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International Politics

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Alex Frost-Head

on 14 December 2013

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Transcript of International Politics

International Politics
Global Politics first and last about power and self-interest.
Portrayed as Power Politics model of int. pol.
"Politics is a struggle foe power over men, and whatever its ultimate goal may be, power is its immediate goal and the modes of acquiring, maintaining and demonstrating it determine the technique of political action"
Donnelly's 2 core assumptions:
1) People are essentially selfish and competitive, meaning that egoism is the defining characteristic of human nature.
2) The state-system operates in a context of international anarchy, in that there is no authority higher than the state.
Classical realism -> Egoism -> Self-interests
Neorealism -> Structural -> Anarchy

Key Themes:
State egoism & conflict
Statecraft & the national interest
International anarchy & its implications
Polarity, stability and the balance of power

State egoism & conflict
Machiavelli -> view of humans are "insatiable, arrogant, crafty and shifting, and above all malignant, iniquitous, violent and savage"
On this basis political life is always characterized by inevitable strife, encouraging political leaders to rule through the use of cunning, cruelty and manipulation.
Hobbes -> State of Nature
How does this thinking relate to int. pol.?
No form of world government -> Global politics in a state of nature.
Whereas Machiavelli and Hobbes have been concerned with Human Nature, realists share the same concern with states and actors.
States are composed by people with these qualities.

Statecraft and the national interest
Statecraft: Act of conducting public affairs; statesmanship.
Carr criticizes leaders at the Paris Peace Conference of 1912-20 for allowing "wishing" to prevail over "thinking". By neglecting the importance of power in international politics, they had set the world on the path to inevitable conflict.
Morgenthau's 6 principles of political realism:
1) Politics is governed by objective laws -> rooted in human nature.
2) Key to int. pol. is concept of interest defined in terms of power.
3) The form & nature of state power changes, concept of interest remains consistent.
4) Universal moral principles do not guide state behaviour, but aware.
5) Moral aspirations are specific to a particular nation.
6) Political sphere is autonomous; key question in int.pol. "How does this policy affect the power of the nation?"
Realist tradition is a concern about the national interest.
National interest: Foreign policy goals, objectives or policy preferences that supposedly benefit society as a whole - foreign policy equivalent of "public interest".
Realism is portrayed as amoral, however an emphasis is applies on the requirement that state policy should be guided by a pursuit of the national interest.
Realists reject Universal not National-based conception of moral principles.
Think of the wages of war.
Anarchy & its implications
Neorealists argue that international anarchy necessarily tends to towards tension, conflict and the unavoidable possibility of war. 3 reasons:
1) Self-help.
2) Security Dilemma - any state relations are always characterised by uncertainty and suspicion.
3) Relative gains - improving their position.
Polarity, stability & the balance of power
Although states may have enemies, it does not inevitably lead to bloodshed & open violence.
Offensice/Defensive realism.
Democratic Peace Theory
-The notion that there is an intrinsic link between peace and democracy, in particular that democratic states do not go to war with one another.
Zones of Peace:
Much interest in the idea derives from empirical analysis. As democracy has spread, "zones of peace" have emerged, in which military conflict has become unthinkable. Applies to Europe, North America and Oceana. History suggests war does not break out between democratic and authoritarian states.

Public Opinion:
Liberals argue that wars are started by governments and not by people. It is citizens themselves who become the victims of war: they are the ones who will commit the killing and dying and endure disruption and hardship. In short they have a stomach for war. Democracies will use accommodation rather than confrontation and use force only as a last resort.

Non-violent conflict resolution
: The essence of democratic governance is a process of compromise, conciliation and negotiation. Governments unused to using force to resolve civil conflict will be less inclined to use force to resolve international conflicts.

Cultural bonds:
Cultural ties develop among democracies because democratic rule tends to foster partiular norms and values. Including: belief in constitutional government, respect for freedom of speech and guarantees for property ownership. Moral values that underpin democracies tend to mean they view each other as friends. It therefore appears that peaceful coexistence occurs naturally between democracies.
Democracis at war:
Idea of entirely peaceful democracies undermined by continued evidence by wars between democratic and authoritarian states. Which regimes qualify as democracies. If universal suffrage and multi-party elections are the core features of democratic governance, NATO's bombardment of Serb troops in Kosovo in 1999 and Russia's invasion of Georgia in 2008 are both exceptions to the democratic peace thesis. Moreover the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstate that democrcies don't go to war just in self-defense.

States are states:
The constitutional structure of a state does not, and never can, alter the selfishness, greed and potential for violence that is simply part of human nature. Realists, moreover, argue that the tendency towards war derives less from constitutional make-up of the state and more from the fear and suspicion that are an unavoidable consequence of international anarchy.

Peace by other means:
Patterns of economic interdependence that result from free trade may be more effective in maintaining peace than peace among democracies than popular pressures. Similarly it may be that more mature liberal democracies are wealthy than that they are liberal or democratic. In this view, war is an unattractive prospect for rich states because they have little impulse to gain through conquest and much to fear from the possibility of defeat.
People whether acting as individuals or in a social groups, "construct" the world around them. People's beliefs and assumptionsbecome particularly significant when they are widely shared, especially when they are widely shared; especially when they give a community/people a sense of identity.
State bahaviour is not as neorealists assert, but how particular states view international anarchy.
Global issues
Nuclear Proliferation
International organisations
Humanitarian Intervention
Key Global Actors
United States of America
Logic of consequences
Logic of Appropriateness
-a perspective that sees human action as driven by rules of
appropriate or exemplary behavior, organized into institutions. Rules are followed because
they are seen as natural, rightful, expected, and legitimate. Actors seek to fulfill the
obligations encapsulated in a role, an identity, a membership in a political community or
group, and the ethos, practices and expectations of its institutions.
-a perspective that sees human action is not driven by rules, but by the rational calculation by actors to maximise their preferences.
The act itself
clandestine violence that has a seemingly indiscriminate character. However, nature of terrorism is not inherent in the violent act itself, because it rests on intentions; specifically on the desire to intimidate or terrify (Schmid and Jongman 1988).
Intentions may be complex or uncertain (Jackson 2009)
Its Victims
Innocent civillians.
Does this mean that attacks on military targets and personnel or the assassination of political leaders cannot be described as terrorism?
Think of the guilty v innocent in war.
Some terrorists have viewed civilians as "guilty" on the grounds of being implemented in, and benefited from, structural oppression that takes place on a national/global level.
Non-state bodies intent on influencing the actions of governments or international orgaisations.
Distinction between terroeism from below/above - above being state terrorism; carried out by government.
Weapon of the weak
- most embraced by those with no realistic possibility of prevailing against their opponents in a conventional armed contest (Cremshaw 1983). Lacking the organizational strength or destructive capacity to engage in open conflict, terrorists rely on strategies of provocation and polorization.
More in common to guerilla warfare. - Taliban
Rise of "new" terrorism
Insurrectionary terrorism
- aimed at the revolutionary overthrow of a state (anarhist/revolutionary communist groups).
Loner or Issue terrorism
- aimed at the promotion of a single cause (bombing of abortion clinics in the USA & 1995 sarin nerve gas on Tokyo Subway; Aum Shinryko).
Nationalist terrorism
- aims to overthrow colonial rule or occupation, often with the goal of gaining independence for an ethic, religious or national group (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka and Hamas & Hezbollah in Israel and occupied territories).
Global terrorism
- aimmed at inflicting damage and humiliation on a global power or at transforming global civilizational relstions (al-Qaeda, other Islamist terrorism).
New in the sense that it is more radical and devastating than "traditional" terrorism because of the nature of its organization, political character, motivations and strategies.
Most think of 9/11 - probably good to think of 1995 Aum Shinrikyo.
Religious imperative.
"Traditional" terrorism associated with nationalist and particularly separatist movements. The goal in these cases was narrow and political: overthrow of foreign rule and the establishment of national self-determination.
Not entirely new on the religious front
Muslim Brotherhood in 1928
Goes Global
Proliferation during the Cold War
Proliferation throught the security dilemma - weapons acquire for defensive purposes may be perceived as a threat by other states. In turn encourages the other states to strengthen their position, which in turn may be perceived as an offensive.
Ball game is a little different in the case of nuclear arms. - Launching an attack on a Nuclear power is a fucking stupid thing to do.
P-5 of UN have Nuclear Power:
USA - 1945
Russia - 1949
UK - 1952
France - 1960
China - 1962

Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968
recognises P5 as nuclear powers, bringing certain obligations
must not transfer nuclear weapons or help proliferation
Article VI states “Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament”
how and when this might apply is contested

Not forgetting 1st and 2nd strike capabilities - MAD
Post-Cold War period
What the realists think
proliferation corresponds with security maximization
so realists imagine all states would want such weapons

Debate of Proliferation
3 fears of Nuclear proliferation:
Long-standing argument that states cannot inherently be trusted to have capacity to destroy the earth
Rogue states not amenable to rational calculations of existing nuclear powers
World of weak states, fanatical terrorists, international crime networks and growing use of nuclear energy threatens major cities with crude nuclear attack

The Ultimate Fear
Not plausible for terrorists to create fissile material: fear is of acquiring material through smuggling
Only 4 kilos of plutonium or 30 kilos of civilian enriched uranium needed for 1000 ton bomb
Global stocks of uranium and plutonium are 2,400 tons enough for 233,000 such bombs
As byproduct of civilian nuclear energy, fissile material likely to increase in quantity in coming decade
Startegic Arms Reduduction Treaty (START) in 1991 and START II in 1993 - USA and Russia agreed to reduce number of their nuclear warheads and eliminate certain categories - IBMs.
Described as second nuclear age, characterized by heightened anxiety about proliferation.
4 Reasons:
Established nuclear powers continued to use nuclear strategies.
Incentives for states to acquire nuclear startegies.
Proliferation is easier, as nuclear weapons and nuclear technology are more readily available.
Fears have heightened that nuclear weapons may get into the "wrong" hands.
START III began in 1999 but broke down - disagreements about re-negotiation on ABM Treaty
2002 Strategic Offensive Reduction Treaty (SORT) "gentleman's agreement" allows USA and Russia to deploy 1,700-2,200 warheads with the rest being put into storage rather than being destroyed.

Do Nuclear Weapons promote peace and stability?

Absence of nuclear war:
Most remarkable thing about nuclear weapons is how rarely they have been used (duh they're fucking terrifying). Only been used as a weapon as an instrument of war in 1945, to hasten the end of war in the Pacific by bringing about the surrender of Japan (even if US was concerned at sending a message to the Soviets). The fact that they have not been used since, and conventional war has not broken out between two nuclear powers, suggests that nuclear weapons are weapons of a very particular kind. - symbolic, not practical importance.

Effective difference:
The primary motive for acquiring nuclear weapons deterrance. NW suited to this role for their enormous destructive capability and because they are relatively ineffective as defensive weapons. Means there is a low possibility that a state achieving first-strike nuclear knock-out, since nuclear powers seek to develop second-strike capability. makes nuclear war between two nuclear powers unthinkable.

International stability:
Vertical proliferation of arms has not destabalized international politics because it has tended to preserve the balance of power, albeit through a "balance of terror". Horizontal proliferation has been gradual (from 5 in 1963 to 8 in 2005). Arguably the gradual spread of nuclear weapons preserves international stability better than either no spread or a rapid spread would.

Nuclear statesmanship:
Possession of nuclear weapons may engender a sense of responsibilty and a strong bias in favour of caution, even in states that had previously been inclined to adventurism or aggression. E.g. regional tensions between India and Pakistan - less likely to go to war now that they have nuclear power.

Fallibility of deterrent systems:
Theory of nuclear deterrence is naive and dangerous. A world in which there are nuclear weapons will always carry the threat of nuclear war. Deterrence y fail due to miscalculations and accidents. States may make the miscalculation about whether states possess an invulnerable second-strike capability or, whether they possess nuclear weapons at all. Conventional wars may escalate to nuclear wars through mistakes made in the atmosphere that often surrounds those war-time situations.

Danger of nuclear imbalances:
no guarantee that vertical or horizontal nuclear proliferation will preserve the balance of power. Indeed, proliferation inevitably creates temportary imbalances which may then be exploited by aggressive states. After all, the Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombs were dropped to take advantage of such a military imbalance.

Useable nuclear weapons:
developments have focused increasingly on the production of nuclear weapons that have a more precise and contained impact, making them useable. "Tactical" or "battlefield" nukes are no longer of symbolic importance. - Theory of Nuclear Utilization Tget Selection (NUTS), which rejects the logic of MAD in suggesting that it is possible for a limited nuclear exchange to occur.

Irresponsible nuclear powers: Although deterrent effect worked in bipolar "first nuclear age" , far less reliable in the less stable, multipolar circumstances of the "second nuclear age". Possibility of a nuclear first strike relies on the existence of a political or military leadership that is not averse to risk-taking, or leadership that pursues symbolic violence as a method of "total war" in isolation from strategic considerations. Great concern is that nuclear nukes may fall in the hands of military-based dictatorial regimes, or terrorists, which may have fewer scruples about using them.
Humanitarian Rights
Hold that it is impossible, and undesirable to view international politics in moral terms. Morality and the national interests are two seperate things, and states fail to adequately to serve their own citizens when they allow ethical considerations to affect their behaviour. 3 bases:
Take issue with essentially optimistic model of nature that underpins human rights, which emphasizes dignity, respect and rationality.
Primarily concerned about collective behaviour, especially the capacity of the state to ensure order and stabnility of their citizens. National interest should therefore take precedence over any individually-based conception.
Being based on positivism, realism is keen to uphold scientific credentials. - Implies a concern of what is than what should be.
Realist view
Liberal view
largely a product of liberal political philosophy. On a political level, liberals have used the notion of natural or human rights to establish the basis of legitimacy. Social contrac theorists have thus argued that the central purpose of govenment is to protect a set of inalienable rights, variously described as "life, liberty and property" (Locke), or as "life, liberty and happiness" (Jefferson). If governments become tyrannical, by abusing or failing to protect such rights, they break the implicit contract between the people and government, entitling citizens to rebel. The English, American and French Revolutuion were all justified usig such ideas. Liberals tend to regard only civil and political rights as fundamental rights.
military intervention with the purpose being focused on human rights violations
Is human intervention justified?

Indivisible humanity:
Humanitarian intervention is based on the belief that there is a common humanity. This implies that moral responsibilities cannot be confined merely to one's "own" people or state, but potentially expand to the whole of humanity. Therefore an obligation to "save strangers", if the resources exist to do so. - and the cost is not disproportionate.

Global interdependence
: Responsibility to act in relation to events on the other side of the world is increased by a recognition of growing global interconnectedness and interdependence. States can no longer act as islands. HI can be justified on grounds of enlightened self-interest; e.g. prevent a refugee crisis that may create deep political and social strains in other countries.

Regional Stability
: Humanitarian emergencies, especially in the context of state failure, tend to have radical implications for the regional balance of power, creating instability and wider unrest. This provides an incentive for neighbouring states to support intervention, with major powers opting to intervene in order to prevent possible regional war.

Promoting democracy:
Intervention is justified in circumstances in which endangered or suffering people do not possess the democratic means to alleviate their own hardship. HIs therefore take place in a context of dictatorship or authoritarianism. "Democracy promotion" is a legitimate, long-term goal of intervention, it will strengthen the respect for HR and reduce likelihood of future HR crisis.

International Community
: HI provides not only demonstrable evidence of the international community's commitment to shared values (peace, prosperity, democracy, HR), but also strengthens the way in which governments should treat their people, reflected in the principle of "responsible sovereignty". HI thus contrinutes to a rule bound global order.

Against international law
: International law only authorizes intervention in the case of self-defence. This is based on the assumption that respect for state sovereignty is the surest, if an imprfect means of upholding international order. To the extent that intervention for humanitarian purposes is permitted, international law becomes confused and the established rules of world order are weakened.

National interests rule
: As realists argue, since states are always motivated by yconcerns of national self-interest, their claim that military action is motivated by humanitarian considerations, is an example of political untruthfulness. On the othe hand, if an intervention were genuinely humanitarian, the state in question would be putting its own citizens at risk to "save strangers", violating nationanal interests.

Double standards:
Examples of pressing humanitarian emergencies in which intervention is either ruled out or not considered. Could happen if no national interest is at stake, because of an absence of media coverage or because intervention is politically impossible (Chechnya & Tibet). This makes the doctrine of humanitarian intervention hopelessly confused in political and moral terms.

Simplistic politics:
this case for intervention is invariably based on simplistic "good v evil" image of political conflict. This has sometimes been a consequence of distortion (e.g. exaggeration of attrocities), also ignores the complexities that attend all international conflicts. Indeed , the tendency to simplify humanitarian crises helps to explain the tendency to simplify humanitarian crises helps to explain the tendency towards "mission drift" and for intervensions to go wrong.

Moral pluralism
: HI can be seen as a form of cultural imperialism, in that based on as essentially western notion of human rights that may not be applicable to other parts of the world. Historical, cultural and religious differences may therefore make itmpossible to establish universal guidelines for the behaviour of governments, making the establishing in a "just cause" threshold inachievable.

East Timor -invaded 1975 by Indonesia - 650,000 inhabitants killed.
1999 referendum for independence; 75% of people voting yes; Indonesian army stepped up intimidation and suppresion.
Media attention, 200,000 refugees and a changed international climate following NATO intervention in Kosovo and UN failures in Rwanda and Bosnia = decisive action.
Multinational UN force, supported by Australia, sent to ET in Sept.1999 to bring peace and support East Timorese achieve self-determination.
October, authority was handed over to UN admin, oversaw democratic elections for a Constituent Assembly in 2001. 20 May 2002, ET gained independence.
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