Now Let Us Praise Great Men

Now Let Us Praise Great Men - Now Let Us Praise Great Men:...

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Now Let Us Praise Great Men: Bring the Statesman Back in Daniel L. Byman and Kenneth M. Pollack Through the example of the 7 Years War, argues that due to certain personalities in power at the time, (e.g Elizebeth died, therefore the Fredick is in power and wishes to ally with Prussia, preserving it to eventually become Germany) history is shaped by their personal decisions and events in their lives. Argues that individuals, such as Hitler, Stalin, Churchill etc. have greatly influenced international relations and its course, the fact that scholars tend to ignore the roles of these personalities is troubling (do not take into account human error or personality when looking at the affairs of nations) Argue that it is better to focus on impersonal relations o Individuals ultimately do not matter o Although they may matter from time to time they do not lend themselves to the generalizations that they seek o Several IR theorists have raised specific objections which argue that studying individuals is hopeless They are too modest in this regard by saying that they have nothing useful to say about individuals, and too arrogant because they assume that impersonal forces shape the majority of events in IR Rebutting the Theoretical Objections Historians and psychologists have generally been left to study individuals however does not give us the grounding to study their impact in IR Waltz “Man, the state, and War” outlines three levels of analysis o The behaviour of a nation springs from the behaviour of individuals (rejects this) o Different kinds of government structure, internal organization produces different types of international behaviour
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o Behaviour stems from thir relative position (power and geography) (agrees with) Objection 1: The first image cannot provide an adequate explanation for IR because human nature is constant, where as international relations vary o Waltz is mistaken, it is not constant it is a variable o Personalities vary greatly, not everyone is power seeking and evil o Difference in traits could explain variance in IR Objection 2: Theories focused on the influence of individuals in IR cannot be parsimonious o W:The more variables a model includes, the more complicated it gets and is therefore less useful o Goal of IR is to explain inter state behaviour, and if we simplify the model, it does not give the best explaination (e.g realism) Objection 3: State intentions are not germane to theories of IR o State leaders have heavy influence on state goals o However argued that state structures vary little, and
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This note was uploaded on 08/26/2010 for the course POLI 244 taught by Professor Saideman during the Fall '07 term at McGill.

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Now Let Us Praise Great Men - Now Let Us Praise Great Men:...

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