PSC 2442 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Democratic Peace Theory

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26 Mar 2020
August 30th 2017: Why Create IOs?
Realism: are IOs a good thing?
John Bolton very against IOs. Realists see IOs as useless and dangerous
Origins of thought: Thucydides, who wrote the Helian Dialogue which proposed
the idea that strength rules politics. The exchange lays out basic ideas of realism.
International politics dangerous, self help system, no justice morality rule
of law, power rules, can’t trust allies
Basic Principles of Realism
Anarchy, states have offensive capabilities, uncertainties about intentions, states
worry about survival, power zero sum
Policy implication: amass power and guard it carefully, be prudent, be careful
who you trust, concentrated power is a good thing
Implications for IOs
Not always opposed, some even consider them useful as tools for the powerful.
However, others feel IOs are dangerous and lull states into a false sense of
security violating realist tenants
Problems with Realism
Too many IOs, more than any realist would expect
Not all states can or will hurt each other, how uncertain are we of others
intentions, most politics not about survival, power is not always zero sum
Amassing power not the only/best way to survive
Conquering other states is not always profitable or reasonable
Power of other states not always a threat, not all kinds of power are threatening
(i.e. economic power), states tolerate neutrals now
Power is not always a zero sum
States often want absolute, not relative gains
Win-win situations are possible and common
Implications for IOs
Can use IOs to make you better off
Lots of IOs doing big jobs with the support of states
IOs can help states get what they want
How IOs can help states
Provide neutral forum for disputes
Ex) Support for States Interactions) in A and S reading
Managing joint activity
Ex) managing substantive operations” like bailing Greece out of debt,
states don’t want the job but IOs can do it and be neutral
Collect information, create transparency like IAEA reporting on nuclear activity
Clarify rules and what constitutes compliance
Trust is possible, especially among democracies
Democratic peace theory, more trust, more willingness to cooperate More IOs
and more willingness to give bigger jobs to IOs
Many IOs look to create more democracies
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