Chapter 4 outline.docx

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Political Science
Leslie Johns

World Politics Chapter 4 – Domestic Politics and War – Outline I. Introduction a. Unitary state assumption i. The treatment of states as coherent actors with a set of interests that belong to the state b. There can be an actor within the state who perceive high benefits from war and expect to pay little or none of its costs. i. In particular, there are conditions under which political leaders, business and ethnic lobbies, and the military will see conflict as furthering their narrow interests. c. Moreover, these actors have a variety of institutional and organizational advantages that make it possible for them to exert more influence than the general population. d. Except in rare circumstances, these hawkish interests are not sufficient to cause war on their own. i. Rather, their main effect is to increase the aggressiveness of the state’s foreign policy and the scope of its ambitions, thereby creating more opportunities for conflict. e. Democratic political institutions, in particular, free and fair elections, party competition, and free media, can diminish the influence of hawkish interests and provide mechanisms for overcoming the strategic problems that can cause the bargaining interaction to end in war. II. Whose Interests Count in Matters of War and Peace? a. National Versus Particularistic Interests i. General interests are shared between all actors within a country 1. “National interests” such as security ii. Narrow/particularistic interests are held only by a relatively small number of actors within a country 1. Particular business/industry, ethnic minority, etc. 2. Example: US Oil interests in Saudi Arabia with Aramco and Carter Doctrine after Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 3. Why? Oil is vital to US power and US dependence on stable and plentiful oil supplies 4. US foreign policy toward the Middle East is driven by oil companies’ desires to expand and protect their profits b. Interactions, Institutions, and Influence i. Institutions and interactions determine which actors’ interests are likely to influence policy decisions ii. Democratic institutions force those who are in decision-making power to consider the interests of their constituents iii. Collective action problem shows how smaller groups can be more effective at cooperation to further common interests 1. Large groups where each person has a smaller stake can be hard to organize iv. Domestic interests can be discussed by three types of actors 1. Leaders who make foreign policy decisions 2. Groups with sufficient organization and resources to influence a. Bureaucracy – the collection of organizations including the military, diplomatic corps, and the intelligence agencies, that carry out most tasks of the governance within the state b. Interests groups – groups of individuals with common interests that organize to influence public policy in a manner that benefits their members (economic interests, ethnic interests, etc) 3. General public a. Influence varies on domestic institution; i.e. larger in free democratic countries III. Do Politicians Spark Wars Abroad in Order to Hold On to Power at Home? a. What Do Leaders Want? i. Personal interests in addition to those of the state ii. Ideological beliefs that can increase willingness to pay costs iii. Political interests in retaining office 1. Must be responsive to the interests of those who control their political fate 2. Office-seeking is a big factor that leads to listening to special interest groups iv. Strategic politics can use policy control to shape political constraints instead of just responding to them 1. Example: use of force to enhance hold on power b. The Rally Effect and the Diversionary Incentive i. Rally effect – the tendency for people to become more supportive of their country’s government in response to dramatic international events, such as crises or wars 1. Approval ratings jump at the onset or war or some international crisis a. Example: Bush went from 51 to 86 due to September 11, 2001 terrorist attack 2. Members feel greater attachment and loyalty to their group when conflict is experienced with outsiders 3. Government has a monopoly on political discourse and can frame public’s evaluation of policies 4. Foreign policy crises tend to drive other issues out of the headline news; thus people focus less on domestic issues 5. Scapegoating used on foreign leaders ii. Diversionary incentive – the incentive that state leaders have to start international crises in order to rally public support at home 1. “Wag the dog” 2. Changes the logic behind countries preferring not to go to war since leaders can see using force abroad as improving their chances of staying in power 3. Tempting to leaders who are insecure domestically 4. Gambling for resurrection – taking a risky action such as going to war when the alternative is certain to be very bad (losing office) c. Do Leaders “Wag the Dog”? i. Little evidence that supports the claim of leaders systematically resorting to force when in domestic trouble ii. Some believe international conflict is more likely to be initiated by leaders who are politically secure iii. Diversionary incentives do play a role, but leaders do not systematically use conflict for diversionary purposes 1. Explanation: maybe leaders are not as cynical as assumed iv. Bargaining range model 1. Consider r, some political benefits received 2. For no bargaining range to exist, r must be greater than the sum of the war costs to both states (a+b) d. The Political Costs of War i. Initial patriotism that accompanies onset of war can give away to discontent and rebellion depending on the war outcome ii. Comparison of US battle deaths and public support show the trend 1. Operations begin with very high levels of support but declines as death toll increases iii. When considering reelection incentives influences on war and peace, costs of losing war against the potential rally effect must be considered IV. Do Countries Fight Wars to Satisfy the Military or Special Interests Groups? a. Military-industrial complex – an alliance between military leaders and the industries that benefit form international conflict, such as arms manufacturers i. These groups do not necessarily want to start war, but rather expand the scope of a state’s ambitions and increase conditions under which the state would consider fighting a far b. Bureaucratic Politics and The Military i. Negotiations are made by diplomats from ministries of foreign affairs (US State Dept. equivalent) ii. Information about other countries’ military capabilities are collected by intelligence organizations iii. War and peace decisions are influenced by interests of bureaucratic organizations 1. They care about resources and influence they wield 2. Seek bigger budgets 3. 2003 Iraq War – struggle between US State and Defense Departments on which would lead Iraq’s economic and political reconstruction 4. “Where you stand depends on where you sit” – policy stands that reflect individual’s organization’s needs iv. Military is usually most influential actor 1. Argument: more influence military has in decision making, more belligerent a state will be 2. Notions of military officials being more inclined to war 3. Officials like experience for promotion to higher ranks v. Military does not necessarily equate to militarism though 1. Study showed officers are more reluctant to go to war in 2003 in comparison to civilian leadership at the Pentagon c. Interest Groups: Economic and Ethnic Lobbies i. Halliburton and Iraq War 1. VP Dick Cheney’s former company was awarded contracts worth billions to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure 2. Stock quadrupled in value by 2006 3. President Bush also had a background in the oil industry 4. An example of US intervention in places where American investors had major interests ii. Ethnic groups also influence foreign policy 1. Largest is the pro-Israel lobby called AIPAC 2. Group members are motivated by ethnic attachment or ideological interests to support or oppose particular countries/regimes iii. Economic groups may lobby their interests for intervention in countries where business is threatened by a poor regime and or political stability iv. Do not always have to be belligerent recommendations 1. Economic groups can promote peaceful relations in order to business v. Some believe trade between countries decreases the likelihood of war d. How Can Small Groups Have A Big Influence on Policy? i. Military influence comes from its control over state’s coercive resources 1. In some states, it plays a direct role ensuring the continuation of government a. Can be able and willing to intervene in politics b. Authoritarian regimes can suppress popular dissent c. State is dependent on military 2. Influence in countries that do not have the same dependence a. Leaders rely on information and expertise of bureaucratic actors
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