Unformatted text preview: POL 130 Lectures 5&6 POL 130 Lectures 5&6
Structural Theories: Realism/ Neorealism January 27 & February 1 The Big Questions in IR The Big Questions in IR Why do states sometimes cooperate with each other and other times engage in conflict? Why and when do states cooperate and compete? Puzzles Puzzles Why do nations with divergent, selfish interests sometimes cooperate with one another, even doing so when there is no apparent tangible benefit to be gained? Why do some states coexist peacefully whereas others do not? Structural Theories Structural Theories Realism and Neorealism Neoliberalism Marxism Structural Theories Structural Theories Focus on the structural aspects of the international system: The structure of the system determines states goals Goals in conjuction with structure lead to outcomes Distribution of power, fungibility of power, how states are organized, the uncertainty surrounding relations between states… Evaluating Theories Evaluating Theories What does the theory assume about international relations? Is the theory logical consistent? How accurate are the theory’s predictions? Realism Realism
Classical Realism (Hans Morgenthau) Main assumption: states are concerned with maximizing power States continually engaged in competition and conflict Problem with Realism Problem with Realism Maximizing power does not necessarily increase power – “The Security Dilemma” The Security Dilemma The Security Dilemma Anything you do to make yourself more secure, makes others less secure. Others will respond by countering your threat. As a state becomes more powerful, other states become more inclined to join against it: state is no more powerful (or secure). Neorealism Neorealism
“Structural Realism” (Kenneth Waltz 1979) Developed in an effort to correct the deficiencies of realist theory Concerned with the causes of war, especially the big wars that threaten the survival of great powers Assumptions of Neorealism Assumptions of Neorealism
1) 2) 3) 4) 5) States are unitary actors States are rational The international system is anarchic States want to maximize their security States seek to gain power as long as those gains do not place their security at risk Hypothesis 1 Hypothesis 1 Relative gains in power are more important to states than absolute gains in power Hypothesis 2 Hypothesis 2 The distribution of power tends to be balanced If a state becomes powerful, others will balance against it Hypothesis 3 Hypothesis 3 Bipolar systems are more stable than multipolar systems Likelihood of a major war is lower Neorealism as a Structural Theory Neorealism as a Structural Theory The structure of the system: anarchic, balanced/unbalanced, bipolar/multipolar dictate the goals of all states determine foreign policy choices Structure of the international system is a major factor in determining whether the system is stable or unstable Relative vs. Absolute Gains (H1) Relative vs. Absolute Gains (H1) Anarchy implies that “there is no overarching authority to prevent others from using violence or the threat of violence to destroy or enslave them” (Grieco 1988) Anarchy requires states to maximize security; states sensitive to any erosion of their relative capabilities Link between security and anarchy assumption? Balance of Power (H2) Balance of Power (H2) The efforts of states to balance power is a crucial component of stability Does balance of power promote stability? Two components to stability (Niou, Ordershook, and Rose 1989) System stability Resource stability Bipolarity vs. Multipolarity (H3) Bipolarity vs. Multipolarity (H3) By what mechanism does bipolarity lead to stability? Uncertainty and the likelihood of war Polarity and Stability Polarity and Stability But it’s a big logical leap to bipolar systems being more stable:
bipolarity → less uncertainty → decreased risks of miscalculation → stability Does uncertainty increase the likelihood of war? Bipolarity & Stability Bipolarity & Stability Does this hypothesis follow logically from neorealists’ arguments concerning security? Bipolarity & Stability Bipolarity & Stability Hypothesis concerning bipolarity and stability still inconsistent with assumptions: More distributions of power are stable in a multipolar as compared to bipolar world State A Bipolar Multipolar 55 45 State B 45 30 State C 25 Empirical Evidence H3 Empirical Evidence H3 Bipolar system more stable than multipolar system
Multipolar system prior to WWII Cold War bipolar Empirical Evidence Empirical Evidence What is the historical relationship between the international system’s level of polarity and stability? Levy (1983): classification of periods during which the makeup of major powers remained unchanged Empirical Evidence Empirical Evidence Period of bipolarity neither unusually long nor short when compared to periods of stable multipolarity Frequency of war among major powers: Interval between major power wars: 19451989 44 years Average interval since 1600s is 34 years, but as long as 99 years Polarity and Stability Polarity and Stability
1815 1945 year 1945 1980 year multipolar .76 wars/ bipolar .86 wars/ Empirical Evidence H2 Empirical Evidence H2 System tends to be balanced Balancing behavior before WWII, the Cold War What about now? Empirical Evidence H1 Empirical Evidence H1 States should not engage in cooperation when they do not make a relative gain Do they? Summary and Assessment Summary and Assessment What is the neorealist argument? To what extent is neorealism logically consistent? Empirically, how well does neorealism fare? (Niou, Ordershook and Rose 1989): 1) Essential states never become inessential 2) Essential states are never eliminated from the international system 3) Inessential states never become essential states 4) Inessential states are always eliminated from the international system Four conclusions based on Four conclusions based on neorealist assumptions ...
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This note was uploaded on 02/06/2011 for the course POL 130 taught by Professor Simonelli during the Spring '08 term at Purdue.
- Spring '08
- International Relations