POL101 NOTES FROM NOVEMBER 19, 2012
LECTURE: RISE OF THE GREAT POWERS (PROFESSOR WONG)
International relations: democracies don’t fight each other (democracy peace theory)
They generally don’t because they are allies, share the ideologues, adhere to the same rules,
and are slow when making decision on war
THIS IS NOT A GOOD THEORY TO DETERMINE WHAT THE OUTCOME WILL BE
It didn’t predict the end of the cold war
This theory deals with a world full of uncertainty/we live in that type of age
We try to predict and explain vs. the uncertainty
The Taiwan Example: close to China and due to the previous complications (Chiang Kai Shek) there are
around 800 to 1500 missiles pointed towards it. It is also the 14 largest economy and a democracy.
in the cold war the nationalist party fled to Taiwan and it was recognized that party was the rightful
leader (Republic of China). However as China and US became allies Taiwan lost power. It is now seen as
a province of China but in fact is its own state.
1980: wants to become its own state
1996: there was a missile crisis and China launches at it
2005: Anti-secession law in that if you try to break free we will attack 2010: Arms Procurement Act in which Taiwan bought missiles from the US and the US has to
protect because it is also a democracy and an ally there is tremendous uncertainty and no one
was worried until China rose
What we know:
1. China is a superpower as an economic power and this accelerated in the 1980s
2. We also know that is also has a lot of Hard Power: great military power as it is the
second biggest spender in the world. It also a nuclear power and the largest
standing army, equal in tanks, behind in navy, but have been outspending. Behind in
spending (only 1:8 of the US) but have more available military personal.
3. There Soft power is on the rise: the influence of a country without the use of
military power. They achieve this through investing: buy in Africa and has increased
10 fold. Has great security in its energy as it invests in Canada’s energy sources. It is
also about how other countries people want to be like you: Beijing Consensus is now
an alternative model of development to the US one. This increases the cultures
power; US as a great power has declined.
4. America is in the decline: their military spending is thin, the economic power is in
decline, and Soft power is in decline idea of a democratic decline: logistics shown
as deadlock. It used to have great power in Asia and economics made it so that they
bankrolled East Asia. “China has better functioning government than the US” Soros
2010. The rise has a systematic change on the implication on International
Relations. The era may be seen as gone in a while.
What we don’t know: Core principal that International system happens in a system 1. Sovereignty: what defines and give a country its borders. Treaty of Westphalia: cant
fight anymore in that we need borders and need to respect them
2. Power: how countries influence each other. Sometimes there are threats and a
unequal distribution of power. All states are equal in sovereign