Understanding Behavior in World Politics

Understanding Behavior in World Politics -...

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Understanding Behavior in World Politics 29/11/2007 12:27:00 Explaining International Relations   Interests Political Goals Realism o States = rational actors within the international system The goal is ultimately always power, or to maximize national  security (which comes with power) Anarchy (which is the absence of rule enforcing system) Distrust of other states Security dilemma  As state A’s security increases, state B’s will decrease Chain reactions, arm races…always on the defensive  WWI = best example of spiral out of control Offense vs defense  O adv.= all other countries on D the negative impact of anarchy Can become somewhat ambiguous especially  when nukes come into play o **Defensive realists find issue with the ideology that we always  maximize power because that would weaken the country’s defense  temporarily as we pursue international objectives Levels of Analysis (Man/State/System) Man  – relationship btwn man and environment, “change the man, change the  outcome” human error, Great Man Theory: individual’s influence on events,  also the man’s ideology State  – national, domestic scene. Economic, political or  bureaucratic(extremely large institution) System  – distribution of power/changes in distrubition
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o Multipolarity i.e. concert of Europe, many strong powers o Bipolarity Cold war context o Unipolar/hegemon One large superpower who dominates the int’l scene World War I  o Offense/defense “Cult of the offensive” pushing European nations towards war o Man William II overaggressive o State Germany’s Rise(ready to seek colonies), emergence of Italy  seeking foreign policy,  rise in Slavic nationalism o System Multipolarity too many actors, with secret alliances Too difficult to know who is allied with who and what other  states’ intentions are SPIRAL MODEL o Insecurity, fear, threatening states are the source of conflict, model  believes that appeasement would work better o Small events can spiral out of control Security Dilemma
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World War II  o The failed peace Collapse of cooperation in the interwar period, rise of fascism,  failure of other states to resist o Appeasement Application to Hitler “good theory applied in the wrong place”  Hitler couldn’t be appeased (Munich Analogy) o Deterrence Model Uncertainties regarding intentions of the adversaries The source of conflict is the aggressor, you must show resolve,  “if you threaten me you will be deterred” MAN Stalin misread Nazis Hitler (obviously)
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This note was uploaded on 12/07/2009 for the course GOVT 181 at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Understanding Behavior in World Politics -...

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