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Oct. 1 - Levels of Analysis; Realist Views.docx

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Political Science
Todd Hall

Oct. 1 - Levels of Analysis; Realist Views The Third Image Systematic Theory in IR - Patterns of outcomes as shaped by the structure of the system - Patterns of overall system - E.g. a capitalist system = creates incentives for companies to meet demands but companies who produce items that do not meet popular culture goes out of business o Pattern is companies going out of business (i.e. Apple makes Blackberry suffers) - State-run enterprises = supply not meeting demand The Third Image - Which systems are more prone to being stable What type of system? Anarchy - Basic = what makes up international system = ANARCHY = NO GOVERNMENT - Lack of a government - Idea: International system does not have overarching power that can enforce its will on other states “The State of Nature” – Thomas Hobbes o Lacking a central power => state of nature = situation where men live without securities o In these conditions, live in fear and solidarity that is brutal o Notion: reply upon one’s own strength o Leviathan  Government that forms this power that can instill order into chaos o Discovered this is true for the domestic system The International Level? - States can defend their own borders and territory = no central power to tell it what to do Hierarchy vs. Anarchy - Domestic realm where there is control = hierarchy - World of relations between states = state of war => constant struggle to protect themselves, maintain sovereignty What about the U.N? - Would organization but its members are states - Has no army of its own - Reliant upon agreement of states to enforce any resolutions it makes = if can make o Dependent on will of states - Not exactly a central government Theory of International Politics - Kenneth Waltz - Moved realist views of “human nature” to systematic theories o States seek survival o Uncertainty about the future o Self-help world o Need to balance o Elimination of those that fail to balance Balancing - States act, build up their power against other states - i.e. State A build up nuclear weapons, State B does the same = arms race o Look at the Cold war o India and Pakistan - Internal Balancing o Building up own state’s strength o Investing in weapons, technology, increasing armory - External Balancing o E.g. Truman signing North Atlantic Treaty o Combining with other states, relying on other states, combining power against opposing state o Creating alliances to protect oneself Waltz’s World o States seek survival o Uncertainty about the future o Self-help world o Need to balance o Elimination of those that fail to balance - Natural tendency where if states who do not balance, get eliminated Waltz’s Theory - System of levels to analyze International System Ordering Principle: Anarchy Character of Units: Similar Distribution of Capabilities: Variable Capabilities - Population - Territory - Resources - Economic capability - Military strength - Political stability and competence  All have to do with material = what states possess  What matters is distribution across states => seems domestic  Distribution relative to concentration across the system  This is comparison across states o Only has a functioning government as compared to another state o Only has more weapons if compared to another Pole: - (1) commands an especially large share of the resources or capabilities states can use to achieve their ends and that - (2) excels in all the component elements of state capability, conventionally defined as size of the population and territory resource endowment, economic capacity, military might and organizational institutional “competence”  What determines what a system looks like is how many poles it has Three Distinctions of Polariity - Prevalence of war depends on what type of system there is Multipolarity - Multiple states - This is peaceful = one strong state, other states align to keep the balance = makes sure system keeps stable - E.g. European Multipolarity o Never one power strong enough to overcome another o Reserved independence of states o Role of balancer: British => lend power to weaker states create equilibrium  “Heav’n that has plac’d this island to give law, To balance Europe and her states in awe” - Idea that balance of power reserves stability amongst states - Balance of Power under a Multipolar System – Stable? o Problems with multipolarity argued by Waltz  Possibility of free riders  Alignments uncertain  Possibility for miscalculation higher o In the international system, balance of power can fail if they let one state take the burden of all the responsibility o Balances can also fail if alignments are uncertain o E.g. WWI – alliance system – Germans + Austria + Italy  Secret treaties, agreements, questionable allies  Therefore, miscalculations o MULTIPOLAR SYSTEM IS UNSTABLE, more likely to fall in war since unsure of aliiances Bipolarity - Two, relatively large states creating a bipolar - Do not have to worry about alliances - Do not have to worry about states free riding - Original view: bipolarity unstable because relied too much on one state’s internal balance of power o Waltz argued against this o His value of bipolarity:  Less uncertainty  More caution
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