International relation theories.docx

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Political Science
Jeffrey Kopstein

International relation theories Theory = ability to predict how states will behave, how individual voters will behave Democratic Peace Theory A theory based on historical patterns that democracies do not fight/go to war with other democracies. Why? In most cases democracies are allied with one another. The share liberal values. Democracies are also slow in making policy, therefore except under extreme circumstances they take a long time to declare war. An in this time democracies figure out alternative ways to solve their differences. Conflicts may exist but history as shown they do not go to war with each other. However political science is not very good at predicting or creating good theories. For example we did not predict the end of the cold war. We try to predict how states will be have but generally not successful. The reason is because politics is uncertain, the way states behave is very uncertain. But we continue to try and understand how states behave and why. The case of Taiwan: A tiny democratic island off of China, but 1100 missiles on China are pointing at it! 14 largest trading economy in the world. Democracy since 1992. 1920’s-30’s China was involved with civil war. War between communists and nationalists, by 1940 it was clear communists would be successful. Nationalists fled to Taiwan, but at the time Taiwan had republic of China government. Taiwan was considered the official government in exile of China. The Chinese Communist Party in 1950’s was not the legitimate government of China. World views of communism during cold war made Taiwan the legitimate government as viewed by outside countries. 1970’s China normalized relations with the USA, this is when USA and others recognized the Communist Party of China as the official/legitimate government of China. Therefore Taiwan was recognized as a province of China not a country. China claims Taiwan. In reality, Taiwan is an independent state, own economy, on policies, own exchange rate and currency, behaves like a national economy and is democracy. Own foreign policy, military… Taiwan is not recognized as a state, legally a province of China, it acts like an independent state. In 1970’s USA created Taiwan relations act, USA will defend Taiwan against China. This really upset China!! It is a province but USA is protecting it!! 1990’s Taiwan had democratic transition, and rise of independence movement results in 1996 missile crisis at same time as first election for Taiwan president. As a warning China launched a missile but did not hit Taiwan, scared them. China threatening to use force to ensure Taiwan remains a province. 2005 China creates anti succession law which states that if Taiwan declares independence it will attack. Taiwan responds by increasing military. 2009-2010, debates as too what tech Taiwan should buy from USA. China could easily reclaim Taiwan. But Taiwan such a strategic asset to USA they wont stop defending. Also, USA will defend them because they are democracy. But we don’t really know how China, Taiwan or USA will act. Laws are constantly being changed/broken. Taiwan wasn’t worried about China until 1990’s. China only became source of concern since it became very powerful. What we do know in political science is that currently China is very powerful. Prior to 1978 it was not. Leader launches modernization in 1978. Undoing of communism is what really happened. A private sector emerged. Foreign direct investment started. Huge rise in GDP. China has developed “Hard Power” Military Power. Prior to 1980’s military was very weak. Now China is second largest military spender of $ in the world, more than Russia!! Only USA has bigger military. They do have nuclear powers but we don’t expect nuclear war with China. China has most soldiers, and has equal ground vehicles. Navy will soon surpass USA. Spends 8 times less $ on military than USA but only because USA spends soooo much. But 5 times more troops can be mobilized. “Soft Power” international influence also rising, 2nd largest economy. China is investing internationally, especially in Africa. Is acquiring own sources of energy and influence grows. Also, soft power is increasing as more people see China as an alternative model. In past everyone has wanted to be like USA, now people are considering China. China has also cultural influences, the Chinese language is now being spoken and learned by more people. “Beijing Consensus” where previously we had the “Washington consensus” which is all about liberal capitalism, but look what it has produced, we now have struggling financial system, European Union is falling apart with Greece and other crises. China continues to grow. But still majority of people want to be like USA, but it is increasing that people want to be like China. We know USA is still strongest military but it is decreasing, likewise economy is dropping. American soft power is declining. Idea of democracy is worsening. The consequence of American decline is western influence is developing worlds will drop, especially strategic locations. George
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