POL208Y1 Lecture Notes - Reconstruction Era, Just War Theory, Crisis Management
POL208Y1 – Lecture #7 international crisis
Just War Theory; compromise between Machiavellian view to a more passivist
view that views war as evil.
Just Ad Bellum
Jus in Bello
Just Post Bellum
5 conditions for Just Ad Bellum
o Just cause – self defense (UN Charter)
o Once we start breaking down the concept it becomes less clear.
o Last resort, every other thing short of war before we can justify it.
o Declared publicly by a legitimate authority.
o Proportionality – benefit outweighs harm
o The war is winnable
If the war qualifies for all conditions, its is a just war.
Just in Bello
o Hague (1899, 1907); Geneva (1949), trying to regulate and limit the
actions that would be damaging during war.
o Discrimination – protecting civilians (Geneva; nuclear weapons?
(deterrence) aerial bombing („smart bombs‟)? Terrorism)
o International law trying to create incentives to wear unifroms because it
allows us to protect civilians.
o Proportionality – double effect (Agent Orange). Not about the balance of
casualties, not counting casualties, recognizes that to almost every act we
engage in war, if we‟re trying to bomb the headquarters of the enemy,
attack has two effects, one that we intended and the one that we did not
intend and that is killing civilians. The one that we intended and the one
that we did not intend, this is where the proportionality comes. Needs to
outweigh potential benefits, double effect. Balancing the good and the bad
that happens when we engage in war.
o Clear strategic reason behind it, we start seeing problems with the douhle
effect. Difficult to justify the good that agent orange provided because of
its destruction and environmental damage.
o Type of weaponry
Jus Post Bellum
o Nurembergs; Milosevic; Rwanda (Gacaca, ICTR); ICC; Saddam
o The „justice‟ of the winners?
o Post war responsibilities – you broke it, you own it.
o Treatment of occupied territory and population
o Just occupation? (humanitarian interventions).
o Can an unjust war lead to a just post-bellum? Can a just war lead to an
Does it matter?
Realists: at best what we see is organized hypocrisy, want to be seen as an ethical
way of fighting war.
However: decision makesr and generals use the language of Just War Theory;
Certain strategies of war are less acceptable today; Indication of changing norms?
Changing technology? Does it affect policy?
“the illegal we do immediately. The longer unconstitutional takes a little longer”
New rules for the war on terror?
Why study Int‟l Crisis?
o Most wars are preceded by crisis and escalation
o If we want to understand war – we need to understand international
crisis, and particularly decision making during crisis
o If we wish to avoid war we need to improve crisis management skills.
o Bipolarity; nuclear weapons; the cold war.
What is an international crisis?
o Hermann – surprise, high level of threat, short decision time
o The decision cube, level of threat, decision time and awareness.
o The higher these 3 are the more we get to a classic threat, Cuban Missile
Situational vs. Behavioral Explanations
o What affects the outcome of a crisis?
o Situational (structural) variables: the structure of the crisis (decisions
cube), the nature of the conflict, the structure of the system
o Behavioral variables: the quality of decision making and skill of
The Cuban Missile Crisis
o 1959 Castro takes over Cuba
o November 1960 JFK elected
o January 1961 Bay of Pigs, unsuccessful, solidifies animosity between
o June 1962 USSR decides to introduce nuclear missiles to Cuba.
o 16 October 1962 U2 images
crisis: surprise; limited time; threat.
o EX-CommL 20 senoir decisions makers; secret; constant meetings;
JFK not a member; recordings; 13 days.
Possible American Response:
o Ignore missiles
o „Surgical‟ Bombing
Allison‟s Three conceptual Models
o Rational; Organizational; Bureaucratic; (cognitive)
o Like levels of analysis – these models provide us with competing
explanations for poltical outcomes – competing descriptions of the process
of decision making.
The Rational Model
o Unitary actor
o Same definition of rationality as in rational choice
o Describes the process of decision making rather than the outcome
o Collect information; list all policy alternatives; asses cost/benefit; opt for
the policy option that maximizes utility while minimizing cost/risk
o Are decision makers rational? Can they be rational in time of crisis?
The Organizational Model
o The state is a collection of organizations – breaks the unitary actor.
o Organizations follow procedures.
o They will use the most appropriate/most easily available/ most salient
preset procedure/scenario to deal with the crisis (standard operating
o At best-bounded rationality.
The Bureaucratic Model
o Again: rejecting the unitary actor notion
o Competition over power and resources
o The outcome reflects the balance of power within the government.
o Between different wings of the government.
o What is the balance of power between bureaucracies withing the American
administration in 1962?
o Where you sit is where you stand .