear weapons held by both states provided the superpowers with sufficient motive to act with restraint when dealing with each other - What states have nuclear weapons? o USA, Russi
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