Intro to Realism vs Liberalism in the Cold War and Collective Security

Intro to Realism vs Liberalism in the Cold War and Collective Security

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Realist and Liberal interpretations of preventing war: I. Power: How it works in the internationals system. a. Power is the ability to get someone to do something that they otherwise would not ordinarily do. Power is relative. It may work in some situations and not others. i. Hard Power: military and economic strength. 1. Makes use of military capability. The more military capability, the more hard power, however this relies on: 2. Economic and industrial capability. a. Population also contributes to hard power. b. Natural resources 3. Intangibles: a. Morale of troops, quality of training, leadership of army, etc. 4. Must take into account for both tangible and intangible facets when gauging hard power. 5. Hard power has grown in 2 ways: a. Lethality: What the hard power states have today is far more intimidating and powerful than ever. i. Militaries are more centralized and organized than ever. 1. The command hierarchy and system is much more complicated than ever. 2. Communication of orders is far more rapid than ever. ii. Armies also tend to be far larger than in the past.
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iii. Professionalization: We put tons of resources into analyzing what works and doesn’t on the battlefield. 1. Military is full time profession. iv. Technological modernization: 1. The weapons we possess today far outstrip anything ever. 2. Devastation can happen with limited warning, the damage can be instantaneous, and the effects last a long time. 3. Humans, for the first time, are capable of putting an end to life on the planet. b. Diffusion: More countries have these intimidating weapons than ever i. More people know how to build these incredible weapons than ever before. ii. Soft Power: reputation, emulation, respect, attractiveness. II. Balance of Power: If two powers have equal amounts of power, conflict is less likely. a. Very old theory, and realists tend to embrace it b. U = V – C i. Such that: 1. U = Utility of war as a tool of foreign policy 2. V = Value of what you can win by fighting 3. C = Human and material cost of fighting ii. Thus, war is theoretically justified when V is greater than C
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1. Probability of war decreases when C becomes greater than V, thus if one wants to stop war, one must make war very costly. c. Whenever two sides are roughly equal in power, it will be costly to fight, and theoretically is not worth fighting. i. Conversely, if two sides are unequal in power, it will not be very costly for the greater power to fight the lesser power, thus war becomes more likely. ii. Thus, to prevent war, states should maintain equal power with their enemies. d. Necessary condition of balance of power : i. No one state can be more powerful than the combination of all other states. ii. There have been circumstances in the past in which one state had
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This note was uploaded on 05/07/2011 for the course POLS 231 taught by Professor Raymond during the Fall '10 term at Boise State.

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Intro to Realism vs Liberalism in the Cold War and Collective Security

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