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Presentation on theme: "WORLD POLITICS – Lecture 4"— Presentation transcript:

1 WORLD POLITICS – Lecture 4


3 General Agreement Among Realists
State-prime actor in International Relations The use of force to adjust relations Competitive and conflictual character of international relations War as the remaining option for the resolution of conflict Pessimism about peace

4 Context of Realism Cold war (East / West blocks)
Arms race (nuclear weapons)

5 Postclassical Realism
Neorealism Both State centric International relations as inherently competitive Material factors as opposed to non-material factors State-egoistic actors

6 3 Assumptions Differentiating Neorealism and Postclassical Realism
The most important assumption: Possibility of conflict (Neorealism) or probability of aggression (Postclassical Realism).

7 Postclassical Realism
Neorealism Postclassical Realism Possibility of conflict shapes the actions of States Heavy discount rate. Short-term military preparedness over long term Military vs. economy -- military preparedness States’ actions are based on assessment of probabilities of threats Long-term not subordinate to short term preparedness for military action Military vs. economy – economic trade off if probability of war is low

8 Possibility vs. Probability
Neorealism Postclassical Realism Imminent possibility of conflict International relations as brutal Anarchy-suspicious and hostile context With states deciding whether or not to use force, war may at any time break out in the absence of supreme authority Rational state never lets down its guard: states adopt worst-case perspective Probability of conflict rather than imminent possibility of conflict Lower security pressure

9 Neorealism 3 principles guiding the worst-case perspective:
Costs of war  triggering possibility of conflict Material capabilities  signal  potential for aggression Defensive precautions are the only assurance against aggression

10 Short-term vs. Long-term
Neorealism Postclassical Realism Maximize military security in short-term due to the potential of immediate aggression Maximize short-term security from potential rivals High-discount rate See the world under lower security pressure  lower discount rate  No possibility of imminent war but probability

11 Trade-off Between Military and Economic Security
45° MRS Economic

12 Military Security vs. Economic Capacity
Neorealism Postclassical Realism Military security first before economic capacity (rationality) In case of conflict between military objectives and economic  military objectives favored (trade-off) Power = military preparedness + economic capacity Wealth determines power Power is the ultimate goal of the state Seeking power ≠ conquest. Conquest can increase wealth, but one can also increase wealth by: changing international trade patterns having efficient institutions using comparative advantage to secure raw materials from weaker states reducing non-productive expenditure

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