NeoRealism and the 20th Century

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In the PowerPoint, we look at international organizations (Congress of Vienna, Concert of Europe, League of Nations, UN, NATO/Warsaw Pact, OPEC, and Arab League) in terms of keeping stability in the world.

It looks at Ken Waltz's Neorealism theories, that international structures act as a constraint on state behavior, and how the IO's help to create global peace, even if they let a couple little wars slip past.

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NeoRealism and the 20th Century

  1. 1. Waltz’s Neorealism <ul><ul><li>The argument in favor </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. Facts and Assumptions PSC272 <ul><li>Assumptions need not be true; what is important is whether they are useful </li></ul><ul><li>Useful assumptions lead to powerful theories: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parsimonious </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Testable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The test of structural realism is whether it generates hypotheses that can be supported by evidence </li></ul>Bipolarity vs Multipolarity Subsidiary hypotheses Balance of Power Structural Realism <ul><li>N E O R E A L I S M, S T R U C T U R A L T H E O R I E S </li></ul>
  3. 3. Waltz in Review PSC272 <ul><li>Social systems impose constraints; all actors are compelled to behave similarly </li></ul><ul><li>Analogy to a competitive market </li></ul><ul><li>The international system is anarchic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-help </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defensive balancing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The number of important states and the distribution of power among them determines the constraints </li></ul>Bipolarity vs Multipolarity Subsidiary hypotheses Balance of Power Structural Realism <ul><li>N E O R E A L I S M, S T R U C T U R A L T H E O R I E S </li></ul>
  4. 4. Balance of Power <ul><li>Balances form recurrently </li></ul><ul><li>Balancing vs. Bandwagoning: States prefer to join the weaker of two coalitions </li></ul><ul><li>If one coalition weakens, the opposing one loosens </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipated balancing leads to restraint </li></ul>PSC272 Bipolarity vs Multipolarity Subsidiary hypotheses Structural Realism Balance of Power <ul><li>N E O R E A L I S M, S T R U C T U R A L T H E O R I E S </li></ul>
  5. 5. PSC272 BoP as a Reaction to a Threat: Napoleon, 1802-1815 Major Powers: FRA , UK, RUS , PRUS , AUS After French Revolution (1789), Napoleon Bonaparte rises to power. -- Consul (1802)‏ -- Emperor of France (1804)‏ Continues military campaigns to build empire and feed war machine. -- Poses major threat to Europe UK, RUS , PRUS , AUS form “coalitions” against FRA -- Napoleon defeated (1814)‏ -- Congress of Vienna (1814)‏ -- Napoleon returns (1815)‏ -- Waterloo (1815)‏ Bipolarity vs Multipolarity Subsidiary hypotheses Structural Realism Balance of Power <ul><li>N E O R E A L I S M, S T R U C T U R A L T H E O R I E S </li></ul>Russia
  6. 6. PSC272 BoP as a Peaceful Equilibrium: Concert of Europe, 1815-1848 After Napoleonic Wars, Congress of Vienna continues (1815) Defeated France let back into “club” Quadruple Alliance: Austria , Britain, Prussia , Russia Congresses held to attempt to resolve issues. Buffer states/territory traded. Bipolarity vs Multipolarity Subsidiary hypotheses Structural Realism Balance of Power <ul><li>N E O R E A L I S M, S T R U C T U R A L T H E O R I E S </li></ul>Russia
  7. 7. BoP as a Peaceful Equilibrium: League of Nations, 1919-1946 Major Powers: FRA , UK, USSR, GER, ITA, JAP After World War I (1919)‏ -- Major players can withdraw -- USA was not a member Coalitions form to fight off aggressors. The League is generally considered to have failed in its mission to achieve disarmament, prevent war, settle disputes through diplomacy, and improve global welfare. However, it achieved significant successes in a number of areas. -Åland Islands - Albania -Greece and Bulgaria - combat the international trade in opium and sexual slavery BoP Failure: Most powerful nations were not involved: USA, Japan (Wd), USSR (Wd), gave power to colonies. <ul><li>N E O R E A L I S M, S T R U C T U R A L T H E O R I E S </li></ul>Structural Realism Balance of Power Subsidiary hypotheses Bipolarity vs Multipolarity
  8. 8. BoP as a Peaceful Equilibrium: United Nations, 1949-Present Major Powers: FRA , UK, USSR, CHINA After World War II (1945)‏ -- Major players are still around -- All countries with clout are on the Security Council. Coalitions form to fight off aggressors. - USA and it's allies vs. USSR and it's Allies No major conflict since WWII Failed smaller states: Vietnam, Korea, Bosnia-Herzegovina <ul><li>N E O R E A L I S M, S T R U C T U R A L T H E O R I E S </li></ul>Structural Realism Balance of Power Subsidiary hypotheses Bipolarity vs Multipolarity
  9. 9. BoP as a Peaceful Equilibrium: NATO/Warsaw Pact, 1955 Major Powers: USA and USSR After World War II (1955)‏ -- Bi-polar world -- Major players use third world states to balance power around the globe.. Coalitions form to fight off aggressors. - USA and it's allies vs. USSR and it's Allies No global conflicts Failed smaller states: Vietnam, Korea, Bosnia-Herzegovina <ul><li>N E O R E A L I S M, S T R U C T U R A L T H E O R I E S </li></ul>Structural Realism Balance of Power Subsidiary hypotheses Bipolarity vs Multipolarity
  10. 10. BoP as a Peaceful Equilibrium: OPEC, 1965-Present Major Powers: Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela After Decolonization (1965)‏ -- Bi-polar world w/ a need for OIL Coalitions form to fight off aggressors. - USA/USSR vs OPEC No global conflicts Aggressive towards non-Muslim nations (Israel) <ul><li>N E O R E A L I S M, S T R U C T U R A L T H E O R I E S </li></ul>Structural Realism Balance of Power Subsidiary hypotheses Bipolarity vs Multipolarity
  11. 11. BoP as a Peaceful Equilibrium: Arab League, 1949-Present Major Powers: Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria Ater WWII (1949)‏ -- Bi-polar world w/ a need for OIL Coalitions form to fight off colonization/aggressors - Europe/USA/USSR vs AL No global conflicts Aggressive towards non-Muslim nations (Israel) <ul><li>N E O R E A L I S M, S T R U C T U R A L T H E O R I E S </li></ul>Structural Realism Balance of Power Subsidiary hypotheses Bipolarity vs Multipolarity
  12. 12. Assessing Balance of Power Hypotheses <ul><li>Balances form recurrently </li></ul><ul><li>Balancing vs. Bandwagoning: States prefer to join the weaker of two coalitions </li></ul><ul><li>If one coalition weakens, the opposing one loosens </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipated balancing leads to restraint </li></ul>PSC272 Bipolarity vs Multipolarity Subsidiary hypotheses Structural Realism Balance of Power <ul><li>N E O R E A L I S M, S T R U C T U R A L T H E O R I E S </li></ul>
  13. 13. Subsidiary Hypotheses <ul><li>Socialization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>States emulate successful competitors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Military advances: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Agincourt </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>French Revolution and mass mobilization </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>German general staff model </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Organization: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Market economy </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nonconformist states gradually adapt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bolshevik Russia </li></ul></ul></ul>PSC272 Bipolarity vs Multipolarity Balance of Power Subsidiary hypotheses Structural Realism <ul><li>N E O R E A L I S M, S T R U C T U R A L T H E O R I E S </li></ul>
  14. 14. Subsidiary Hypotheses <ul><li>Interdependence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relative gains impede cooperation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interdependence increases probability of war </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic vulnerability leads to imperialism </li></ul></ul>PSC272 Bipolarity vs Multipolarity Balance of Power Subsidiary hypotheses Structural Realism <ul><li>N E O R E A L I S M, S T R U C T U R A L T H E O R I E S </li></ul>
  15. 15. Bipolarity vs Multipolarity PSC272 1792 1815 1854 1866 1870 Napoleonic Wars Concert of Europe Crimean War Austro-Prussian War Franco-Prussian War WW I WW II 1914 1939 Multipolar loose, shifting alliances, Britain as balancer four or five Great Powers 1945 1990 Cold War—or “Long Peace” Bipolar (two Great Powers, tight blocs)‏ ? (“peaceful”)‏ Bipolarity vs Multipolarity Subsidiary hypotheses Balance of Power <ul><li>N E O R E A L I S M, S T R U C T U R A L T H E O R I E S </li></ul>Structural Realism Bipolarity vs Multipolarity
  16. 16. Bipolarity vs Multipolarity <ul><li>Bipolarity is more “stable.” Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Multipolar balancing breaks down because of uncertainty </li></ul>PSC272 Bipolar  internal balancing Multipolar  external balancing States can maximize/accrue power in two ways: Cold War 19th Century Europe Bipolarity vs Multipolarity Subsidiary hypotheses Balance of Power <ul><li>N E O R E A L I S M, S T R U C T U R A L T H E O R I E S </li></ul>Structural Realism Bipolarity vs Multipolarity
  17. 17. Bipolarity vs Multipolarity <ul><li>Internal balancing is more reliable </li></ul><ul><li>External balancing can give rise to miscalculations that lead to general war </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Large influence of small allies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deterrence fails because there is an incentive to defect from commitments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As numbers grow, strategic complexity grows geometrically </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Uncertainty is the leading cause of war </li></ul>PSC272 Bipolarity vs Multipolarity Subsidiary hypotheses Balance of Power <ul><li>N E O R E A L I S M, S T R U C T U R A L T H E O R I E S </li></ul>Structural Realism Bipolarity vs Multipolarity
  18. 18. Structural Theories: WWI Multipolar System <ul><li>Abandoning an ally invites one’s own destruction </li></ul><ul><li>In a moment of crisis, the weaker or more adventurous party (Austria) is likely to determine its side’s policy </li></ul><ul><li>Its partners (Germany) can afford neither to let the weaker member be defeated nor to advertise their disunity by failing to back a venture even while deploring its risks </li></ul>Allied Powers <ul><li>France </li></ul><ul><li>Great Britain </li></ul><ul><li>Russia </li></ul>Central Powers <ul><li>Austria-Hungary </li></ul><ul><li>Germany </li></ul>
  19. 19. Structural Theories: WWI Balance of Power <ul><li>The Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance were approximately balanced </li></ul><ul><li>The defeat of any great power would give the opposing coalition a decisive advantage in the overall European balance of power </li></ul><ul><li>Britain entered the war to prevent Germany from upsetting the balance of power on the continent </li></ul>Allied Powers <ul><li>France </li></ul><ul><li>Great Britain </li></ul><ul><li>Russia </li></ul>Central Powers <ul><li>Austria-Hungary </li></ul><ul><li>Germany </li></ul>
  20. 20. Structural Theories: WWI Alliance System <ul><li>The establishment of the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance divided the European powers into two camps </li></ul><ul><li>While seen as a form of self-protection, the alliances also had the potential to escalate small crises into major wars </li></ul><ul><li>When Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, this brought Serbia’s ally Russia into the war, which brought Germany, France, and Britain into the war </li></ul>Allied Powers <ul><li>France </li></ul><ul><li>Great Britain </li></ul><ul><li>Russia </li></ul>Central Powers <ul><li>Austria-Hungary </li></ul><ul><li>Germany </li></ul>
  21. 21. Assessing hypotheses about multipolarity in WWI <ul><li>External balancing can give rise to miscalculations that lead to general war </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Large influence of small allies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deterrence fails because there is an incentive to defect from commitments </li></ul></ul>PSC272 Admittedly, an unfair test Bipolarity vs Multipolarity Subsidiary hypotheses Balance of Power <ul><li>N E O R E A L I S M, S T R U C T U R A L T H E O R I E S </li></ul>Structural Realism Bipolarity vs Multipolarity
  22. 22. Strengths of Structural Realism <ul><li>Parsimony </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on systemic effects </li></ul><ul><li>Power is defined as capabilities (non-tautological)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Explanatory power is in the constraints, not in the preferences </li></ul><ul><li>Collective action </li></ul><ul><li>Probabilistic predictions </li></ul>

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