POL 208 .docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL208Y5
Professor
Todd Hall
Semester
Fall

Description
POL 218. CONFLICT AMONG STATES Conflict among states may seem to be an unusual condition but it really is an ordinary one. Conflict may be defined as a difference in preferred outcomes in a bargaining situation. International conflicts will always exist. In such conflict bargaining, states develop capabilities that give them leverage to obtain more favorable outcomes than they otherwise would achieve. Whether fair or unfair, the ultimate outcome of the bargaining process is a settlement of the particular conflict, the domestic level of analysis draws attention to the characteristics of States or societies that may make them more or less prone to use violence in resolving conflicts. (Levy & Thompson, 2010). For example, During the Cold War, Marxists frequently said that the aggressive and greedy Capitalist states were prone to use violence in international conflicts, whereas Western leaders claimed that the expansionist, ideological, and totalitarian nature of communist states made them especially prone to using violence. The gulf war of 1990 has similar characteristics. There were 34 countries in this force against Saddam Hussein and his take over and it was led by the United States (R. Newell 1998). In 1990, Iraq was in a lot financial difficulties with the price of oil that remained very low. The fact was that oil was the country’s main income. On the other hand, Kuwait had a lot of oil in cheaper prices that seemed to be a major issue for the Iraqis (Aldred 1992). Saddam Hussein decided to take over the whole country of Kuwait when negotiations of the debts and oil with the royal family in Kuwait went towards the opposite direction (Voirst 1998). As we can see Saddam Hussein was ready to fight a war if it had to take place. We can also argue that domestic political factors shape a state’s outlook on war and peace. For example, the democratic peace suggests that democracies almost never fight other Democracies, although both democracies and authoritarian states fight wars. Others claim that domestic political parties, interest groups, and legislatures play an important role in whether international conflicts become international wars. Few useful generalizations can be made about which societies are more prone or less prone to war (Levy & Thompson, 2010). The same society may change greatly over time. For example, Iraq was prone to using violence in international conflicts before the Persian Gulf War but has been averse to such violence since then. If there are general principles to explain why some societies at some times are more peaceful than others and why they change, political scientists have not yet identified them (Levy & Thompson, 2010). The theories at the interstate level explain wars in terms of power relations among major actors in the international system. Power transition theory holds that conflicts
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