Political Science 7 – International Relations - Power Point #4
Dr. Tabakian’s Political Science 7 Modern World Governments – Spring 2013 Supplemental Power Point Material #4
LECTURE HIGHLIGHTS (1)• Nation-State’s Primary Goal: Survival• Power Theory As Natural Motivator• Realism• Realpolitik• Sovereignty• Balance Of Power• Power Distribution• Hegemony• Assumptions Of Realism & Idealism
LECTURE HIGHLIGHTS (2)• The International System• Anarchy & Sovereignty• Balance Of Power• Great Powers & middle Powers• Power Distribution• Hegemony• The Great Power System, 1500-2000
LECTURE HIGHLIGHTS (3)• Alliances & Purposes Of Alliances• NATO & NATO Expansion• Other Alliances• Statecraft• Rationality• American Response To Terrorism
SURVIVAL IS THE GOALRobert L. Pfaltzgraff defines the national interest as, “…ultimatelythe prudent use of power to safeguard those interests most vital tothe survival of the nation-state.” Through a study of history, realistsby studying history, realists are able to produce a generalizationabout what certain preconditions have to exist for a nation-state topursue policies of aggression to secure their nation-interest. Nation-states pursue their individual national-interests on a never-endingbasis, which in turn leads to a stable international system.Defenders of a competitive security system suggest that states areforever striving to increase their security in relation to that of otherstates. This would entail ego’s gain as alter’s loss and as a result isprone to security dilemmas. In a cooperative security system, statesequate the security of each as a contribution to the collective good.National interests are seen to bolster international interests.
REALISMThere is no legitimate authority above the state. This results inthe world being anarchical rather than hierarchical as what iscommonly observed within individual states. Hedley Bulldescribes the interstate system as an anarchical society, whichis another way of describing the chaotic system of interstaterelations that currently exists. Realism was the dominant theoryduring the Cold War that saw international relations as statesconstantly vying for power among other self-interested states. Itis generally pessimistic about the international system leavingthis state of anarchy for in their view conflict and war will alwaysremain a factor in world affairs. Realism explained alliances,imperialism and the resistance to cooperation through the lensof power theory. A fundamental example that realists cite is theconstant competitive struggle of the American-Soviet rivalryduring the Cold War.
REALIST CONCEPTION OF FORCEE. H. Carr argues that there exist two opposite poles of utopianfeelings of right and realist conceptions of force. There is a needfor a combination of both utopia and reality so that society cancome to a favorable compromise between power and morality.Politics and law is viewed as a ‘meeting place’ for ethics andpower where both can come together in order to facilitatecontinued progress towards a utopian society. Classical realistslike Thomas Hobbes, Reinhold Niebuhr and Hans Morgenthauargued that egoism and power politics stemmed from humannature. Structural realists or neo-realists stressed anarchy insteadof human nature. Kenneth Walt stated that anarchy allows conflictto brew as “wars occur because there is nothing to prevent them”.He goes on to infer that it is the actions of predator states whosebehavior is fostered from human nature or its domestic politicsthat forces other states to respond in kind if they are to survive.
REALIST OFFENSE / DEFENSE THEORY (1)Offense-defense theory was laid out by Robert Jervis, GeorgeQuester and Stephen Van Ever. The theory stresses that warscome about more frequently when states see others as beingtoo weak to defend against attack. Better defenses served topreserve the peace as it became more costly to attack anotherstate for the benefits that would be derived would not outpacethe costs associated with an offensive strike. These defensiverealists saw states as merely wanting to survive in an anarchicworld where if need be great states could be depended upon toguarantee the security of weaker states through the constructionof security guarantees. Defensive military postures were furtherstrengthened with the acclimation of nuclear forces that wereutilized to deter offensive attacks for the cost of doing so wouldbe cataclysmic.
REALIST OFFENSE / DEFENSE THEORY (2)Kenneth Waltz’s assertion that the United States benefited frompossessing a robust nuclear deterrent fits into the offense-defense theory assertion that a super strong defense protects anation from offensive threats. This has led realism to striveforward optimistically away from Morgenthau’s seemingly darkassertions of human nature. If it were truly human nature toengage in conflict solely for the purpose of acquiring power thennuclear weapons would not serve as such a strong deterrent asthe Cold War has demonstrated. Defensive realists like VanEvera claim that war is today seen by the great powers as rarelyprofitable. Evera further states that war is brought forth frommilitarism, hypernationalism, or other domestic factors that overexaggerate potential threats or exaggerate their military capacity.Offensive realists like John J. Mearsheimer believe that greatpowers are forced into competitive actions for anarchy is reality.
REALISM – BALANCE OF POWERRealists affirm that power can serve to deter threats, but too muchpower can force other actors to respond harshly, sparking a‘security dilemma’, which is a situation when actors beginpursuing more power, resulting in an environment that is lesssafe. Realists, especially classical realists are assumed to be war-mongering theorists that are only concerned with acquiring morepower. This is not the case at all as most of the school areactually cautious, humble, favoring alliances and multilateralism.Hans Morgenthau states that, “Political realism refuses to identifythe moral aspirations of a particular nation with the moral lawsthat govern the universe.” This assumes that realists do not thinkin terms of righting wrongs, but only in terms of power in all itsforms including is acquisition, preservation and maintaining thebalance of power. Realism promotes the balancing of state power.
REALISM – RELATIVE GAINSRealism does not discount the possibility of cooperation betweenstates. Two concerns are listed as inhibiting cooperation: relative-gains consideration and concerns about cheating. As states areconcerned with balances of power, they are more likely to bemotivated by relative gains when presented with opportunities tocooperate with other actors. Joseph Grieco and Stephen Krasnerargue that the anarchical system forces states to favor relativeinstead of absolute gains. States are always focused on acquiringmore power than other actors. Relative gains assures a given statethat acquired gains are at the expense of other actors, thus allowingthem to be more powerful. This produces short-term gains thatforego any greater long-term potential for the international system.Absolute gains serves to “lift all boats”, or in other words producegreater long-term gains for all participant actors.
REALISM – MUTUAL DETERRENCEBoth the US and the Soviets have acted irrationally at the sametime, threatening to use nuclear weapons, while at the sametime assuming that the other side would remain rational and notprovoke the situation. This actually happened during the Berlincrises, including other successive events, yet there has neverbeen a nuclear strike launched between the two superpowers.Deterrence has worked because neither side really knew whatthe other side was thinking. A problem with deterrence is thatthe more times bluffs are made it may lead to a time whensomeone is going to make the call. At this point there are onlythree alternatives: resort to nuclear war, retreat, resort toconventional war. Realists argue that the struggle for powerremains constant in the international system. The only variableis the makeup of the balance of power. This may be bipolar, ormultipolar, which in turn determines whether war or peace.
NEO-REALISM / REALISM (1)Classical realism focuses on human nature, whereasneorealism has taken this assumption and applied it the existinganarchic realm of “self-interested, competitive, mutuallysuspicious and antagonistic states.” Neo-realism sees theinternational political system as one unit with interconnectinglinkages existing between structural and units. In contrast to oldrealism’s contention that human nature is the drive for self-interest, neo-realists looks at the entire system to understandhow single actors, or states, base their actions. States are seenas individual units that pursue their self-interests with the mostimportant one being their survival. Kenneth Waltz suggests thatneo-realism’s definition of the international system being thestructure of study represents its break with classical realism.Neorealists also state that states want to enhance their securityand not power as argued by realists.
NEO-REALISM / REALISM (2)Kenneth Waltz contends that neo-realism is markedly different fromtraditional realism in four customs:1. Neo-realism accepts the international system as being the determining factor guiding state action;2. Neo-realism can alter causal relations;3. Neo-realism defines power differently; and4. Neo-realism handles units in another fashion.Realists see the world as that of interacting states, whereas neo-realists can only study interacting states by first differentiatingstructural-unit level causes and effects. Realists may think ofcauses going in one direction, from the interacting states to theoutcome produced. Neo-realists in turn look at the entire structurethat serves as a conduit shuttling gives and takes between states.Outcomes can affect how a state bases its policies for instance.
NEO-REALISM / REALISM (3)Neo-realists like Kenneth Waltz dismissed human nature as acatalyst for state action. He focused instead on the internationalsystem and argued that the anarchic situation was a byproduct ofcompeting states seeking to preserve their national interests, whichwas primarily survival. This led states to accept self-help as itsprimary method for protecting its primary national interest. There isno legitimate authority above the state. This has caused weakerstates to join together in order to serve as an effective balanceagainst stronger states. Waltz argued that weaker states might betempted to bandwagon, or join with more powerful states if after acost-benefit analysis that it served their best interest. Contrary toMorgenthau, he claimed that bipolarity would preserve internationalstability more so than multipolarity. Realists are prone to equate thepower of a state according to its military capacity. Neo-realists areprone to take into consideration all of the capabilities in possession ofthe state.
UTOPIAN REALISMUtopian theories of the interwar period were discredited primarilybecause of its normative bias towards international law, organizationand collective security as a means to construct a balance of powerthat would forever maintain equilibrium of peaceful relations betweennation-states. Woodrow Wilson accepted the fate of his utopiandream as it was fully discredited by political scientists following thefailure of the United States to fully participate in the League ofNations. Diplomacy has its limits. Without the threat of force,diplomacy collapses. Robert L. Pfaltzgraff details why normativetheory by itself has failed to adequately explain why countries or itsleaders tend to result to conflict or using force to solve problems thata moralist would rather deal with diplomatically. Ken Booth presentsutopian realism as more of an “…attitude of mind than a ‘theory’ withpowers of explanation and prediction. But it is based upon bothnormative (‘utopian’) and empirical (‘realist’) theories.”
REALPOLITIKBased on practical and material factors rather than on theoretical orethical objectives, foreign policy maintains the advancement of thenational interest as its sole principle. Realpolitik, an extremevariation of realism makes no excuses for its disallowance ofmorality as a factor in determining foreign policy. Such foreignpolicy is based solely on calculations of power and the nationalinterest foremost, avoiding armament races and war if only themajor players of an international system are free to adjust theirrelations in accordance to changing circumstances or arerestrained by a system of shared values or both. Hegemonyaccords the international community with stability, thus avoidinganarchy through its willingness to supersede its interests for thoseof a hegemonic power. Thus, it remains a given that a Hegemon’sforeign policy be conditioned in a high level of foresight, restraintand maturity to quell any likelihood of international instability bymaintaining its power hold.
BALANCE OF POWERTheorists of the school of International Relations see theinternational system as consisting of a balance of power structure.This has preserved the existence of the modern state system forover 400 years following the conclusion of the Thirty Years’ War in1648. States understand that conflict or cooperation is an integralpart of the state of nature in the international system. The numberof actors within the system and the distribution of power amongparticipants affects this balance of power.Three traditions reign prominently in international affairs:1. Realism focuses on the anarchic situation facing states and that conflict will always remain a distinct possibility.2. Liberalism serves to identify ways that these conflictive tendencies may be reduced or eliminated.3. The radical tradition serves to propose methods to transform the entire world that may not coincide with conventional wisdom.
HEGEMONYHegemony is the net result of an absence of counterbalancingactors in relation to that of a superpower. However, it remainsto be determined what future outcomes may be brought aboutwith respect to a previous counterbalancing superpower stateseeking respectability as a counterbalance to a Hegemon.Hegemony accords the international community with stability,thus avoiding anarchy through its willingness to supersede itsinterests for those of a hegemonic power. Thus, it remains agiven that a Hegemon’s foreign policy be conditioned in a highlevel of foresight, restraint and maturity to quell any likelihood ofinternational instability by maintaining its power hold. TheUnited States is a hegemonic power that currently enjoysmajority power over its peers in the international community.
POWER THEORY (1)To exert power one must first possess adequate reserves to drawupon. This is defined simply as “capacity of power”. Achieving higherpositions is dependent on various factors that may include: education;wealth; profession; charisma and other talents either developed orengrained from birth. This “capacity of power” is not determinedaccording to a single resource, ability or possession. It is instead acombination of different variables that serve to make up the individual.This is just like a battery consisting of energy resources drawn uponwhen it comes time to draw power in order to achieve a set objective.Just like a battery powering a flashlight so does one’s individual“capacity of power” serve to assist one in achieving a set goal or inthis case influencing or affecting political behavior to maintain, expandor protect one’s standing in order to survive in society.
POWER THEORY (2)Our example of “capacity of power” is applicable toindividual capacity of power and all associations up tothe nation state as all combined units consist ofindividuals pursuing their set of priorities or self-interestthat is in turn based on survival. Drawing upon thesereserves allows one to pursue agendas of self-interest.Power is the ultimate pursuit, as the ultimate goal ofhumanity is survival. Individual participants in pursuit ofthese goals join together in common pursuits under theumbrella of common interest. These resulting “spheresof interest” in turn join under broader umbrellas thatalso offer another distinct set of common goals that inturn competes with respective peers.
POWER THEORY (3)Power equals resources (capacity of power) times compliancesquared, divided by force. Every accounting of power theory istaken into consideration in the construction of this formula. Wehave explored the contention that the pursuit of self-interestencourages man to engage in political behavior. This serves asthe foundation for rational choice theory, which in turn has led usto power theory. One may argue that the pursuit of powermaintains the never ending cycle of political: conflict; compromise;alliances; and wars.
POWER THEORY (4)Many have countered this argument with a direct assault on thestatement that “there is no morality in politics”. These critics areboth right and wrong. It is true that morality has no directcorrelation with political science if the pursuit of self-interests andpower resources maintains utmost priority. On the other handthey may be correct if one party sells their pursuit as a moralcause in order to achieve their agenda. For example, one mayargue that good may come from conflict even if it leads to thedestruction of a nation-state and the slaughtering of thousands ormillions of people if the seed of democracy is planted andnurtured to maturity.
THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM• States interact within a set of long- established “rules of the game” governing what is considered a state and how states treat each other.• Together these rules shape the international system.
ANARCHY & SOVEREIGNTY (1)• Realists believe the international system exists in a state of anarchy. – Term implies the lack of a central government that can enforce rules. – World government as a solution? – Others suggest international organizations and agreements.• Despite anarchy, the international system is far from chaotic. – Great majority of state interactions closely adhere to norms of behavior.
ANARCHY & SOVEREIGNTY (2)• Sovereignty: A government has the right, in principle, to do whatever it wants in its own territory.• Lack of a “world police” to punish states if they break an agreement makes enforcement of international agreements difficult.• In practice, most states have a harder and harder time warding off interference in their affairs.
ANARCHY & SOVEREIGNTY (3)• Respect for the territorial integrity of all states, within recognized borders, is an important principle of IR. – Impact of information revolution/information economies and the territorial state system.• States and norms of diplomacy.• Security dilemma. – A situation in which states’ actions taken to ensure their own security threaten the security of other states. • Arms race. • Negative consequence of anarchy in the international system.
BALANCE OF POWER (1)• Refers to the general concept of one or more states’ power being used to balance that of another state or group of states.• Balance of power can refer to: – Any ratio of power capabilities between states or alliances. – Or it can mean only a relatively equal ratio. – Alternatively, it can refer to the process by which counterbalancing coalitions have repeatedly formed in history to prevent one state from conquering an entire region.
BALANCE OF POWER (2)• Theory of balance of power: – Counterbalancing occurs regularly and maintains stability of the international system. – Does not imply peace, but rather a stability maintained by means of recurring wars that adjust power relations – Alliances are key: • Quicker, cheaper, and more effective than building one’s own capabilities. – States do not always balance against the strongest actor. • Bandwagoning.
GREAT POWERS & MIDDLE POWERS (1)• The most powerful states in the system exert most of the influence on international events and therefore get the most attention from IR scholars. – Handful of states possess the majority of the world’s power resources.
GREAT POWERS & MIDDLE POWERS (2)• Great powers are generally considered the half-dozen or so most powerful states. – Until the past century, the club was exclusively European. – Defined generally as states that can be defeated militarily only by another great power. – Generally have the world’s strongest military forces and the strongest economies. • U.S., China, Russia, Japan, Germany, France, and Britain. • U.S. the world’s only superpower. • China the world’s largest population, rapid economic growth and a large military, with a credible nuclear arsenal.
GREAT POWERS & MIDDLE POWERS (3)• Middle Powers: – Rank somewhat below the great powers. – Some are large but not highly industrialized. – Others may be small with specialized capabilities. – Examples: midsized countries such as Canada, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine, South Korea, and Australia, or larger or influential countries in the global South such as India, Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Israel, Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan.
POWER DISTRIBUTION (1)• The concept of the distribution of power among states in the international system. – Can apply to all the states in the world or to just one region.• Neorealism, or structural realism – 1990s adaptation of realism. – Explains patterns of international events in terms of the system structure (distribution of power) rather than the internal makeup of individual states. – Neoclassical realists.
POWER DISTRIBUTION (2)• Polarity refers to the number of independent power centers in the system. – Multipolar system: Has five or six centers of power, which are not grouped into alliances. – Tripolar system: With three great centers of power. – Unipolar system: Has a single center of power around which all others revolve (hegemony).• Power transition theory: – Holds that the largest wars result from challenges to the top position in the status hierarchy, when a rising power is surpassing or threatening to surpass the most powerful state.
HEGEMONY (1)• Is the holding of one state of most of the power in the international system.• Can dominate the rules and arrangements by which international political and economic relations are conducted.• This type of state is a hegemon.
HEGEMONY (2)• Hegemonic stability theory: – Holds that hegemony provides some order similar to a central government in the international system: reducing anarchy, deterring aggression; promoting free trade, and providing a hard currency that can be used as a world standard. – After WWII – U.S. hegemony. – Hegemons have an inherent interest in the promotion of integrated world markets.• U.S. ambivalence – Internationalist versus isolationist moods. – Unilateralism versus multilateralism.
THE GREAT-POWER SYSTEM, 1500-2000 (1) • Treaty of Westphalia, 1648: – Rules of state relations. – Originated in Europe in the 16th century. – Key to this system was the ability of one state, or a coalition, to balance the power of another state so it could not gobble up smaller units and create a universal empire.
THE GREAT-POWER SYSTEM, 1500-2000 (2) • Most powerful states in 16th-century Europe were Britain, France, Austria-Hungary, and Spain. – Ottoman Empire – Hapsburgs – Impact of industrialization – Napoleonic Wars – Congress of Vienna (1815) – Concert of Europe – UN Security Council – WW I – WW II and after
ALLIANCES• A coalition of states that coordinate their actions to accomplish some end. – Most are formalized in written treaties. – Concern a common threat and related issues of international security. – Endure across a range of issues and a period of time.
PURPOSES OF ALLIANCES• Augmenting their members’ power: – By pooling capabilities, two or more states can exert greater leverage in their bargaining with other states. – For smaller states, alliances can be their most important power element. – But alliances can change quickly and decisively. – Most form in response to a perceived threat.• Alliance cohesion: – The ease with which the members hold together an alliance – Tends to be high when national interests converge and when cooperation within the alliance becomes institutionalized and habitual.• Burden sharing: – Who bears the cost of the alliance
NATO• One of the most important formal alliances.• North Atlantic Treaty Organization: – Encompasses Western Europe and North America. – Founded in 1949 to oppose and deter Soviet power in Europe. – Countered by the Warsaw Pact (1955); disbanded in 1991. – First use of force by NATO was in Bosnia in 1994 in support of the UN mission there.• European Union formed its own rapid deployment force, outside NATO.• Biggest issue for NATO is its recent and eastward expansion, beyond the East-West Cold War dividing line. – Russian opposition.
OTHER ALLIANCES• U.S.-Japanese Security Treaty: – U.S. maintains nearly 50,000 troops in Japan. – Japan pays the U.S. several billion dollars annually to offset about half the cost of maintaining these troops. – Created in 1951 against the potential Soviet threat to Japan. – Asymmetrical in nature• U.S. has alliances with other states: South Korea and Australia:• De facto allies of the U.S.: those with whom we collaborate closely – Israel.• Commonwealth Of Independent States (CIS).
REGIONAL ALIGNMENTS (1)• In the global South, many states joined a nonaligned movement during the Cold War. – Stood apart from the U.S.-Soviet rivalry. – Led by India and Yugoslavia. • Undermined by the membership of Cuba• Organization of African Unity.
REGIONAL ALIGNMENTS (2)• China loosely aligned with Pakistan in opposition to India (which was aligned with the Soviet Union). – Relationships with India warmed after the Cold War ended.• Middle East: General anti-Israel alignment of the Arab countries for decades. – Broke down in 1978 as Egypt and Jordan made peace with Israel. – Israel and war with Hezbollah and Hamas. – Israel and Turkey formed a close military alliance. – Israel largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid. – Egypt. – Iran. – Bush administration: emphasis on spreading democracy.
STRATEGY: STATECRAFT (1)• The art of managing state affairs and effectively maneuvering in a world of power politics among sovereign states.• Key aspect of strategy: What kinds of capabilities to develop, given limited resources, in order to maximize international influence. – Example of China
STRATEGY: STATECRAFT (2)• Deterrence: – Uses a threat to punish another actor if it takes a certain negative action.• Compellence: – Refers to the use of force to make another actor take some action (rather than refrain from taking an action).• Arms race: – A reciprocal process in which two (or more) states build up military capabilities in response to each other.
RATIONALITY (1)• Most realists assume that those who wiled power while engaging in statecraft behave as rational actors.• Two implications for IR: – Implies that states and other international actors can identify their interests and put priorities on various interests. • National interest. – Implies that actors are able to perform a cost- benefit analysis – calculating the costs incurred by a possible action and the benefits it is likely to bring.
RATIONALITY (2)There is no legitimate authority above that of a nation-state. Survival is the ultimate goal. Nations are knownto pursue policies of necessity, though it may causeinternational concern. Engaging in defensive weaponcapabilities may be seen as offensive by anothernation-state. In March of 1983 President Reaganproposed that the United States develop an anti-ballistic missile defense system. The system, oftenderisively described as Reagan’s “Star Wars” plan,was an ambitious attempt to create a large-scaleshield against nuclear missile attacks.
RATIONALITY (3)The proposal was very controversialas it depended on untried technology,would be very expensive, and mightbe viewed by the Soviet Union as aneffort to protect the United States sothat it could launch an initial strikeagainst the Soviet Union without fearof massive retaliation. This footageconsists of two parts. First, we haveReagan’s proposal. The second partconsists of a series of excerpts froman NBC News report on Reagan’sspeech and the controversy itcreated.
RATIONALITY (4It is the responsibility of everynational leader to pursue policiesthat are in their national interest.Survival is the ultimate pursuit ofman (and woman). One can onlydepend on oneself in a world“wrought with anarchy”. America’senemies also engage nationaldefense policies that threaten ournational security. Do nations like Iranhave the right to develop nuclearweapons and the means to deliver awarhead? Enjoy this video example.
THE PRISONER’S DILEMMA• Game theory – Zero-sum games • One player’s gain is by definition equal to the other’s loss – Non-zero-sum games • It is possible for both players to gain (or lose)• Prisoner’s Dilemma – Rational players chose moves that produce an outcome in which all players are worse off than under a different set of moves. – They all could do better, but as individual rational actors they are unable to achieve this outcome. – Applications to the study of International Relations.
TERRORISM (1)911 introduced the world to“Asymmetrical Warfare” - Usingthe resources of a nation state toattack its institutions. This is acompilation of clips duringSeptember 11, 2001. What causedthe nation to come together? Howwere we able to acquireinternational support? Did weoverspend the goodwill bestowedby our international peers?
TERRORISM (2)On September 14, 2001, PresidentGeorge W. Bush visit rescue workerswhere New York World Trade Center oncestood. He remarked, "Im shocked at thesize of the devastation, Its hard todescribe what its like to see the gnarledsteel and broken glass and twistedbuildings silhouetted against the smoke. Isaid that this was the first act of war onAmerica in the 21st century, and I wasright, particularly having seen the scene.“911 forever changed American ForeignPolicy and introduced the concept of“preemption”. This is the policy of strikinganother nation-state or other entity beforethem initiate their attack.
TERRORISM (3)911 introduced the world to“Asymmetrical Warfare” - Using theresources of a nation state to attack itsinstitutions. A sudden outpouring ofsupport from the internationalcommunity, even from nation-statesoriginally hostile to the United Stateswas the norm. This showing of supportwas before the United States began toimplement its new policy of preemption.The author of this video is anonymous. Itis titled “Global Compassion”. Does theUnited States still maintain the degree ofheartfelt international support today?Why or why not?