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POLS 4200 (3)

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Political Science
POLS 4200
Susan Henders

Classical realist: - emphasize the dynamics of power relations over time at the systemic level - changes in relative power, and the tendency of these changes to generate divergences in perceptions of power and privilege in the international system, are a principle source of anxiety and ambition in world politics, generating pressures that often lead to war. - Classical realists tend to envision states, in the abstract, as essentially rational, purposeful, and motivated, but they do not see states as hyper- rationalist automatons. Rather classical realists also understand that state behavior is shaped by the lessons of history (right or wrong), ideas (accurate or not), ideology (good or bad), and that states make choices influenced by fear, vulnerability, and hubris, usually in the context of considerable uncertainty. This may not result in an elegant theory, but it does offer a disciplined and general approach to the study of world politics and a guide to statecraft. And classical realism can do a better job when applied to important, practical questions, like the rise of China. - Classical realist have a pessimistic view of humanity and of the prospects for fundamental progress in the human nature (6); sees outcomes determined by power, war (establish power and military primacy). states always want more; there have been very few states in history that have ‘stopped wanting more’ [militarily and economically]. (exercise for power always appears to beget the appetite for more power – Carr, 7). - China/raising powers are a source of instability because 1) will take of advantage of the power vacuum 2) attempt to improve hegemonic position in response to changes in the international balance of power 3) pursuit of security will only raise new insecurities = rising power becomes an instant threat to other states = adding more problems on top - Classical realists believe it is more rational to engage, rather than confront China is the wiser strategy, compared to offensive realism. Why?  1) acknowledge your power and the other’s power 2)realize a state’s actions will have ripple effects (positive or negative) on other states (pg 15). Offensive realism: - mearsheimer: china cannot rise peacefully…as it becomes more powerful (economically, militarily, etc) it will b
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