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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - theories of the international system.docx

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Political Science
Lilach Gilady

Theories of the International system October-02-13 10:17 AM  If there is anarchy, then you are in the state of nature o The fact that we have theories for the international system, we know that it is anarchic  Anarchy - is not necessarily chaos  Although there is anarchy, this dose not mean that there is complete chaos  There are still forms of structure that could still be put in place  Even in war which has chaos, there is still structure Government Vs. Anarchy  o If there is disorder, there is the potential for violence, but it does not mean that it will occur  Law vs. lawless o In the international system, it looks as if there is no laws o However, there are  The problem is how do you enforce them Implications of the International system  Survival o We look for the care of our survival o We, as sovereign states, can only trust ourselves o In this sense, we should only follow our self interests  There is a constant potential for violence  Therefore, you are always ready and alert and possess the capabilities to defend yourself  Cooperation o There is a very limited potential for cooperation  Once again you cannot trust people  There is an unstable equilibrium, or the fear of defection  The Leviathan o If there is no Leviathan = no room for moral considerations  In Anarchy and the international system, survival and self interests are moral  Moral rights are only in existence if we have a leviathan  These implications are only one simple way of viewing the international system Bismarck  Suggested the idea of real - politics ( the politics of reality ) o His politics were based on the practical rather than moral or ideological considerations  Realpolitik was being conservative, minimalist, and militaristic  By following the principles, you can interact with other people in the international system  This school of thought would adapt and turn into realism  The security Dilemma o Constant fear and security  Therefore, states must be ready to defend themselves  Improving security  One actor looks to improve their security by buying weapons, building a defensive wall and gaining allies  Therefore, another actor will invest in defense as well  They have now put themselves back in the same spot, but in a poorer situation  This leads us to a dilemma: how can we increase out security without threatening others o Thucydides  Was a general in the Peloponnesian Wars, where the Athenians fought the Spartans  Athens - went to take over Melos  It Became Athens Vs. The people of Melos  " The standard of Justice depends on the equality of power to compel and that in fact the strong do what they have to power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept "  This shows that in the state of nature, there is no room for morals  Melos would fight for their image  They would lose and be conquered Modern Realism  International politics, like all politics, is a struggle for power o This was come up by Hanz J. Morgenthau, who is considered to be one of the fathers of modern realism  He wrote a famous book called the Politics among the Nations  Realism became the principle that dominated the understanding of international relations  1979 o There was a new development in realism  Neo - realism began to emerge  Kenneth Waltz - wrote a book called the Theory of International Politics  He tried to make realism more scientific  How can we make the study of international politics more systematic and rigorous ? Neorealism  The implications of anarchy - we need to maximize our security  Anarchy is constant - it what differentiates between the domestic and international system o While anarchy is a constant - the distribution of power is not  On major powers matter  The small ones are not really relevant  Under anarchy, the different distributions of power defines the different patterns of behaviour  To understand international politics, we need to focus on the world system level of analysis
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