Dr. Tabakian’s Political Science 7
Modern World Governments – Spring/Fall 2014
Supplemental Power Point Material #10
LECTURE HIGHLIGHTS (1)
Spheres Of Influence
Spheres of Influence Makes A Nation
Communication Between Spheres
Unilateral Grand Strategy
Rules Based Regimes & Organizations
The Wars Of The World
Types Of War
LECTURE HIGHLIGHTS (2)
Causes Of War
Conflicts Of Ideas
Conflicts Of Interest
Control Of Governments
SPHERES OF INFLUENCE
Political Science 1 examined pluralism as being
the best theory that describes how competing
spheres of influence protect minority rights
against majority factions. These majority factions
may consist of individual powerful elite entities or
groups of “spheres of influence”. Alliances will
form among once competing spheres in order to
“check” another sphere or individual elite base
that acquires too much power. This constant
“checking” as described in the “competing
spheres of influence” diagram describes how this
plays out in all systems. Individual spheres of
influence are always on the alert for one of their
peers assuming too much power. This argument
also applies to International Relations. Just
replace these spheres with nation-states.
Competition among spheres of interest produces great returns for
humanity. The constant strive for marketplace acceptance has resulted in
America progressing from a predominantly agricultural society to an
industrial, nuclear, and information based society. The United States is
unique in that it excels in more than one particular capitalist endeavor.
Innovation has led to advancements that have greatly influenced every
aspect of society. Society has benefited from constant advancements in
energy harvesting, computers, communication, water purification,
medicine and all other areas not listed for the list would be enormous.
Every significant discovery has in turn greatly influenced societal norms
of behavior. Masses today view internet communications as a vital
necessity. It is nearly impossible to operate in a complex society without
easy access to the web. The majority of masses did not have this belief
fifteen years ago. Only society determining that the internet allowed for
greater efficiency was it adopted as a societal norm. Those not willing to
adapt became obsolete.
Sudden instability is the greatest threat to humanity for it
threatens to cause irreparable harm to the individual. One
may never consider harming another person in a state of
nature. Elimination of one’s sustenance throws the individual
into a state of war, because their survival is now threatened.
Nation-states consist of multiple spheres of interest in turn
consisting of individual units consisting of people. As survival
is the primary goal of man, so it is the ultimate pursuit of
nation-states. The primary concern is that of stability. This
philosophy has prevented a major war from taking place over
the last sixty years. Instability is the primary cause of all
conflict both within and between nation-states.
SPHERES OF INFLUENCE
MAKES A NATION
Spheres consist of individuals who
share a common set of interests
and/or belief systems. Individual
participants are the absolute microlevel of every sphere. Here are some
examples of spheres: family, work,
school, political parties, and religion.
communicate with one another
through the individual who is a
member of those same spheres.
Various societal interactions influence
Communication is essential between spheres of interest to
prevent misunderstandings. A good example of this would
be a nation-state undertaking a war games exercise near its
border. Bordering states would be naturally concerned,
perhaps to the point of contacting political leaders in the
state conducting these games. Let us presume that
communication lines were down due to some technical error.
This situation may lead those bordering states to launch
defensive measures to an eminent offensive attack. This
argument carries over from transparency theory, which
argues that the United States in particular discloses its
political, economic, and military policies and power
capacities to prevent misunderstanding among its
BETWEEN SPHERES (2)
Communication essentially maintains open lines of
communications to prevent all actions, especially those that
are peaceful, being misconstrued. Imagine if you will that,
the “red line” between Russia and the United States
collapsed due to a technological glitch. Now let us presume
that a satellite being rocketed into space went off course
towards Moscow. What would convince Russian military
leaders that the rocket’s payload was not a nuclear
misunderstandings that in turn could spell disaster.
STATE INTERDEPENDENCY (1)
Societal interdependence addresses situations in which
events within one society affect events in another.
Government involvement in instigating these events does
not have to take place for this to occur. Transnational
relations helped to encourage interdependency between
states. Nation-states interdependent on one another
presented each with economic and political trade-offs
whereas gains in one may lead to the weakening of another.
Economic gains that may be derived from external sources
that are able to produce them more efficiently while only
retaining those industries that are efficient may allow a state
to achieve higher overall productivity. This comes at a price
when a state becomes so dependent on foreign sources of
goods that it affects how its foreign policy is conducted.
STATE INTERDEPENDENCY (2)
As a state becomes more interdependent on one another it
also serves to prevent it from acting overly aggressive
against those states that it has become dependent.
Interdependence reversed the low levels of political
optimism beginning in the 1970s that established linkages
between the West, Latin America, and Asia and culminated
with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
STATE INTERDEPENDENCY (3)
Simple interdependency is morphing into a complex
interdependence that was uniting economic and political interests of
states into one cohesive block. War among the advanced states
became unthinkable as interdependence made it ever more costly.
Interdependent world of liberal-democratic states can at some point
in time lead to world peace. Regardless of these economic forces,
security concerns as well as the drive for national honor can
overrule the costs associated with breaking linkages. Countries that
wish to attract foreign investments or accrue technological
innovations have to wear a “golden straitjacket”. This is a set of
policies that include balanced budgets, economic deregulation, free
trade, a stable currency and most importantly an overall
transparency so that people can predict the overall direction of a
STATE INTERDEPENDENCY (4)
Societal and economic interdependence can interlink the
domestic policies of two nation-states. Take the example of
Canada and the United States. The high degree of societal
interdependence assures that Canada will be strongly affected
by American policies. The most powerful nation-state can
more affect the policies of another country interdependent on
its society as the US and Canada example shows.
STATE INTERDEPENDENCY (5)
Underlying most analyses of world politics and international
organization is the state-centric approach. This makes two
(1) Governments remain the most significant actors in world
(2) Governments are unified actors. Transgovernmental is a
reference to direct interactions between agencies
(government subunits) of different governments where
those agencies act relatively autonomously from central
There are policymakers within the United States calling for
an end to multilateralism. The US has won not only the
Cold War, but has surpassed every nation in terms of
political, economic and military power. This position allows
the US to act unilaterally without much repercussion.
History has shown that even the most powerful states can
achieve greater advantages in the long run by supporting
and operating within an international system of rules and
institutions. History has shown that the most powerful
countries are able to author the rules of the game as it
pertains to international rules and institutions. America is
in a far better position if it continues to work within the
system it created.
America may be the most powerful nation on Earth, but it
should not rely solely on its power to achieve its objectives
for doing so is short-sighted and dangerous in the long run. It
does not matter who sits in the White House or which
political party controls the government. America is walking
down a path of unilateralism that hegemonic powers
normally accepted as its fate. This results in a hegemonic led
power-based international order. History has shown that this
direction will at some time lead to the destruction of those
empires that act unilaterally. There are three reasons why
the United States should support multilateralism and rulebased order: the functional demands of interdependence, the
long-term calculations of power managements, and
America’s political tradition and identity.
UNIVERSAL GRAND STRATEGY
America has entered into a new paradigm as she feels that
her obligations to its partners and international rules she
helped construct have subsided. She has begin to play a
more unilateral role in areas aside from merely seeking
terrorists or confronting rogue states that seek to
manufacture or traffic weapons of mass destruction. There
are seven elements that help make up this “grand strategy”.
1. America commits itself to maintaining a unipolar world
that can never have a peer competitor.
2. A new analysis of global threats and how they should be
UNIVERSAL GRAND STRATEGY
3. The Cold War concept of deterrence is outdated.
Deterrence, sovereignty and the balance of power work
together. This is exemplified with the Bush administration’s
security doctrine that makes clear that the US now claims
the absolute right to preemptively attack any nation or entity
that is deemed to be a risk to its national security.
4. This new strategy requires a new definition of sovereignty
for the US has declared its right to act unilaterally to
preemptively enter into any territory “anywhere, anytime” to
destroy any threat. It is not a new situation for great powers
to transgress on the affairs of sovereign governments, but
this was only true within a given sphere of influence. What is
new now is that the Bush administration has decided to
apply this on a global basis.
UNIVERSAL GRAND STRATEGY
5. The deprecation of international rules, treaties, and
6. America will have to remain able to respond to any threat.
This belief is based on the realization that there exists no
other country or coalition on the planet that has the forceprojection capabilities of the US.
7. There is a sense among the unilateralists that past
traditions of multilateral cooperation has been rendered
Transnational communication and shared civic
values have played a distinct role in eroding
national loyalties, creating radical strains of
political association that focus on international
law and other normative principles that focus on
international concerns. Changing the interests of
political actors from the domestic to international
helps to alter the direction of their actions.
RULES BASED REGIMES &
Liberal institutionalists are not concerned whether
institutions help thwart conflict, but they do pursue the
claim that states cooperate when doing so does not
contradict its self-interests. The theory is found to
disregards security issues, instead focusing on economic
and environment issues. Liberal institutionalism is based
on the postulation that international politics is split into
two camps: security and political economy, but its theory
concerns political economy. Cooperation is more likely
when the issue is economic.
RULES BASED REGIMES &
Regimes contain sets of implicit or explicit principles,
norms, rules, and decision-making procedures based on
the expectations of those participating actors regarding
areas of concern pertaining to international relations.
Regimes seek to eliminate many of the risks or costs that
states face when dealing with other actors. Prisoner’s
Dilemma theory presents a good argument to how states
act when agreements go against their own self-interest.
Non-state actors are going to play an increased role in
dominance in the world. This situation will further
encourage non-state actors to compete with nationstates themselves to further exploit world resources.
RULES BASED REGIMES &
Susan Strange argues, “The progressive integration of
the world economy, through international production, has
shifted the balance of power away from states and
toward world markets.” Strange offers three schemes to
backup her argument: first, “power has shifted upward
from weak states to stronger ones that in turn have
global or regional reach”; second, “power has shifted
sideways from states to markets and thus to non-state
authorities deriving power from their market shares”;
third, “some power has evaporated with no one
THE WARS OF THE WORLD
• Largest contemporary wars:
– Western Sudan (Darfur)
• Of the 11 wars, all but Chechnya (Russia) are in the
• All but Colombia are in a zone of active fighting spanning
parts of Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East.
• Most peace agreements in the world’s postwar zones
are holding up.
TYPES OF WAR (1)
• Hegemonic war:
– War over control of the entire world order –
the rules of the international system as a
whole, including the role of world hegemony.
– Last hegemonic war was World War II.
– Likely that due to the power of modern
weaponry, this kind of war could not occur any
longer without destroying civilization.
TYPES OF WAR (2)
• Total war:
– Warfare by one state waged to conquer and
– Goal is to reach the capital city and force the
surrender of the government, which can then be
replaced with one of the victor’s choosing.
– Napoleonic Wars.
– Evolved with industrialization, which further
integrated all of society and economy into the
practice of war.
– Last total war: World War II.
TYPES OF WAR (3)
• Limited war
– Includes military actions carried out to gain
some objective short of the surrender and
occupation of the enemy.
– War to retake Kuwait from Iraq (1991).
• Limited wars that consist of a single action.
• Raiding that is repeated or fuels a cycle of
retaliation usually becomes a limited war that
is sometimes called a low-intensity conflict.
TYPES OF WAR (4)
• Civil war:
– Refers to war between factions within a state
trying to create, or prevent, a new government
for the entire state or some territorial part of it.
– U.S. Civil War of the 1960s - secessionist civil
– El Salvador in the 1980s - civil war for control
over the entire state.
– May often be among the most brutal wars.
TYPES OF WAR (5)
• Guerrilla war:
– Includes certain types of civil wars; is warfare
without front lines.
– Irregular forces operate in the midst of, and
often hidden or protected by, civilian
– Purpose is not to confront an enemy army
but rather to harass and punish it so as to
gradually limit its operation and effectively
liberate territory from its control.
TYPES OF WAR (6)
War is never pretty. Multiple
methods of engagement are
necessary in order to pacify an
Convention maintains strict
identifies acceptable methods
of killing, the rights of prisoners
of war (POWs), etc. Unusual
methods include acts of terror
against civilians. This video
examines the morality of rape
as a method of warfare.
CAUSES OF WAR (1)
• The question of why war breaks out can be
approached in different ways.
– Descriptive approaches
– Theoretical approaches
• Broad generalizations about the causes of war
have been elusive.
• Wars do not have a single or simple cause.
• Levels of analysis can help us organize theories
CAUSES OF WAR (2)
• On the individual level of analysis, theories about war
center on rationality.
– One theory, consistent with realism, holds that the
use of war and other violent means of leverage in
international conflicts is normal and reflects rational
decisions of national leaders: that “wars begin with
conscious and reasoned decisions based on the
calculation, made by both parties, that they can
achieve more by going to war than by remaining at
– An opposite theory that conflicts often escalate to
war because of deviations from rationality in the
individual decision-making processes of national
– Neither theory holds up well.
CAUSES OF WAR (3)
• The domestic level of analysis draws
attention to the characteristics of states or
societies that may make them more or
less prone to use violence in resolving
CAUSES OF WAR (4)
• Theories at the interstate level explain wars in terms of
power relations among actors in the international
– Power transition theory holds that conflicts generate
large wars at times when power is relatively equally
distributed and a rising power is threatening to
overtake a declining hegemon in overall position.
– Deterrence – stop wars by building up power and
threatening its use.
– Theory of arms race – wars are caused, not
prevented by such actions.
– No general formula has been discovered to tell us in
what circumstances each of these principles holds
CAUSES OF WAR (5)
• At the global level of analysis, a number of theories of
war have been proposed.
• Several variations on the idea that major warfare in the
international system is cyclical.
– One approach links wars with long economic waves
in the world economy (~50 years)
– Another approach links the largest wars with a 100year cycle based on the creation and decay of world
• These cycle theories at best can explain only general
tendencies toward war in the international system.
• Theory of linear long-term change: war as an outcome
of conflict is becoming less likely over time due to the
worldwide development of both technology and
CONFLICTS OF IDEAS
• Six types of international conflict:
• Most difficult types of conflict have intangible elements such
as ethnic hatred, religious fervor, or ideology – all conflicts of
• These identity-based sources of international conflict today
have been shaped historically by nationalism – link between
identity and internationally recognized statehood.
• Devotion to the interests of one’s own
nation over others.
– May be the most important force in
world politics in the past two centuries.
– Nationality is a difficult concept to define
• Historical development of “nationalism”.
– Principle of self-determination.
ETHNIC CONFLICT (1)
• Quite possibly the most important source of
conflict in the numerous wars now occurring
throughout the world.
• Ethnic groups:
– Large groups of people who share ancestral,
language, cultural, or religious ties and a
– Often form the basis for nationalist
• Territorial control.
ETHNIC CONFLICT (2)
• Lack of a home state.
• Redrawing of borders by force.
• Outside states worry about the fate of “their people.”
– Systematic extermination of ethnic or religious groups
in whole or in part.
ETHNIC CONFLICT (3)
• Causes of ethnic hostility
– Longstanding historical conflicts over specific
territories or natural resources, or exploitation or
political domination of another
– Global identity in the future?
RELIGIOUS CONFLICT (1)
• Because religion is the core of a
community’s value system in much of
the world, people whose religious
practices differ are easily disdained
and treated as unworthy or even
– Fundamentalist movements
– Secular political organizations
RELIGIOUS CONFLICT (2)
•Armed Islamist groups
• Ideology symbolizes and intensifies conflicts
between groups and states more than it causes
– Because they have a somewhat weaker hold
on core values and absolute truth than
religions do, they pose somewhat fewer
problems for the international system.
– China Maoist communism in 1949; Russia’s
Leninist communism in 1917, U.S. democracy
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST (1)
• Territorial disputes:
– Means of controlling territory – primarily military.
– Secession – province or region leaving an existing
– Ethnic cleansing - driving out or massacre of
designated ethnic population.
– Interstate borders:
• Role of the norm of territorial integrity.
– Lingering disputes – Israeli borders; Kashmir; Peru &
Ecuador; Spratly Islands.
– Territorial waters – part of national territory.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST (2)
As Brazil continues to develop, more
and more of the rainforest is cleared to
make room for new farms, producing
cattle and soybeans for world markets.
This economic expansion threatens
the very existence of the Enawene
Nawe, as their traditional lifestyle and
culture is destroyed. At the same time,
deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon
also releases greenhouse gasses
sequestered in the trees of the
rainforest, increasing the threat of
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST (3)
Nigeria’s experience with oil has not been
a positive one. While the oil industry has
provided significant export earnings, oil
production has been accompanied by
rising ethnic inequality, environmental
degradation, rapid urbanization, and—from
1966-1970—even civil war. In addition,
declining oil prices in the early 1980s led to
a collapse in export earnings, fueling
Nigeria’s debt crisis and forcing the
country to undergo structural adjustment. A
further decline in global oil prices in 1986
pushed Nigeria into a recession from
which it has yet to recover. Yet,
multinational oil companies continue to
invest in Nigerian production.
CONTROL OF GOVERNMENTS
• Most struggles to control territory do not involve
• They are conflicts over which governments will
control entire states.
conflicts over the control of
governments – along with territorial disputes –
are likely to lead to the use of violence.
ECONOMIC CONFLICT (1)
• Economic competition is the most pervasive
form of conflict in international relations because
economic transactions are pervasive.
• Such transactions contain a strong element of
mutual economic gain.
– Usually do not lead to military force and war.
– But this was not always the case historically.
ECONOMIC CONFLICT (2)
• Economic conflict seldom leads to violence
today because military forms of leverage are no
longer very effective in economic conflicts.
– Lateral pressure.
• Drug trafficking.