Wednesday, 12 September 2018
Theories of International Relations
Introduction to International Relations:
- Reaslism: grounded in assumption of human nature being driven by greed,
mistrust, pride (Hobbes); in the state of nature man competes with man in
constant state of war. We want more than we have, have mistrust and then
we want to show oﬀ what we have.
- When we live in anarchy, man constantly competes with man. States
compete with states in a constant state of war.
- 1. Thucydides: “history of the Peloponnesian wars”: history is explained as
the men’s actions as opposed to fates intervening and whether it was God. It
deals solely with human causality. And it is “claimed” by realists as their own,
but hotly contested.
- Major ideas: war is understood as a political “sickness”, love of power
caused war, security dilemma led to war, Athens betrayed its own ideals.
- Case: Melian dialogue: its between Athens and the small people of an island
who are loose allies of Sparta. Its realism because they talk about how it
really is. - divine intervention is not real
- The strong do what they want, the weak suﬀer what they must. :they are
rolling into Syria and crushing it because it isn’t a question about morality but
they have the power. Who is going to stop them? No one, because there is
no political will to intervene.
- 2. Machiavelli “the prince”
- Context: Italian civil wars: 1400’s and 1500’s
- Contribution: 1. First work on statecraft to abandon all references to ideals
2. For some, it oﬀers a model for the conduct of foreign policy.
- Ideas: 1. Prince must do evil 2. Only one’s own power counts
- Alliances are super important but at the end of the day, your own power is
what matters. Self help system meaning you can only rely on yourself.
- If you love someone, the power resides in the, but if there is fear, then the
power resides in you. When people hate you, revolting will happen. Jack
rules through fear and relies on the self-help system. Ralph pays the price
because he relies on others which is why he ends up running for his life.
- 3. General characteristics of realism
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
- (a) Statism:
- A state has sovereignty, making their own laws, legitimate use of violence
and force. States are the main source of violence.
- (b) survival:
- We are all: seeking survival, but one’s survival is never guaranteed.
- © Self-help:
- (d) security dilemma
- (f) self interest
- (g) power trumps morality
- States never sleep on an international level even though they are driven by
individuals. Even though we cannot trust each other, it is in our best interests to
work together. We don’t have a world state because it is not in our interests to
give up sovereignty.
- Realism: Statism, survival, self help and power. The state is the primary unit in an
- Uncertainty increases insecurity. The lack of transparency leads to insecurity
- A person who follows liberalism is called a Liberal
- Human natu...