POLA84_Wk_04 Lecture notes.docx

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Political Science
Waldemar Skrobacki

Week 4: Jan 31 Old Governance vs. New Governance: The (Nation)State and Global Governance Institutions and Global Economy OLD or Traditional or Westphalian Global Governance Outline I. Aspects of Power A. Power and Influence B. Soft Power 1. Power of Agenda Setting 2. Power of Ideas, Norms and Values C. Power and Capability II. National Capabilities: Tangible Elements A. Geography and Demography B. Economic and Military Resources C. Comparing Capabilities: Indexes of Power III. National Capabilities: Intangible Elements A. Intelligence 1. Goals, Plans and Intentions 2. Knowledge of the Other 3. Feedback IV. Diplomatic Influence A. Five Substantive Functions of Diplomacy B. Negotiation and Bargaining C. Conflict Resolution V. Military and Economic Influence A. Use of Force B. Threatening to Use Force C. Beyond the Use of Force D. Economic Persuasion Summary I. Aspects of Power. National power can be thought of as a relationship. It takes on meaning only as it affects a states behavior toward another state or international actor. The menu of any state, then, is constrained or affected not only by its own capabilities, goals, policies, and actions but also by those of the other entity with which it interactsby the states attempts to influence others and by the attempts of others to influence it. Broadly defined, power is the ability to overcome obstacles and influence outcomes. Power can be seen as a set of national capabilities or as a process of exercising influence. Influence can mean coaxing another country into stopping an action it is already pursuing, in which case it is called compellence [A policy aimed at influencing another state or nonstate actor to stop an action it is already pursuing; also called coercive diplomacy+. In contrast, deterrence *A policy aimed at influencing another state or nonstate actor to not do something it would otherwise prefer aims to keep an actor from doing something it would normally do.] If a nation has potential influence, which is hard to measure, other countries may not attempt certain actions for fear of reprisal. Relationships between states can be seen in two ways: First, we can look at how two states compare on a set of national attributes or characteristics. Second, we can look at the actual set of interactions between pairs of states. We will be concerned with both power as a set of national attributes or capabilities and power as a process of exercising influence. Capability and influence become meaningful only when compared with the capabilities of others and their own attempts to influence outcomes. Comparison implies measurement; a key question in international relations is how much power an actor has. In looking at power both as a set of capabilities and as influence, we highlight the problems of creating indicators to measure power. A. Power and Influence. In an era of growing interdependence, power may simply mean the ability to have an impact on the behavior of other actorsto affect the opportunities available to others and their willingness to choose particular courses of action, which is possible even for a small and relatively weak actor. Some people see power as the ability to reduce uncertainty in the environment, and for some it is a means to an end. For others power has come to mean causality, because explaining who has power explains why things happen. Realism is a view of international politics that begins with the observation that actors seek power and aim to dominate others. This view of power is centered on struggle among sovereign states within the anarchic international system and is usually characterized by the use and manipulation of military resources. Other observers, however, object to the realists emphasis on constant struggle and their highly conflictual, coercive, and militaristic interpretation of the concept of power. They argue that although power is central to international politics, it takes many forms. Power is not exercised only in situations of armed conflict or potential armed conflict but also through influencing setting the agenda and influencing rules in a variety of arenas including trade. B. Soft Power. Soft power is a more subtle form of structural influence over the values held by other states. Soft power is a way to exercise influence through attraction, as opposed to coercion (hard power). Influencing the agenda of issues under consideration is a form of soft power. Powerful states can influence more than the choices of other states; they also influence other states menus by removing some options altogether. This has been called structural power because it involves the ability of state A to influence the context or environment surrounding state Bs decisionsthat is, the structure of the situation in which B finds itself. Structural power enables one country to influence the environment surrounding another country's decisions Once the purview of radical scholars of world politics, this notion of power has become widely accepted and applied by realists and liberals as well. 1. Power of Agenda Setting. Foreign policymakers know well the importance of controlling the agenda; human rights violations and other nondemocratic practices are usually declared to be internal affairs (matters of national sovereignty) by states subjected to international criticism. That the issue of human rights is in fact increasingly discussed by states gives some indication of the structural power exercised by the United States and other Western democracies in world politics. By concentrating exclusively on whether and to what extent states such as China or Iran or Cuba actually change their behavior in response to U.S. policy, we might miss this more subtle exercise of power. 2. Power of Ideas, Norms and Values. Another, even more subtle, form of structural power is influence over the values held by other states, and therefore what they take to be their own interests, goals, and desired outcomes. When the states culture, ideology, and institutions enjoy widespread appealfor instance, American-style democracy and free-market capitalism other explicit and more transparent exercises of power are unnecessary. Indeed, is it not the supreme exercise of power to get another or others to have the desires you want them to have . . . to secure their compliance by controlling their thoughts and desires? This is the dimension of power that radical political theorist Antonio Gramsci had in mind when he discussed the hegemony of one class over another. Like those realists who predict that the predominance of U.S. military power will be met by the rise of new challengers, restoring the equilibrium of a balance of power, some believe that there are limits to soft power as well, and that Americans need to brace themselves for a clash of civilizations. C. Power and Capability. National attributes or capabilities greatly influence the menu of activity available to states. What is possible or probable relates to the means at ones disposal. This is especially important in gauging the actions and reactions of specific states in specific situations. Capabilities include any physical object, talent, or quality that can be used to affect the behavior (or desires) of others. Capabilities are important because they affect others perceptions, including what one has the opportunity to do and what one is willing to do. Threats and promises are common instruments of influence, but they have to be credible. For a threat or promise to be credible, the targeted party has to believe that the other party is able to carry it out. Credibility, of course, also implies a perceived willingness to carry out a threat If threats and promises do not work, often punishments (political, economic, or military) are carried out. States require capabilities in order to impose the costs or the pain necessary to coerce others to behave as they wish. By doing so, and by doing so effectively, a state also enhances its credibility by showing that it is willing to carry out threats in a way that gets results. If this occurs, then at some point in the future threats may not have to be carried out; the mere hint of punishment will bring about the desired action. Thus, reputation can be central to successful compellence or deterrence. II. National Capabilities: Tangible Elements. National capabilities are resources that a state can draw upon in order to achieve a desired outcome, some of which are more tangible than others. Those who study international power and influence usually develop a set of attributes on which a states power is based, consisting of some sort of power inventory or power potential. It is often not important which specific set of attributes is used. What is important is that the analyst of international politics has some such system for representing the variety of possible power bases; without a systematic and explicit checklist, the analyst is likely to pay far too much attention to certain power attributes and forget about others completely. Power and influence are multifaceted and depend on a combination of capabilities. A. Geography and Demography. A nation's capabilities can be measured through tangible elements such as population, land mass, demographics, natural resources, economic output, and military strength. States are constantly assessed in terms of size. The national attributes of land mass and population are central elements of a state's base of powe
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