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International Politics Mid-Term Review
mid termmmm
Political Studies
Undergraduate 1

Additional Political Studies Flashcards




30 Years War
1618-1648; after France emerged as a great power in Europe and monarchies replaced the holy roman empire
Treaty of Westphalia
1648; ended 30 years war; Formal establishment of the nation state system; Established right of states to choose their own religion; Enshrined the concepts of state sovereignty and territorial integrity in international relations; Established the right of noninterference by other states
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathon
Life in a state of nature is “nasty, brutish and short”; social contract followed by absolute sovereignty
John Locke, Two Treaties of Government
government with consent of the governed; influenced Hume, Kant, Jefferson & Madison
17th Century Scientific Developments
Galileo Galilei (laws of motion); Johannes Kepler (laws of planetary motion); Isaac Newton (gravity/calculus/optics)
Major 20th Century Political Events
The Russo-Japanese War (1905); Balfour Declaration (1917); World War I (1914-1918); The League of Nations (1919) - Member states agreed to respect the “territorial integrity and political independence” of states - enshrined the doctrine of collective security; The Bolshevik Revolution (1917-1922) (Communism); Mussolini comes to power in Italy (1922) (Fascism); Japan invades Manchuria (1931); Hitler comes to power in Germany (1933); World War II (1938-1945)
Systemic Factors in International Politics
International relations is shaped by factors external to the State and beyond the control of decision makers
Central Determinants of Power
1. the distribution of power
2. predictability/uncertainty in state relations
∙ “power is the essence of politics”
∙ nation-state is the dominant actor in an anarchic system
∙ primary goal: to maximize power
∙ struggle for power is a “zero-sum” game
∙ primary concern: relative gains, not absolute gains
∙ view international system as a “self-help” system (no central authority to enforce agreements between states)
The Melian Dialogues
• Realist perspective on politics
• Fucides- "might makes right"
• Dialogues between Athens and Melos-the strong will do what the strong can do and the weak must accept their fate;
• Athens doesn’t want neutrality; Melos must fight for them so that they can increase size and security of the empire; general and necessary law of nature to rule whenever one can
• When Melos refuses to agree, they kill every man on the island; make slaves of women and children
i. State behavior determined by differences in their relative power within the system
1. Balance of power acts as a stabilizer
2. The distribution of military power is critical; how powerful you are is dependent on military force
3. Ultimate determinant today is who has nuclear weapons and how many; mutual assured destruction (MAD)
ii. Primary goal: to maximize security, not power; Hobbsian state of nature
iii. Anarchy, the distribution of power and polarity shape foreign policy decisions
X by Kennan
created US policy of containment; Since 1917, USSR is/has been attempting to spread communism around the world; in order to fuel its economy and protect itself—calls for containment
Criticisms of Realism and Neorealism
i. Preoccupation with centrality of security (hard power)
ii. Over-emphasis on the nation-state as primary actor
iii. Concern for relative rather than absolute gains
iv. Focus on self-interest rather than the common good
v. A multi-polar system can be as stable as a bipolar system (during cold war, no one released nuclear weapons, vs. potential for destruction with multiple governments having weapons)
vi. Protect the interests of wealthy states
vii. Will we/the Iranians really be more or less secure if Iran has a nuclear weapons program?/potential to transform the middle east
Theory of Hegemonic Stability
A superpower...
i. A state that is “able” and “willing” to enforce agreements, punish cheaters and bear the extra burden of providing public goods
-Primary role: to maintain an open and stable international system; to preserve the status quo; sometimes must incur costs on others in order to maintain power
-Types of power: political, military, economic, cultural
Strengths of Hegemony
1. Increases the likelihood of an open international economy
2. Fosters the creation of liberal international regimes
3. Restores stability in times of economic collapse/shock
4. Creating NAFTA, ILO, World Bank, IMF; human rights law emerged; economic downturns followed by upticks
Weakness of Hegemony
1. Tendency to overextend (“imperial overstretch”); one thing to worry about too my many troops, too many places, too much money
2. Free rider problem-get free money (like Japan off the US because US guarunteed Japanese security)
3. Inevitable declining hegemon: more difficult to maintain an open and stable international system the weaker you become
o Emphasizes cooperation, reason, and interdependence in IR; if we make government/policy more transparent and united, there will be peace
o Primary goal: peace via consensus/mutual gain rather than the constant pursuit of power/security (soft power-economical, social, cultural, political strategies)
o Primary means: the use of persuasion rather than coercion
o Primary concern: absolute, not relevant, gains
o Important features of political liberalism
• Internationalism should trump nationalism
• Human rights trumps national interests
• Opposition to warfare as a means of settling disputes
o Regimes, cultural norms, international laws and institutions influence foreign policy decisions
o Coercive acts like sanctions are persuasive
Strategic Ambiguity
China and Taiwan don’t enter into direct conflict, China keeps the World guessing, so as to maintain peace; US uses this strategy as well by sending ships; Korean government comes back to the table when they need something; Iran
Economic Liberalism
o Emphasizes free trade and openness in economic relations
o Primary goal: wealth via open trade and commerce
o Primary means: FTAs; dismantling of barriers
o Primary concern: absolute, not relevant, gains
o Important features of economic liberalism
• Commercial intercourse creates an incentive to resolve disputes peacefully (avoid war)
• The capitalist class stands to lose the most from war
• Interconnectedness erodes national selfishness
Institutional Liberalism
o Emphasizes the establishment of International organizations to promote cooperation and resolve disputes in International relations
o Important features of Institutional Liberalism
• A threat to one is a threat to all (NATO)
• Use institutions as a forum to demiate disputes
• International Law (PCIJ; ICJ-International Court of Justice)
Major Flaw in Liberalism
if you’ve got the guns/army you can still make the unilateral choice to go to war and ignore the liberal options
Wilson's 14 Points (MAJOR POINTS)
I. Open covenants of peace
II. Absolute freedom of navigation
III. The removal of all economic barriers
IV. The reduction of national armaments to the lowest point consistent with the domestic safety
V. Impartial adjustment of all colonial claims-great powers need to get out and respect the sovereignty of all nations; don’t leave them all alone
XIV. A general association of nations must be formed for the purpose of affording mutual guarantess of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states (League of Nations)
Collective Action Problems that Liberalism hopes to Overcome
o Tragedy of the Commons
• A common pool of resources may be depleted by any one nation or group of nations (world will eventually not be able to sustain itself)
o Free Riders
• Free trade (WTO), defense (NATO), peacekeeping (UN)
Prisoner's Dilemma
Player A’s Choice: Player B’s Choice
Cooperate Defect
Cooperate: R, R S, T
Defect: T, S P, P

R= reward for mutual cooperation; cooperate with each other (both you and buddy stay silent-->1 year imprisonment for both)
P= Punishment for mutual defection; both defect (both you and buddy confess-->both get 5 years)
S= Sucker's payoff; cooperate (you stay silent/buddy confesses-->you get 10 years; buddy goes free)
T= temptation to defect; (you confess/buddy stays silent-->you go free; buddy gets 10 years)
Regime Theory
o Set of principles, norms, rules, standards, and decision-making procedures at the transnational level
o Emphasis on interdependence and cooperation
o Regimes influence state behavior beyond self-interest
o Associated with International Organizations
• WTO (global trade regime): main principles are trade liberalization, reciprocity, non-discrimination; hold states accountable
o Strengths:
• Regimes provide reliable information
• Limits state conflict via misunderstandings
• Less beholden to domestic special interests
Criticisms of Liberalism
o Disregard for the role of the state as primary actor
o International organizations cannot “stop” states from the pursuit of national objectives
• unilateral personal interests sometimes undermine liberalism
o Focuses too much on “soft politics”
• Prospect of cooperation among self-interested states is greater in “soft politics”; ex. Economic policy unless it’s sanctions, but soft incentives like allowing Iran into WTO if they eliminate nuclear factories
 Sanctions, embargos >> bargaining, soft promises
o Acting for moral reasons in high politics is secondary to strategic imperatives
• 2001 invasion of Afghanistan
• 2003 invasion of Iraq
• At what point do you cross the line of morality in strategizing?
o Premise: history is marked by exploitation and class struggle
• Exploitation of one part of society by another
 Feudalism > capitalism > socialism
o Main factor: relationship among classes (capitalist class exploiting the working class)
o Primary goal: redistribution of power & wealth thru overthrow of capitalism
o View economic relations as a “zero-sum” game
o Capitalism leads to overproduction, low wages, under-consumption & eventual unemployment
o Collapse of capitalism is inevitable (proletariat revolution)
• A territorial entity within which a single gov’t has the exclusive right to control matters and use force against its inhabitants
Test of Statehood
Must have:
-A permanent population
-A defined territory
-A government in control
-A capacity to enter into relations with other states (should have a representative in the UN)
Somalia is not currently a state!
Determinants of States' International Decisions
• International/Systemic Factors
 The distribution of power among states (Polarity)
• Unipolar, bipolar, and multipolar
 The pattern of alliances around the powerful (Polarization)
 Geostrategic position
• Geographic location
• Topography, size, population, climate, distance from states
• Domestic Factors
 Military capabilities
• Perception of military capabilities guide decisions of war & peace
 Wealth/economic strength
• Economic development = more activist role in the global economy
 System of government
• Consititutional democracy
Peace Among Democracies
by Russett; Democracies don't go to war with other Democracies because:
• Democracy is all about a peaceful transition of power
• Common enemy of communism or authoritarianism
• Favorable economic conditions associated with capitalism
• International law and international institutions
• Respect for human rights
• Freer flow of information promotes transparency across democracies, thus reducing fear and uncertainty
(Falkland Islands War occurred while there was a movement of military juntas in Argentina so it wasn't technically democratic)
-will occasionally go to war with authoritarian states because they must be vigilant and may feel the need to launch preemptive attacks
Current Events--Iran
Iran says they are capable of producing nuclear weapons; Hillary Clinton is trying to persuade their neighbors that Iran has lost democratic leaders to a military regime
Current Events in North Korea
essentially an international failure; was part of the NPT but withdrew in 2003; probably a nuclear power today
Two Approaches to Arms Race
Vegetius: "Those who desire peace must arm for war"; must keep the upper hand in order to remain secure
Einstein: "You cannot simultaneously prepare for war and make peace"; cannot have peace with nuclear weapons (nonproliferation/disarmament)
Nuclear Weapons States
o NPT Nuclear Weapon States (China, France, Russia, UK, US)
o Non-NPT Nuclear Weapon States (India, North Korea, Pakistan)
o Undeclared Nuclear Weapon States (Israel)
o States suspected of having nuclear weapon programs (Iran, Syria)
o NATO weapons sharing recipients (Turkey, Germany, Italy)
o States formerly possessing nuclear weapons (South Africa, Ukraine, Balarus…)
Arms Negotiation Dilemma
Don't negotiate when you're behind (accepting someone's power over you)
Don't negotiate when you're ahead (letting lesser states control you; not keeping the upper hand)
Interest Group/Bureaucratic Perspective
o Weapons manufacturers and military officials have an interest in expanding their budgets/profits by persuading Congress to spend more on weapons and defense
to reduce or destroy weapons
Arms Control
multilateral or bilateral agreements to contain arms races by setting limits on the number and type of weapons that are permitted
(based on Washington Naval Conferences of the 1920's that restricted battleships, not submarines or aircraft carriers)
1972, 1979; limited number of intercontinental ballistic missiles possessed by US and USSR
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START)
1991,1993, 1997; pledge to cut arsenals by 80% of Cold War peaks
Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT)
2002; reduce warheads to 1700-2200 for both US and USSR by 2012
Strategic Defense Initiative
cuts against/counters this process of reducing weapons; wants to increase weapons esp. in space to intercept weapons (conservatives/realists)
Nuclear Nonproliferation Treat (NPT)
1968; Prohibits the transfer of nuclear weapons and production technologies to nonnuclear weapons states (non-proliferation and disarmament, while maintaining the right to peacefully use nuclear technology; 189 signing countries
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)
1996; prohibits nuclear weapons test explosions; not yet in force; 9 states haven't ratified (3 of which haven't signed)
Rainbow Warrior Affair
: green peace vessel that went down to intercept French testing of nuclear devices; moored in New Zealand to plant themselves in the middle of the test zone; French sent secret service to blow it up when no one was on it→1 guy died; arrested French citizens to confess to murder and others involved
problems/advantages of Arms Control Treaties
o Advantages of arms control treaties
• Weapons technology has made war more deadly
 “We can’t afford to be stupid”
• reduces the cost of war without altering the benefits of winning war
 reduces civilian/collateral damage, decreases environ, hazards
o Problems with arms control treaties
• ACTs typically limit the development of already obsolete technology
• ACTs almost never roll arms back to zero
• ACTs tend to limit one type of weapon system thus prompting developments in another system
Obama's plan for Arms Control
o Withdraw Bush missile defense shield from Poland and Czech Republic
o Negotiate new arms reduction agreement with Russia
o Committed to winning Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which President Bill Clinton could not get through the Senate, and acknowledged that the United States had an obligation under the treaty to move toward elimination of its own arsenal
• The Bush Administration argued that this was dangerous
o An international treaty to end the production of nuclear weapons fuel
o Obama’s 2011 budget will request $54 billion in loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors—triple the previous amount
o $54 million in loans for new nuclear reactors for nuclear power
Power Transition Theory
o State is the central actor in international relations
o The international system is not anarchic, but hierarchical
o Power is the primary objective
o There is only one dominant state at a given time
o States seek to maximize their control over the rules and customs that govern international relations so that they can define the status quo according to their interests
o International rules/norms are selected by dominant state &enforced by that state & other satisfied states
• Satisfied states are content with the status quo
• Dissatisfied states aim to alter the hierarchy/change rules
Power transition period
the period during which the challenger comes to equal and then surpass the dominant state in power; peak time for major war
The Grotian Tradition
(1583-1645); Hugo Grotius was the father of International law;
o An international system based on “Rule of Law”
• Challenged the control of the Church (“God’s law”)
• The “Rule of Law” consisted of:
 Natural Law: immutable norms inherent in any ordered system (life, freedom, competition)
 Positive law: man made law based on “consent”
• Enforcement would occur through mutual cooperation
• No international Organization was contemplated
• (war is not impossible and peace is good, but there are times were war is both useful and necessary); public war and private war
• You can attack someone if it is in self-defense; enshrines notion of self-defense
• Who has the authority to engage in war at the public level?: REVIEW EXCERPT BY GROTIUS
• The necessary substance of every state is laws that govern the civil power of society with separate branches of society-the deliberative branch (decision to declare war), the executive branch, the judicial branch (law enforcement system; able to sue for damages and criminal/civil courts)
Public International Law
o A body of rules that nations consider to be binding in their mutual relations
• Persons with standing=international organizations, nations, NGOS corporations
 Ex. UN
 Ex. U.S., China, India
 Ex. Greenpeace & Amnesty International
 Ex. Exxon/Mobil, Wal-Mart, Samsung
 Ex. Victims of torture
• A law based on the “consent” of nation states
o Also important is the Law of International Rights: NAFTA (gives a company or individual the ability to sue the U.S. government)
Private International Law
o A body of substantive law that a nation applies to private transactions that involve two different states
• Ex. Breach of contract suit between individuals from different countries (purely contractual)
o States are not required to defend the interests of their citizens in private international disputes
Does International Law have teeth?
o Realist response: no enforcement mechanism other than the will of states; never really enforce peace because most powerful nations will always be able to do what they want; no organization waiting for U.S. to give them a ticket after they cut the red light
oLiberal Response: Observance is in every state’s interest to avoid chaos at the intersection of international relations; U.S. should feel compelled to wait at the red light
League of Nations
o The League Covenant’s Two Basic Principles
• Member states agreed to respect the “territorial integrity and political independence” of states
• Collective security: aggression by one state should be countered by all members with economic sanctions and force if necessary
o The League Structure
• The Council: consisted of the great powers
 Settler of disputes/enforcer of sanctions
 The assembly: based on “universality” of membership
• Definition
o A “public” international organization
o UN does not have “supranational” power
o UN based on the principle of “sovereign equality”
o UN based on the principle of “nonintervention”; ONLY self-defense
o UN possesses legal capacity in International Law
• The capacity to sue or bring a claim in court
 Reparations for injuries Case
• “In the service of the UN”; the UN can only bring a claim if the injury of one of its agents was the service of the UN
• Purpose: to maintain international peace and security through the means of collective security
Organs of the UN
o Security Council
o General Assembly
o Economic and Social Council
o Secretariat
o International Court of Justice
o Trusteeship Council
What the UN Enforces
o Three directives concerning the use of force
• States may not use or threaten to use force (Art. 2(4))
• States may use force defensively when there is an “armed attack” (Art. 51)
• UN Security Council (SC) possesses a legal monopoly on the use of force
o The Use of Nuclear Weapons
• May be used tactically and in self-defense
• See Nuclear Weapons Case (ICJ 1996)
Security Council
• Purpose: to maintain international peace & security and to act on behalf of all member States (Art. 24)
• Chapter VI: peaceful settlement of disputes
• Chapter VII: authorizes enforcement measures (sanctions and force) to counter violations of the charter
• Consists of 15 states
 Permanent members: US, UK, France, China, and Russia
 Nonpermanent members: 10 rotating states
 Veto: any permanent member can veto a SC decision
 SC action requires unanimity among the 5 permanent members and at least 4 nonpermanent members
UN use of force
• Used force in North Korea, the Congo, and Rhodesia (+ suez canal)
• Chapter VII: Procedure for Authorizing the Use of Force
o Article 39: SC determines the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression
o Article 41: SC authorizes the use of nonmilitary measures to restore international peace and security = economic sanctions, sever diplomatic ties
o Article 42: If SC determines Article 41 measures to be inadequate, it may authorize the use of military force to restore international peace and security
Test of Necessity (The Caroline Case)
Between Canada and UK in 1842;“threat, or perceived use of force, must be instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means and no moment for deliberation”;  If necessity is satisfied, the defensive response must be “proportional” to the initiator’s attack; risk must be "imminent and overwhelming"
Anticipatory Self-Defense
o Rather than awaiting an armed attack pursuant to Article 51, a State takes what it describes as defensive action to avoid some mounting aggression or threat by another State
• Ex. Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)
• Ex. Six Day War (1967)
• Ex. Israeli bombing of Iraqi reactor (1981)
• Ex. The “war on terror”
 An endless war against non-state actors
• Ex. U.S. War against Iraq (2003)
• Bush Doctrine of Pre-emption
Article 51
Right to self-defense under UN Charter
• Use of fore in self-defense can only be justified in response to an “armed attack”
• Placement of nuclear missiles? Training of rebel forces?
• Rule: a state retains the “inherent right of self-defense” independently of Art. 51’s “armed attack” requirement
• The right of self-defense may be invoked only until the SC has undertaken measures against the aggressor
• Victim State is required to immediately report any defensive activity to the SC (notice requirement)
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