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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 3: Power Politics Controversy: Does International Anarchy Lead to War? - international relations is often considered a realm of power politics * Nations must pursue power to ensure their security - realists: believe in power politics, must be cautious of the power of other nations - liberals: seek alternatives to power politics 1) world government 2) widely shared interest in peace can lead the international community to effectively organize against war- constructivists: reject power politics on basis that many states have created stable and secure relations that do not rest on calculations of power What are alternative mechanisms for preserving peace, and how practical are they? Peace through Strength - reflects a commitment to power politics- message that nations must be concerned about their power if they value their independence and security - critics: * the pursuit of power has not produced anything that deserves to be called peace * in a world of persistent power competition no nation really enjoys security: there are simply varying degrees of insecurity * to say there is no alternative to power politics is a statement of ideology not reality There Is No Alternative to Power Politics Anarchy Leads to Power Politics 1) Anarchy no world government to protect nations from threats 2) Insecurity 3) Self-help the necessity of actors to make provisions for their own security 4) Security dilemma logical consequence of self-help, the actions that make countries feel more secure increase the insecurity of other nations - easy to determine a countrys capabilities but not so easy to figure out what others intend to do with their capabilities * unavoidable element of uncertainty in international politics which leads to I insecurity and then fear Power Politics Arguments 1) Balance of Power Theory (power- population, political unity, economic and political capability)- with no system of protection, states automatically focus on capabilities of other states and balance against them - prevents one power from becoming powerful enough to dominate the international system and contributes to peace & stability because with equal powers no one is tempted to initiate war- questionable because historically nations have not always balanced against power of strongest nation (ex. US at beginning of Cold War)- alternative to balancing: bandwagoning , states support powerful states * states would need to have trust in dominant powers continued kindness 2) Balance of Threat Theory (threat- total power, geographic proximity, offensive capability, and aggressiveness of its intentions) - nations balance against nations perceived as posing the greatest threat, not necessarily against the most powerful - historical examples that contradict balance of power theory make more sense in the balance of threat theory * coalitions defeating Germany and its allies in WWI & WWII worked because Germany and allies were more threatening (though weaker) and caused others to form a more powerful coalition in response...
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This test prep was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PS 500 taught by Professor Dr.gochman during the Spring '08 term at Pittsburgh.
- Spring '08
- International Relations