POL 3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Security Dilemma, Hegemony, Preemptive War

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19 Jan 2018
School
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Perspectives: define different variables/ theories,
Realism
states are the main actors, what is happening in international pol. Focus on states,
2 assumptions: unitary actors assumption:
o act in one voice and rational actors (they have goals, they achieve goals by
weighing the options) (democracy or what, president who or not), look at it as a
whole, acting rationally as a coherent unit.
o 2nd assumption: anarchy defines international system. This is different from a
hierarchical system, we have no control over different states. State interaction is
very imp, decision of state is very important.
Use of Force is effective:
use of force against other states can be used and it is effective policy.
State wants to leave it can leave.
No world government or police force, it is a useable policy.
Way they can get other states to get what they want.
It is EFFECTIVE.
Implications of assumptions:
1. Constant threat of war and invasion: every state has the potential to be attacked,
because anarchy. Constant threat.
2. Main goal is state security/ survival. National interest is about security. SECURITY.
Because anarchy, self-help system, state protects itself. Bunch of states who want to
gain more power.
Gain power, power is military and economic abilities as in money and weapons. For
realists, this is power.
3. States worry about gains
relative gains: how much more/ less I get than you.
Absolute gain: how much I get. States are worried about relative gains
Cases:
example 1; I get $60 you get $100
Absolute gain: $60
Regular gain: $-40
Shows that I am willing to take a loss, if the other state is getting eve less.
4. Cooperation is difficult:
Because of relative gain concerns, other state is going to gain more. We shy away.
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