PLS 220 Chapter 8 Summary

PLS 220 Chapter 8 Summary - Chapter8Summary I.Introduction

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Chapter 8 Summary I. Introduction This chapter introduces prominent approaches to mitigating the effects of the security dilemma as well as how  insecurity can be managed short of war. War is the oldest, most prevalent, and most salient issue in international relations. Attention to war and security is warranted: security comes first in international relations; all other competing values such as human rights, the environment, and economic development presuppose security. Although 3.5 billion have died in the 14,500 armed struggles throughout history, the number and intensity of war has dropped by one-half since 1991. International relations theorists disagree over the inevitability of war. Classical realists and neorealists argue that war is inevitable. They view states as victims of the prisoners± dilemma during times of conflict: each state is compelled to harm the other so as to avoid the worst possible outcome. The inevitability of war also creates a security dilemma : states seeking to increase their defense capabilities end up threatening other states in the system, thereby increasing tensions and the chance of war. Liberals argue that war can be eliminated with sufficient effort and effective institutions that can reduce the chances of conflict. Liberals also argue that the way in which a state is governed domestically can change its attitude toward war. The democratic peace concept demonstrates this by arguing that democracies virtually never fight one another. Radicals argue that war can be eliminated, but only through a revolutionary change in the character of the system. Constructivists argue that war is the result of a process of socialization in which conflict is assumed to exist. If this construction is changed, then war can potentially be eliminated. Historically, states have sought security by balancing realist and liberal policies. When states face more serious threats, they tend to look toward realism. II. Causes of War The Individual Both the characteristics of individual leaders and the general attributes of people have been blamed for war. Realist interpretation: Characteristics of the masses lead to the outbreak of war. Aggressive behavior is adopted by virtually all species to ensure survival. War is the product of biologically innate human characteristics or flawed human nature. Liberal interpretation: Misperceptions by leaders, such as seeing aggressiveness where it may not be intended, or attributing the actions of one person to an entire group, can lead to the outbreak of war. State and Society War occurs because of the internal structures of states.
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PLS 220 Chapter 8 Summary - Chapter8Summary I.Introduction

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