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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 - national interests.docx

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Political Science
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Lilach Gilady

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National Interests  The Melian Dialogue o The Athenians took control of Melos o Strong do what they have the power to do o Weak accept what they have to accept  However, what are the interests behind the powerful country ?  The interests are important to analyzing the way power is used What do states want ? o The actor defines the interest/ the interest defines the actor  This is because the relationships are similar to each others interests o Winston Churchill quote about Russia  To understand what Russia might do, you need to understand the Russian national interest  Russia has some national interests b/c of their history, their geographical region and etc.. o States  Want different things  There are two schools of thought for what states want  One suggests that states want security over everything else ( defensive realists)  Their policies will show this national interest  The opposing school suggest that state want power over everything else ( offensive realists)  Once again, this national interest will be shown within their policies  Another thinking suggests that welfare is the primary concern  States look out for the welfare of their citizens and try to give them the best life possible  Acceptance is another way that this may be what states want the most  Comes from the constructivist school of international theory  ( possible example - China )  States are not completely motivated by security, power or welfare  The most important thing to them is acceptance in the international system o Nature vs. Nurture  Some say national interests is a natural process  Others believe that Nurture makes their national interest, for other countries shape their national interest  Their interactions socially with other countries cause them to create their national interest Absolute Vs. Relative Gains  1st distribution o Actor A and Actor B has 5 units  2nd distribution : Actor a has 4 and b has 3  3rd distribution : Actor A has 6 and Actor 6 and B has 7 o Relative gains goes for the second distribution  These are gains which are highlighted by realists o Absolute gains are the 3rd distribution  This distribution is highlighted in by liberalists Canadian National Interests  What is the Canadian National Interest o Security interests o Economic interests o World order interests o Domestic/social/identity interests  All of these together are the Canadian national interest  Also, what is the intensity of the Canadian National Interest o National interests  Are very vague so you have to study them so that you can see their affect on policy making  Interests = goals = policy  Ex: greater economic growth = increased Canadian Competitiveness = ??? ( this is very vague)  What does it mean to be competitive ?  How do we be competitive ?  How do we reflect this in our policy ? o Interests can also conflict with other interests : Guns Vs. Butter  Is national defence more important than well being ?  Which interest is more important for your society ? The Falklands War o Falkland Islands small group of Islands of
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