Please answer one of the following question in an essay between 750 and 1000 words. It is very important to answer the question directly–avoid including information or analysis that is not directly pertinent to the argument you wish to make. Your answer must include three (3) specific references to the required readings and two (2) specific references to articles in the World Politics Blog which can be accessed at: http://vferraro1971.wordpress.com/. The purpose of these requirements is to demonstrate that you can take the theoretical propositions developed in the course and apply them directly to contemporary events.
The US currently finds itself involved in conflict areas that are far away from the territory of the US: instability in Ukraine, in Syria, and the South China Sea. Should the US confine its foreign policy to areas of the world that are closer to the core national interest: territorial integrity and sovereignty?
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Political Science Essay
Morton Kaplan’s Rules of the Balance of Power 1. All states act to increase capabilities but negotiate rather than fight. 2. All states fight rather than pass up an opportunity to increase their capabilities. 3. All states stop fighting rather than eliminate an essential state. 4. All states act to oppose any coalition or single state which tends to assume a position of predominance within the system. 5. All states act to constrain states who subscribe to supranational organizing principles. 6. All states permit defeated or constrained essential national states to re -enter the system as acceptable role partners or to pact to bring some previously inessential state within the essential state classification. Treat all essenti al states as acceptable role partners. From: Morton A. Kaplan, System and Process in International Politics (New York, 1957).
Political Science Essay
Joseph S. Nye, Jr., “Will the Liberal Order Survive? The History of an Idea,” Foreign Affairs, January/February 2017 During the nineteenth century, the United States played a minor role in the global balance of power. The country did not maintain a large standing army, and as late as the 1870s, the U.S. Navy was smaller than the navy of Chile. Americans had no problems using force to acquire land or resources (as Mexico and the Native American nations could attest), but for the most part, both the U.S. government and the American public opposed significant involvement in international affairs outside the Western Hemisphere. A flirtation with imperialism at the end of the century drew U.S. attention outward, as did the growing U.S. role in the world economy, paving the way for President Woodrow Wilson to take the United States into World War I. But the costs of the war and the failure of Wilson’s ambitious attempt to reform international politics afterward turned U.S. attention inward once again during the 1920s and 1930s, leading to the strange situation of an increasingly great power holding itself aloof from an increasingly turbulent world. Like their counterparts elsewhere, U.S. policymakers sought to advance their country’s national interests, usually in straightforward, narrowly defined ways. They saw international politics and economics as an intense competition among states constantly jockeying for position and advantage. When the Great Depression hit, therefore, U.S. officials, like others, raced to protect their domestic economy as quickly and fully as possible, adopting beggar-thy neighbor tariffs and deepening the crisis in the process. And a few years later, when aggressive dictatorships emerged and threatened peace, they and their counterparts in Europe and elsewhere did something similar in the security sphere, trying to ignore the growing dangers, pass the buck, or defer conflict through appeasement. By this point, the United States had become the world’s strongest power, but it saw no value in devoting resources or attention to providing global public goods such as an open economy or international security. There was no U.S.-led liberal order in the 1930s, and the result was a “low dishonest decade,” in the words of W. H. Auden, of depression, tyranny, war, and genocide. With their countries drawn into the conflagration despite their efforts to avoid it, Western officials spent the first half of the 1940s trying to defeat the Axis powers while working to construct a different and better world for afterward. Rather than continue to see economic and security issues as solely national concerns, they now sought to cooperate with one another, devising a rules-based system that in theory would allow like-minded nations to enjoy peace and prosperity in common. The liberal international order that emerged after 1945 was a loose array of multilateral institutions in which the United States provided global public goods such as freer trade and freedom of the seas and weaker states were given institutional access to the exercise of U.S. power. The Bretton Woods institutions were set up while the war was still in progress. When other countries proved too poor or weak to fend for themselves afterward, the Truman administration decided to break with U.S. tradition and make open-ended alliances, provide substantial aid to other countries, and deploy U.S. military forces abroad. Washington gave the United Kingdom a major loan in 1946, took responsibility for supporting pro-Western governments in Greece and Turkey in 1947, invested heavily in European recovery with the Marshall Plan in 1948, created NATO in 1949, led a military coalition to protect South Korea from invasion in 1950, and signed a new security treaty with Japan in 1960. These and other actions both bolstered the order and contained Soviet power. As the American diplomat George Kennan and others noted, there were five crucial areas of industrial productivity and strength in the postwar world: the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, and Northeast Asia. To protect itself and prevent a third world war, Washington chose to isolate the Soviet Union and bind itself tightly to the other three, and U.S. troops remain in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere to this day. And within this framework, global economic, social, and ecological interdependence grew. By 1970, economic globalization had recovered to the level it had reached before being disrupted by World War I in 1914. The mythology that has grown up around the order can be exaggerated. Washington may have displayed a general preference for democracy and openness, but it frequently supported dictators or made cynical self-interested moves along the way. In its first decades, the postwar system was largely limited to a group of like-minded states centered on the Atlantic littoral; it did not include many large countries such as China, India, and the Soviet bloc states, and it did not always have benign effects on nonmembers. In global military terms, the United States was not hegemonic, because the Soviet Union balanced U.S. power. And even when its power was greatest, Washington could not prevent the “loss” of China, the partition of Germany and Berlin, a draw in Korea, Soviet suppression of insurrections within its own bloc, the creation and survival of a communist regime in Cuba, and failure in Vietnam. Americans have had bitter debates and partisan differences over military interventions and other foreign policy issues over the years, and they have often grumbled about paying for the defense of other rich countries. Still, the demonstrable success of the order in helping secure and stabilize the world over the past seven decades has led to a strong consensus that defending, deepening, and extending this system has been and continues to be the central task of U.S. foreign policy. Until now, that is—for recently, the desirability and sustainability of the order have been called into question as never before. Some critics, such as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, have argued that the costs of maintaining the order outweigh its benefits and that Washington would be better off handling its interactions with other countries on a case-by-case transactional basis, making sure it “wins” rather than “loses” on each deal or commitment. Others claim that the foundations of the order are eroding because of a long-term global power transition involving the dramatic rise of Asian economies such as China and India. And still others see it as threatened by a broader diffusion of power from governments to nonstate actors thanks to ongoing changes in politics, society, and technology. The order, in short, is facing its greatest challenges in generations. Can it survive, and will it? POWER CHALLENGED AND DIFFUSED Public goods are benefits that apply to everyone and are denied to no one. At the national level, governments provide many of these to their citizens: safety for people and property, economic infrastructure, a clean environment. In the absence of international government, global public goods—a clean climate or financial stability or freedom of the seas—have sometimes been provided by coalitions led by the largest power, which benefits the most from these goods and can afford to pay for them. When the strongest powers fail to appreciate this dynamic, global public goods are underproduced and everybody suffers. Some observers see the main threat to the current liberal order coming from the rapid rise of a China that does not always appear to appreciate that great power carries with it great responsibilities. They worry that China is about to pass the United States in power and that when it does, it will not uphold the current order because it views it as an external imposition reflecting others’ interests more than its own. This concern is misguided, however, for two reasons: because China is unlikely to surpass the United States in power anytime soon and because it understands and appreciates the order more than is commonly realized. Contrary to the current conventional wisdom, China is not about to replace the United States as the world’s dominant country. Power involves the ability to get what you want from others, and it can involve payment, coercion, or attraction. China’s economy has grown dramatically in recent decades, but it is still only 61 percent of the size of the U.S. economy, and its rate of growth is slowing. And even if China does surpass the United States in total economic size some decades from now, economic might is just part of the geopolitical equation. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the United States spends four times as much on its military as does China, and although Chinese capabilities have been increasing in recent years, serious observers think that China will not be able to exclude the United States from the western Pacific, much less exercise global military hegemony. And as for soft power, the ability to attract others, a recent index published by Portland, a London consultancy, ranks the United States first and China 28th. And as China tries to catch up, the United States will not be standing still. It has favorable demographics, increasingly cheap energy, and the world’s leading universities and technology companies. Moreover, China benefits from and appreciates the existing international order more than it sometimes acknowledges. It is one of only five countries with a veto in the UN Security Council and has gained from liberal economic institutions, such as the World Trade Organization (where it accepts dispute settlement judgments that go against it) and the International Monetary Fund (where its voting rights have increased and it fills an important deputy director position). China is now the second-largest funder of UN peacekeeping forces and has participated in UN programs related to Ebola and climate change. In 2015, Beijing joined with Washington in developing new norms for dealing with climate change and conflicts in cyberspace. On balance, China has tried not to overthrow the current order but rather to increase its influence within it. The order will inevitably look somewhat different as the twenty-first century progresses. China, India, and other economies will continue to grow, and the U.S. share of the world economy will drop. But no other country, including China, is poised to displace the United States from its dominant position. Even so, the order may still be threatened by a general diffusion of power away from governments toward nonstate actors. The information revolution is putting a number of transnational issues, such as financial stability, climate change, terrorism, pandemics, and cybersecurity, on the global agenda at the same time as it is weakening the ability of all governments to respond. Complexity is growing, and world politics will soon not be the sole province of governments. Individuals and private organizations—from corporations and nongovernmental organizations to terrorists and social movements—are being empowered, and informal networks will undercut the monopoly on power of traditional bureaucracies. Governments will continue to possess power and resources, but the stage on which they play will become ever more crowded, and they will have less ability to direct the action. Even if the United States remains the largest power, accordingly, it will not be able to achieve many of its international goals acting alone. For example, international financial stability is vital to the prosperity of Americans, but the United States needs the cooperation of others to ensure it. Global climate change and rising sea levels will affect the quality of life, but Americans cannot manage these problems by themselves. And in a world where borders are becoming more porous, letting in everything from drugs to infectious diseases to terrorism, nations must use soft power to develop networks and build institutions to address shared threats and challenges. Washington can provide some important global public goods largely by itself. The U.S. Navy is crucial when it comes to policing the law of the seas and defending freedom of navigation, and the U.S. Federal Reserve undergirds international financial stability by serving as a lender of last resort. On the new transnational issues, however, success will require the cooperation of others— and thus empowering others can help the United States accomplish its own goals. In this sense, power becomes a positive-sum game: one needs to think of not just the United States’ power over others but also the power to solve problems that the United States can acquire by working with others. In such a world, the ability to connect with others becomes a major source of power, and here, too, the United States leads the pack. The United States comes first in the Lowy Institute’s ranking of nations by number of embassies, consulates, and missions. It has some 60 treaty allies, and The Economist estimates that nearly 100 of the 150 largest countries lean toward it, while only 21 lean against it. Increasingly, however, the openness that enables the United States to build networks, maintain institutions, and sustain alliances is itself under siege. This is why the most important challenge to the provision of world order in the twenty-first century comes not from without but from within. POPULISM VS. GLOBALIZATION Even if the United States continues to possess more military, economic, and soft-power resources than any other country, it may choose not to use those resources to provide public goods for the international system at large. It did so during the interwar years, after all, and in the wake of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, a 2013 poll found that 52 percent of Americans believed that “the U.S. should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own.” The 2016 presidential election was marked by populist reactions to globalization and trade agreements in both major parties, and the liberal international order is a project of just the sort of cosmopolitan elites whom populists see as the enemy. The roots of populist reactions are both economic and cultural. Areas that have lost jobs to foreign competition appear to have tended to support Trump, but so did older white males who have lost status with the rise in power of other demographic groups. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that in less than three decades, whites will no longer be a racial majority in the United States, precipitating the anxiety and fear that contributed to Trump’s appeal, and such trends suggest that populist passions will outlast Trump’s campaign. It has become almost conventional wisdom to argue that the populist surge in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere marks the beginning of the end of the contemporary era of globalization and that turbulence may follow in its wake, as happened after the end of an earlier period of globalization a century ago. But circumstances are so different today that the analogy doesn’t hold up. There are so many buffers against turbulence now, at both the domestic and the international level, that a descent into economic and geopolitical chaos, as in the 1930s, is not in the cards. Discontent and frustration are likely to continue, and the election of Trump and the British vote to leave the EU demonstrate that populist reactions are common to many Western democracies. Policy elites who want to support globalization and an open economy will clearly need to pay more attention to economic inequality, help those disrupted by change, and stimulate broad-based economic growth. It would be a mistake to read too much about long-term trends in U.S. public opinion from the heated rhetoric of the recent election. The prospects for elaborate trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership have suffered, but there is not likely to be a reversion to protectionism on the scale of the 1930s. A June 2016 poll by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, for example, found that 65 percent of Americans thought that globalization was mostly good for the United States, despite concerns about a loss of jobs. And campaign rhetoric notwithstanding, in a 2015 Pew survey, 51 percent of respondents said that immigrants strengthened the country. Nor will the United States lose the ability to afford to sustain the order. Washington currently spends less than four percent of its GDP on defense and foreign affairs. That is less than half the share that it spent at the height of the Cold War. Alliances are not significant economic burdens, and in some cases, such as that of Japan, it is cheaper to station troops overseas than at home. The problem is not guns versus butter but guns versus butter versus taxes. Because of a desire to avoid raising taxes or further increasing the national debt, the U.S. national security budget is currently locked in a zero-sum tradeoff with domestic expenditures on education, infrastructure, and research and development. Politics, not absolute economic constraints, will determine how much is spent on what. The disappointing track record of recent U.S. military interventions has also undermined domestic support for an engaged global role. In an age of transnational terrorism and refugee crises, keeping aloof from all intervention in the domestic affairs of other countries is neither possible nor desirable. But regions such as the Middle East are likely to experience turmoil for decades, and Washington will need to be more careful about the tasks it takes on. Invasion and occupation breed resentment and opposition, which in turn raise the costs of intervention while lowering the odds of success, further undermining public support for an engaged foreign policy. Political fragmentation and demagoguery, finally, pose yet another challenge to the United States’ ability to provide responsible international leadership, and the 2016 election revealed just how fragmented the American electorate is. The U.S. Senate, for example, has failed to ratify the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, despite the fact that the country is relying on it to help protect freedom of navigation in the South China Sea against Chinese provocations. Congress failed for five years to fulfill an important U.S. commitment to support the reallocation of International Monetary Fund quotas from Europe to China, even though it would have cost almost nothing to do so. Congress has passed laws violating the international legal principle of sovereign immunity, a principle that protects not just foreign governments but also American diplomatic and military personnel abroad. And domestic resistance to putting a price on carbon emissions makes it hard for the United States to lead the fight against climate change. The United States will remain the world’s leading military power for decades to come, and military force will remain an important component of U.S. power. A rising China and a declining Russia frighten their neighbors, and U.S. security guarantees in Asia and Europe provide critical reassurance for the stability that underlies the prosperity of the liberal order. Markets depend on a framework of security, and maintaining alliances is an important source of influence for the United States. At the same time, military force is a blunt instrument unsuited to dealing with many situations. Trying to control the domestic politics of nationalist foreign populations is a recipe for failure, and force has little to offer in addressing issues such as climate change, financial stability, or Internet governance. Maintaining networks, working with other countries and international institutions, and helping establish norms to deal with new transnational issues are crucial. It is a mistake to equate globalization with trade agreements. Even if economic globalization were to slow, technology is creating ecological, political, and social globalization that will all require cooperative responses. Leadership is not the same as domination, and Washington’s role in helping stabilize the world and underwrite its continued progress may be even more important now than ever. Americans and others may not notice the security and prosperity that the liberal order provides until they are gone—but by then, it may be too late
Political Science Essay
Korab-Karpowicz, W. Julian, “Political Realism in International Relations”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.) URL = . In the discipline of international relations there are contending general theories or theoretical perspectives. Realism, also known as political realism, is a view of international politics that stresses its competitive and conflictual side. It is usually contrasted with idealism or liberalism, which tends to emphasize cooperation. Realists consider the principal actors in the international arena to be states, which are concerned with their own security, act in pursuit of their own national interests, and struggle for power. The negative side of the realists’ emphasis on power and self-interest is often their skepticism regarding the relevance of ethical norms to relations among states. National politics is the realm of authority and law, whereas international politics, they sometimes claim, is a sphere without justice, characterized by active or potential conflict among states. Not all realists, however, deny the presence of ethics in international relations. The distinction should be drawn between classical realism—represented by such twentieth-century theorists as Reinhold Niebuhr and Hans Morgenthau—and radical or extreme realism. While classical realism emphasizes the concept of national interest, it is not the Machiavellian doctrine “that anything is justified by reason of state” (Bull 1995, 189). Nor does it involve the glorification of war or conflict. The classical realists do not reject the possibility of moral judgment in international politics. Rather, they are critical of moralism—abstract moral discourse that does not take into account political realities. They assign supreme value to successful political action based on prudence: the ability to judge the rightness of a given action from among possible alternatives on the basis of its likely political consequences. Realism encompasses a variety of approaches and claims a long theoretical tradition. Among its founding fathers, Thucydides, Machiavelli and Hobbes are the names most usually mentioned. Twentieth-century classical realism has today been largely replaced by neorealism, which is an attempt to construct a more scientific approach to the study of international relations. Both classical realism and neorealism have been subjected to criticism from IR theorists representing liberal, critical, and post-modern perspectives. 1. The Roots of the Realist Tradition 1.1 Thucydides and the Importance of Power 1.2 Machiavelli’s Critique of the Moral Tradition 1.3 Hobbes’s Anarchic State of Nature 2. Twentieth Century Classical Realism 2.1 E. H. Carr’s Challenge of Utopian Idealism 2.2 Hans Morgenthau’s Realist Principles 3. Neorealism 3.1 Kenneth Waltz’s International System 3.2 Objections to Neorealism 4. Conclusion: The Cautionary and Changing Character of Realism Bibliography Other Internet Resources Related Entries 1. The Roots of the Realist Tradition 1.1 Thucydides and the Importance of Power Like other classical political theorists, Thucydides (460–411 B.C.E.) saw politics as involving moral questions. Most importantly, he asks whether relations among states to which power is crucial can also be guided by the norms of justice. His History of the Peloponnesian War is in fact neither a work of political philosophy nor a sustained theory of international relations. Much of this work, which presents a partial account of the armed conflict between Athens and Sparta that took place from 431 to 404 B.C.E., consists of paired speeches by personages who argue opposing sides of an issue. Nevertheless, if the History is described as the only acknowledged classical text in international relations, and if it inspires theorists from Hobbes to contemporary international relations scholars, this is because it is more than a chronicle of events, and a theoretical position can be extrapolated from it. Realism is expressed in the very first speech of the Athenians recorded in the History—a speech given at the debate that took place in Sparta just before the war. Moreover, a realist perspective is implied in the way Thucydides explains the cause of the Peloponnesian War, and also in the famous “Melian Dialogue,” in the statements made by the Athenian envoys. 1.1.1 General Features of Realism in International Relations International relations realists emphasize the constraints imposed on politics by the nature of human beings, whom they consider egoistic, and by the absence of international government. Together these factors contribute to a conflict-based paradigm of international relations, in which the key actors are states, in which power and security become the main issues, and in which there is little place for morality. The set of premises concerning state actors, egoism, anarchy, power, security, and morality that define the realist tradition are all present in Thucydides. (1) Human nature is a starting point for classical political realism. Realists view human beings as inherently egoistic and self-interested to the extent that self-interest overcomes moral principles. At the debate in Sparta, described in Book I of Thucydides’ History, the Athenians affirm the priority of self-interest over morality. They say that considerations of right and wrong have “never turned people aside from the opportunities of aggrandizement offered by superior strength” (chap. 1 par. 76). (2) Realists, and especially today’s neorealists, consider the absence of government, literally anarchy, to be the primary determinant of international political outcomes. The lack of a common rule-making and enforcing authority means, they argue, that the international arena is essentially a self-help system. Each state is responsible for its own survival and is free to define its own interests and to pursue power. Anarchy thus leads to a situation in which power has the overriding role in shaping interstate relations. In the words of the Athenian envoys at Melos, without any common authority that can enforce order, “the independent states survive [only] when they are powerful” (5.97). (3) Insofar as realists envision the world of states as anarchic, they likewise view security as a central issue. To attain security, states try to increase their power and engage in power-balancing for the purpose of deterring potential aggressors. Wars are fought to prevent competing nations from becoming militarily stronger. Thucydides, while distinguishing between the immediate and underlying causes of the Peloponnesian War, does not see its real cause in any of the particular events that immediately preceded its outbreak. He instead locates the cause of the war in the changing distribution of power between the two blocs of Greek city-states: the Delian League, under the leadership of Athens, and the Peloponnesian League, under the leadership of Sparta. According to him, the growth of Athenian power made the Spartans afraid for their security, and thus propelled them into war (1.23). (4) Realists are generally skeptical about the relevance of morality to international politics. This can lead them to claim that there is no place for morality in international relations, or that there is a tension between demands of morality and requirements of successful political action, or that states have their own morality that is different from customary morality, or that morality, if any, is merely used instrumentally to justify states’ conduct. A clear case of the rejection of ethical norms in relations among states can be found in the “Melian Dialogue” (5.85–113). This dialogue relates to the events of 416 B.C.E., when Athens invaded the island of Melos. The Athenian envoys presented the Melians with a choice, destruction or surrender, and from the outset asked them not to appeal to justice, but to think only about their survival. In the envoys’ words, “We both know that the decisions about justice are made in human discussions only when both sides are under equal compulsion, but when one side is stronger, it gets as much as it can, and the weak must accept that” (5.89). To be “under equal compulsion” means to be under the force of law, and thus to be subjected to a common lawgiving authority (Korab-Karpowicz 2006, 234). Since such an authority above states does not exist, the Athenians argue that in this lawless condition of international anarchy, the only right is the right of the stronger to dominate the weaker. They explicitly equate right with might, and exclude considerations of justice from foreign affairs. 1.1.2 The “Melian Dialogue”—The First Realist-Idealist Debate We can thus find strong support for a realist perspective in the statements of the Athenians. The question remains, however, to what extent their realism coincides with Thucydides’ own viewpoint. Although substantial passages of the “Melian Dialogue,” as well as other parts of the History support a realistic reading, Thucydides’ position cannot be deduced from such selected fragments, but rather must be assessed on the basis of the wider context of his book. In fact, even the “Melian Dialogue” itself provides us with a number of contending views. Political realism is usually contrasted by IR scholars with idealism or liberalism, a theoretical perspective that emphasizes international norms, interdependence among states, and international cooperation. The “Melian Dialogue,” which is one of the most frequently commented-upon parts of Thucydides’ History, presents the classic debate between the idealist and realist views: Can international politics be based on a moral order derived from the principles of justice, or will it forever remain the arena of conflicting national interests and power? For the Melians, who employ idealistic arguments, the choice is between war and subjection (5.86). They are courageous and love their country. They do not wish to lose their freedom, and in spite of the fact that they are militarily weaker than the Athenians, they are prepared to defend themselves (5.100; 5.112). They base their arguments on an appeal to justice, which they associate with fairness, and regard the Athenians as unjust (5.90; 5.104). They are pious, believing that gods will support their just cause and compensate for their weakness, and trust in alliances, thinking that their allies, the Spartans, who are also related to them, will help them (5.104; 5.112). Hence, one can identify in the speech of the Melians elements of the idealistic or liberal world view: the belief that nations have the right to exercise political independence, that they have mutual obligations to one another and will carry out such obligations, and that a war of aggression is unjust. What the Melians nevertheless lack are resources and foresight. In their decision to defend themselves, they are guided more by their hopes than by the evidence at hand or by prudent calculations. The Athenian argument is based on key realist concepts such as security and power, and is informed not by what the world should be, but by what it is. The Athenians disregard any moral talk and urge the Melians to look at the facts—that is, to recognize their military inferiority, to consider the potential consequences of their decision, and to think about their own survival (5.87; 5.101). There appears to be a powerful realist logic behind the Athenian arguments. Their position, based on security concerns and self-interest, seemingly involves reliance on rationality, intelligence, and foresight. However, upon close examination, their logic proves to be seriously flawed. Melos, a relatively weak state, does not pose any real security threat to them. The eventual destruction of Melos does not change the course of the Peloponnesian War, which Athens will lose a few years later. In the History, Thucydides shows that power, if it is unrestrained by moderation and a sense of justice, brings about the uncontrolled desire for more power. There are no logical limits to the size of an empire. Drunk with the prospect of glory and gain after conquering Melos, the Athenians engaged in war against Sicily. They paid no attention to the Melian argument that considerations of justice are useful to all in the longer run (5.90). And, as the Athenians overestimate their strength and in the end lose the war, their self-interested logic proves to be very shortsighted indeed. It is utopian to ignore the reality of power in international relations, but it is equally blind to rely on power alone. Thucydides appears to support neither the naive idealism of the Melians nor the cynicism of their Athenian opponents. He teaches us to be on guard “against naïve-dreaming on international politics,” on the one hand, and “against the other pernicious extreme: unrestrained cynicism,” on the other (Donnelly 2000, 193). If he can be regarded as a political realist, his realism is nonetheless not a prefiguring of either realpolitik, in which traditional ethics is denied, or today’s scientific neorealism, in which moral questions are largely ignored. Thucydides’ realism, neither immoral nor amoral, can rather be compared to that of Hans Morgenthau, Raymond Aron, and other twentieth-century classical realists, who, although sensible to the demands of national interest, would not deny that political actors on the international scene are subject to moral judgment. 1.2 Machiavelli’s Critique of the Moral Tradition Idealism in international relations, like realism, can lay claim to a long tradition. Unsatisfied with the world as they have found it, idealists have always tried to answer the question of “what ought to be” in politics. Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero were all political idealists who believed that there were some universal moral values on which political life could be based. Building on the work of his predecessors, Cicero developed the idea of a natural moral law that was applicable to both domestic and international politics. His ideas concerning righteousness in war were carried further in the writings of the Christian thinkers St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. In the late fifteenth century, when Niccolò Machiavelli was born, the idea that politics, including the relations among states, should be virtuous, and that the methods of warfare should remain subordinated to ethical standards, still predominated in political literature. Machiavelli (1469–1527) challenged this well-established moral tradition, thus positioning himself as a political innovator. The novelty of his approach lies in his critique of classical Western political thought as unrealistic, and in his separation of politics from ethics. He thereby lays the foundations for modern politics. In chapter XV of The Prince, Machiavelli announces that in departing from the teachings of earlier thinkers, he seeks “the effectual truth of the matter rather than the imagined one.” The “effectual truth” is for him the only truth worth seeking. It represents the sum of the practical conditions that he believes are required to make both the individual and the country prosperous and strong. Machiavelli replaces the ancient virtue (a moral quality of the individual, such as justice or self-restraint) with virtù, ability or vigor. As a prophet of virtù, he promises to lead both nations and individuals to earthly glory and power. Machiavellianism is a radical type of political realism that is applied to both domestic and international affairs. It is a doctrine which denies the relevance of morality in politics, and claims that all means (moral and immoral) are justified to achieve certain political ends. Although Machiavelli never uses the phrase ragione di stato or its French equivalent, raison d’état, what ultimately counts for him is precisely that: whatever is good for the state and not ethical scruples or norms Machiavelli justified immoral actions in politics, but never refused to admit that they are evil. He operated within the single framework of traditional morality. It became a specific task of his nineteenth-century followers to develop the doctrine of a double ethics: one public and one private, to push Machiavellian realism to even further extremes, and to apply it to international relations. By asserting that “the state has no higher duty than of maintaining itself,” Hegel gave an ethical sanction to the state’s promotion of its own interest and advantage against other states (Meinecke 357). Thus he overturned the traditional morality. The good of the state was perversely interpreted as the highest moral value, with the extension of national power regarded as a nation’s right and duty. Referring to Machiavelli, Heinrich von Treitschke declared that the state was power, precisely in order to assert itself as against other equally independent powers, and that the supreme moral duty of the state was to foster this power. He considered international agreements to be binding only insofar as it was expedient for the state. The idea of an autonomous ethics of state behavior and the concept of realpolitik were thus introduced. Traditional ethics was denied and power politics was associated with a “higher” type of morality. These concepts, along with the belief in the superiority of Germanic culture, served as weapons with which German statesmen, from the eighteenth century to the end of the Second World War, justified their policies of conquest and extermination. Machiavelli is often praised for his prudential advice to leaders (which has caused him to be regarded as a founding master of modern political strategy) and for his defense of the republican form of government. There are certainly many aspects of his thought that merit such praise. Nevertheless, it is also possible to see him as the thinker who bears foremost responsibility for demoralization of Europe. The argument of the Athenian envoys presented in Thucydides’ “Melian Dialogue,” that of Thrasymachus in Plato’s Republic, or that of Carneades, to whom Cicero refers—all of these challenge the ancient and Christian views of the unity of politics and ethics. However, before Machiavelli, this amoral or immoral mode of thinking had never prevailed in the mainstream of Western political thought. It was the force and timeliness of his justification of resorting to evil as a legitimate means of achieving political ends that persuaded so many of the thinkers and political practitioners who followed him. The effects of Machiavellian ideas, such as the notion that the employment of all possible means was permissible in war, would be seen on the battlefields of modern Europe, as mass citizen armies fought against each other to the deadly end without regard for the rules of justice. The tension between expediency and morality lost its validity in the sphere of politics. The concept of a double ethics, private and public, that created a further damage to traditional, customary ethics was invented. The doctrine of raison d’état ultimately led to the politics of Lebensraum, two world wars, and the Holocaust. Perhaps the greatest problem with realism in international relations is that it has a tendency to slip into its extreme version, which accepts any policy that can benefit the state at the expense of other states, no matter how morally problematic the policy is. Even if they do not explicitly raise ethical questions, in the works of Waltz and of many other of today’s neorealists, a double ethics is presupposed and words such realpolitik no longer have the negative connotations that they had for classical realists, such as Hans Morgenthau. 1.3 Hobbes’s Anarchic State of Nature Thomas Hobbes (1588–1683) was part of an intellectual movement whose goal was to free the emerging modern science from the constraints of the classical and scholastic heritage. According to classical political philosophy, on which the idealist perspective is based, human beings can control their desires through reason and can work for the benefit of others, even at the expense of their own benefit. They are thus both rational and moral agents, capable of distinguishing between right and wrong, and of making moral choices. They are also naturally social. With great skill Hobbes attacks these views. His human beings, extremely individualistic rather than moral or social, are subject to “a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceases only in death” (Leviathan XI 2). They therefore inevitably struggle for power. In setting out such ideas, Hobbes contributes to some of the basic conceptions fundamental to the realist tradition in international relations, and especially to neorealism. These include the characterization of human nature as egoistic, the concept of international anarchy, and the view that politics, rooted in the struggle for power, can be rationalized and studied scientifically. One of the most widely known Hobbesian concepts is that of the anarchic state of nature, seen as entailing a state of war—and “such a war as is of every man against every man” (XII 8). He derives his notion of the state of war from his views of both human nature and the condition in which individuals exist. Since in the state of nature there is no government and everyone enjoys equal status, every individual has a right to everything; that is, there are no constraints on an individual’s behavior. Anyone may at any time use force, and all must constantly be ready to counter such force with force. Hence, driven by acquisitiveness, having no moral restraints, and motivated to compete for scarce goods, individuals are apt to “invade” one another for gain. Being suspicious of one another and driven by fear, they are also likely to engage in preemptive actions and invade one another to ensure their own safety. Finally, individuals are also driven by pride and a desire for glory. Whether for gain, safety, or reputation, power-seeking individuals will thus “endeavor to destroy or subdue one another” (XIII 3). In such uncertain conditions where everyone is a potential aggressor, making war on others is a more advantageous strategy than peaceable behavior, and one needs to learn that domination over others is necessary for one’s own continued survival. Hobbes is primarily concerned with the relationship between individuals and the state, and his comments about relations among states are scarce. Nevertheless, what he says about the lives of individuals in the state of nature can also be interpreted as a description of how states exist in relation to one another. Once states are established, the individual drive for power becomes the basis for the states’ behavior, which often manifests itself in their efforts to dominate other states and peoples. States, “for their own security,” writes Hobbes, “enlarge their dominions upon all pretences of danger and fear of invasion or assistance that may be given to invaders, [and] endeavour as much as they can, to subdue and weaken their neighbors” (XIX 4). Accordingly, the quest and struggle for power lies at the core of the Hobbesian vision of relations among states. The same would later be true of the model of international relations developed by Hans Morgenthau, who was deeply influenced by Hobbes and adopted the same view of human nature. Similarly, the neorealist Kenneth Waltz would follow Hobbes’ lead regarding international anarchy (the fact that sovereign states are not subject to any higher common sovereign) as the essential element of international relations. By subjecting themselves to a sovereign, individuals escape the war of all against all which Hobbes associates with the state of nature; however, this war continues to dominate relations among states. This does not mean that states are always fighting, but rather that they have a disposition to fight (XIII 8). With each state deciding for itself whether or not to use force, war may break out at any time. The achievement of domestic security through the creation of a state is then paralleled by a condition of inter-state insecurity. One can argue that if Hobbes were fully consistent, he would agree with the notion that, to escape this condition, states should also enter into a contract and submit themselves to a world sovereign. Although the idea of a world state would find support among some of today’s realists, this is not a position taken by Hobbes himself. He does not propose that a social contract among nations be implemented to bring international anarchy to an end. This is because the condition of insecurity in which states are placed does not necessarily lead to insecurity for individuals. As long as an armed conflict or other type of hostility between states does not actually break out, individuals within a state can feel relatively secure. He does not expect that war could ever be removed from the face of earth or banned. The denial of the existence of universal moral principles in the relations among states brings Hobbes close to the Machiavellians and the followers of the doctrine of raison d’état. His theory of international relations, which assumes that independent states, like independent individuals, are enemies by nature, asocial and selfish, and that there is no moral limitation on their behavior, is a great challenge to the idealist political vision based on human sociability and to the concept of the international jurisprudence that is built on this vision. However, what separates Hobbes from Machiavelli and associates him more with classical realism is his insistence on the defensive character of foreign policy. His political theory does not put forward the invitation to do whatever may be advantageous for the state. His approach to international relations is prudential and pacific: sovereign states, like individuals, should be disposed towards peace which is commended by reason. What Waltz and other neorealist readers of Hobbes’s works sometimes overlook is that he does not perceive international anarchy as an environment without any rules. By suggesting that certain dictates of reason apply even in the state of nature, he affirms that more peaceful and cooperative international relations are possible. Neither does he deny the existence of international law. Sovereign states can sign treaties with one another to provide a legal basis for their relations. At the same time, however, Hobbes seems aware that international rules will often prove ineffective in restraining the struggle for power. States will interpret them to their own advantage, and so international law will be obeyed or ignored according to the interests of the states affected. Hence, international relations will always tend to be a precarious affair. This grim view of global politics lies at the core of Hobbes’s realism. 2. Twentieth Century Classical Realism Twentieth-century realism was born in response to the idealist perspective that dominated international relations scholarship in the aftermath of the First World War. The idealists of the 1920s and 1930s (also called liberal internationalists or utopians) had the goal of building peace in order to prevent another world conflict. They saw the solution to inter-state problems as being the creation of a respected system of international law, backed by international organizations. This interwar idealism resulted in the founding of the League of Nations in 1920 and in the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 outlawing war and providing for the peaceful settlements of disputes. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, scholars such as Norman Angell, Alfred Zimmern, and Reymond D. Fosdick, and other prominent idealists of the era, gave their intellectual support to the League of Nations. Instead of focusing on what some might see as the inevitability of conflict between states and peoples, they chose to emphasize the common interests that could unite humanity, and attempted to appeal to rationality and morality. For them, war did not originate in an egoistic human nature, but rather in imperfect social conditions and political arrangements, which could be improved. Yet their ideas were already being criticized in the early 1930s by Reinhold Niebuhr and within a few years by E. H. Carr. The League of Nations, which the United States never joined, and from which Japan and Germany withdrew, could not prevent the outbreak of the Second World War. This fact, perhaps more than any theoretical argument, produced a strong realist reaction. Although the United Nations, founded in 1945, can still be regarded as a product of idealist political thinking, the discipline of international relations was profoundly influenced in the initial years of the post-war period by the works of “classical” realists such as John H. Herz, Hans Morgenthau, George Kennan, and Raymond Aron. Then, during the 1950s and 1960s, classical realism came under challenge of scholars who tried to introduce a more scientific approach to the study of international politics. During the 1980s it gave way to another trend in international relations theory—neorealism. Since it is impossible within the scope of this article to introduce all of the thinkers who contributed to the development of twentieth-century classical realism, E. H. Carr and Hans Morgenthau, as perhaps the most influential among them, have been selected for discussion here. 2.1 E. H. Carr’s Challenge of Utopian Idealism In his main work on international relations, The Twenty Years’ Crisis, first published in July 1939, Edward Hallett Carr (1892–1982) attacks the idealist position, which he describes as “utopianism.” He characterizes this position as encompassing faith in reason, confidence in progress, a sense of moral rectitude, and a belief in an underlying harmony of interests. According to the idealists, war is an aberration in the course of normal life and the way to prevent it is to educate people for peace, and to build systems of collective security such as the League of Nations or today’s United Nations. Carr challenges idealism by questioning its claim to moral universalism and its idea of the harmony of interests. He declares that “morality can only be relative, not universal” (19), and states that the doctrine of the harmony of interests is invoked by privileged groups “to justify and maintain their dominant position” (75). Carr uses the concept of the relativity of thought, which he traces to Marx and other modern theorists, to show that standards by which policies are judged are the products of circumstances and interests. His central idea is that the interests of a given party always determine what this party regards as moral principles, and hence, these principles are not universal. Carr observes that politicians, for example, often use the language of justice to cloak the particular interests of their own countries, or to create negative images of other people to justify acts of aggression. The existence of such instances of morally discrediting a potential enemy or morally justifying one’s own position shows, he argues, that moral ideas are derived from actual policies. Policies are not, as the idealists would have it, based on some universal norms, independent of interests of the parties involved. If specific moral standards are de facto founded on interests, Carr’s argument goes, there are also interests underlying what are regarded as absolute principles or universal moral values. While the idealists tend to regard such values, such as peace or justice, as universal and claim that upholding them is in the interest of all, Carr argues against this view. According to him, there are neither universal values nor universal interests. He claims that those who refer to universal interests are in fact acting in their own interests (71). They think that what is best for them is best for everyone, and identify their own interests with the universal interest of the world at large. The idealist concept of the harmony of interests is based on the notion that human beings can rationally recognize that they have some interests in common, and that cooperation is therefore possible. Carr contrasts this idea with the reality of conflict of interests. According to him, the world is torn apart by the particular interests of different individuals and groups. In such a conflictual environment, order is based on power, not on morality. Further, morality itself is the product of power (61). Like Hobbes, Carr regards morality as constructed by the particular legal system that is enforced by a coercive power. International moral norms are imposed on other countries by dominant nations or groups of nations that present themselves as the international community as a whole. They are invented to perpetuate those nations’ dominance. Values that idealists view as good for all, such as peace, social justice, prosperity, and international order, are regarded by Carr as mere status quo notions. The powers that are satisfied with the status quo regard the arrangement in place as just and therefore preach peace. They try to rally everyone around their idea of what is good. “Just as the ruling class in a community prays for domestic peace, which guarantees its own security and predominance, … so international peace becomes a special vested interest of predominant powers” (76). On the other hand, the unsatisfied powers consider the same arrangement as unjust, and so prepare for war. Hence, the way to obtain peace, if it cannot be simply enforced, is to satisfy the unsatisfied powers. “Those who profit most by [international] order can in the longer run only hope to maintain it by making sufficient concessions to make it tolerable to those who profit by it least” (152). The logical conclusion to be drawn by the reader of Carr’s book is the policy of appeasement. Carr was a sophisticated thinker. He recognized himself that the logic of “pure realism can offer nothing but a naked struggle for power which makes any kind of international society impossible” (87). Although he demolishes what he calls “the current utopia” of idealism, he at the same time attempts to build “a new utopia,” a realist world order (ibid.). Thus, he acknowledges that human beings need certain fundamental, universally acknowledged norms and values, and contradicts his own argument by which he tries to deny universality to any norms or values. To make further objections, the fact that the language of universal moral values can be misused in politics for the benefit of one party or another, and that such values can only be imperfectly implemented in political institutions, does not mean that such values do not exist. There is a deep yearning in many human beings, both privileged and unprivileged, for peace, order, prosperity, and justice. The legitimacy of idealism consists in the constant attempt to reflect upon and uphold these values. Idealists fail if in their attempt they do not pay enough attention to the reality of power. On the other hand, in the world of pure realism, in which all values are made relative to interests, life turns into nothing more than a power game and is unbearable. The Twenty Years’ Crisis touches on a number of universal ideas, but it also reflects the spirit of its time. While we can fault the interwar idealists for their inability to construct international institutions strong enough to prevent the outbreak of the Second World War, this book indicates that interwar realists were likewise unprepared to meet the challenge. Carr frequently refers to Germany under Nazi rule as if it were a country like any other. He says that should Germany cease to be an unsatisfied power and “become supreme in Europe,” it would adopt a language of international solidarity similar to that of other Western powers (79). The inability of Carr and other realists to recognize the perilous nature of Nazism, and their belief that Germany could be satisfied by territorial concessions, helped to foster a political environment in which the latter was to grow in power, annex Czechoslovakia at will, and be militarily opposed in September 1939 by Poland alone. A theory of international relations is not just an intellectual enterprise; it has practical consequences. It influences our thinking and political practice. On the practical side, the realists of the 1930s, to whom Carr gave intellectual support, were people opposed to the system of collective security embodied in the League of Nations. Working within the foreign policy establishments of the day, they contributed to its weakness. Once they had weakened the League, they pursued a policy of appeasement and accommodation with Germany as an alternative to collective security (Ashworth 46). After the annexation of Czechoslovakia, when the failure of the anti-League realist conservatives gathered around Neville Chamberlain and of this policy became clear, they tried to rebuild the very security system they had earlier demolished. Those who supported collective security were labeled idealists. 2.2 Hans Morgenthau’s Realist Principles Hans J. Morgenthau (1904–1980) developed realism into a comprehensive international relations theory. Influenced by the Protestant theologian and political writer Reinhold Niebuhr, as well as by Hobbes, he places selfishness and power-lust at the center of his picture of human existence. The insatiable human lust for power, timeless and universal, which he identifies with animus dominandi, the desire to dominate, is for him the main cause of conflict. As he asserts in his main work, Politics among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, first published in 1948, “international politics, like all politics, is a struggle for power” (25). Morgenthau systematizes realism in international relations on the basis of six principles that he includes in the second edition of Politics among Nations. Although he is a traditionalist and opposes the so-called scientists (the scholars who, especially in the 1950s, tried to reduce the discipline of international relations to a branch of behavioral science), in the first principle he states that realism is based on objective laws that have their roots in unchanging human nature (4). He wants to develop realism into both a theory of international politics and a political art, a useful tool of foreign policy. The keystone of Morgenthau’s realist theory is the concept of power or “of interest defined in terms of power,” which informs his second principle: the assumption that political leaders “think and act in terms of interest defined as power” (5). This concept defines the autonomy of politics, and allows for the analysis of foreign policy regardless of the different motives, preferences, and intellectual and moral qualities of individual politicians. Furthermore, it is the foundation of a rational picture of politics. Although, as Morgenthau explains in the third principle, interest defined as power is a universally valid category, and indeed an essential element of politics, various things can be associated with interest or power at different times and in different circumstances. Its content and the manner of its use are determined by the political and cultural environment. In the fourth principle, Morgenthau considers the relationship between realism and ethics. He says that while realists are aware of the moral significance of political action, they are also aware of the tension between morality and the requirements of successful political action. “Universal moral principles,” he asserts, “cannot be applied to the actions of states in their abstract universal formulation, but …they must be filtered through the concrete circumstances of time and place” (9). These principles must be accompanied by prudence for as he cautions “there can be no political morality without prudence; that is, without consideration of the political consequences of seemingly moral action” (ibid.). Prudence, and not conviction of one’s own moral or ideological superiority, should guide political action. This is stressed in the fifth principle, where Morgenthau again emphasizes the idea that all state actors, including our own, must be looked at solely as political entities pursuing their respective interests defined in terms of power. By taking this point of view vis-à-vis its counterparts and thus avoiding ideological confrontation, a state would then be able to pursue policies that respected the interests of other states, while protecting and promoting its own. Insofar as power or interest defined as power is the concept that defines politics, politics is an autonomous sphere, as Morgenthau says in his sixth principle of realism. It cannot be subordinated to ethics. However, ethics does still play a role in politics. “A man who was nothing but ‘political man’ would be a beast, for he would be completely lacking in moral restraints. A man who was nothing but ‘moral man’ would be a fool, for he would be completely lacking in prudence” (12). Political art requires that these two dimensions of human life, power and morality, be taken into consideration. While Morgenthau’s six principles of realism contain repetitions and inconsistencies, we can nonetheless obtain from them the following picture: Power or interest is the central concept that makes politics into an autonomous discipline. Rational state actors pursue their national interests. Therefore, a rational theory of international politics can be constructed. Such a theory is not concerned with the morality, religious beliefs, motives or ideological preferences of individual political leaders. It also indicates that in order to avoid conflicts, states should avoid moral crusades or ideological confrontations, and look for compromise on the basis of satisfaction of their mutual interests alone. Although he defines politics as an autonomous sphere, Morgenthau does not follow the Machiavellian route of completely removing ethics from politics. He suggests that, although human beings are political animals, who pursue their interests, they are moral animals. Deprived of any morality, they would descend to the level of beasts or sub-humans. Even if it is not guided by universal moral principles, political action thus has for Morgenthau a moral significance. Ultimately directed toward the objective of national survival, it also involves prudence. The effective protection of citizens’ lives from harm is not merely a forceful physical action; it has prudential and moral dimensions. Morgenthau regards realism as a way of thinking about international relations and a useful tool for devising policies. However, some of the basic conceptions of his theory, and especially the idea of conflict as stemming from human nature, as well as the concept of power itself, have provoked criticism. International politics, like all politics, is for Morgenthau a struggle for power because of the basic human lust for power. But regarding every individual as being engaged in a perpetual quest for power—the view that he shares with Hobbes—is a questionable premise. Human nature is an unobservable. It cannot be proved by any empirical research, but only imposed on us as a matter of belief and inculcated by education. Morgenthau himself reinforces this belief by introducing a normative aspect of his theory, which is rationality. A rational foreign policy is considered “to be a good foreign policy” (7). But he defines rationality as a process of calculating the costs and benefits of all alternative policies in order to determine their relative utility, i.e. their ability to maximize power. Statesmen “think and act in terms of interest defined as power” (5). Only intellectual weakness of policy makers can result in foreign policies that deviate from a rational course aimed at minimizing risks and maximizing benefits. Rather than presenting an actual portrait of human affairs, Morgenthau emphasizes the pursuit of power and sets it up as a norm. As Raymond Aron and other scholars have noticed, power, the fundamental concept of Morgenthau’s realism, is ambiguous. It can be either a means or an end in politics. But if power is only a means for gaining something else, it does not define the nature of international politics in the way Morgenthau claims. It does not allow us to understand the actions of states independently from the motives and ideological preferences of their political leaders. It cannot serve as the basis for defining politics as an autonomous sphere. Morgenthau’s principles of realism are thus open to doubt. “Is this true,” Aron asks, “that states, whatever their regime, pursue the same kind of foreign policy” (597) and that the foreign policies of Napoleon or Stalin are essentially identical to those of Hitler, Louis XVI or Nicholas II, amounting to no more than the struggle for power? “If one answers yes, then the proposition is incontestable, but not very instructive” (598). Accordingly, it is useless to define actions of states by exclusive reference to power, security or national interest. International politics cannot be studied independently of the wider historical and cultural context. Although Carr and Morgenthau concentrate primarily on international relations, their realism can also be applied to domestic politics. To be a classical realist is in general to perceive politics a conflict of interests and a struggle for power, and to seek peace by trying to recognize common group and individual interests rather than by moralizing.
Political Science Essay
Regional Manifestations of Globalization: Empires and Control of the “Known” World British Empire 36.6 million km² 1921 Mongol Empire 33.2 million km² 1279 Russian Empire 22.8 million km² 1895 Spanish Empire 19 million km² 1790 Arab Empire 13.2 million km² 720 Qing Empire 12 million km² 1899 French Empire 11.2 million km² 1914 Portuguese Empire 10.4 million km² 1820 American Empire 10 million km² 1908 Brazilian Empire 8.1 million km² 1865 Achaemenid Persian Empire 7.5 million km² 490 BCE Japanese Empire 7.4 million km² 1943 Ming Empire 6.5 million km² 1644 Han Empire 6 million km² 220 Ottoman Empire 5.6 million km² 1299 -1922 Roman Empire 5.6 million km² 116 Tang Empire 5.4 million km² 756 Macedonian Empire 5.4 million km² 323 BCE Maurya Empire 5 million km² 232 BCE Mexican Empire 4.7 million km² 1867 As a reference point, the habitable portion of the globe (i.e. excluding Antarctica) extends over roughly 52, 677,000 square miles (136,433,400 sq. km.)
Political Science Essay
The Liberal and Marxist Arguments for Imperialism Unique to Market Capitalism Different from the political, conservative, and social-psychological theories Time-Bound to the Modern (post 1500) period Market Capitalism leads to increasing concentrations of income Capital is favored over Labor Rewards flow to the owners of capital Over time, the decreased incomes at the lower end lead to decreased consumption The rich buy only a relatively constant amount of “ordinary” products such as food The poor are the primary consumers of these “ordinary” products The owners of capital, however, rely on a growing market A shrinking market reduces the profitability of capital At some point, decreased consumption leads to underconsumption Underconsumption occurs when there is insufficient demand to sustain a growing market Demand goes down and bankruptcies occur The Great Depression is an example of underconsumption Expansion abroad can delay the problem of underconsumption By producing abroad one can lower the costs of raw materials and sell products at a reduced, but still profitable, price. By producing abroad one can lower labor costs and sell products at a reduced, but still profitable, prince By controlling markets abroad, one can capture new consumers Britain and the Indian textile market Britain and the opium market in China Marxists argue that expansion abroad is the only solution to underconsumption Liberals suggest that there is a second way to solve underconsumption: redistribute The New Deal is an example of redistribution Marxists do not believe that the rich will ever allow themselves to be taxed The owners of capital control the state as far as the Marxists are concerned.
Political Science Essay
Theories of Imperialism Political Theories Examples: Morgenthau, Cohen Imperialism is simply a manifestation of the balance of power and is the process by which nations try to achieve a favorable change in the status quo. The purpose of imperialism is to decrease the strategic and political vulnerability of a nation. “…we are engaged in ‘pegging out claims for the future’. We have to consider, not what we want now, but what we shall want in the future. We have to consider what countries must be developed either by ourselves or some other nation and we have to remember that it is part of our responsibility and heritage to take care that the world, as far as it can be moulded by us, shall receivethe Anglo -Sax on and not another character. Remember that the task of the statesman is not merely with the present, but with the future. We have to look forward beyond the chatter of platforms, and the passions of party, to the future of the race of which we are at pres ent the trustees, and we should, in my opinion, grossly fail in the task that has been laid upon us did we shrink from responsibilities, and decline to take our share in a partition of the world which we have not forced on, but which has been forced upon u s.” Earl of Rosebery, Speech at the Royal Colonial Institute, 1 March 1893 Fashoda Conservative Theories Examples: Disraeli, Rhodes, Kipling Imperialism is necessary to preserve the existing social order in the more developed countries. It is necessary to secure trade, markets, to maintain employment and capital exports, and to channel the energies and social conflicts of the metropolitan populations into foreign countries. There is a very strong ideological and racial assumption of Western superiority with in this body of thought. The Philippines “I went down on my knees and prayed to Almighty God for light and guidance … and one night late it came to me this way. We could not leave (the Philippines) to themselves –they were unfit for self -government –and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain’s was… There was nothing left for us to do but take them all and educate the Filipinos, and uplift and Christianize them.” US President William McKinley, as quoted in General James Rusl ing, “Interview with President William McKinley,” The Christian Advocate 22 January 1903, 17. Reprinted in Daniel Schirmer and Stephen Rosskamm Shalom, eds., The Philippines Reader (Boston: South End Press, 1987), 22 –23. The Belgian Congo Liberal Theories Examples: Hobson, Angell Imperialism is a policy choice, not an inevitable consequence of capitalism. Increasing concentration of wealth within the richer countries leads to underconsump tion for the mass of people. Overseas expansion is a way to reduce costs (and thereby increase or maintain profit levels) and to secure new consumption. Overseas expansion is not inevitable, however. A state can solve the problem of underconsumption by inc reasing the income levels of the majority of the population either through legislation concerning wage levels (minimum wage laws, legalization of unions, child labor laws) or through income transfers (unemployment compensation, welfare). “Aggressive Imperi alism, which costs the tax -payer so dear, which is of so little value to the manufacturer and trader, which is fraught with such grave incalculable peril to the citizen, is a source of great gain to the investor who cannot find at home the profitable use h e seeks for his capital and insists that his Government should help him to profitable and secure investments abroad. If, contemplating the enormous expenditure on armaments, the ruinous wars, the diplomatic audacity of knavery by which modern Governments s eek to extend their territorial power, we put the plain, practical question, Cui bono? the first and most obvious answer is, The investor . . . . Investors who have put their money in foreign lands, upon terms which take full account of risks connected wit h the political conditions of the country, desire to use the resources of their Government to minimize these risks, and so to enhance the capital value and the interest of their private investments. The investing and speculative classes in general also des ire that Great Britain should take other foreign areas under her flag in order to secure new areas for profitable investment and speculation.” John A. Hobson, Imperialism. A Study (1902) Marxist Theories Example: Lenin Imperialism also arises because incre ased concentration of wealth leads to undeconsumption. However, since the state represents the capitalist interest it is not possible to reduce underconsumption effectively through liberal strategies. Both strategies involve taking away money from the bour geoisie and Marx and Lenin did not view this strategy as possible. Ultimately, according to Lenin, the world would be completely divided up and the rich countries would then fight over the redivision of the world. This analysis served as his explanation fo r World War I. “It goes without saying that if capitalism could develop agriculture, which today is everywhere lagging terribly behind industry, if it could raise the living standards of the masses, who in spite of the amazing technical progress are everyw here still half -starved and poverty -stricken, there could be no question of a surplus of capital. This “argument” is very often advanced by the petty – bourgeois critics of capitalism. But if capitalism did these things it would not be capitalism; for both u neven development and a semi -starvation level of existence of the masses are fundamental and inevitable conditions and constitute premises of this mode of production. As long as capitalism remains what it is, surplus capital will be utilised not for the pu rpose of raising the standard of living of the masses in a given country, for this would mean a decline in profits for the capitalists, but for the purpose of increasing profits by exporting capital abroad to the backward countries. In these backward count ries profits are usually high, for capital is scarce, the price of land is relatively low, wages are low, raw materials are cheap. The export of capital is made possible by a number of backward countries having already been drawn into world capitalist inte rcourse; main railways have either been or are being built in those countries, elementary conditions for industrial development have been created, etc. The need to export capital arises from the fact that in a few countries capitalism has become “overripe” and (owing to the backward state of agriculture and the poverty of the masses) capital cannot find a field for “profitable” investment.” Vladimir Lenin, ” Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism , 1920 Social -Psychological Theories Example: Schumpeter Imperialism is objectless expansion, a pattern simply learned from the behavior of other nations and institutionalized into the domestic political processes of a state by a “warrior” class. This warrior class is created because of the need for defense, but , over time, the class will manufacture reasons to perpetuate its existence, usually through manipulation of crises. These theories have been updated and modified by theorists who see an alliance between the warrior class and corporate interests. Most com monly this alliance is referred to as a “military -industrial complex” a phrase coined by US President Eisenhower in his farewell Address to the American people: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should ta ke nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.” President Dwig ht David Eisenhower, 1961 John Ismay, “What Would a Fighter Jet Buy 60 Years After Eisenhower’s Speech?” New York Times , 16 April 2013