Is There an Enduring Logic of Conflict in World Politics?
Basic bullet points of the first chapter (experience versus theoretical understandings);
The world at the beginning of the twentyfirst century is a strange cocktail of continuity and change. Some
aspects of international politics have not changed since Thucydides. There is a certain logic of hostility, a
dilemma about security that goes with interstate politics. Alliances, balance of power, and choices in in
policy between war and compromise have remained similar over the millennia.
Joe Nye says that he has found in his experience in government that he could not ignore the ageold nor
the brandnew dimensions of world politics.
Any sense of global community is weak.
Cooperation is difficult in the absence of communication.
No one can tell the whole story of anything.
The cure to misunderstanding history is to read more, not less.
At some point, consequences matter.
Anarchy means without government, but it does not necessarily mean chaos or total disorder.
The international system consists not only of states. The international political system is the pattern of
relationships among the states.
Outline to subheadings of Chapter 1:
WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL POLITICS?
1. World Imperial System
a. Western: Roman, Spanish, French, British
b. Regional Empires: Sumerian, Persian, Chinese
2. Feudal System a. Crosscutting, NonTerritorial Loyalties and Conflicts
3. Anarchic System of States
2) Dynastic Territorial States
b. Absence of a Common Sovereign
1) SelfHelp System
2) Thomas Hobbes: State of Nature
c. Domestic (Municipal) vs. International Politics and Law
1) Domestic Monopoly on the Use of Force vs. International
2) Domestic Sense of Community vs. Absence of a Common
3) Result: Gap between Order and Justice
4. This Last System (Anarchic System of States) Is the Most Relevant to Contemporary International
Differing Views of Anarchic Politics
1. Political Philosophy: Two Views
a. Thomas Hobbes: Emphasis on Insecurity, Force, and Survival
b. John Locke: People Can Make Contracts
2. International Politics: Two Current Views
a. Realism is the dominant tradition; it is more pessimistic: Hans
Morgenthau was a leading theorist
b. Liberalism (often called idealism), the more optimistic tradition, traces
back to Baron Montesquieu, Immanuel Kant, Jeremy Bentham, John
Stuart Mill, and Woodrow Wilson
a. Liberals emphasize economic and social interdependence
(1) They see a global society that functions alongside the states
and sets part of the context for states (e.g., trade, the UN)
b. Realists claim liberals overstate the difference between domestic and international politics
4. Realist Rejoinder: A State of War Does Not Mean Constant War
a. Sidebar: 1910
5. Resurgence of Liberal Claims in the 1970s and 1980s
a. Richard Rosecrance: States can increase their power either
aggressively by territorial conquest or peacefully through trade(1) Illustration: Japan
6. Ecological Interdependence: Vision of a World Without Borders
a. Ozone depletion
b. AIDS and drugs
c. Richard Falk: nonterritorial loyalty
d. Transnational forces are undoing the Peace of Westphalia
7. Realist Rebuttal
8. Other Approaches
b. Dependency Theory [Cardoso changed to a free market view and
served as the Brazilian president]
c. Kenneth Waltz: Neorealism
d. Robert Keohane: Neoliberalism
a. Concepts are socially constructed [cf. medieval nominalism,
deconstruction, and Chomsky s deep structures]
b. Focus on instrumental rationality
c. John Maynard Keynes dead scribblers
b. Nonstate actors
(1) TNCs or MNCs (multinational corporations)
c. Middle East as an Illustration
(2) IGOs (intergovernmental organizations)
(3) NGOs (nongovernmental organizations)
(4) Transnational ethnic groups such as the Kurds 2. Goals
a. National security
a. Stanley Hoffmann: Link between military strength and positive
achievement has been loosened
(1) Nuclear weapons
(2) Expense of conventional forces
(3) Internal constraints
(4) Alternatives to Force
c. Basic game of security goes on
(1) Hegemonic states
(2) Hegemonic wars
(3) New treaty sets the new framework of order: e.g., the Treaty of
Utrecht, 1713; the Congress of Vienna, 1815; and the United
Nations system, 1945
THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR