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FSU INR 3003 - Introduction to realism

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Introduction to realismINR specifically pertaining to the USTime period of the two world warsLarger wars than the world has ever seen before15 million people died in WWI40-75 million people died in WWIIHow did this happen and how did it happen in the west?Enlighten ideals of freedom and equalityPushed for the:recognition of the sovereignty of othersrecognition of individual rightsTheorists look at how states interact with others and the role international organizationsImmediate goal was to understand the international system and to ensure peace for future generationsHoping to prevent another world warTwo TheoriesRealism and Neo- RealismBoth look back at history and use this to pick out patternsClassical Realism (also referred to as just realism)in early stages of realism we have emphasis on power and how a state exerts poweremphasis on real politic (power politics)aka individual leaderalso focuses on securityensuring survival from stateDeals with state actors aloneInternational organizations can never be more powerful than the stateThe state will always be the primary playerHistorical and Intellectual RealistsThucydidesNiccolo MachiavelliThomas HobbesCarl von ClausewitzHans MorgenthauComes to head the classical realistsSaw mankind as inherently selfish, evil and aggressiveComparing the Idealists and the Classical Realists:Idealists:Felt we could increase communication between the statesEmphasized recognizing the sovereignty of the other statesIf its recognized it wont be violated, ect.Felt we would see less conflict if we spread democracyClassical realists:Believed leadership and systems were flawedDid not think we could fix it so easilyDid not think the idealists theory meshed with human natureThought the conflicts would lead us into war because:Leaders seek powerStates seek power and then conflict arisesSaid warfare was a natural part of human development and would be a natural part of the international systemThe best way to avoid war was to prepare for warAdopted Hans theory stated above in italicsThe state will be a reflection of its leaderNeo RealismAka structural realismCame about after classical realismShift in culture brought us into this new type of realismKenneth Waltz- “Theory of International Politics” 1979Looked at how states were aligned with each other and took the emphasis off of the leaderDid not see leaders as driving the behavior of states, he saw the system as driving the behavior of statesStates has to act in a certain manor in order to ensure survivalEmphasis on security, not the leader, for the sake of survivalWe live in a world where there is no governing body over the statesStates work in an environment where they have to look out for themselvesThis draws them into competitionTo Waltz WWII began because there was no system in place to hold Germany backCaused insecurity and formed warAssumptions of Neo RealistsStates are Rational Unitary ActorsThey work alone and make decisions about their securityThey have to be looking out for themselvesStates will seek security for survivalStates wont always play nice because they aren’t going to compromise securityAs one state seeks security it does so at the expense of another and can lead us into conflictAnarchyBreeds insecurityStates selfish desire leads to the war of all against allExpect a lot of friction and we can expect war to be commonBalance of Power according to Neo RealistsThe world is most stable when we have a balance of powerAlliancesSmaller states seek alliances with the more powerful states to help with securityRealists warn against alliancesThey should always be fluid, and never fixedBandwagoningWhen a smaller state seeks and alliance with the major power in order to guarantee its own protectionThe stronger power usually takes advantage of the weaker power and takes their land alsoPolarityUni-polarity (hegemonic stability theory)One major powerDoes not mean one person has authority over the world, just means that one power is the most powerfulRealists believe that the only way to be the hegemon is to be the most powerfulThe majority of realists don’t believe this is the way to goBi-polarity (most realists support this)Most truly balancedThe power of both sides offset each other and creates a true balance of powerRealists say when you have this balance of power, you have the most likelihood of peaceMulti-polarityMultiple different seats of powerCreates a lot of instability and insecurityRelative gains (zero sum)What one gets at the expense of othersConcept used without any further explanationFor the realist it’s in my best interest for ME to do wellSecurity dilemma- Prisoners dilemma (game theory)States face security dilemmaWhen one state gains something everyone else feels threatenedA states actions intend to secure their national securityRelists see that states think for themselves first and are primarily concerned with their own survivalTheir decisions are rational decisions based on their OWN needsIn the 1800’s we had a multipolar worldWWIGermany and the Security DilemmaGermany is now a threatCentral Europe was relatively weakOtto Von BismarkOrchestrates the unification of GermanyForms alliancesConfederation of Germany until 1871 when they become unifiedBalance of Power and Reasons for its DemisePower TransitionGreat Britain was losing its edge to GermanyThe declining power (GB) wants to try and hang on to their power so they are likely to react irrationallyAnd the rising power (GER) is trying to prove something to everyone elseBut this may not have been the key catalyst to the warRussia and Preventative WarRussia was on the riseStrongest land powerGermany thought if they could act now they could get the edge before Russia didColonial competition, alliances, arms raceAll led to WWINot one issueHorrifically destructive warEurope is more unstable after than they were going into itOttoman empire fellGerman empire fellRussian empire fellPyrrhic VictoryA victory that wasn’t worth winning because you lose more than you gainUS came out mostly unscathed however,Europe is in disarrayNo balance of powerBritain is the major power but is NOT able to play the rollNo one has the willingness or ableness to check on the other powersInterwar to WW11 (according to the Realists)League of nationsGoal is to bring the powers together to prevent another world war, collective securityThey were not thinking about the prospects of war, they were thinking about the prospects of peaceBritain and France were


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