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PS 331 World Politics
Wolfe Spring 2011
Political Studies
Undergraduate 4

Additional Political Studies Flashcards




Balance of Power
-Combination of structure and process
-State/non-state actors in perpetual cycle of action and reaction
-Independent and sovereign state initiates and action which is then countered by another sovereign and independent state by an opposite and equal reaction
-The relationship between territory and sovereignty is the underlying meaning
-The notion of disturbance and regulation (like a circuit breaker) keeps the system from overloading
-The balance of power is affected by a single sovereign state's actions or changes
-Assumptions: 5 great powers with similar military power; none can become dominant or expand; power comes from joining together in systemic theory of repetition/recurrence; maintaining stability as preserving principle state actors is key
-Rules: deter potential hegemon; preservation
-Goals: Stability, Legitimacy, Preservation.
-Methods: Alliance, Coalition, Armament, Compensation, Intervention, War
Methods to achieving a balance of power
-Alliance (deter from attack)
-Coalition (tool for waging war)
-Armament (competition for arming a state w/ military power)
-Compensation (partition over argued or contested items)
-Intervention (coercive interference with force; aimed at specific goal and is short-lived)
-War (destroy power capability of an adversary)
-foreign policy based on practical rather than ethical or ideological considerations.
-the purpose of foreign policy is the security of the state (raison d’etat), rather than crusading for religious, dynastic, or humanitarian purposes
-calls for pragmatism and moderation, and warns that efforts to maximize national power are generally counter-productive because they lead to self-encirclement.
-describe modest (realistic) politics in opposition to overzealous (unrealistic) politics
-politics or diplomacy based primarily on power and practicality
-implies politics that are coercive, amoral, or Machiavellian.
-focuses on considerations of power, not ideals, morals, or principles.
Organic Theory
-political collectivism which maintains that the state transcends individuals within the State in power, right, or priority
-State has life of its own with life cycles
-Presumes that a state (because it is a living/historic entity) has its own interests above yours and mine where were are only a part of a greater whole
-Anything state wants to do is justifiable
-Kautilya argues that an organic state must constantly grow and war is an indispensable policy
-is an example where nations are just like people
Raison d’Etat
-A purely political reason for action on the part of a ruler or government, esp. where a departure from openness, justice, or honesty is involved.
-The reason for security of the state
-an overriding concern, usually the interests of the country concerned, that justifies political or diplomatic action that might otherwise be considered reprehensible
Kautilya’s six policy choices:
-Peace:appeasement, nonviolence. Allow trade and resolve differences. this is done when you are weaker than your enemy and morally superior -War: Stronger than enemy with military superiority -Alliance: ally with one or more powers to improve your stability -Neutrality: there are times when a small state must stay outside the arena of conflict. -Marching(mobilization): suggests a policy that is short of war, organizing the economy for a prolonged period of war. -Double Policy:Fighting one and a half wars. Major war against enemy and a holding action against another.
Pyramid of Power
At the top of the pyramid -
•Great Powers- Machiavelli says there should be 5. Today we have 5 permanent members of the U.N. Council. They have a world wide capability in trade and military.
Below that-
•Regional Powers- Brazil, India, South Africa etc, have a leadership role in their continental land mass
Below that-
•Small States- may have power because of national resources. For Example Kuwait has oil.
At the bottom of the pyramid-
•Colonies or Dependencies- not truly independent. Foreign policy options are limited. They don't exert any influence beyond their borders.

-Balance of power is when 5 major powers are in agreement in certain things. . We may assume that the people in colonies the revisionists, want change. Small states are revisionists because they want to be a regional power. There is a danger of major war when revisionists begin to move more into the Great Powers area.
International Law Reasoning
1. Rights- governments generally derive benefits from international law.
2. Prestige
3. Sanctions- economic security council can enforce sanctions. the federal constitution gives congress the duty to enforce international law in the U.S.
Capability Assessment
-R. Cline’s formula (C+E+M) x (S+W) =Power:
(C+E+M) is tangible:
-C is Critical Mass (territory and population of over 50 million -size, shape, location; age, skills, popular culture)
-E is Economy (industrial with natural resources; GNP)
-M is Military (small, high-tech, professional; officer corps)
(S+W) is intangible:
-S is Strategy(make correct choice at correct time with leaders make policy and are intelligent)
-W is political Will (national morale with a readiness of the people to support the government)
-What’s missing: Cycles of power; focuses exclusively on territorial and sovereign states. Non-state actors are not included.
Sources for International Law
Custom- privileges and immunities can be traced back through history.

Conventions- relatively new- a convention is a multilateral treaty. most treaties are bilateral. These involve voluntary action in relation to other governments.

-Judicial Decisions
What role does the United Nations fulfill in international politics?
1. Peace conference- it is a permanent peace conference. it brings together delegates of major powers so they can address international crises quickly. The United Nations headquarters is in New York City. The procedures are already in place and questions of protocol are already resolved.
2. The U.N. is much like a world Parliament. Much of international law was based on historical practice.
3.. Aid- the U.N. has specialized agencies that deal with health, education, and similar matters.
4. Peacekeeping- The U.N. has a peacekeeping role in international relations. The U.N. has established buffer zones between 2 opposing armies. In some areas they have actually governed disputed areas.
Structure of the UN
1. The security council- has authority to pass resolutions which are binding on all members of the U.N. 15 members, 5 have permanent seats and the remaining ten are elected. requires 9 affirmative votes.
2. General assembly- 192 members organized on a basis of equality. it is a deliberative body.
3. Secretariat Ban Ki Moon
4. International system of Justice
-great power, major power, superpower, world power- a state powerful enough to influence events throughout the world
-the political, economic, ideological or cultural power exerted by a dominant group over other groups
-Ex: US after WWII
A. Mobility- hegemon must be able to deploy its military force throughout the globe quickly and efficiently. Mobility has always been linked to sea power. Sea power is seen as more powerful then land power.
B. Commerce- hegemon should be responsible for controlling international merchant relations. Marine will probably carry most goods of the world. Must be leader in science and technology.
C. Finance Reserve Currency-currency must have a reserve. For Example- the British pound use to be used for world transactions. Today the U.S dollar is the reserve currency. Does this country provide the reserve currency for the world? Key to world hegemon identity.
Definition of War
-Declared hostilities
-Armed incursion into foreign territory without a declaration of war
**** Intervention occurs between these two
-Occupation of foreign territory
-Homeland (regions that nation calls home)
-Language (spoken culture that is common bond)
-Culture (religion, literature, art, music, etc)
-Identity (members of given nature provide identity to help face challenges)
-“We -They” dichotomy
-Historical Trauma: disaster (like military debacle) causes bonds
-search out relevant examples in international history and, from it, arrives at certain rules of statecraft.
-look at history, find examples, induce theory case studies
-“history is the laboratory of the political scientist”
Benefits of Political Theory
Principle benefits of political theory
1. Describes the actors and their actions
2. Explain- Why is there war?
3. Predict- consequences of action that will happen
4. Prescribes behavior
5 Rules for the Prince
1.Virtu- Prowess, bravery, willingness to face the odds
2. Necessity- the prince must be willing to do what is necessary whether he wants to or not. He does not enjoy free will.
3. Fortune- the prince must adapt to change. He is caught up in a current of changes. His policy must be one of adaptation.
4. Honor- the prince must maintain a positive public image. He must always show his best side to the people.
5. Prudence- the most important rule for the prince is prudence. the capability of a government is limited so the prince must be prudent. He must impose a rule of self restraint.

If all the rules are observed then there will be an equilibrium between the powers that have two advantages.

1. Deterrence- in a balance of power system there will be no clear power.
2. Legitimacy- Each power will have self determination and rights.
Self regulation in the interests of stability. The ideal international system can regulate itself to improve stability.
3 Types of International Systems
1. World Hegemon- A single dominant power
2. Balance of power- traced back to ancient world.
3. Bipolarity- 2 superpowers facing each other. ex. cold war
the ability to coerce, to make war.
normalization of relations, exchange of diplomatic agents, meeting of senior officials
occurs when two governments are headed on a collision course, looks as though they’re headed for war, but at the last second they cut off the escalation process and avoid war
-a step by step process whereby a conflict becomes more intense
-two forms taken:
-expand territorial base of conflict
introduce new techniques (weapons, troops, etc)
-“mission creep”
the ability of a state to achieve its foreign policy goals
World Trade Organization
to make possible the free exchange of goods among international markets at a fair price, trade barriers should all be eliminated with one vast global marketplace.
Components of an international system
1. Regulation
Structure and process
2. Rules for governing
International law exists in the form of rules that govern the relations of states. ex. diplomatic relations give privileges and immunities and the relationship is reciprocal.
3. Sources of International Law
Custom- privileges and immunities can be traced back through history.
Conventions- relatively new- a convention is a multilateral treaty. most treaties are bilateral. these involve voluntary action in relation to other governments.
4. Judicial decisions
International law is the source of judicial authority that goes beyond the authority of a given state.
5. Use of force
International law permits war under certain circumstances
The security council has 15 members. they can deploy force to stabalize a country. It requires a 9 out of 15 majority.
Any state is authorized to go to war in self defense.
6. Governments comply with international law for the following reasons:
1. Rights- governments generally derive benefits from international law.
2. Prestige
3. Sanctions- economic security council can enforce sanctions. the federal constitution gives congress the duty to enforce international law in the U.S.
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