1-12-11 Mearshimer, Structural Relations

1-12-11 Mearshimer, Structural Relations - Intro Realists:...

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Intro Realists : power is most important in int’l relations Classic realists : states want power because human nature strives for power and nations are ruled by humans o Power as an end to itself Structural realists : there is no int’l higher authority that ensures that states do not attack each other states must be powerful enough for survival o Power as a means to the end of survival o States only differ in relative power (cultural, gov’t differences don’t matter) o How much power is enough? Defensive realists —the system will punish states that try to gain too much power, i.e. Kenneth Waltz Offensive realists —states should become as powerful as possible, esp. hegemony, i.e. John Mearsheimer Power based on material capabilities a state controls o BOP based on military power o States also have latent power = GDP and size of population = raw potential it could draw upon to wage war Why Do States Want Power? 5 assumptions o 1. Great powers are the main actors in world politics and they operate in an anarchic system (no centralized authority) o 2. All states possess some offensive military capability o 3. States can never be certain about other states’ intentions, whether they’re Revisionist states —use force to alter BOP
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This note was uploaded on 12/01/2011 for the course PLSC 126 taught by Professor Nunomonterio during the Spring '11 term at Yale.

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1-12-11 Mearshimer, Structural Relations - Intro Realists:...

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