Wendt: Anarchy is What States Make of It

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 244
Jason Scott Ferrell

Wendt: Anarchy is What States Make of It Anarchy and Power Politics  Anarchy is what states make of it  Permissive View: only if human or domestic factors cause A to attack B will B have to defend itself  Neorealism: role of practice in shaping the character of anarchy is substantially reduced – less about which to argue Anarchy, Self-Help and Intersubjective Knowledge  Actors: define their interests in the process of defining situations  Institution is a relatively stable set of structure of identities and interests o Institutions as collective knowledge: they are experiences as having an existence over and above individuals who happen o embody them at the moment o Mutually constitutive o Self-Help is a form of institution  Competitive Security System: states identify negatively with each other’s security so that ego’s gain is seen as alters loss. Negative identification under anarchy constitutes system of realist power politics  Individualistic Security System: states are indifferent to the relationship between their own and others’ security. o Constitutes “neoliberal” systems  Concerned primarily with absolute gains rather than relative gains  Cooperative Security System: states identify positively with one another so that the security of each is perceived as the responsibility of all. Social Construction  Competitive systems of interaction are prone to security dilemmas o Efforts of actors to enhance their security unilaterally threatens the security of the other, perpetuation distrust and alienation
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