CICS 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: David Candy, Ethnic Nationalism, Franco-Prussian War

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Module 2
The problem: A world shaped by violent struggle
oAbout 2.5% of the world’s population perished during WWII
The problem in numbers: human costs
oStalin, Mao Tse-tung, Adolf Hitler caused thousands of deaths
The solution: tools of international relations
A tool of choice
A way to gain leverage when diplomacy fails ways to persuade
someone and get back to the bargaining table; trade embargo
Unintended side effects: Iraqi people suffered more than
Not always successful in accomplishing objective: Putin thinks
our sanctions against his regime won’t work
Ethical issues associated with using sanctions
Politics by other means, method of last resort
oMobilization of international shame
Used by nongovernmental organizations, exposing bad
behavior to shame people into altering their decisions
Political perspectives
Sees world in terms of power
Morgenthau: states are self-interested, power-seeking actors
who seek security
International politics is a “self help” system
Violent behaviors result from bad institutions, not bad people
Intergovernmental institutions can provide stability, prevent
International politics is hierarchal
Claim that significant aspects of international relations are
historically and socially constructed
Politics not fully explained through power or interests in
States also motivated by “ideational” factors
International politics a means to preserve and promote
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Efforts to achieve security and cooperation
oIGOs, NGOs, MNCs, states
Early international efforts
o1648 Peace of Westphalia
Notion of sovereignty, gave states the right to go about their
own affairs without the intervention of other states
oGeneva Conventions
Four treaties between 1864 and 1949, extensively define what
states agree on with regard to taking soldiers as POWs with
respect to how civilians in a combat zone should be treated
oHague Conventions of 1899 and 1907
Hague Conventions were negotiated in Peace Conferences;
established rules about what was acceptable and not
acceptable in war (outlawed poison gas)
League of Nations
oPresident Wilson a visionary
oSignificant step forward toward international cooperation
oEffective for a short time: e.g. creates Permanent Court of
International Justice
oClassic example of liberalism
oWilson died before he could convince US Senate to join League of
Nations, major weakness
The United Nations
oFounded to replace the League, correct its weaknesses
oTwo main functions: collective security and resolving economic and
social issues
Advantages of participating in IGOs
oWhat do nation-states gain?
Political voice and influence
Trading partners
oWhat do nation-states jeopardize?
Security Council
oPermanent members: US, Britain, France, China, Russia
oMost powerful organ, may adopt essential resolutions
oMost criticized
Criticism of Security Council
oIt’s undemocratic and it’s not representative
oIt was the only way to gain participation of Great Powers
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oGermany and Japan wanted to be added because they had recently
developed large economies
General Assembly
oRepresentative body
oApproves budget
oElects non-permanent members to Security Council
oSubsidiary organizations
oGeneral Assembly is the heart of the UN – all representatives have a
oHeaded by the Secretary General
oCurrently Ban Ki-moon
oOversees UN’s day to day business
oMoves UN forward as an institution of peace
UN Weaknesses and Strengths
Security Council composition not representative
Failures to prevent and intervene in conflict
General Assembly bureaucratic and inefficient
Reduces likelihood of wars
2 out of 3 peacekeeping efforts successful
Moral authority
Perspectives on the UN
UN Charter signed because Great Powers retained veto and
could not continue to play power politics; decisions reflect the
balance of power
The UN is a forum where nation-states come together and give
up some sovereignty to a higher, overarching authority; the UN
has been successful in reducing conflict
Nation-states participate because they want to be seen as
cooperative, have a “voice,” express their views
Changes in the international system
oStates are central to international order, however the context for
achieving security is shifting
Decolonization: new states, especially in Africa were unwilling
to protect citizens
End of Cold War: US and Soviet Union promised to protect new
states, deterrent of conflict
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