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International Politics 160 Midterm Paper

International Politics 160 Midterm Paper - International...

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1 International Politics 160 Will Roper Question # 1 Hans Morgenthau, Kenneth Waltz, and John Mearsheimer were undoubtedly some of the most influential men in the world of political science. All three were realist, but for the most part, the similarities end there. Each have different arguments about what causes state behaviors and how much power states want. These three theorists seem to disagree on the very basis of political intentions, the intent of human nature, and final goals of states in today’s world anarchy. Kenneth Waltz is a structural realist and believes in a self-help system and international anarchy. He believes that war is a very natural state for nations to be in and that realistically the only way to rid the world of war would be to eliminate the idea of international politics and for the world to live in an utopian society. (Structural Realism; JSTOR p. 5) He of course quickly admits that such a thought would never be able to stay above water in today’s society. Other theorist criticize Waltz’s anarchic theory with the Democratic Peace Theory saying that if enough states became democratic then the realist’s theory would be superseded. This theory might be generally accepted if all that was needed was historical evidence, but unfortunately there are many other factors at hand. Waltz says that this is because most democratic states are large and powerful, they have the abilities to pressure states into a peace, while less powerful states with different governing tactics usually fall or must resort to war (JSTOR p. 6). One must understand that when Waltz says that natural state of countries is a state of war, he does not mean that wars are constantly occurring, but since each state has the right to start a war, a war could break out at any time. Waltz’s belief in war does not suggest that states will begin a war in order to broaden their power for the sake of maximizing their territory and political control, but
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just to simply pursue a moderate amount of power in order to raise their standard of living slightly and maintain a certain level of security and international status. For example, the United States is historically known for “correcting” the governments of smaller, weaker countries by simply threatening to attack so their political safety is not compromised by communism or anything else they do not see fit. Waltz does believe that as a structural and defensive realist that strong powers will balance each other out if it is necessary, and this balancing will come easier on the international scale if there exist a bipolarity in the world with two superpowers.
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