Poli 260 - Week 2 (Reading) - Week 2: System Structure:...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Week 2: System Structure: Anarchy, self-help, survival (Mearsheimer Pg. 1-54) INTRODUCTION - Security competition and war between great powers have not been purged from the international system - Great powers always want more power and will use force to alter the balance of power o Ultimate goal: global hegemony o Because no nation will ever reach this goal, it leads to perpetual great-power competition - 3 features of international system that causes states to fear one another 1) Absence of central authority that can protect states from each other 2) States always have some offensive military capability 3) States can never be certain about other states’ intentions - States believe that if they are more powerful, they have a better chance of survival o States with no reason to fight each other would still fight for the sake of their own survival to pursue power and seek to dominate other states in the system Offensive Realism - Assumption that international system strongly shapes the behaviour of states, and will act accordingly depending on the amount of power they possess - Great powers are concerned with how to survive in a world with no agency to protect them (anarchy) – power is key to survival; gaining power, not maintaining – goal to be hegemon in system - International system forces great powers to MAXIMIZE their relative power as that is the optimal way to maximize SECURITY security mandates aggressive behaviour Pursuit of Power - What money is to economics, power is to international relations - Why do great powers want power? - How much power do states want? How much power is enough? - What is power? - What strategies do states pursue to gain power, or to maintain it? - What are the causes of war? - When do threatened great powers balance against a dangerous adversary and when do they attempt to pass the buck to another threatened state? Liberalism - Optimists – it is possible to reduce the scourge of war and to increase international prosperity - Based on 3 beliefs: 1) States are main actors in international politics 2) Internal characteristics of states vary considerably have effects on state behaviour 3) Some internal arrangements (eg democracy) are inherently preferable to others (eg dictatorship) - Theories: 1) High levels of economic interdependence among states make them unlikely to fight each other 2) Democracies do not go to war against other democracies 3) International institutions reduce likelihood of war as it encourages cooperation among states Realism - Pessimists – creating a peaceful world is unrealistic/impractical - Based on 3 beliefs: 1)
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 12/07/2011 for the course POLI 260 taught by Professor Sens,allen during the Winter '09 term at The University of British Columbia.

Page1 / 4

Poli 260 - Week 2 (Reading) - Week 2: System Structure:...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online