Politics Week 7 lecture notes
The cold war and the end of it was welcome by pretty much everyone in the international system
The permanent threat of nuclear war hasn’t entirely disappeared
China, france, india, Pakistan, isreal, north korea, “maybe iran”... all have considerable nuclear weapons
besides states and Russian federation
Iran does not officially claim to possess nuclear weapons, but says its doing nuclear research
Threats to international peace from 1990s – early 21 century
1990s – 2000 52 international conflicts... 3 were interstate (state vs state) 95% intrastate
Biological and chemical weapons continue to be a concern to the world... but does not tend to be
effective in wars – ww1 was the only war that used this in a mass scale, but wasn’t usefull – change of
wind made it suck ass for chemical weapons. Biological weapons – less realistic in wars because its
difficult to contain
c/b weapons could fall into hands of terrorists... non-state actors
concern with zones of instability... focus primarily on regions of Africa where numerous intrastate
conflicts developed since cold war.. middle east... and less extent in asia.
Both in Africa and middle east borders drawn arbitrarily by euros for their own benefits. States are
artificial.. divide groups and mix groups together... not just 1 group of people in a single state... and
conflicts always spill over borders because people are all over the place.
Iraq conflict lead to an outflow of refugees to other surrounding nations.
A local conflict has a high tendency to spill over borders and get other nations involved.
A shift since the cold war in thinking about security. In cold war it was all about military security – attack
from other states. This is not a huge concern now.. so focus is economic security, social security,
environmental security – exploitation of soils, overpopulations... etc.... have impact on states and
outflow to neighbouring states.
Another transition in post-war era... high intensity conflict! Conventional war. Replaced with the
predominance of low-intensity conflict. Conflict often described as insurgencies. They are uses of force
in much more limited form by entities that cannot be readily be indentified. Cannot be readily identified
from civilians. Struggles against a more powerful military enemy. They hit and run.... attack quickly and
then run and hide as civilians in society.
Internationally the shift to international security went away from Europe. Before.. it was cuz there were
2 world wars in Europe. Europe is no more likely seen as a place where conflict will arise. More regional
view now. During cold war it was about escalation.... wars did occur, so did interstate such as Korean war. Escalation happened... starting small and then brought in big powers. Escalation is no longer a
concern... now its more of a spillover. Small conflicts will just become wider conflicts and spill over
borders.. but not escalate to become huge.
Relavence of law and international organization
Origins of realist theory... among the theorists was Thomas hobbs... theory of leviathan. Rationality
became the standard for legitimacy. What kind of a system isn’t rational for a person to accept. Hobbs
said any government is better than no gornmt at all . no government would lead to a situation of life
being nasty, brutal, and short. With no government there is no law or morality to abide by... we neede a
state of nature. He used that to define the state of monarchs of that time. He said we should stick by the
monarchy cuz monarchy gives us order and order gives us stability.
Realists aregue international system is in a state of nature.. permanent war of all against all. There is no
higher authority to settle conflicts between states. Self help systems.. states must fight for themselves..
must acumilate as much power as possible to get security... if u cant accumulate power then get
alliances with more powerful states. Realists would argue that u cant get out of state of nature.. it is
permanent... world government is not likely ot emmurge.... stuck in a zero sum gain system forever.
Realists see there are periods of stability and periods of conflict between states... however they would
argue attempts to create international law has not made a gain to create peace. Most states abide by
those laws.... but only if they enhance their own security.. if they don’t they would follow these laws.
International law and IO are only reliable to a point. The states is 1 of the chief archoitects of making
Emergence of cold war crippled the UN. During bush administration states said they would only look at
their own national interests... until sept 11... an attack that needed response... said the attackers are in
Afghanistan. Went to UN to ask to attack afghan.. got authority. Also came to conclusion Iraq was
involved... but UN did not approve. Bush said he will not go to UN to ask for a slip to protect its own
security interests..... they went ahead to protect their own security without UN’s approval.
Liberals don’t see it that w