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IR 1.29.docx

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Political Science
Kelly Greenhill

1.29 The Balance of Power and the International System through WWI • Medieval Era o collapse of Roman Empire  Europe decentralized and politically diverse  no hegemon o MiddleAges: ca. 1K years of divided political leadership  religious and secular power with overlapping authority  involved popes, emperors, kings, bishops, lords and knights…: dominated by lord-vassal relationships  property rights less defined, no extensive monetary economy o two Christian Empires dominate  Catholic Christendom in Rome  Orthodox Byzantium • challenges to, feudalism (pre-state system) o system fraught with local rebellions, conflicts between kingsinstability  conflicting lines of authority th th o church supremacy is challenged in 15 and 16 centuries through:  ideas of Renaissance (fueling challenges of science and secularism)  Protestant Reformation o one consequence of these challenges is the creation of the modern state system, catalyzed by the Thirty Years War • ThirtyYears War (1618-1648) o initially a Protestant uprising in Bohemia o war widened  multiple conflicts and parties  Holy Roman/Hapsburg Empire, France, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands o prominent issue: religious toleration  along with territorial and power ambitions o peace is negotiated by French Cardinal Mazarin  France becomes the most powerful, Hapsburgs lose the most • Peace of Westphalia o war-related devastation led to recognition that some sort of restraint was necessary o Treaties of Munster and Osnabruck mark the start of the modern, nation-state era o immediate consequences:  territorial boundary shifts (Sweden, France (gained the most), …)  creation of new states (Switzerland, the Netherlands, …)  end of papal control over foreign policy  recognition of Protestantism o beginning of modern time diplomacy o basis of self-determination for national peoples o international law o Westphalian State System  by 1660, the state had become the most important political unit in Europe • end of Holy Roman Empire’s dominance  rulers could determine state religion, had complete authority over state matters  foundation of the rules of diplomacy and international law  mutual recognition of each other’s independence—but only with Europe  birth of sovereignty, rise of balance of power, and the growth of nationalism • the Modern State o 3 characteristics  effective military  able bureaucracy  raison d’etat • state as more than a ruler and his/her wishes • state > crown + land + prince + people • seek capabilities  objectives (power) • need for political-military grand strategy, to ensure that its capabilities are effectively translated into fulfilled needs/interests (Richelieu as progenitor) • discussion of need for common norms and human rights to restrain and control violence (and its perpetuation) (Grotian ideals) • Sovereignty: supremacy of authority or rule, as exercised by an independent state o monopoly on the legitimate use of force o control over one’s territory o single currency and sole right of taxation • Balance of Power: o system based on sovereignty and the absence of a world government (anarchy) o distribution of power whereby no single state is powerful enough to dominate or interfere with all others (absence of hegemony) o balancing: coalitions and alliances form to prevent hegemony (vs. buck-passing- asking someone else to prevent hegemony while sitting back) o balancing does not mean full cooperation between states  competition for colonial possessions  Napoleonic bids for hegemony o BoP is about the preservation of the status quo  peace when possible, and war, when required o internal balancing:  arms racing  growth of military  catching up to potential hegemon (economically or otherwise)  not all can afford internal balancing  can precipitate a security dilemma causing mistrust between other states • defensive means ultimately result in offensive means from others o external balancing  alliance-building, creating a balancing coalition • attractive for small/middle powers, can still fuel mistrust  preventive strikes to neutralize potential hegemons before they grow too powerful • dangerous; outcomes uncertain; can generate balancing against would- be balancer(s) o internal and external balancing: not mutually conducive • Nation: a group of people who are assumed to share a common identity, language, religion, ideology, culture, and/or history • State: a set of institutions (and the people who hold power within them) that exercise sovereignty within a defined territory o ex: Vatican is a state, not a nation-state • Nation-state: a sovereign political unit in which the borders of a state are congruent with the borders of a nation • Nationalism: an ideology that holds that a nation is the primary organizing unit for human social life; it should therefore take precedence over any other social and political principles or relationships o the superior mobilization and extractive capacities—and the concomitant efficiencies and economies of scale—associated with the consolidation and centralization of power added impetus to national sentiments Balance of Power through the 19 Century Four Stages of pre-WWI BoP: th 1) 18 C Model 2) Concert of Europe 3) Bismarckian Model 4) CompetingAlliances o Phase One Intentionality  1700s- five great powers: France,Austria, Britain, Russia, and Prussia  creation of basic norms • shared beliefs and expectations regarding the conduct of war, validating the existence of five or fewer great powers, in favor of maintaining the existing status quo/balance of power, war was an acceptable method of maintaining the status quo  undermined by Napoleon in Napoleonic Wars 1802-1815 •
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