Lecture 7.docx

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31 Mar 2012
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Lecture 7
Rally around the Flag: substitute lack of domestic importance with exacerbated
nationalism
-Huge boost in popularity
-But short term (several months)
-Does it really translate into votes?
-When do democracies get into fights?
-Most belligerent: with mild recession especially just before elections.
-But few wars at the end of terms (never wars at end of terms of government)
-In the US: first vs. second term Presidents.
3)World system (balance of power, polarity, power transition, offence/defence
balance): one thing that is constant in intl relations is anarchy, while anarchy is
constant, everything else can change and consequently affect the systemic propensity
for war. What is the balance of power? It describes the tendency for states to try to
balance against threats to align themselves in such a way to avoid war a create
balance. It is also prescriptive insofar as it recommends certain types of policies,
where they overcome their weaknesses through alliances. It is a very mechanistic
notion of intl affairs. A balanced system is more stable; states will therefore join
together to maintain a balanced system in face of an emerging power. Bandwagoning
is not balancing (temptation for A and B to eliminate E and F and distribute their
power between them). A and B then eliminate C and D and do the same, then A is
very powerful and eliminates B. Balancing is expensive, bandwagoning is dangerous.
Bipolarity vs. Multipolarity: bipolar (cold war) leads to stability (waltz): naturally
balanced, clear, predictable, not leaving room for error or miscalculations. Critique:
no flexibility, volatile, zero sum. Multipolar leads to stability (morgenthau): flexible,
more than one workable balancing coalition. Critique: too flexible, lots of room for
error and miscalculation; bandwagoning. Power transition: Kugler and Organski;
Gilpin. Balance of power -> power parity is good. Power Transition -> power parity
between the great powers is the most volatile and dangerous times. The system is
hierarchical: a hegemony is setting the rules of the game (moscow was in control of
the communist/soviet/leftist policies throughout the world; china didn•ft really agree
with this). Modern hegemonic wars: louis xiv, thirty years war, WWI WWII, french
revolution.