PACS_Second Essay

PACS_Second Essay - Weede and Waltz are scholars possessed...

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2 Weede and Waltz are scholars possessed with antipodal theories explaining the international system as it exists today. Kenneth Waltz is a realist who, in his piece Structural Realism after the Cold War, contends that the fall of the Soviet Union represents just another transition in the history of the international system; just as we had a multi-polar system and a bi-polar system, now we have a uni-polar system. He goes to great lengths to argue that the disappearance of the Soviet Union does not qualify as a major transformation of global politics. Waltz argues that such a fact allows realism to retain its value as the basic theory of international relations (Waltz, 41). Conversely, in The Diffusion of Prosperity and Peace by Globalization Erich Weede focuses his attention on the state and the market as actors in the international system. He says simply that “capitalism and economic freedom promote peace” (Weede, 165). There is no doubt that Weede hails from the Liberal school of thought, as he promotes the supremacy of private property and freedom over state control (Lecture, Week III). Weede’s contribution to the theory is that he enumerates the various peace keeping capabilities of democracy and the market. In his assessment of the post-Cold War international system, Waltz devotes a considerable amount of his work to the balance of power resulting from the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Waltz insists that the balance will only be a temporary one. He views uni-polarity as the least durable of international configurations and given the classical realist claim that the international system is anarchical, Waltz insists that the current structure will inevitably provoke action by the weaker states, which will ultimately return the system to a more traditional balance of power (Waltz, 10). This rhetoric concerning the emergence of a uni-polar system seems to stand in stark contrast to the claims of
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3 realists prior to the end of the Cold War. In his discussion of international equilibrium, Hans Morgenthau said that when one state holds a disproportionate amount of power, that state will inevitably encroach upon the interests and rights of other states (Morgenthau, 125). The result of one state gaining ascendancy over others, according to Morgenthau,
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