Political Science 2231E Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Hedley Bull, Hans Morgenthau, Chanakya

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REALISM
Ancient Thinkers
Note: these thinkers, according to Realists, are the first realists, but there is
considerable disagreement about this
Common:
oPower relative to others
oKingdoms & city-states & empires as opposed to states
oCreation and control over territory by a single ruler
Sun-Tzu (modern China)
oLived 2500 years ago
oWrote how to build an army, a state
oWinning wars by strategy
1) not fighting- diplomacy (using other strategies)
2) pre-fighting- before the fight doing little war things
3) fighting only when victory’s assured- don’t engage when can lose
Thucydides (modern Greece)
oLived 2400 years ago
oSecurity Dilemma”: an increase in the power of one state (Athens)
causes insecurity in its neighbours & rivals (Spartans), and results in them
seeking to increase their relative power
oDistribution of power in inter-state system
Kautilya (modern India)
oLived 2300 years ago
oWhat to do with alliances (Sun Tzu, too). He called “Mandala” or Circle
of Kings: my neighbour is my enemy, so my enemy’s neighbour is my
friend
Machiavelli (modern Italy)
oState-building & state maintenance are important
oNational Interest: rulers must always do what is in the best interest of the
state, and to do otherwise is immoral (morality is judged based on how
you act in best interest of the state)- USA after 9/11
oTo act to create a world which ‘ought to be’(human proclivities/normative)
would lead to disaster (US trying to instill democracy in Iran)
Thomas Hobbes (modern England)
oAnarchy: absence of government authority, so ‘continual fear and danger
of violent death’
oPermanence of War: ‘state of nature’ is an inevitable ‘war of all against all’
Realism
Evolution:
o1930s-1960s in USA and England
oReaction to World War I and World War II
© Nigmendra Narain, Political Science 2231: Intro to I.R., 2013-14: Page 1 of 5
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