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Lecture 10, November 29 2010
Cold War Realism
In 1962 the world came as closest to be destroyed by a nuclear war, no one knew how the nuclear
war was. It would have been even worse than Nagasaki and Heroshima. Thousands and
Thousands of people would die.
The idea was that bombs and missles would come over to canada, because the shortest way to
US, was thru north pole, to come and destroy United States. This was the Cold War.
The study of international relations that we know today, what we study adn how we study effects
Cold war: Origins from Europe, by 1948 europe was chopped up and divided by political lines
and NATO lines.
End of WW2
Division of Europe
Hungry 1956 : hungry is being taking over by Soviet unions, it is being dominated by the soviet
union soldiers. When Stalin dies, many Soviet Union colonies, decide to take some sort of a
freedom, since it wasn’t working well for the Soviet Union.
The point is in 1956, the Americans were encouraging the Hungarians to revolt. The test was,
that Unites States was unwilling to start World War 3, the irony was that, they could have done it,
if they wanted to. And the Germany being divided, into EAST and WEST and the people from
east fleeting the country, caused the the german wall, and this all leads to COLD war.
Cold war: From Confrontation To Stalemate
•Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of a new kind? (Weapons are meant to be used in war,
nuclear weapons are too scary to use, if you use them, they will be used against you. It
was very destructive, all things ever put combined.)
•Difference between deterrence and defence: what are nuclear weapons good for?
(Nuclear weapons were meant to stop other side from it using its nuclear weapons, in case if you
are completely outrun. But you wouldn’t use in a normal battle)
•MANNU: data on nuclear weapons - means of delivery (missiles, subs, bombers)
•Us monopoly - 1945-1949
•US superiority 1949-1968: Mutually assured Destruction (MAD)
(The basic idea was, that nuclear weapons are always going to be there, but it won’t be used, and
if one uses, another will have enough time to use whatever they have left. The key was not the 1st
strike but the 2nd strike capability, even if they launch theirs, you would have enough to kill them,
so therefore they would not attack you first.)
Cold war realism was just a war of scare and talk, they never actually fought. Examples of proxy
wars, are like Korean war, Angola, Vietnam and Guatemala and Recent one Iraq and
What is REALISM?
•Tomas Hobbes – he was a historical cranky dude,
•States act according to their interests. Realism its a theory that states operate, and acts
in international according to their interests
•Ideas and ideals and the handmaidens of interest. States don’t have friends they have
interests, don’t get confused.)
•Security dilemma: The world is anarchic no overarching authority What does that
mean, the world is a bad place we live in, the world is anarchic, and there is no global
government. There is United Nations and the International Justice. The world of self help,
you must help yourself.
•Each state relies on it self- it is a Hobbesian world. The world a war against all that he
called, he argued, in order to get out of this, you need a absolute ruller, taht everyone will
fear and be subordinate. That fearsome that will bring you to your knees,that is a state.
Realism in international relations: the systemic level.
•You pay attention to states, their capabilities and their interest ( the billiard balls)
•Ignore: personalities, ideals, institutions, leaders, domestic processes.
•Stability of the system (it looks at the world as a whole, what condities make the whole
worlds stable, what realist tell is that, the most stable system is where two powers control
the most. The cold war was the most stable era of bi-polarity