Textbook Notes (369,100)
United States (206,205)
PS-0061 (13)

War and Change in World Politics

5 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
Kelly Greenhill

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War and Change in World Politics • 2 state objective: “to increase their influence over the behavior of other states through the use of threats and coercion, the formation of alliances, and the creation of exclusive spheres of influence; states can create an international political environment and rules of the system that will be conducive to the fulfillment of their political, economic, and ideological interests” (24) rd • 3 state objective: “to control or at least exercise influence over the world economy or international division of labor” (24) • “market power or economic power has itself become a principal means by which states seek to organize and manipulate the international division of labor to their own advantage” (24) • division of labor determines wealth, security, and reputation of states • state policy now dives into issues concerning the terms of trade, the flow of resources, and the nature of the international monetary system • “… the distribution of economic power and the rules governing international economic regimes have become critical aspects of the process of international political change.” (24) • individual property rights on global scale • modern world allows citizens of one country to have and maintain property rights across borders • #1 objective of all states—most vital interest (arguable definition)—is that of safety and security • anything a state does is for its own particular set of interests • “The international system thus provides a set of constraints and opportunities within which individual groups and states seek to advance their interests.” (26) • international system is an ambiguous term because we can’t say that globalization has reached every corner of the world and effects it the same way • definition by Robert Mundell and Alexander Swoboda: “Asystem is an aggregation of diverse entities united by regular interaction according to a form of control.” (26) • international system has 3 aspects o diverse entities—processes, structures, actors or their attributes  character of international system is largely determined by the type of actors (states)  factors that influence the behavior of states in particular time and system o regular interaction—much interaction vs. intense independence  nature, regularity, and intensity of interactions vary with different systems  “diplomatic, military, economic, and other relationships among states constitute the functioning of the international system.” (27)  relationships have been governed by formal rules o form of control—regulates behavior with (in)formal rules  “the essence of international relations is precisely the absence of control.”  “International politics, in contrast to domestic politics, are said to take place in a condition of anarchy; there is no authority or control over the behavior of the actors, and many writers believe that it is a contradiction in terms to speak of control over the international system.” (27) • Mechanisms of control (components of system) Domestic International Government Dominance of great powers Authority Hierarchy of prestige Property of rights Division of territory Law Rules of the system Domestic economy International economy • although the international system is technically an anarchy (no formal procedures/authority), it does seem to have some control over the behavior of states o this control is different than that of individual states in their own sovereignties o no state has ever had complete control of the international system—“relative control” or “seeking to control” • change could not take place if only one group or state had complete control of some society because they would not have control over economic, political, and technological forces • factors in controlling the international system o principal factor: distribution of power among political coalitions (states, classes, interest groups, etc)  whose interests are principally promoted  the superpowers of the world  how much influence do they have (forced?)  oligopolistic  3 forms of control or types of structure for the international system • imperial or hegemonic o most prevalent in modern times universal empire? • bipolar o two powerful states unstable and short-lived • balance of power with 3 or more states have control o alliances and open conflict o ex. Europe from Treaty of Westphalia to WWI (1648-1914) o hierarchy of prestige among states  “prestige is the functional equivalent of the role of authority in domestic politics” (30)  according to Max Weber, prestige is the “probability that a command with a given specific content will be obeyed by a given group of persons”—not the same as power, “the probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance, regardless of the basis on which this probability rates” (30) • prestige and power can ensure that lesser states will obey commands of dominant states  has a moral and functional basis  lesser states trust dominance and accept their legitimacy and experience • will most often stick with the status quo to maintain peace rather than risk the uncertainties of change • dominant states provide goods and protection when alliances are formed • dominant states (empires usually) promote an ideology that supports their domination • dominance ultimately depends on economic and militaristic abilities • “Whereas power refers to the economic, military, and related capabilities of a state, prestige refers primarily to the perceptions of other states with respect to a state’s capabilities and its ability and willingness to exercise power. In the language of contemporary strategic theory, prestige involves the credibility of a state’s power and its willingness to deter or compel other states in order to achi
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