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Arnold Wolfers (1892-1968) IV. Realism in 20 th century International Relations Theory…

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Presentation on theme: "Arnold Wolfers (1892-1968) IV. Realism in 20 th century International Relations Theory…"— Presentation transcript:

1 Arnold Wolfers ( ) IV. Realism in 20 th century International Relations Theory…

2 Central to international relations is the behaviour of states as organized bodies of men but he called for concentration on human beings upon whose psychological reactions the behaviour credited to states ultimately rests

3 International behaviour of states is the amalgam of conflicting pressures Subnational, transnational, and suprenational actors intrude into international politics

4 In their relationships, nation-states exhibit various kinds of behaviour –Amity- enmity (depending on international goals) Different set of objectives –Possession goals –Millieu goals

5 3 Basic Clusters of Foreign Policy Objectives National self-extension National self-preservation National self-abnegation Nations foreign policy includes overlapping goals

6 Nation’s foreign policy is the amalgam of many factors –Different view/interpretation on the concept of national interest Ex. Security –Interest vs. Morality

7 Henry Kissinger

8 Nature and quality of political leadership Impact of domestic political structures upon foreign policy Relationship between diplomacy & military policy in stable & revolutionary international system

9 2 Models for the study of International Politics Stable System Revolutionary System

10 Stable System quest for peace X STABILITY legitimacy

11 Legitimacy –implies an acceptance of the framework of the international order by all major powers –An international agreement (Kissinger) AGREEMENT limits scope of international conflicts

12 Diplomacy –The adjustment of differences through negotiation (Kissinger) –Possible only in international system where legitimacy obtains

13 A power/group of power with peace as the primary objective An international order that does not compromise certain principles even for the sake of peace International system at the mercy of most ruthless member of international community Stablibity based on an equilibrium of forces

14 Revolutionary System Revolutionary world order –Any order in which a major power is so dissatisfied that it seeks to transform that order. –Ex. French Revolution

15 Factors to be considered in the Restoration of a Stable Order the willingness of supporters of legitimacy to negotiate with a revolutionary power while at the same time being prepared to use military power The ability of supporters of legitimacy to avoid outbreak of “total” war The capacity of national units to use limited means to achieve limited objectives

16 No power is compelled to surrender unconditionally –Powers defeated in limited war are not eliminated from international system No power is completely satisfied or completely dissatisfied LIMITATIONS restoration of balance of power

17 Issue on nuclear weapons Strategy of limited warfare If nations are to evolve a limited warfare startegy, they must develop an understanding of those interests that do not threaten national survival –Decision-makers must posess ability to restrain public opinion if disagreement arises as to whether national survival is at stake

18 Role of Diplomacy Historically, negotiation is aided by military capabilities is diplimacy failed. Problem: destuctive capabilities = disputes # of powers of = difficulty of conducting approximately diplomacy equal strength

19 Ideology Ideology contributes to the development of unlimited national objectives It eventually creates states whose goal is to overthrow the existing international system No legitimacy= difficult, even impossible conduct of diplomacy

20 Emphasis in the foreign policy upon creating a stable structure for the international system: All nations must have a stake in preserving the international system “If history teaches anything it is that there can be no peace w/o equilibrium and no justice w/o restrain.” Balance of power

21 Separation of Domestic Policy from Foreign Politics Conduct of effective diplomacy is difficult if subjected to scrutiny of public opinion in a democracy –Flexibility can be achieved in secrecy He does not seek to transform domestic political structures –Models linked to states’ domestic political structures

22 Stable System states w/ compatible domestic political structure Revolutionary states w/ contrasting System domestic political structures

23 Robert Strausz-Hupé

24 Major concern is on the nature of power, its exercise and control International Conflicts Human urge for power (self-aggrandizement or self-assertion)

25 Factors that increased the importance of power in the modern world Population growth Break down of religious and metaphysical limitations Deification of state Development of Darwinian theories Rapid social change

26 Individual quest for power Domestic power struggles Power urge at international system in form of conflicts –Differences in political ideology –Psychological differences –Socio-cultural differences –Population pressures –Economic issues –Territorial disputes –Security interests –Differences on political systems

27 Result of conflicts: State’s redrawing of its own borders Modification of another state’s political, social, and cultural systems Increase in its security

28 Factors to be considered in achieving foreign policy thru alternative means Degree of motivation to achieve a particular goal Time available for its attainment Cost Risk Goal conflicts w/ other goals

29 (Conflict-management) 4 Basic Techniques for Shaping Opponent’s Behavior Evolution Revolution from above Revolution from below war

30 Elements of National Power Geographical location Manpower Natural resources Science and technology National psychology Political institutions

31 Population = nation’s international position Political, economic, and military organizations transform these elements of power into world-political realities Geography remains important factor –Sir MacKinder’s “Heartland”

32 Conflict –Can be traced to the conditions that attend the breakdown of political systems –Systemic revolution obeys a law of dialectic One system gives way to another system, which in turn contains forces that lead eventually to its transformation

33 Raymond Aron

34 Fourfold analysis of IR Theory Sociology History Praxeology

35 Theory Effect-phenomena cause-phenomena (determined factor) (determinant)

36 Sociology Concerned w/ causality and determinants of international behavior Addressed to the problems of spatial relationships, population, resources, and origins of war, as well as what he termed the nation, the civilization, and humanity as collectives that affect conduct at the international level

37 History Relate his theory and sociology to the international system since 1945

38 Praxeology Attempt to formulate both normative theory (what goals of states should be) and serves a prescription for international conduct (how statesmen should act to achieve those goals)

39 IR consists of relations among political units into which the world is divided at any given time Principal objectives of each unit is to ensure its safety, and ultimately its survival Sought to develop a “rational-type” of theory proceeding from fundamental concepts( strategy & diplomacy, means & ends, power & force, power, glory & idea) to system and types of systems.

40 In IR, diplomat-strategists face the risk of war (Aron’s view) relations among nations are often marked by conflict –Essence of politics does not lie exclusively in a struggle for power –Relations consist of the alternatives of war and peace

41 Status of political units is determined by natural or human resources that they can allocate The extent to which political units mobilize such resources depends upon the accessibility to them and also the objective that political leaders choose to pursue

42 Political units do not desire power for its own sake –Power as means for peace, glory, or influence Political units that have the greatest influence on others are not always those that most consciously attempt to impose themselves on others It is possible to examine or even qualify elements of national power yet it is difficult to assess their effectiveness in attaining goals set by political leaders

43 2 Models of International System Homogenous System Heterogeneous System

44 Homogenous System States belong to the same type, obey the same conception of policy Political leaders are in agreement about the kinds of objectives to be pursued Conflict occurs within the system but the continued existence of the system itself is not at stake

45 Heterogeneous System States are organized according to different principles and appeal to contradictory values

46 Bipolar & Multipolar Systems Distinguishing between the two depends on the number of political units in relation to their strength Both contain equilibrating mechanisms (Aron) It is necessary to construct models according to configuration of forces in order to elaborate rules for the operation of equilibrium

47 Mulipolar State’s power state’s allies Bipolar -goal of chief actors is to avoid finding themselves at the mercy of a rival

48 3 Types of Peace Equilibrium (political units are in balance) Hegemony (political units are dominated by those of one of the units) Empire (political units are outclassed by the forces of one political units)

49 If peace is the “more or less lasting suspension of violent modes of rivalry between political units, conflict consists of the dialectics of antagonism: –Deterrence –Persuasion –Subversion

50 Deterrence is related both to the material means that a state possess to prevent action by another political unit and to the perception of resolution one state is able to convey to another that threatens it.

51 Persuasion consists of methods designed to modify behavior in some desired fashion, and indeed, includes the strategy of subversion

52 Subversion is the use of violence to attain an objective –Goal: to withdraw a population from the administrative and moral authority of an established power and to integrate it within other political and military frameworks, sometimes in and by conflict.

53 Conflict –(general sense) results when 2 individuals, social groups, or political units covet the same property or seek incompatible goals War –An expression of human aggressiveness

54 Aron vs. American realism –American realists are “located on the margin of the idealist situation” since, although they criticize the utopian or idealist conception, the realist unconsciously “follow the example of those whom they oppose.”

55 Praxeology Political leader ought to remember that international order is the result of balancing of forces that support the preservation of the system with those that seek its transformation (Aron’s view) Immortality is a condition in which the political leader “obeys his heart w/o concerning himself w/ the consequences of his acts.” –Responsibility vs. morality

56 Prefers an international community based on world law and order through homogeneity of states yet such world was beyond human grasp

57 V. NEOREALISM Purports to refine and reinvigorate classical realism Embraced work that is termed STRUCTURAL REALISM POWER remains a key variable, although it exists less as an end in itself than as a necessary and inevitable component of a political relationship

58 Kenneth Waltz Neorealism has its basis a constellation, or configuration, consisting of a “system of interaction- relations between states and other action-systems of international politics at a given moment or within a defined period of history past or present.”

59 Categories of Inquiry System and decision (leadership) Interest and power Perception and reality Cooperation and conflict (behavioral strategy) Norm or advantage Neorealism posits the existence of an international system consisting of interactive elements

60 Neorealism focuses on international system –Int’l system is the structure that shapes the political relationships that take place among its members Structural realism

61 –International politics is more than the summation of the foreign policies of states and the external balance of other actors in the system. (Waltz) argues for a neorealist approach based on patterned relationships among actors in the system that is anarchical

62 Domestic politics –there is a hierarchical relationship –Units stand in formal differentiation from one another depending on the degree of authority and function International system –Lacks comparable governmental institutions –Actors stand in a horizontal relationship w/ each other

63 Waltz Structure connotes the way in which the parts are arranged Defined structure by the principle by which it is organized (hierarchical or anarchic) Defined structure by the specification of functions of the units –More hierarchical = greater differentiation of function –More anarchic = greater similarity in function Defined structure by the distribution of capabilities among units

64 Waltz… States as unitary actors who, at minimum, seek their own preservation, and at maximum, drive for universal domination. (classical realism) Balance of power

65 Focus of structural realism: arrangement of the parts of the international system w/ respect to each other (anarchic system) there’s a need to for member units to rely on whatever means or arrangements they can generate in order to ensure survival and enhance security –Self-help Variable conditioning (internal effort) Circumscribing, political behavior (external effort) –Shapes pattern of interaction

66 As structures change (especially on the distribution of capabilities among its unit), so do interactive patterns among its members as well as the outcomes that such interaction can be expected to produce Only a structural transformation can alter the anarchical nature of international system

67 Structural realism vs Reductionism Structure defines the arrangement of the parts of the international system but does not explain what accounts for change in the structure Reductionist theory explains international phenomena by reference to the actions of the separate states and their internal characteristics Structural realism requires a theory of domestic politics to have a comprehensive theory of international relations Units System structure

68 Robert Gilpin States engage in cost-benefit calculations about alternative courses of action available to them. –To the extent that the anticipated benefits exceed the costs, states are likely to attempt to make changes in the system –States will attempt to change the system by means of territorial, political, or economic expansion until the marginal costs of additional change become equal to or exceed the marginal benefits Satisfied actors = international system in equilibrium

69 Distribution of power –Represents the principal means for controlling power –Dominant states maintain a network of relationships within the system for this purpose

70 In deciding upon foreign policies, states make trade-offs –Conquest of territory - enhancing security or wealth –Threats, coercion, alliances – increase political influence –Economic domination

71 3 types of change that international system undergo Change in the nature of the actors or the types of entities- empires, states, other units- that comprise a particular international system –Rise & decline of Greek city-states –Medieval European state system –Nuclear state system A system changes as the cost-benefit ratio of membership in the existing system is altered

72 Change w/ focus on the components and not in the system itself –Rise & fall of powerful states Change w/ focus on the nature of its members’ political, economic, or sociocultural interactions –Change embraces the system itself, its constituent elements, and the interactive process among them

73 Cost > Benefit Equilibrium in international system Economic costs > Economic capacity Disequilibrium (cases of empires)

74 Options for power in decline Increase capabilities to match the rising unit Acquiesce in altered circumstances Enter into alliances or other arrangements w/ other powers Make concessions to the rising power (Gilpin) War –Result: redistribution of power

75 VI. REALISM: ITS LIMITATIONS & CONTRIBUTIONS Limitations/ Criticisms –Question, rejection, & modification of the traditional paradigm of international relations on which realism in its classical formulation was based Power politics behavior itself must be explained; it does not explain –Triviality of national interest as a necessary criterion of policy(it’s obvious & unilluminating) Difficult to give operational meaning to the concept of national interest (lack of empirical based studies)

76 (M.J. Smith) Weber’s ethic of responsibility does not present a competent set of criteria for judging responsibility limited national objectives, separation of foreign policy from domestic politics, secret diplomacy, balance of power, reduced emphasis on ideology have little relevance to the international system today

77 Inconsistency between the idea that nations obey the laws of nature and the call for alteration of their behavior –Realist become normative in theoretical orientation and there's a failure to explain why political leaders sometimes don’t adhere to realist tenets in foreign policy Unclear conceptualization of power & overemphasizing power and exclusion of other important variables

78 Criticisms (Neorealism) –Disregard history as a process that is continually undergoing redefinition Statesmen was not only shaped by but also had an important influence on history Individual persons as master of structures and not simply the object –Focus too much on structure, it ignored the social basis and social limits of power –It was statist before it was structuralist Realism is structural determinism

79 Contributions –(Robert Keohane) Realism provides a good starting point for the analysis of cooperation a and discord, since its tautological structure and its pessimistic assumptions about individual and state behavior serve as barriers against wishful thinking

80 –The problems to which realist thought has addressed itself are central both to the study of international politics and to practice of statecraft –Realism provides a large number of propositions about political behavior that can be subjected to further examination w/ the use of other frameworks and methodologies Adaptation of the concept of “system”

81 Prepared by: JOVELLE CARMEL E. REJUSO BAPS 3 Reference: Contending Theories of International Politcs by James Dougherty Robert Pfaltzgraff, Jr.


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