- 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).
- mearsheimer: china cannot rise peacefully…as it becomes more powerful
(economically, militarily, etc) it will b