Please read and summarize both articles
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UNFORMATTED ATTACHMENT PREVIEW
Lecture Nature of International Relations One of key disciplinary undertones through the course has been to highlight the boundaries between politics and economics (and to a lesser degree sociology). The course itself is divided into five major sub-fields of political science, which implies further boundary-making. International Relations is a curious sub-field. It implies that politics between states is somehow different from politics inside states. What is the logic behind this claim? The readings for the week are led by Hans Morgenthau’s six principles of political realism (you might recall reference to this in the Rauch reading in the US Politics section). Tickner’s “feminist” response follows and it is a very good proxy for the broader liberal response to Morgenthau. Wendt explores the meaning of anarchy or, for that matter, other political idea. And, lastly, we read about Marx’s views, which have informed ideas such as decolonization, neo-imperialism, and dependency theories. Both the Marxist and liberal perspectives do not see international and domestic politics to be different. We have an optional reading, by Lake, which examines the changing nature of sovereignty itself. National sovereignty is one of the key defining features of the international system. Before I examine the readings in detail, I want to highlight a classic work by Kenneth Waltz called Man, the State, and War, which was published in 1955. Waltz will help us understand the readings better. Waltz argued that there are three ways to look at why international politics is what it is (intermittent war, struggles for national survival, national aggrandizement). In the discipline, these are called levels of analysis. If you can grasp the concepts here, you can use it broadly to address any kind of social science problem. The first way is almost biblical: humans are sinners (Hobbes says men are greedy and life is short, nasty, and brutish; we lust for power) and all conflict results from the flawed nature of human beings. International politics, of which war is a significant part, is simply an extension of human nature (this, by the way, is Morgenthau’s base argument). In Waltz, he calls this, “Man.” This way of looking at human nature and its effects is universal and unchanging. It affects everyone and over all time. This also means that acts of cooperation, selflessness, sacrifice, etc., cannot be explained. More accurately, we cannot explain periods of peace because apparently we are all flawed and warlike all the time. This is a problem because if human beings are social animals and we work together all the time. If we could add up all human interaction, the number for cooperation will vastly outnumber the number for violence. Not for everyone perhaps and not all the time, but over human history. We also tend to cooperate more easily with some people (perhaps, those who look and behave like us) than with others. The fact that we cooperate more with some people than with others leads to the second way on understanding international politics. “The State” is fundamentally of group of individually who have organized or have been made to organize together. Consequently, it is the character of this group (rather than the character of individuals in the group) that explains the nature of international politics. So, for example, democracies are supposed to be peace-loving and dictatorships are supposed to be militaristic. During WW2, we used say that the Japanese were fanatical and the Germans orderly (this one persists). These are all characteristics of the group rather than an individual. Waltz made the argument about “the state,” that is the national governments that have dominated international politics for four centuries, but it is any argument that can be broadly about any group: ethnic, religious, ideological, professional, etc.. So, this level of analysis can be broadly applied. There are logical reasons why the characteristics of a group is not simply the sum total of the characteristics of the individuals that make up the group. Group characteristics depend on how the group derives its preferences and takes political action: democracies are peaceable because they are supposed to be open societies built on some checks and balances. (Marx and later critical theorists have pointed out, democracy, religion, nationalism, and other non-material conditions can be false consciousness.) On the other hand, you can imagine that an authoritarian regime is has different processes through which it derives its preferences and takes political action. Culture is a set of preferences and process that are deemed to be acceptable in a society and thus it is believed to influence political outcomes. One thing to note here is that there are DOMESTIC factors that influence INTERNATIONAL outcomes. Compare this with first level of analysis, where INDIVIDUAL human character shapes INTERNATIONAL outcomes. The third level of analysis is the international system (which Waltz calls “war” because that is what the system pushes all states toward). The logic here is the characteristics of INTERNATIONAL system shapes INTERNATIONAL outcomes. Specifically, the international system is believed to be anarchic. Anarchy here does not mean riots and Molotov cocktails, but rather the absence of any legitimate or recognized international government. In the second level of analysis, domestic preferences and processes shape international outcomes—the presumption is that there are domestic preferences and processes and behind those preferences and processes is a government that manages a hierarchy inside the society. For example, there are courts that can adjudicate competing claims on property, contracts, etc., if necessary with police force. This is the idea behind Hobbes’ Leviathan. Hobbes argued that only a government can provide security to people who would otherwise be constantly fighting with each other. The anarchy of the international system is precisely the absence of government. The implications of anarchy are: First, all the units of the system (countries for the most part) must actively ensure their own survival. They can do this by building armies and weapons but also by finding allies with whom they can work together against a common enemy. Thus, the limited cooperation we see in the world is the result of countries coming together usually against a common enemy, that is, cooperation in preparation for war. This is referred to as self-help. Second, since all countries self-help by military forces and finding allies, rival countries develop mutually reinforcing arms races, that is, when country A builds a strong army, country B follows suit, which leads country A to do the same. This spiral does not improve security but makes war more likely. This is also called the security dilemma—which you read about as the ethnic security dilemma in Posen earlier, and you will read next week in Jervis. Waltz argued that individual human nature AND group characteristics vary, but war in the international system is a constant through time and space, there was to be something about the international system that must contribute to war, and that is anarchy. So, here we have three levels of analysis for why there is war: human nature which is flawed, group characteristics that can be militaristic because of the preferences and process inside a country, and the anarchic international system which compels countries to struggle for survival. The first and second levels of analyses are universal: all human are flawed; the international system has similar impact on all states. Only the second level of analysis is particularistic, that is, it argues that some groups are less warlike than others. Keep this in mind as you read. Hans Morgenthau wrote his “six principles” immediately after World War 2 (but before Waltz’s classic in 1955). Morgenthau was trying to make sense of the tragedy of the world wars. In his view, Hitler was not the root of the problem as most people thought and the Nuremberg Trials established, but its epiphenomenon. He believed that there would another major conflict soon—and the Cold War happened. At its root, the problem of war was a problem of human nature and its lust for power. His six principles are distillation of what he calls “Political Realism,” a way of thinking about the world that emphasized the human lust for power and the consequences it entails. If you recall, Rauch made the same point, but he said that Political Realism as a philosophy has been dominant in foreign policy but not in domestic politics. This is because Political Realism emphasizes the pursuit of power at all costs (stemming from Morgenthau’s understanding of human nature). In domestic politics, the importance of raw power has been mitigated in large measures by rules, laws, and institutions. But in foreign policy, where there was no government and therefore no judicially enforceable rules and laws (in this view laws are enforced internationally through the use of force). Without enforceable rules and laws, the theory of raw power was clearly most applicable in international relations. Tickner does a good summary of the six principles on page 17 so I won’t waste space here, except to highlight some consequences. If human nature lusts for power and therefore all countries lust for power, no country is really superior to another. So being democratic or not is irrelevant except to the extent that it might affect the pursuit of power; so, e.g., a democratic country may be better able to mobilize its people when they agree with the goals, but an authoritarian regime maybe better able to mobilize when the people do not agree with its goals. This further implies that the only way to check power is through opposing power, that is, the balance of power. Furthermore, the pursuit of power and the balance of power have their own internal rationality rather than being subject to extraneous considerations such morality, ideology, etc.. Morgenthau’s views are generally in line with the long tradition of thinking about power (Sun Tzu, Kautilya, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Kissinger), which of courses opposes another long tradition of thinking about laws and rules (Buddha, Jesus, St. Augustine, Kant, Gandhi). What distinguishes Morgenthau from the others Realists is his focus on international politics; historically, Realists did not distinguish clearly between international and domestic politics. What distinguishes Morgenthau from Waltz is the source of state behavior: human nature v international system. Tickner argues that Morgenthau and others see human nature as inevitably war-like because this is a man’s view of the world. A feminist view of the world emphasizes social relationships and consensus-building. She also emphasizes quality of life as indicators of security (now also called human security), including structural violence (wait for Marx below) unleashed by rich nations on poor ones, basic needs, and even the environment. She writes, for example, that while non-violent conflict resolution is acceptable in the domestic sphere but not so in Morgenthau’s world. There is a summary of her own views on page 24, so I won’t repeat. Tickner ostensibly provides the feminist response to Morgenthau, but it is really the liberal response (not surprisingly, hard-power advocates often feminize liberals). Her central argument is that Morgenthau is only looking at half the world, men over women, but really war over peace. If you think about it, war is intermittent and it usually involves only a handful of countries in any given era. In the 20th century, for example, the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China figure on one side of an overwhelming number of conflicts. Therefore, war is not a general, but a clustered phenomenon. So what explains the other half? Indeed, if war is the result of spiraling arms races, and we know that countries that do not engage in spiraling arms races do not get involved in wars, can we not try to prevent war by creating mechanisms that prevent spiraling arms races? That’s what arms control agreements like SALT are. The liberal school further holds that trade and interdependence changes the incentives for countries that Morgenthau argues are timeless. Once cooperation occurs, countries agree to new rules and even laws even without constructing a government to enforce those laws. Realists respond that international law is the law of the stronger over the weaker and therefore the effect of power. Wendt represents yet another line of attack against the Realists. He takes on the very notion of anarchy at the center of Realists argument. Indeed, even Liberals accept the notion of an anarchic international system, they see cooperation as a possible outcome even in anarchy. Adam Smith is the classic here: buyers and sellers cooperate with the benefit of the invisible hand of price but not government is necessary. (Recall that Douglass North contradicted this view.) Wendt’s view of anarchy is what we make of it. He comes from what is called the Constructivist School in International relations, which sees anarchy as something constructed through history. Wendt says that where Realists and Liberals take the preferences of states for granted—Realists prefer power politics and Liberals prefer cooperation and laws—Constructivists want to see where these state preferences come from. According to Wendt, state preferences come from a combination of identity and interests, that is, they develop over time through history. Thus, anarchy can be constructed to be about power politics (19th and first half of 20th century), but it can also be constructed to be about cooperation (the era of globalization). Identity is important because how we see ourselves defines our interests. So, for example, the meaning of national sovereignty has changed over time since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 gave rise to international system as we know it. Noninterference was a key provision of that treaty, but today international intervention is accepted if a state fails to protects its citizens. What Constructivists do very well is to account for change as human experience itself changes. Realists have the most difficult time explaining change because to them human nature and the international system are generally a constant. Even state/group level realism looks at the self-interests of national officials. Therefore, regime security is considered to be a very priority for those who are in government. Lastly, we read about Marx. Marx has become less fashionable in the last three decades, but he has been an incredible influence on politics across the world. Writing in mid-19th century, about half a century into the industrial revolution, Marx recognized that structure of industrial capitalism was forcing class conflict between owners of capital and the workers. Capital-owners exploited industrial workers to make profit, while using the false consciousness of democracy, religion, and nationalism to keep the working class from rising up in revolution. Marx did not distinguish between domestic and international politics and he predicted a future when the workers of the world would unite to throw out their capital-owning overlords. As Kurki points out, Marx’s view is one historical materialism, which means that the driving force of politics is economic structure of society. It is historical in the sense that economic structure and class divisions necessary to sustain that economic structure develop over time. Once in place, these forces are larger than individuals, groups, leaders, etc. Marx predicted that industrial capitalism would lead to a revolution by the working class. Lenin used Marx to explain imperialism. Lenin argued that imperialism was driven by the search for markets by capitalist economies, which had to continue growing in order to keep system going. Marx’s prediction of a proletarian revolution held wide appeal through the first half of the 20th century. The Russian Revolution of 1917 ended in the victory of the Bolsheviks. By the time China fell to Marxism in 1949, Marx’s ideas seemed unstoppable. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara even made Marxism fashionable in the West. But Marx’s prediction has not happened. Where revolutions occurred, they have failed in time, creating even more inequities than the capitalist economies. Eventually, the fall of the Soviet Union made Marxist thought unfashionable. Despite the political end of Marxism, Marxist thought continues to inform a great deal of our thinking. Many of us (not me) believe, for example, that Americans are woefully informed about politics (often choosing political positions at odds with their own economic good). These views come rooted in Marx’s idea of false consciousness, though few of those who say these things recognize the Marxist origins of their thought. The idea that structure of capitalism shaped international relations can be seen in the theories of dependency and neo-imperialism, which argues that developing countries are forever stuck in backward modes of production as they are exploited by the advanced industrial societies. Today, Congo supplies much of the world’s need for mobile phone batteries, but it remains one of the most violent, poor, and backward areas of the world. Marx talked about the predominant influence of structure, which no amount of individual or group action could undo. This understanding of the role of structure is pervasive among critical theorists who are the rightful descendants of Karl Marx.