Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
  • Like
  • Save
Lecture notes week_3
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.


Now you can save presentations on your phone or tablet

Available for both IPhone and Android

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

Lecture notes week_3



  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads


Total Views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide


  • 1. February 5 & 7|Explaining Cooperation and Conflict Theoretical Foundations  Major theoretical paradigms  From premises to theory Major theories relevant to U.S. foreign policy  Rationalist explanations for war  Security dilemma and offense-defense theory  Alliances and polarity  Societal-level theories  Theories of decision-making
  • 2. Othe Realism Liberalism Constructivism rCore concepts & cooperation, interdep ideals, ideology, lang power, conflictbeliefs endence uageKey actors / states, institutions, states states, IGOs, NGOsorganizations IGOs military power, int’l institutions & law,Main tools ideas, values diplomacy commerceReality largely objective largely objective largely subjectiveBargaining zero-sum non-zero-sum non-zero-sumcontextInternational largely anarchic, anarchic insofar as anarchicsystem growing order assumed to beMain cause of state pursuit of self- lack of processes to assumptions ofconflict interest regulate competition conflict and hostilityMain approach to interdependence, communication and balance of powerpeace cooperation, int’l law cooperation shape ideas + normsPolicy cooperate for mutual pursue self-interest to promote desiredprescriptions interests outcome transnational networks,Explanatory state aggression, globalization, cultural conflict,power weakness of institutions democracy-promotion terrorism
  • 3. Realist theories Theories of rivalry and territory Decision-making theories• Spiral Models • International Rivalries (Diehl/Goertz; • Individual Level• Offensive /Defensive Realism Thompson/Rasler/Colaresi) • Popular Beliefs and Images• Offensive/Defensive Balance • Territory and War • Images of the Enemy• Balance of Power Theories • “Steps to War” Model (Vasquez) • Misperception and War • Threat perception and strategic failure • Balancing vs. Bandwagoning • Learning and War • Soft Balancing Society-level theories • Risk theory – • Regional balancing • Democratic Peace Theories • Prospect theory • Game-Theoretic Models of BoP • Quantitative Empirical Studies • Poliheuristic Theory (Mintz) • Theories of polarity & capability • Informational Model (Schultz) • Crisis Decision-making theories distribution • Theories of Regime Type • Psychoanalytic Approaches• Alliances and War • Dictatorial Peace? • Organizational Level • Lateral Pressure Theory (Choucri & • Domestic institutions & political • Bureaucratic Politics / Organizational North) survival Processes• Theories of Hegemony / • Diversionary War • Military Doctrine and Innovation Hegemonic theories • Democracy and war outcome • Civil-Military Relations • Militarism & strategic culture • Power Transition Theory • Democratization & regime change (Organski/Kugler) • Small Group Level • Social Identity Theory • Arms races and war • Hegemonic Transition Theory (Gilpin) • Richardson model Economic Theories • Theories of crisis-escalation • Shifting Power and Preventive War • Long Cycle Theory (Thompson, et al) • Gen. Marxist-Leninist Theories • Entrapment models • interdependence and trade • Audience costs and domestic politics • Loss of control and inadvertent warInstitutionalist Theories • Globalization & militarized conflict• Institutions and Peace • Militarization & commercial rivalry Other / General• Theories of Collective Security & • Coalitional politics models • Theories of civil war and “new wars” Security Regimes • Ethno-nationalism and War• Regional Security Systems Ideational and Cultural Theories • Intervention in Civil Wars • Ideological sources of conflict and • Termination and Settlement of Civil WarsRational Choice Theories cooperation • Alternative theories of causation• Prisoners Dilemma Models • Ideas and norms (Schroeder) • Strategic theories • Cultural differences and war • Nuclear weapons and conflict• Single-Play and Iterated Games • War duration and termination • “Clash of Civilizations” (Huntington)• Bargaining Model of War • Consequences of war: Winners & • Strategic Culture• Expected-Utility Models losers, economic costs, diffusion of war • Attitudinal theories• Commitment Strategies • New Conceptions of Security • Religion and War Environmental Scarcity & Conflict• Selectorate theory (Bueno de • Mesquita, et al. ) • Feminist theories of peace and war • Demography, Security, &Conflict • Refugees and Conflict
  • 4. From premises to theory:Realist framework  Anarchic system  State as primary unit /“unitary rational actors”  Interest defined as power  Problems  Concern for relative gains  Collective action problems
  • 5. From premises to theory:Realist framework  Anarchic system  State as primary unit /“unitary rational actors”  Decisions based on rational, strategic analysis  Cost/benefit analysis, preference-maximizing  Policy driven by national interest  Interest defined as power  Is war ever RATIONAL?
  • 6. Rationalist explanations (Fearon) Is it ever rational to go to war?  Observations  states often have incentives to compete.  certain modes of competition (e.g., war) are more costly than other methods (negotiation, bargaining).  Why don’t states reach prewar bargains that would avoid the costs and risks of fighting? “war is costly and risky, so rational states should have incentives to locate negotiated settlements that all would prefer to the gamble of war.”
  • 7. Rationalist explanations (Fearon) Why don’t states reach prewar bargains that would avoid the costs and risks of fighting?  Possible explanations  Anarchy (“there’s nothing to stop it”)  expected benefits exceed expected costs  rational preventive war  miscalculation due to lack of information  miscalculation or disagreement about relative power
  • 8. Rationalist explanations (Fearon) Why don’t states reach prewar bargains that would avoid the costs and risks of fighting?  Plausible explanations  miscalculation due to lack of information  miscalculation or disagreement about relative power Key factors  Bluffing and information asymmetries  Commitment problems  Issue indivisibility
  • 9. Security Dilemma andOffense-Defense Theory (Robert Jervis) “Security dilemma”: An increase in one state’s security results in relative decrease in security of others Offense-defense theory (two variants)  Threat variant: the greater security threat states face, the more aggressive they become.  "States seek security, and clash because their efforts to secure themselves threaten others security."  States fear conquest and violence against their citizens and will aggress to avert them.  Opportunity variant: The more easily states can conquer, the more aggressive they become.  Capacity and imperial cycles
  • 10. Theories of Alliances:  Alliance  In/formal arrangement for cooperation between 2+ states  Mutual commitment and exchange of benefits  Costs for defection / failing to honor agreement  Questions  When and why do alliances form?  How do leaders choose among potential states or threats when seeking external support?  How do great powers choose which states to protect?  How do weak powers decide whose protection to accept?
  • 11. Theories of Alliances:Balance of Power (Waltz; Walt)  Description of existing power distribution  Conscious policy to achieve BoP and stability  States will balance threat, rather than power  Distance, interdependence and ideology are important  Balancing: External (alliances); internal (increase capacity)  System characteristics determine behavior  System is anarchic, self-help  States = unitary actors that seek@ minimum, self- preservation; @ maximum: world domination  Seek goals through balancing (internal + external)
  • 12. Theories of Alliances:Balance of Power (Waltz; Walt)  Description of existing power distribution  Conscious policy to achieve BoP and stability  System characteristics determine behavior  System is anarchic, self-help  States seek goals through balancing (internal + external) Balance of Threat  States will balance threat, rather than power  Threat as a function of  Aggregate power or strength  Geographic proximity  Offensive capability  Aggressive intentions
  • 13. Theories of Alliances:Ideological Alliances  Birds of a feather . . .  Fly together: common ideology → alliance  Fly apart: common ideology → conflict
  • 14. Theories of Alliances:Ideological Alliances  Birds of a feather . . .  Fly together: common ideology → alliance Ideological solidarity:  States lacking domestic legitimacy likely to seek ideological alliances to increase internal and external support.  More pronounced between superpowers and regional allies  More common in bipolar system  Greater impact of ideology when defensive advantage is clear  Fly apart: common ideology → conflict Ideological division:  Modest association, but it’s exaggerated as general pattern  Less powerful motive than threat balancing  Certain ideologies can be more source for division than unity
  • 15. Theories of Alliances:Ideological Alliances  Birds of a feather . . .  Fly together: common ideology → alliance  Fly apart: common ideology → conflict  General patterns  Ideologically-driven alliances most common when  states are fairly secure  the ideology does not require sovereignty be sacrificed  a rival movement creates a powerful threat to legitimacy  impact of ideology on choice of partners will be exaggerated  leaders will overestimate degree of ideological agreement among both allies and adversaries
  • 16. Theories of Alliances:Balancing & Bandwagoning (Waltz; Walt) Definitions  Balancing: states align against prevailing power/threat  Bandwagoning: states align with stronger powers /threats Patterns  Balancing far more common  More common: in peacetime; during early stages of war; among stronger states  Bandwagoning more common when:  Weak state can’t secure protection through balancing  State cannot find others to ally with  Join apparent winner to avoid being on losing side
  • 17. Polarity  Number of poles  Unipolar  Bipolar  Multipolar  Degree of polarization  Tightness / density  Discreteness / degree of interaction  Level of animosity  Relationship to war  Unipolar: major war less frequent  War likely during transitions in balance
  • 18. Polarity and Balancing Bipolar v. multipolar balancing  Bipolar balancing occurs internally  Multipolar balancing tends to occur externally
  • 19. Polarity and BalancingMultipolar systems Bipolar systems characterized by complexity,  Internal balancing is easier uncertainty and more precise Making & maintaining  Unequal burden-sharing alliances requires expert between partners strategy, cooperation  major constraints arise from States seek alliance partners main adversary, not partners by adapting to them  Major powers don’t need to Weaker partner determines make themselves attractive policy in moment of crisis to alliance partners Flexibility in alliances leads to  Rigidity of bipolar alliances rigidity in strategy allows more flexible strategy Miscalculation is the greatest  Overreaction is the greatest danger. danger
  • 20. Economic theories Marxist & dependency theories  Primacy of economics – shaping politics + society  Clash of private interests & economic classes  Structure as by-product of imperialism  Capitalist states build empires to secure markets for excess production (Luxemburg)  Capitalist states intervene abroad to protect economic interests, corporations (Magdoff)  Dependency / dependencia theory  MNCs & banks exercise control over developing countries
  • 21. Economic theories Economic interdependence (variants)  Liberals: interdependence lowers likelihood of war by increasing value of trading over aggression  “better to trade than invade”  Realists: interdependence increases probability of war by increasing mutual dependence & vulnerability  Incentives to initiate war, if only for continued access to necessary materials and goods
  • 22. Societal-level theories  Diversionary war  To secure support, leaders make bellicose promises, take dangerous FP positions, or seek “rally” effects that are difficult to abandon later (Beschloss)  Democratic Peace  Democracies seldom fight each other  consolidated democracies have never fought one another  Explanations  prudent diplomacy, similar social structures, regional attributes, historical alliances.  democratic self-interest
  • 23. Societal-level theories:Democratic Peace (Kant, Doyle) Why don’t liberal-democracies fight one another?  Doyle: four basic institutions / constitutional features  citizens are all equal and enjoy equal rights  representative government  private property rights  economics governed by supply and demand.  Kant: three key factors  states must be republics  states will gradually establish a “pacific union”  all states must respect "cosmopolitan law“
  • 24. Democratic peace (Doyle, Kant)Why don’t liberal-democracies fight one another?  Combining Doyle & Kant  Constitutional law & democratic self interest  Democratic-republican structures reinforce caution about high costs of war  International law – and mutual respect – for other states  Complements constitutional guarantee of caution, helps engender future cooperation  States respect “cosmopolitan law” & “spirit of commerce”  Adds material incentives to moral commitments  Together, these conditions create foundation for the establishment and expansion of a “pacific union”
  • 25. Democratic peace (Doyle, Kant)Why don’t liberal-democracies fight one another?  “pacific union” formed by  Constitutional law & democratic self interest  International law – and mutual respect – for other states  States respect “cosmopolitan law” & “spirit of commerce” Why do they fight other states? Why not push for world-wide democratization?
  • 26. Neoliberal Institutionalism (Keohane)  Institution  “general pattern or categorization of activity” – or – “particular human-constructed arrangement”  “involve persistent and connected sets of rules (formal and informal) that prescribe behavioral roles, constrain activity, and shape expectations”  How/why do institutions form?
  • 27. Neoliberal Institutionalism (Keohane)  Puzzle of formation  rational choice predicts cooperation & institutions  prisoners dilemma not applicable: iterated and multi- issue PD encourages cooperation  collective action problems less severe when relatively small number of parties  selective incentives  “rational anticipation” and functionalism  Actors form institutions based on functions they expect the institution to serve  Property rights & legal liability  Reducing transaction costs  Reducing uncertainty & providing information  Adverse selection effects
  • 28. Neoliberal Institutionalism (Keohane) Puzzle of compliance  Why comply if regimes cant enforce their rules?  Continuity and formation costs  States value institution enough to cooperate even when they prefer not to (in a single instance) in order to maintain the institution.  "Networks of issues and regimes"  states know that failure to comply may result in tit-for-tat retaliation.  states involved in iterated interactions worry about reputation and affects on future cooperation.
  • 29. Other major theories Nationalism (Hayes, Snyder)  Nationalism complicates imperial rule & support Collective action (Hardin, Olson)  "tragedy of the commons“ & "free rider" problems  Collective goods are under-provided; collective costs are over-provided. Gender theories  Foreign policy & state behavior reflects male attributes found in leaders Domino theory  Conquest of a given state will ease subsequent conquest of nearby states
  • 30. Theories of decision-making:Cognitive theories (Jervis)  Attribution theory: states attribute own behavior to circumstances; attribute others behavior to character  Behavioral corollary: states tend to ascribe others good behavior to their own efforts; blame others bad conduct on the others innate character.  Belief perseverance: states are slow to absorb new facts and realities that clash with existing beliefs  Common misperceptions:  States will exaggerate shared character of information, often unaware when others‘ perceptions diverge from their own  States tend to exaggerate the centralized, disciplined, and coordinated character of others behavior.