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intl rel final 1 - Class Notes A Relational theories of war...

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Class Notes A) Relational theories of war – not systemic 1) Dyadic = between two states 2) Security dilemma a) Even if states don’t want war, things spiral out of control due to retaliation/action-reaction (i) Retaliatory– one up the other (ii) Defensive – allow no loss “give them an inch…” b) Misinformed decision making (i) Distorted view of enemy (ii) Irrational fear of total loss (iii) Misperception 3) History of conflict/enduring rivalry a) Long-term, repeated crisis b) Escalation – high probability of conflict 4) Relative Power a) Power transition theory (i) Pre-emptive – strong engages as weak rises (ii) Revisionist – weaker engages to revise current state of affairs b) Balancing checks (i) Focus on catching up – leads to conflict spiral 5) Rationalist theories a) War is never the best choice – there are always better alternatives b) Bargaining model – war lowers expected utility c) So why do states go to war? Bargaining model: (i) Bad information (private info) (ii) No trust (commitment problems) (iii) Not everything can be divided up like money (Issue divisibility) 6) Why states go to war - leaders’ interest over national interest: a) Consolidate regime b) Willing to take chances when falling behind c) Diversion d) Happy hawks – constituents dig war 7) Is war politically costly? a) Winning war has no impact on regime keeping power (regardless of regime type) b) War never has impact for democratic leaders c) Losing war is bad for autocratic leaders 8) Critiques of Diversionary war theory a) Doesn’t hold up empirically b) Press is critical of regime regardless of war c) Domestic problems explain willingness but not opportunity – enemy needs to be willing to fight d) Rally is too short to be worth conflict 9) Support for diversionary war theory – applies to rivals
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a) Opportunity and willingness b) More likely longer rally c) History of conflict = resentment d) Bad economic times means more likely war (opposite for non- rivals) B) Domestic violence 1) Causes breakdown in monopoly of force (sovereignty) a) Riots, rebel armies b) May lead to loss of intl recognition 2) Civil war (vs. civil conflict) a) Organized military action on both sides b) 1,000 + deaths 3) Lots of civil wars after decolonization, fall of Soviet Union (Stalin intentionally mixed ethnic groups to curb nationalism) 4) Externalities (intl effects) a) Uncertainty –could lead to crazy regimes (Napoleon) b) Diffusion of destabilization (ME today) c) Refugee flows d) Internationalized civil war (neighbors exploit civil war states while they’re weak) e) Failed states may result f) Crimes against humanity 5) Models of civil war onset a) Depravation/Grievances (i) Poverty, gap in social class, pol injustice (ii) Explains willingness b) Lootable resources/Greed (i) Easily extractable/convertible resources (diamonds) = Entrepreneurial opportunity (ii) Explains opportunity 6) Ethnic conflict a) Heightens humanitarian concerns b) Genocide = acts to destroy part/whole of specific group (state led, organized) c) Due to ancient hatred? Nah.
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