Sept 23, 2010
Review of last lecture:
IR as an academic disciple, began after the WWII, Prof. Carr was a British diplomat, helped negotiate the
Treaty of Versailles that ended the WWI
University of Aberystwth, Wales was the first chair in leading the study of IR
Actors/agents in international relations
Formation of inter-governmental institutions
IGOS & behaviours of states?
Causes of change; what causes change
Purpose of theorizing about IR
Role of ethics in IR
o Is there such a thing as universal morality between states?
“scientific” theory of IR?
o Do states behave according to norms?
o And do they behave in a function of those or something else?
o Rooted in Marx’s theory
Context: Cold War & Realism
First attempts to systematize study of International politics
Elements of realism
What was it?
Term ‘cold war’ coined by Walter Lippmann (18801974)
- journalist, published a series of articles called ...
- An arms race
- Ideological expansion
- Proxy wars
US vs. USSR (rivalry between two big powers)
Geopolitical rivalry – navies, USSR was looking a warm water dock
Two large land-based empires colliding When did it begin?
- At the end of world war II
- 1945 - 1947
- Ideological perspective of the conflict,
The two powers had co-existed before WWII;
- 1917 Bolshevik revolution – hostile to capitalist west
- And yet, USA and USSR co-existed for a few decades
- Allies during WWII to defeat Germany; Stalin joined with Allies to defeat Germany after realizing
he could not negotiate a peace with them and after Hitler invaded his homeland
- Had wartime agreements with each other, Yalta (Peace in Europe) and Potsdam (In Germany,
about European peace and Peace in Asia-Pacific), agreed on post-war order
But by 1947, a state of “cold war” existed
High tensions: Why? What caused this rift?
- Containment: Mr. X (George Kennan) formulated the policy of containment...which became...
George F. Kennan
- Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff
- Brains behind Containment policy
- Foreign Affairs article: “The Sources of Soviet Conduct.” By Mr. “X”
- Lead to US committed to “reacting” to Soviet power at “at a series of constantly shifting
geographical and political points”
- Reacted less in an ideological way, more in a way
Germany was crucial to the Cold war; it started over Germany. Freezing the problem was the separation
of Germany into East and West
Containment: a form of classic balance of power approach to managing international affairs.
Balance of Power origins:
- European historical experience since 1648
o Once a power starts becoming stronger, other states collide and side to try to suppress
- Britain’s relationship vis continental Europe.
o Didn’t bother much with European affairs.
o Britain stepped in to try to suppress Napolean and formed an alliance with Russia in
o Concert of Europe where states and of big powers had a meeting.
- 19 century system after 1815 Congress of Vienna
o Count Metternich
Pre Cold War
Balance of power: trying to contain Germany; used to help explain both WW I & II
Britain and Russia was competing to gain power in India, Asia, Turkey, etc.
Germany challenged Britain’s power WWI 1914 – 191
Britain intervenes again in continental affairs; and by 1917 US joined the war
Britain diverted away from colonial empire: Germany (naval competition)
WWII 1939 – 1945. Another total war: UK...& US
30+ million people
Civilian casualties (>50%)
Other Causes of WWII
Rooted in evil nature of Hitler
o Human nature explanations (Hobbes, Machiavelli)
Rooted in failure of League of Nations of 1919 (failure of functionalism/idealism)
Rooted in collective dissatisfaction (group explanations, frustration)
o Germany came out of war as quite strong; that is why countries made them pay
reparations for war and wouldn’t allow them have an army
Rooted in problems in the international system
o Large scale change – emergence of the US and Japan
o Security dilemma
o Geo-political competition (power and influence)
Causes of WWII
- Blame Hitler (Maurice Baumont)
- Rooted in Versailles Treaty, war was inevitable (next class) John Maynard Keynes 1920s
- A.J.P. Taylor:
o Rooted in flawed peace
o Hitler acting as any other European statesmen
o Versailles was unjust and de-stabilizing
o Germany would eventually re-assert itself
Great depression of 1930s,rise of Hitler/fascism in Europe
- Functionalism fails to preserve peace
o i.e. President Wilson’s League of Nations fails
Inter-war functionalists were idealists!
- Wishful thinking
Raymond Aaron (France): Analysis of the origins of WWII points to the neglect of the element of power
They must generate appropriate policy responses; policy solutions!
-- Break –
Post-War Realism Search for power is a defining element
Functionalist proposals were pure “idealism
o First debate in IR: idealism vs. Realism