pdf. WALTZ () - Theory of International Politics. Pages Theory of International Politics KENNETH N. WALTZ University of Califo rnia, Berkeley. something portentous about international politics either defends Realism, invents a new bias” in his theory, leaving one with the impression that Waltz merely. Kenneth Waltz - Theory of International Politics - Free download as PDF File .pdf ), Text File .txt) or read online for free.
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PDF | Waltz's book, Theory of International Politics, is the most influential in the history of the discipline. It worked its effects to a large extent through raising. He denied that his theory of international politics was a theory of foreign policy or that it could furnish one, at least in the terms desired by. 'Realism and World Politics is a critical but appreciative analysis of Waltz's thinking from Man, the State, and War through Theory of International Politics.
External balancing occurs as states enter into alliances to check the power of more powerful states or alliances. A unipolar system contains only one great power, a bipolar system contains two great powers, and a multipolar system contains more than two great powers.
Neorealists conclude that a bipolar system is more stable less prone to great power war and systemic change than a multipolar system because balancing can only occur through internal balancing as there are no extra great powers with which to form alliances. Waltz's original formulation of neorealism is now sometimes called Defensive Realism, while Mearsheimer's modification of the theory is referred to as Offensive Realism.
Both branches agree that the structure of the system is what causes states to compete, but Defensive Realism posits that most states concentrate on maintaining their security i. Mearsheimer proposes that states maximize relative power ultimately aiming for regional hegemony. Other debates include the extent to which states balance against power in Waltz's original neorealism and classic realism , versus the extent to which states balance against threats as introduced in Stephen Walt's 'The Origins of Alliances' , or balance against competing interests as introduced in Randall Schweller's 'Deadly Imbalances' With other schools of thought[ edit ] Neorealists conclude that because war is an effect of the anarchic structure of the international system , it is likely to continue in the future.
Indeed, neorealists often argue that the ordering principle of the international system has not fundamentally changed from the time of Thucydides to the advent of nuclear warfare. The differ- makes trouble. Perfect competition, complete collusion, 5 absolute control: These different causes produce identical results. From unifor- mity of outcomes one cannot infer that the attributes and the interactions of the parts of a system have remained constant.
Structure may determine outcomes Political Structures aside from changes at the level of the units and aside from the disappearance of some of them and the emergence of others. Different "causes" may produce the same effects; the same "causes" may have different consequences. Unless one knows how a realm is organized, one can hardly tell the causes from the effects.
The effect of an organization may predominate over the attributes and the interactions of the elements within it. A system that is independent of initial con- ditions is said to display equifinality.
If it does, lithe system is then its own best explanation, and the study of its present organization the appropriate meth- odology" Watzlawick, et al. Structure has to be studied in its own right as do units. To claim to be approaches mingle and confuse systems-level with unit-level causes. Failure to mark and national politics does not fit the model closely enough to make the model useful preserve the distinction between structure, on the one hand, and units and pro- and that only through some sort of systems theory can international politics be cesses, on the other, makes it impossible to disentangle causes of different sorts understood.
To be a success, such a theory has to show how international politics and to distinguish between causes and effects. Blurring the distinction between can be conceived of as a domain distinct from the economic, social, and other the different levels of a system has, I believe, been the major impediment to the international domains that one may conceive of.
To mark international-political development of theories about international politics. The next chapter shows systems off from other international systems, and to distinguish systems-level how to define political structures in a way that makes the construction of a sys- from unit-level forces, requires showing how political structures are generated tems theory possible. I A system is composed of a structure and of interacting units. Definitions of structure must leave aside, or abstract from, the characteris- tics of units their behavior, and their interactions.
If the absence of government is associated with the threat of. Anarchic Structures and violence, so also is its presence. A haphazard list of national tragedies illustrates the point all too well.
The most destructive wars of the hundred years following the defeat of Napoleon took place not among states but within them.
Estimates of Balances of Power deaths in China's Taiping Rebellion, which began in and lasted 13 years, range as high as 20 million. In the American Civil War some thousand people lost their lives. In more recent history, forced collectivization and Stalin's purges eliminated five million Russians, and Hitler exterminated six million Jews.
Kenneth Waltz - Theory of International Politics
In some Latin American countries, coups d'etats and rebellions have been normal features of national life. Between and , for example, thousand Colombians were killed in civil strife.
In the middle most inhabitants of Idi Amin's Uganda must have felt their lives becoming nasty, brutish, and short, quite as in Thomas Hobbes's state of nature. If such cases constitute aberrations, Two tasks remain: We easily lose sight of the fact that expectations about outcomes associated with anarchic realms; second, to struggles to achieve and maintain power, to establish order, and to contrive a examine the ways in which expectations vary as the structure of an anarchic sys- kind of justice within states, may be bloodier than wars among them.
If anarchy is identified with chaos, destruction, and death, then the distinc- The second task, undertaken in Chapters 7, 8, and 9, requires comparing differ- tion between anarchy and government does not tell us much.
Which is more pre- ent international systems. The first, which I now turn to, is best accomplished by carious: The answer varies with time and place. Among some states at some times, archic realms.
Within some states at some times, the actual or expected occurrence of violence is high. The use of force, or the constant fear of its use, are not sufficient grounds for distinguishing inter- I national from domestic affairs. If the possible and the actual use of force mark both national and international orders, then no durable distinction between the 1.
No human The state among states, it is often said, conducts its affairs in the brooding order is proof against violence. Because some states may at any time use force, all states To discover qualitative differences between internal and external affairs one must be prepared to do so-or live at the mercy of their militarily more vigorous must look for a criterion other than the occurrence of violence.
The distinction neighbors. Among states, the state of nature is a state of war. This is meant not in between international and national realms of politics is not found in the use or the the sense that war constantly occurs but in the sense that, with each state deciding nonuse of force but in their different structures.
But if the dangers of being for itself whether or not to use force, war may at any time break out. Whether in violently attacked are greater, say, in taking an evening stroll through downtown the family, the community, or the world at large, contact without at least Detroit than they are in picnicking along the French and German border, what occasional conflict is inconceivable; and the hope that in the absence of an agent practical difference does the difference of structure make?
Nationally as to manage or to manipulate conflicting parties the use of force will always be internationally, contact generates conflict and at times issues in violence. The dif- avoided cannot be realistically entertained. Among men as among states, ference between national and international politics lies not in the use of force but anarchy, or the absence of government, is associated with the occurrence of in the different modes of organization for doing something about it.
A govern- violence. But in the history of the world surely most subjects. If some use private force, others may appeal to the government. A rulers have had to bear in mind that their subjects might use force to resist or government has no monopoly on the use of force, as is all too evident.
In a com- petitive arena, however, one party may need the assistance of others. Refusal to Structural Causes and play the political game may risk one's own destruction. The pressures of competi- tion were rapidly felt and reflected in the Soviet Union's diplomacy. Chicherin, who personified the carefully tailored traditional diplomat rather than the simply uniformed revolutionary, was to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric for the sake of working deals.
These he successfully completed with that other pariah power and ideological enemy, Germany. The close juxtaposition of states promotes their sameness through the disad- vantages that arise from a failure to conform to successful practices. It is this Chapter 6 compared national and international systems and showed how behav- "sameness," an effect of the system, that is so often attributed to the acceptance of ior and outcomes vary from one system to another. Chapter 7, 8, and 9 compare so-called rules of state behavior.
Chiliastic rulers occasionally come to power. In different international systems and show how behavior and outcomes vary in power, most of them quickly change their ways. They can refuse to do so, and systems whose ordering principles endure but whose structures vary through yet hope to survive, only if they rule countries little affected by the competition changes in the distribution of capabilities across states.
The question posed in this of states. The socialization of nonconformist states proceeds at a pace that is set chapter is whether we should prefer larger or smaller numbers of great powers. And that is another testable statement.
Part I carries the theory further. Part II moves from theory to practice. From the theory, one predicts that states will engage in balancing behavior, whether or not balanced power is the end of their acts.
From the theory, one predicts a strong I tendency toward balance in the system. The expectation is not that a balance, 1. These questions restored in one way or another. Balances of power recurrently form. Since the must be answered in order to identify variations of structure. Almost everyone theory depicts international politics as a competitive system, one predicts more agrees that at some time since the war the world was bipolar.
Few seem to believe specifically that states will display characteristics common to competitors: For years Walter Lippmann wrote of the bipolar world as being namely, that they will imitate each other and become socialized to their system. Many In this chapter, I have suggested ways of making these propositions more specific others now carry on the tradition he so firmly established.
To reach the conclu- and concrete so as to test them. In remaining chapters, as the theory is elaborated sion that bipolarity is passing, or 'past, requires some odd counting. The inclina- and refined, additional testable propositions will appear. Scholars feel a strong affection for the balance-of-power world of Metternich and Bismarck, on which many of their theoretical notions rest. That was a world in which five or so great powers manipulated their neighbors and maneuvered for advantage.
Great powers were once defined according to their capabilities. Stu- dents of international politics now seem to look at other conditions. The ability or inability of states to solve problems is said to raise or lower their rankings. Neither game can be successfully played unless the 8 chessboard is accurately described.
So far I have shown that smaller are better than larger numbers, at least for those states at the top. Defining the concept, and examining the economics, of Structural Causes and interdependence did not establish just which small number is best of all. We could not answer that question because economic interdependence varies with the size Military Effects of great powers and their size does not correlate perfectly with their number. In the next chapter, examination of military interdependence leads to an exact answer.
Chapter 7 showed why smaller is better. To say that few are better than many is not to say that two is best of all. The stability of pairs-of corporations, of political parties, of marriage partners-has often been appreciated. Although most students of international politics probably believe that systems of many great powers would be unstable, they resist the widespread notion that two is the best of small numbers. Are they right to do so? For the sake of stability, peace, or whatever, should we prefer a world of two great powers or a world of several or more?
Chapter 8 will show why two is the best of small numbers. We reached some conclusions, but not that one, by considering economic interdependence.
Problems of national security in multi- and bipolar worlds do clearly show the advantages of having two great powers, and only two, in the system. I To establish the virtues of two-party systems requires comparing systems of dif- ferent number. Because the previous chapter was concerned only with systems of small and of still smaller numbers, we did not have to consider differences made by having two, three, four, or more principal parties in a system.
We must do so now. 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 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.
Political Realism in International Relations
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 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. 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. 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.
Carr was a sophisticated thinker. 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. 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.
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 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 s, 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 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. Morgenthau — 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.
Morgenthau systematizes realism in international relations on the basis of six principles that he includes in the second edition of Politics among Nations. As a traditionalist, he opposes the so-called scientists the scholars who, especially in the s, tried to reduce the discipline of international relations to a branch of behavioral science.
Nevertheless, 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.
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.
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. 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. Political art requires that these two dimensions of human life, power and morality, be taken into consideration.
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 based solely on satisfaction of their mutual interests. Although he defines politics as an autonomous sphere, Morgenthau does not follow the Machiavellian route of completely removing ethics from politics.
Neorealism (international relations)
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. 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 cannot be revealed by observation and experiment. It cannot be proved by any empirical research, but only disclosed by philosophy, imposed on us as a matter of belief, and inculcated by education.
Morgenthau himself reinforces the belief in the human drive for power by introducing a normative aspect of his theory, which is rationality. 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.
Only intellectual weakness of policy makers can result in foreign policies that deviate from a rational course aimed at minimizing risks and maximizing benefits.
Hence, rather than presenting an actual portrait of human affairs, Morgenthau emphasizes the pursuit of power and the rationality of this pursuit, and sets it up as a norm.
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.
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 as a conflict of interests and a struggle for power, and to seek peace by recognizing common interests and trying to satisfy them, rather than by moralizing.
However, political theory realism and international relations realism seem like two separate research programs. Duncan Bell , those who contribute to realism in political theory give little attention to those who work on realism in international politics. At the same time, there was an attempt to develop a more methodologically rigorous approach to theorizing about international affairs. This in turn provoked a counterattack by Morgenthau and scholars associated with the so-called English School, especially Hedley Bull, who defended a traditional approach Bull As a result, the IR discipline has been divided into two main strands: traditional or non-positivist and scientific or positivist neo-positivist.
At a later stage the third strand: post-positivism has been added. The traditionalists raise normative questions and engage with history, philosophy and law.
The scientists or positivists stress a descriptive and explanatory form of inquiry, rather than a normative one. They have established a strong presence in the field. Already by the mids, the majority of American students in international relations were trained in quantitative research, game theory, and other new research techniques of the social sciences.
This, along with the changing international environment, had a significant effect on the discipline. The realist assumption was that the state is the key actor in international politics, and that relations among states are the core of actual international relations. However, with the receding of the Cold War during the s, one could witness the growing importance of international and non-governmental organizations, as well as of multinational corporations.
This development led to a revival of idealist thinking, which became known as neoliberalism or pluralism. While accepting some basic assumptions of realism, the leading pluralists, Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye, have proposed the concept of complex interdependence to describe this more sophisticated picture of global politics. They would argue that there can be progress in international relations and that the future does not need to look like the past.
Waltz, who reformulated realism in international relations in a new and distinctive way. In his book Theory of International Politics, first published in , he responded to the liberal challenge and attempted to cure the defects of the classical realism of Hans Morgenthau with his more scientific approach, which has became known as structural realism or neorealism. Whereas Morgenthau rooted his theory in the struggle for power, which he related to human nature, Waltz made an effort to avoid any philosophical discussion of human nature, and set out instead to build a theory of international politics analogous to microeconomics.
He argues that states in the international system are like firms in a domestic economy and have the same fundamental interest: to survive. Waltz maintains that by paying attention to the individual state, and to ideological, moral and economic issues, both traditional liberals and classical realists make the same mistake.
They fail to develop a serious account of the international system—one that can be abstracted from the wider socio-political domain. Waltz acknowledges that such an abstraction distorts reality and omits many of the factors that were important for classical realism. It does not allow for the analysis of the development of specific foreign policies. However, it also has utility. Notably, it assists in understanding the primary determinants of international politics.
It cannot serve to develop policies of states concerning their international or domestic affairs. His theory helps only to explain why states behave in similar ways despite their different forms of government and diverse political ideologies, and why, despite their growing interdependence, the overall picture of international relations is unlikely to change. According to Waltz, the uniform behavior of states over centuries can be explained by the constraints on their behavior that are imposed by the structure of the international system.
Anarchy, or the absence of central authority, is for Waltz the ordering principle of the international system. The units of the international system are states. Waltz recognizes the existence of non-state actors, but dismisses them as relatively unimportant. Since all states want to survive, and anarchy presupposes a self-help system in which each state has to take care of itself, there is no division of labor or functional differentiation among them.
While functionally similar, they are nonetheless distinguished by their relative capabilities the power each of them represents to perform the same function. Consequently, Waltz sees power and state behavior in a different way from the classical realists. For Morgenthau power was both a means and an end, and rational state behavior was understood as simply the course of action that would accumulate the most power. In contrast, neorealists assume that the fundamental interest of each state is security and would therefore concentrate on the distribution of power.
What also sets neorealism apart from classical realism is methodological rigor and scientific self-conception Guzinni , — Waltz insists on empirical testability of knowledge and on falsificationism as a methodological ideal, which, as he himself admits, can have only a limited application in international relations.
The distribution of capabilities among states can vary; however, anarchy, the ordering principle of international relations, remains unchanged. This has a lasting effect on the behavior of states that become socialized into the logic of self-help. Trying to refute neoliberal ideas concerning the effects of interdependence, Waltz identifies two reasons why the anarchic international system limits cooperation: insecurity and unequal gains.
In the context of anarchy, each state is uncertain about the intentions of others and is afraid that the possible gains resulting from cooperation may favor other states more than itself, and thus lead it to dependence on others.
In a self-help system, considerations of security subordinate economic gain to political interest. Because of its theoretical elegance and methodological rigor, neorealism has become very influential within the discipline of international relations.Countering neorealist ideas, Wendt argues that self-help does not follow logically or casually from the principle of anarchy.
In interna- retical concepts , p. And that is another testable statement. The first, which I now turn to, is best accomplished by carious: Kavin Balasubramaniam. To reach the conclu- and concrete so as to test them.
1. The Roots of the Realist Tradition
If a, then b with probability x. It cannot be proved by any empirical research, but only disclosed by philosophy, imposed on us as a matter of belief, and inculcated by education. In remaining chapters, as the theory is elaborated sion that bipolarity is passing, or 'past, requires some odd counting.
In a self-help system, when the p.
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