POLB80 chapter2

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Political Science
Francis Wiafe- Amoako

M02GOLD957710SEC02qxd11111826 PMPage 42Realist TheoriesCHAPTER 2Israeli artillery ring on Gaza 2009M02GOLD957710SEC02qxd11111826 PMPage 43CHAPTER OUTLINERealismRealismNo single theory reliably explains the wide range of international interactions but onePowertheoretical framework has historically held a central position in the study of IR ThisDening Powerapproach called realism is favored by some IR scholars and vigorously contested byEstimating Powerothers but almost all take it into accountElements of PowerRealismor political realism is a school of thought that explains international relaThe International Systemtions in terms of power The exercise of power by states toward each other is sometimesAnarchy and Sovereigntycalled realpolitikor just power politicsBalance of PowerModern realist theory developed in reaction to a liberal tradition that realists calledGreat Powers and idealismof course idealists themselves do not consider their approach unrealisticMiddle PowersIdealism emphasizes international law morality and international organizations ratherPower Distribution1than power alone as key inuences on international eventsIdealists think that humanHegemonynature is basically good They see the international system as one based on a communityThe Great Power Systemof states that have the potential to work together to overcome mutual problems see15002Chapter 3 For idealists the principles of IR must ow from morality Idealists were parAlliancesticularly active between World War I and World War II following the painful experiencePurposes of Alliancesof World War I US president Woodrow Wilson and other idealists placed their hopesNATOfor peace in the League of Nations as a formal structure for the community of nationsOther AlliancesThose hopes were dashed when that structure proved helpless to stop GermanRegional AlignmentsItalian and Japanese aggression in the 1930s Since World War II realists have blamedStrategyidealists for looking too much at how the world oughtto be instead of how it reallyisStatecraftSobered by the experiences of World War II realists set out to understand the principlesRationalityof power politics without succumbing to wishful thinking Realism provided a theoreticalThe Prisoners Dilemmafoundation for the Cold War policy of containment and the determination of US policymakers not to appease the Soviet Union and China as the West had appeased Hitler atMunich in 1938Realists ground themselves in a long tradition The Chinese strategist Sun Tzuwho lived 2000 years ago advised the rulers of states how to survive in an era when warhad become a systematic instrument of power for the rst time the warring states period Sun Tzu argued that moral reasoning was not very useful to the state rulers of theday faced with armed and dangerous neighbors He showed rulers how to use power to2advance their interests and protect their survivalPODCASTAt roughly the same time in Greece Thucydideswrote an account of thePeloponnesian War 431404 BC focusing on relative power among the Greek citystates He stated that the strong do what they have the power to do and the weak3accept what they have to acceptMuch later in Renaissance Italy around 1500Niccol Machiavelliurged princes to concentrate on expedient actions to stay in powerincluding the manipulation of the public and military alliances Today the adjective4Machiavellianrefers to excessively manipulative power maneuversThe English philosopher Thomas Hobbesin the 17th century discussed the freeforallthat exists when government is absent and people seek their own selfinterests He called1 Nardin Terry and David R Mapel eds Traditions of International EthicsCambridge 1992 Long Davidand Peter Wilson eds Thinkers of the Twenty Years Crisis InterWar Idealism ReassessedOxford 19952Sun Tzu The Art of WarTranslated by Samuel B Grifth Oxford 19633Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian WarTranslated by R Warner Penguin 1972 p 4024Machiavelli Niccol The Prince and the DiscoursesTranslated by Luigi Ricci Revised by E R PVincent NY Modern Library 1950 Meinecke Friedrich Machiavellism The Doctrine of Raison dtat andIts Place in Modern HistoryTranslated by D Scott Yale 195743M02GOLD957710SEC02qxd11111826 PMPage 4444Chapter 2Realist Theoriesit the state of nature or state of warwhat we would now call the law of the junglein contrast to the rule of law Hobbes favored a strong monarchy which he labeled aLeviathan to tame this conditionessentially advocating a dominance approach to solvethe collective goods problem in domestic societies Realists see in these historical guresevidence that the importance of power politics is timeless and crossculturalAfter World War II scholar Hans Morgenthauargued that international politics is governed by objective universal laws based on national interests dened in terms of powernot psychological motives of decision makers He reasoned that no nation had God onits side a universal morality and that all nations had to base their actions on prudenceand practicality He opposed the Vietnam War arguing in 1965 that a communistVietnam would not harm US national interestsSimilarly in 2002 before the US invasion of Iraq leading realists gured prominently among the 33 IR scholars signing a New York Timesadvertisement warning that5war with Iraq is notin Americas national interestThus realists do not always favorusing military power although they recognize the necessity of doing so at times Thetarget of the IR scholars ad was the group of foreign policy makers in the Bush administration known as neoconservativeswho advocated more energetic use of American powerespecially military force to accomplish ambitious and moralistic goals such as democratizingthe Middle EastThus realisms foundation is the principle of dominance alternatives based onreciprocity and identity will be reviewed in Chapter 3 Figure 21lays out the varioustheoretical approaches to the study of IR we discuss in Chapters 2and 3Realists tend to treat political power as separate from and predominant over moralityideology and other social and economic aspects of life For realists ideologies do not mattermuch nor do religions or other cultural factors with which states may justify their actionsFIGURE 21Theories of IRRealismNeorealismLiberal TheoriesKantLiberal InstitutionalismDemocraticNeoliberalismPeace SEIROEHT LAICOConstructivistS TheoriesMarxismImperialismPostmodernistTheoriesPeace StudiesGender Theories5Morgenthau Hans We Are Deluding Ourselves in Vietnam New York Times MagazineApril 18 1965Advertisement New York TimesSeptember 26 2002
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