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Lecture #3

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
La Haine

The different -isms: Each ism will have different answers. - How do we deal with threat? - Is cooperation possible? - What do actors want? - What is the most important for understanding international politics? - Is there possibility for change? Realism - The Realist A Team Bismarck - Realpolitik: Considered to be a genius of politics. Realpolitik literally means the politics of reality - politics based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations. Conservative. Minimalist (need to get to your goal without going overboard)expansionist, militaristic. It doesnt matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice - Deng Xiaoping; it often leads to unholy alliances (eg. communist and nazi alliance, regardless of ideology. Do they serve our interest). Power politics, actors following their own national interest. E.H. Carr - Twenty Years Crisis, 1919-1939: Places its emphasis on acceptance of facts and on the analysis of their causes and consequences. Carr criticizes leaders at that time for being idealists, and they should have been realists. They dont see the world as what it is, they see what they want to see and where did they get us? Another world war. Thomas Hobbs, 1588-1679: Wrote Leviathan (1651). The State of Nature: *A war of every man against every man * Life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. The solution: The creation of the State. The Logic of Hobbes Argument 1: *Man is selsh hedonist: of the voluntary acts of every man, the object is some good to himself *All people are equal, rational, and possessing a passionate love of survival (right of nature) - your only really right is the right to survive *A persons right of nature justies violence against everybody else *In the interest of personal survival, people will come around to agreeing that they should renounce their right to use violence. The Logic of Hobbes Argument 2: *The creation of the Leviathan enforces stability - citizens give up their independence to buy stability (this institution takes away our most basic right, but in turn creates laws) *The Leviathan gets ultimate authority and a monopoly over the use of violence *Morality, justice, property - are social constructs imposed by the state and exist only so long as the state is strong enough to impose them - they are tools for maintaining stability rather than inherent rights *Law is dependent on power. Legal positivism: justice is whatever the laws says it is. An unjust law is an oxymoron. Bull: the Domestic Analogy. In international systems, we do not have a Leviathan. Anarchy - The absence of government. The international system is anarchy. The international state lives in a state of nature, living by the law of the right to survive and use violence if necessary. Hobbs and International Relations
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