Distribution of capabilities relative power and the relative distribution of

Distribution of capabilities relative power and the

This preview shows page 4 - 6 out of 8 pages.

Distribution of capabilities: relative power and the relative distribution of power – Material capabilities, how we rank power, and polarity. Waltz brought in a more scientific notion of theory based on positive social sciences, the second great debate. More systemic theory, more focus on the structure of the international system: Anarchy, His structural, systemic theory is one that ignores cultural differences, Neorealism – doesn’t matter if a state is democratic or authoritative. Treats states like black boxes, they’re alike, perform the same functions. International politics is about the struggle for power: unlike classical (human nature driving struggle for power) Neo realists focus much more on the system, the structure, the anarchical system itself that is fostering insecurityIt is not human nature but the anarchical system itself that fosters fear and insecurityThe distribution of power is the key variable when trying to understand matters of war and peace, alliance politics etc.Anarchy promotes or provokes self-help: states will try to maximize their security and relative power positionsRank-ordering of states becomes important to understand the dynamics of the systemKey concepts in Neo realist theory: The Balance of PowerStates balance rather than bandwagon in international anarchy – siding with the more powerful state, doesn’t help if you don’t know the outcomeChecking the power of the opposing side and establishing an equilibrium of power so that no onestate or coalition of states is dominant – The power of others is always a threat when there no higher authority in the international system, anarchy. Form alliances. Internal balancing: building up domestic military capabilitiesExternal balancing: aggregating capabilities in coalitions and alliances (e.g. US and SU in the Cold War; SEA countries aligning with the US to balance China’s rising power) 4
Image of page 4
Image of page 5
Image of page 6

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture