International Relations Before and After 1648:
City-States, Empires and Nation-States
A
Taxonomy of political units?

Tribes

Kinship

City-states

Empires

States

Nation-States
Tasks
of political units:

Protect the territory

Conduct war

Promote trade

Subdue neighbors

Collect taxes

Project sovereignty
Shift
from monarchies to states
1648:
The Westphalian
Agreement
What
is a State? Why did the State
formation begin in Europe?

The expansion of markets, production, mobility of labor markets,
specialization, trade, navigation skills, autonomy of traders,
competition among European monarchies, interest in exploring
the world beyond Europe

Vasco Da Gama: Portuguese Navigator travelling around Africa
to the Far East in 1495
The
Interest to pursue Power and
Wealth: The end of the medieval
period.
How
the world changed after
1500 and it all began in Europe.

Niccolò Machiavelli: 1467-1527

Jean Bodin: 1530-1596

Thomas Hobbes: 1588-1679

John Locke: 1632-1704

Jeremy Bentham: 1748-1832

James Mill: 1733-1836

Jean Jacques Rousseau: 1712-1778
Nation-State:

Legitimacy

Sovereignty

Territory/Geography

Identity

Centralized Decision-making

Efficiency

Equity
Governance:

Conflict resolution

Impersonal leadership

Separation of powers

Rotation of power

Taxation and representation
State
building, Wealth creation,
Democracy, Capitalism and
Globalization
1500:
Europe controlled 7% of the
1800:
35%
1914:
84%
world
1914:
44 states
1945: 64
1960: 107
1978: 148
2000: 193
FOUR STAGES OF INDUSTRIAL
REVOLUTION:
1.
First: 18th and 19th centuries: Iron, textile and
the steam engine
2.
Second: 1870-1914: Engine, Telephone and
electricity
3.
Third: 1980s: Personal computer
4.
Fourth: 2000: Robotics, AI, 3D printing,
Biotechnology and the Internet of Things
Global
Powers:

Portugal

Spain

United Kingdom

United States
International Relations: The
Concept of Power and Interest
Two Central Concepts of International
Relations:
Power
and
National Interest
Power:
Influence?
Persuasion?
Control?
Authority?
Coercion?
Deterrence?
Compliance?
Force?
Application of threat?
Robert Dahl defines power:
The ability of A to get B to do something that
B otherwise would not do.
Hans Morgenthau’s definition of power:
Control over the minds and actions of
others.
The United States is the most powerful
country in the world.
The United States is the most influential
country in the world.
Power over?
Power to?
NO definition is universally agreed upon.
The main difficulty is in measuring what
constitutes power.
Is power an abstract concept?
Is it possible to determine an operational
definition of power?
Power over other peoples’,
countries’ or institutions’:
Actions
Beliefs
Values
Attitudes
Desires
Intentions
Preferences
Feelings
Predispositions
Using resources (wealth, technology,
armaments, image, entertainment,
educational system, political stability) to
affect:
Personalities
AGENDAS
Power is situational. Fungibility of power.
Money is the most fungible (easily
exchangeable) of all assets.
Actions
Processes
Reactions
Opportunity costs of using power.
Unintended consequences of using power.
Taxonomy of power:
Hard power( military and coercive)
Soft power (opportunities, culture and
values)
Subtle power (use of indirect language)
Smart power (penetrating the political and
information environment)
Some thoughts:
Direct power and indirect power
Symmetric power and Asymmetric power
Zero-sum game versus non-zero-sum game
Influencing Decision making processes
Case by case analysis
Degrees of power
Cost of exercising power:
Cui Bono argument
National interest and the nation-state
are coterminous.
What factors may produce national
interests?
Shared historical experience
Common language
Cultural norms
A general will
A political community
Social contract
Common interests
Nicollo Machiavelli: What is
raison d’etat?
Survival
self-preservation
Expansion
Well-being of the state
Adam
Smith:
National
interests:
Material self-gain is the ultimate human
normal condition. The accumulation of all
individuals’ self-interests . Doctrine of the
harmony of individual and self interests.
National interests revolves around a
symbiosis of particular and community
interests.
Ideas and values define interests?
Which presumptions lead to which interests?
Realists: Conflict, suspicion and competition
Liberals: Reform, education and consensus
REALISM AND NEO-REALISM
• Theory: An explanation on the causality of relationships between two or
more variables.
• Law: When a theory is objectively verified through many cases/examples.
• Paradigm: When a community of scientists reach a durable consensus on
the causal relationships between many variables in a given field.
• Realism: Assumptions:
• 1. Actors are unitary
• 2. International system is anarchic
• 3. Military power settles conflicts
• 4. Global system characterized by conflict, suspicion and competition
• 5. Politics is governed by immutable laws
• 6. Conflicts of interest are endemic. Moral principles cannot be realized
• 7. Political behavior of states is derived from pessimistic foundations of
human nature
• Central to Realism (Hans Morgenthau):






Pursuit of power
Checks and balances to produce equilibrium of forces in international relations
Politics between countries is relational
Utility maximization
Views power more in terms of military and politics, rather than economics and soft power
Balance of power is the key to keep peace and order
• Critical thinking on realism (James Rosenau):
• General and vague definition of realism
• Under-specification of power-contexts
• Power as a goal to be maximized
• Overemphasis on military power
• Power as the only goal of foreign policy
• The power as resources fallacy
• Kenneth Waltz and Neo-realism:
• Politics is structural not relational
• Acts and relations are affected by the structure of action
• Need for rankings of state capabilities
• Countries differ in military, economic and political power. There is a
variation in their levels of competence and political stability
• The international system is a separate domain from the action of states
• Neorealism is somewhere between reductionist/traditional realism and
systemic account of IR
• Waltz regards national interest as the product of the international system
• For Morgenthau: national interest must be defended by national leaders
• For Waltz: national interest operates like an automatic signal commanding
state leaders
• Morgenthau: Sees states as organizations guided by leaders whose foreign
policies are either successful or unsuccessful
• Waltz: Sees states as structures that respond to the impersonal constraints
and dictates of the international system
•Neo-realism perceives political leaders to
have limited discretion in defining the
national interest because it is a systemic
given.
• Stephan Krasner: National interest can be deduced from the
statements and behaviors of central decision makers.
• Robert Gilpin: States and bureaucracies do not have interests; only
individuals and a collection of individuals have interests.
• Idealism:

Liberal internationalists whose hero was President Woodrow Wilson believed
that reality is derived from the mind. How minds are shaped in turn shape the
realities outside of the mind. This approach is more based on philosophical,
logical –deductive thinking rather than scientific/positivist thinking.

Idealism believes in gradual and evolutionary progress. States can be rational.
Politics is the art of good governance.
• Idealism aims to avoid war, hunger, violence, interstate conflict and inequality by focusing
on common human interests.




It views politics BOTH as the interests of states and people.
War is not the natural outcome of competition. Human beings have common interests.
IT promotes the idea that it is possible to rely on the good intentions of states.
It purports that the root of war is tyranny. By emphasizing technological advancements,
free markets, representative governments, it is possible to create a sustained peace and
prosperity.
• Idealism relies on the positive nature of mankind, international law,
international organizations, cooperation of states and human values to
promote well-being and peace.
• Scholars Hedley Bull and David Mitrany pioneered idealism in the interwar
period.
• President Wilson’s 14-points and the establishment of the League of
Nations were symbols of idealism in American foreign policy for many
decades.
•Liberalism: Advocates political freedom, democracy, human and
constitutionally guaranteed rights, liberty and equality of the individual before
the law.

It champions limited government and scientific rationality, believing individuals
should be free from arbitrary state power, persecution and superstition.

It argues for individual competition in civil society and believes market capitalism
best promotes the general welfare of all by efficiently allocating scare resources.
• Adam Smith: Pursuit of material self-gain is the normal condition of mankind.


Famous dictum: Individual and public interest are effectively the same thing.

As every individual endeavors as much as he can both to employ his capital in the
support of domestic industry and to direct that industry to produce, the
individual necessarily labors to render the annual revenue of the society.
He extrapolated from his model of individual action with its basic economic
motivation to an account of how the larger human community should be
organized economically.
• Adam Smith: The national interest is simply the accumulation of each
individual’s self-interest. The highest interest of the individual and the
highest interest of the community naturally collide.
• Duties of State: 1. protecting the society from the violence and invasion;
• 2. protecting every member of the society from the injustice and
oppression of other members and
• 3. maintaining certain public works and public institutions not necessarily
in the interest of any individual.
• The idea of INVISIBLE HAND:
• An aggregation of individual interests guided by
an invisible hand leads to community interests.
• Liberalism promotes:
• 1. Democracy over aristocracy
• 2. Free trade over autarky
• 3. Collective security over balance of power
• Immanuel Kant: The law of nature dictates harmony and cooperation among
peoples. War is both unnatural and irrational. Humans have the capacity in
progress and perfectibility of human nature. There should be faith in human
reason and the capability to realize inner human potential. The establishment of
republican forms of government in which rulers were accountable and individual
rights were respected would lead to peaceful IR.
• Joseph Schumpeter: Wars are the product of the aggressive instincts of
unrepresentative elites.
• Critical thinking on liberalism: Karl Polanyi:
• The pursuit of material self-gain is not innate but became an institutionally enforced
incentive.
• There is nothing natural about material acquisitiveness and no reason to believe that selfinterest is a more dominant force in human nature than altruism.
• Laissez-fair capitalism was a unique and transitory event between 1740 and 1850 but died
in the 1930s and the 1940s.
• The expansion of the market system after the industrial revolution could only be
maintained by state intervention.
• Economic history reveals that the emergence of national markets was in no way the result
of the gradual and spontaneous emancipation of the economic sphere from government
control.
• Laissez-fair too is a form of state regulation, introduced and maintained by legislative and
coercive means.
• To allow the market mechanism to be the sole director of human beings and their natural
environment would result in the demolition of the society.
•Neo-liberalism
• Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye: Power and Interdependence:
• It is asymmetries in dependence that are most likely to provide sources of
influence for actors in their dealings with one another.
• Dependence means a state of being determined or significantly affected by
external forces.
• Foreign policy goals are multidimensional. Multiple foreign policy goals
may have a hierarchy. These goals should be treated as an empirical
question rather than an initial assumption.
• Questioning whether military force dominates other sources of power.
• Like Thomas Schelling, they believe that deterrence, alliances,
brinksmanship, escalation, arms control and war can be treated in a zerosum context.
• Albert Hirschman, National Power and the Structure of Foreign Trade:
• The concept of interdependence requires that both
parties gain from an exchange but not necessarily equally.
The influence which country A acquires in country B by
foreign trade depends in the first place upon the total
gain which B derives from that trade. The total gain from
trade for any country is nothing but another expression
for the total impoverishment which would be inflicted
upon it by a stoppage of trade. In this sense, the classical
concept, gain from trade, and the power concept,
dependence on trade, are seen to be merely two aspects
of the same phenomenon.
• Joseph Nye: Soft Power:
• Tangible resources like military and economic strength are not the only way
to measure power. Culture, ideology, institutions are intangible assets. Soft
power is the ability to affect others through the co-optive means of framing
agenda, persuading and eliciting positive attraction in order to obtain
preferred outcomes. Command power is the ability to change what others
do. Cooptive power is the ability to change what others want.
CONSTRUCTIVISM
• Assumptions:
• Social construction of social reality
• Social construction of knowledge
• Interaction between the two
• Constructivists are critical of the discipline of
economics and the rational choice theory.
• Is objectivity possible in the social sciences?
• Karl Mannheim: In politics, views vary with the
political position of the observer.
• Robert Cox: Theory is always for someone and
for some purpose.
•Is power situational?
•Constructivism: calling attention to norms,
values, institutions, ideas, identities and
cultural texts in social analysis.
• Constructivism:
The social world is a human construction. There is no external
objective reality.
It is not something ‘out there’ as behavioralists and positivists
believe.
Power is an inter-subjective domain. It is only meaningful to
people who made it, live in it and understand it.
Every system consists of ideas and thoughts in particular. It will
change once the ideas and thoughts change.
State system is inter-subjective rather than material.
There is no such thing as human nature shaping political
outcomes.
• Alexander Wendt: International relations theories: Those that
emphasize brute material forces and those that view power
as constituted by ideas and cultural contexts.
• The latter’s emphasis is on ideas, values and cultural
contexts, rather than the concept of power as the main focus
of politics and international relations.
• Some correlation with Carl Von Clausewitz’s view that, “war is
politics by other means.”
• Michel Foucault: Knowledge is a power source.
• Power is the production, in and through social relations, of
effects that shape the capacities of actors to determine their
circumstances and fate.

According to Kenneth Waltz, anarchy is the pre-condition of the
international system. Alexander Wendt believes anarchy is what states
create. It is not an objective reality. It can be changed once states decide
to do so.

The identities and interests of agents are not exogenously given.

States’ identities and interests can be collectively transformed within an
anarchic context. This can happen once the social construction is
altered.

The structures of human association are primarily cultural rather than
material phenomena.

National interests will vary in proportion to differences in state identity.

Shared ideas, beliefs and values exert significant influence on social and
political action.

Instinct, intuition and biological inheritance are discounted.
• Alexander Wendt:
national interest as the objective interests
of state-society complexes, consists of three needs: physical
survival, economic well-being and collective self-esteem.
• Interests are learned, re-learned over time as a consequence
of experience and reflection.
• There are no fixed and permanent interests.
• Avoids a discussion of what is right and wrong. What is
preferable. It takes a neutral approach to social constructions.
•Behavioralism
• Behavioralism
finds its intellectual foundations in
behaviorism
developed
by
James
Watson.
Understanding politics not through human
intentions, motivations, ideas and beliefs but through
objective discoveries of human behavior.
• Behavioralists
focused on processes of cognition,
feelings and consciousness to study political behavior
both at the national as well as the international
levels.
• Perceptions: an awareness obtained through insight,
intuition, sensory processes or discernment.
• Feelings: consciousness independent of thoughts.
• Consciousness: mental faculties acquired by thought,
experience, internalization, feelings and volition.
• Attitudes: An orientation, predispositions, emotions,
bodily posture.
• Politics, international politics and states can be viewed
as systems, units within the system and the interaction
between these units. Reality can be discerned from the
behavior of units and systems.
• Patterns of system behavior: recurring and non-
recurring.
• Methodological rigor is called for to analyze the national
or the international system. Therefore, developing a
systematic and a systemic perspective of political
behavior is required.
• Levels of analysis instead of units of analysis.
• Studying
the relationships between the stimulus and
behavior. Avoiding universality, philosophizing and
speculation. Behavior can be understood with
rigorous methodology. No normative analysis but
empirical testing. Contextualization and historicity
deprive us of precision, detail and fact mindedness.
• Understanding phenomena through measurement,
quantification, testing and replication like electoral
processes and voting behavior. A focus on
environmental factors. Seeking discoverable
uniformities in behavior to develop theories with
explanatory and predictive value.
Preparing for the Mid-term Exam: POLS 1600
What is the analysis by Jeffrey Frieden (et al) on ‘what shaped our world?’ State your agreements and
disagreements with the analysis he has outlined.
What are the four stages of industrialization? How did the fourth stage alter the nature of global politics and
economics?
What are the features of a nation-state? Which features stand out and why? Provide examples in your discussion.
What is Robert Dahl’s definition of power? How does his definition compare with hard, soft, subtle, smart and
quite power? Provide examples in your analysis.
What elements determine the national interests of a state? Are they uniform in all states? Analyze on the basis of
a number of cases.
Define and outline the assumptions of realism and constructivism. Choose two cases and apply the two theories.
Define and outline the assumptions of liberalism and behavioralism. Choose two cases and apply the two theories.
What is the contribution of Adam Smith to the theories of international relations? What does he mean by the
‘invisible hand?’ Is Adam Smith relevant to contemporary international relations? Why or why not?
What are the variables at the polity level that affect possible aggressive behavior? Provide the taxonomy and
discuss by examples.
Explain the hierarchy of needs by Abraham Maslow? What is the relevance of this theory to violence/aggressive
behavior?
How does Steven Lamy (et al) characterize ‘security?’ In his opinion, how has the character of ‘war’ changed in
recent decades?
Are wars becoming obsolete? Why and why not? What other kinds of conflict are on the rise in international
relations?
How does Jeffrey Frieden explain the causality of wars? What are the relationships between these causes? What
are some examples for these causes?
How does ‘Geopolitics’ relate to George Kennan’s theory of containment of the Soviet Union?
Choose five authors on geopolitics from Bert Chapman’s book and compare their definitions of geopolitics.
.
Diplomacy, War and Conflict
Resolution
• Diplomacy: William Burns (retired American diplomat)
• The art of managing conflicts, rather than resolving them.
• Smart adaptation to the realities of today’s world.
• Candor and transparency about purposes and limitations
of power.
• Facilitating and accelerating domestic renewal.
• Seeing your country through the eyes of others.
• Aside from soft power, hard power and smart power,
diplomacy is quite power: invisible work of tending
alliances, twisting arms, tempering disputes, making long
term investments in relationships and societies.
• President Teddy Roosevelt:
• Speak softly, carry a big stick.
• Responsibilities of a Diplomat: (William Burns: A retired American diplomat):
• 1. Translate Washington to the world and the world
to Washington;
• 2. Serve as an early warning radar for troubles and
crises;
• 3. A builder and a fixer of relations;
• 4. A maker and an executor of policy;
• 5. A protector of American citizens abroad;
• 6. An integrator of economic, intelligence and
military tools for statecraft;
• 7. An organizer, convener, negotiator, communicator
and strategist;
• 8. Management of disorders and crises;
• 9. Attracting foreign investment.
• Violence and aggression versus:
Compromise
Diplomacy
Mediation
Arbitration
Adjudication
• Causes of war and levels of Analysis:
• The idiosyncratic/individual level;
• The social/cultural level;
• The polity level;
• The role/decision-making level;
• The international/systemic level.
• The Individual and war
• Abraham Maslow:
• The Hierarchy of Needs
• Roots of wars are inside human beings:
• Thomas Hobbes: Men are self-seeking, selfish, and
greedy; they are only concerned with their own desires.
Personal gain and glory are man’s motivations.
• William James: Combat and war satisfy deep-rooted
needs of individuals and societies, inherent in all humans.
This aggressive drive could not be suppressed; it can be
redirected and diverted toward more peaceful activities.
Human energy needs to be spent someplace else. Social
programs would inoculate them with the same benefits
without causing wars and destruction.
• Sigmund Freud: Aggressive behavior of mankind stems from
deep-seated unconscious drives. Humans are the product
of their environments.
• Carl Jung: Along with the environment, there is also the
experience of different generations and past histories
passed on to next generations. He developed the idea of
collective unconscious.
• T. W. Adorno: The Authoritarian Personality
• Domineering personalities
• The tendency to dominate subordinates
• Deference to superiors
• The need to perceive the world in a highly structured way
• Mental rigidity
• Use of stereotypes
• Difficult to accept information that contradicts their beliefs
• Suspicious of the sources of new information
• Do not tolerate ambiguous information
• Delusional
• The social/cultural variable and war
• If the behavior of individuals is the product of cultural
environment, then behavior can also be influenced by
sub-cultures:
• Family/neighborhood
• Social class
• School
• Peer group
• Work environment/profession
• Life experiences
• Since men vary greatly in their behavior of aggression, different
cultures indicate different explanations in the differences in
aggression.
• Peaceful societies do exist, dispelling the myth that men all
genetically aggressive.
• Studies demonstrate that aggression is greatly influenced by
learning. Aggression can be taught, modified, reduced and even
eliminated by learning.
• Different learning experiences lead to different individual and social
behaviors.
• Conditioning has great power to modify human behavior.
• Once a particular behavior is adopted, it can be maintained, modified
or eliminated by positive or negative enforcement.
• The polity (state/government) and war
• Peace, like charity, begins at home.
Franklin Roosevelt
• All politics are local.
Tip O’Neill
• Variables affecting war and the polity:
• The type of government
• The type of economy
• Demographic, cultural, physical and
geographic attributes
• Degree of political stability
• History of warfare of the state
• The process was the author of the
policy.
• George Ball, 1962
• Role/decision making and war
• Images:
• Organized representations of certain
attributes in an individual’s mind about
objects, events, people, nations and policies.
• They are mental pictures of the social and
political realities in our environment.
• Images are both knowledge and evaluations.
• They are simplifications of reality.
• Psychological Milieu: The world as perceived by
the decision maker
• Operational Milieu: The world as it is in reality
• Negative elements in decision making:








Selective perception
We-they thinking
Tunnel vision
Oversimplification
Denial
Group conformity
Premature cognitive closure
Scapegoating
• Positive elements in decision making:
• Analytical thinking
• Cognitive flexibility
• Tolerance for ambiguity
• Keeping an open mind
• Ability to focus attention
• Ability to survey alternatives
• Ability to discriminate the important from
the trivial
• Cognitive Consistency: An inner tendency
to create consistency of images, beliefs and
feelings.
• Cognitive Dissonance: The discomfort and
stress experienced by an individual
confronted with two different ideas, values
or beliefs. It happens when new
information contradicts already existing
beliefs.
• International politics are rarely experienced
directly by individuals. Instead, national leaders
about them through second hand reports, the
press, diplomatic cables and television screens.
• Misperceptions in international relations
abound. Misperception takes place when an
individual’s perceptions of the world do not
correspond with reality.
• Misperceptions:
Of the opponent’s intentions
Of the opponent’s military capability
Of the opponent’s willingness to combat or
compromise
Of risks involved in pursuing the policies
Of intentions and capabilities of third countries
Of the inevitability of war
Of eventual outcome
• Rationality and process of Decisionmaking:
• Identify and define the problem
• Identify goals
• Gather information
• Identify alternative courses of action
• Choose the alternative with the least costs, most
benefits
• Implement the decision
• Monitor and evaluate
• Bounded Rationality: Herbert Simon
• Decision makers in real situations make
concessions to reality. They take
shortcuts to simplify the process.
• Decision-makers may not always have the
quantity and quality of information to
make perfect rational decisions.
• The amount of time to make a decision
may be limited, thus impairing the ability
of decision makers to develop and analyze
options.
• Stimulus-Response Theory
• The behavior of individuals can be
explained largely on the basis of the stimuli
that impinge on them in their
surroundings. States are not alone in the
international systems. They are influenced
by what others do. The political actions of
states are interdependent with each other.
• An example of stimulus-response theory:
• Arms races develop out of a conscious awareness
by each state of what others in the neighboring
countries/global powers are doing.
• Arms races take place during times of peace.
• Michael Wallace concludes that arms races make
a substantial difference in whether a dispute
escalates into war or not.
• The international system and war
• Anarchy, lack of order and hierarchy at the international
level breed war and violence. There is a need for
international institutions to regulate state behavior and
punish those that project aggressive behavior.
• Status discrepancy theory: is based on the sociological
concept of stratification defined as the arrangement of
units that make up a social system into a hierarchy of
positions that are unequal with regard to power, wealth
and social standing. The assumption is that one’s position
within this stratified structure plays a role in determining
one’s behavior. Discrepancy in status may cause wars and
aggressive behavior. Those at the top of the latter have
motivation and resources to be domineering.
All
countries aspire to be prosperous and be recognized.
• Polarity and polarization
• Bipolarity/A balance of power system:
• When there are two great powers/superpowers particularly in the realm of
military power and resources to maintain military parity, there may be a
stable international system and less propensity for major warfare and
violence due to the deterrence capability of the two powers. A war
anywhere could become a general war. Therefore, stakes are very high in any
contest which induces high levels of caution.
• Multipolarity: As the number of powerful actors in the system increases,
more opportunities arise for cooperation. The expansion of interactions also
produce cross-pressures and cross-cutting loyalties. Such systems slow the
rate of increase of arms race.
• Alliance commitments:
• Alliance aggregation most likely reduces
cross-pressures for violence, expand
interaction opportunities and produces
political/economic interdependence.
• Counterargument: An increase in the
number of the alliances can cause
uncertainties, unpredictability of behavior
and breed suspicion among particularly
major actors.
• A. F. K. Organski:
• In each historical epoch, a single dominant power led the
international system as the head of a large coalition. As
long as this power enjoys a preponderance of power,
peace is maintained. It is the inequality of power
between the hegemon and its primary challengers that
keeps the peace.
• Conflicts arise when power transitions are underway. At
the core of such shifts are simultaneous increases in
productivity linked to industrialization, increased
manpower due to demographic growth and the capacity
of the political elites to mobilize national resources for
the purposes of assertiveness.
• Robert Gilpin: War and Change in World Politics
• When there is a dominant state or a hegemon, the
international system is peaceful. Usually hegemons
emerge after a victorious war. The hegemon can stabilize
the international system by providing many members
military security, investment capital, an international
currency, a secure environment for trade and investment,
a set of rules for economic transactions, the protection of
property rights and the general maintenance of the status
quo. The law of uneven growth guarantees the
hegemon’s dominance.
• George Modelski: The Long Cycle Theory
• Since 1500 there has been a succession of world powers
that have shaped the global system. It has been a cyclical
system. The cycle has four stages:
• A global war
• World power
• Delegitimization
• De-concentration
• 1494-1579 (Portugal), Italian and Indian Ocean wars of
1494
• 1580-1689 (Netherlands), Spanish-Dutch wars of 1580
• 1689-1792 (Britain), Wars of Louis XIV of 1688
• 1792-1914 (Britain), Wars of the French Revolution
• 1914- (United States), World Wars I and II
• Is war becoming obsolete?
• Trade wars
• Proxy wars
• Ethic/religious wars
• Wars against authoritarianism
• Wars over water
• Wars for economic sustainability
• Wars and nuclear weapons: mutually assured destruction
GEOGRAPHY, GEOPOLITICS AND
STATE BEHAVIOR
LORD PALMERSTON FAMOUSLY REMARKED:
NATIONS HAVE NO PERMANENT FRIENDS AND
NO PERMANENT ENEMIES, ONLY PERMANENT
INTERESTS.
GEOPOLITICS HELPS STATESPERSONS DETERMINE
THEIR COUNTRY’S INTERESTS, AND HELPS THEM
DISTINGUISH BETWEEN ENDURING AND TRANSIENT
INTERESTS.
 History
is made between 25 degrees and 60
degrees north latitude.
 Ministers
come and go, even dictators die but
mountain ranges stand unperturbed…. The nature of
the territory has influenced (politicians) in the past
and will continue to do so in the future.

Nicholas Spykman
 The
state or coalition of states controlling
central Eurasia possesses an advantage for
world domination.

Heartland Theory of Halford Mackinder
GEOPOLITICS: THE STUDY OF THE IMPACT
OR INFLUENCE OF GEOGRAPHIC FEATURES,
LOCATION, DISTANCE, DEMOGRAPHY AND
RESOURCES UPON THE FOREIGN POLICY
AND
BEHAVIOR
OF
STATES.
RELEVANCE OF GEOGRAPHY TO POWER
BASE,
TO
BUILDING
POWER
AND
PRESERVING POWER.
 Geopolitics
can be considered as an
extension of realism in international relations.
 It
A
is a fixation upon power to acquire security.
state’s immediate environment conditions its
international behavior.
 George
Kennan and the Soviet Union
 American
Cold War Strategy was partly based on
geopolitics:
A
policy of confronting the Soviet Union and
international communism. It introduced such political
strategies as containment, domino theory, balance of
power linkages and linchpin states into the lexicon of
cold war geopolitics.
 Venice:
1000-1600, the republic extended its sea
power to controlling west-west communications of
trade in the Mediterranean and it greatly increased its
power and wealth. When trade routes changed to
ocean routes beyond the control of Venice, the
republic waned in power and therefore in wealth.
 The
Ottoman Empire: 1300-1699, It aimed to capture
Vienna where it could control European trade
communications. Unable to annex the city after many
attempts, the empire gradually declined.
 Ming
China: 1364-1644, Ming rulers were prevented
from developing sea power in the China Sea and the
Indian Ocean. The dynasty failed to protect its frontier
threats from Mongol and Manchu tribes.
 Geography
of states developed by Friedrich
Ratzel (1844-1904), a professor of geography
in Germany. He influenced a younger Swedish
scholar Rudolf Kjellen (1864-1922) who in 1899
coined the term Geopolitik.
 The
key element in his approach was to state
competition in which the territorialization of
space was presented as an expression of
conflicting political drives.
IF A STATE OCCUPIES A CERTAIN POSITION, THAT
LOCATION MAY LEND CERTAIN ADVANTAGES AND
DISADVANTAGES:
AFGHANISTAN?
JAPAN?
SWITZERLAND?
UNITED STATES?
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC?
CHAD?
TURKEY?
 Ratzel
was engaged in German maritime and
colonial expansion supporting the
development of a large fleet and the
establishment of overseas bases as the means
to secure Germany’s place in the sun, a
reference to the tropical location of many
colonies in Africa and Oceana.
THE CONCEPT OF FINLANDIZATION
THE GEOPOLITICAL INTERESTS OF NATIONS TEND
TO REMAIN RELATIVELY FIXED AND STABLE OVER
EXTENDED PERIODS OF TIME AND REFLECT REAL
OR PERCEIVED ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES,
OPPORTUNITIES AND/OR CONSTRAINTS OF A
GEOGRAPHICAL NATURE.
 Halford
Mackinder (1861-1947): He focused on
the largest landmass on Earth and called it the
geographical pivot of history, meaning that
this landmass is inaccessible by ships whoever
controlled it, could dominate global politics.
 Alfred
Mahan (1840-1914): a US naval
commander and lecturer, called on the United
States to develop its naval strength as a
strategic tool, a recommendation dubbed as
navalism.
 Countries
such as Russia and Germany had
large armies in contrast to the UK and the US.
National defense according to Mahan
required powerful navies to deter enemy
intrusion.
THE PERIPHERY DOCTRINE OF ISRAEL IN
THE 1960S AND THE 1970S BASED ON
GEOGRAPHY:
ETHIOPIA, TURKEY AND IRAN AS
STRATEGIC, NON-ARAB POTENTIAL
ALLIES OF ISRAEL.
OSPOLITIK:
A GERMAN GEOPOLITICAL STRATEGY TO KEEP
CLOSE TO RUSSIA TO AVOID BEING DOMINATED
BY OTHERS IN EUROPE.
Robert
Strausz-Hupe (1903-2002), an
Austrian born US political scientist
argued for a geopolitical approach
directed against the USSR which he saw
as combining the expansionism of
Imperial Russia and the revolutionary
threat of Marxism. He promoted the idea
of Western civilization led by the United
States as the geopolitical equation to
limit communism. He advocated a
robust NATO to counterbalance Soviet
military power and bloc in the
international balance of power.
 Henry
Kissinger, a classical realist, sought to
limit chaos in international relations and
promoted the idea of Sino-American
cooperation to deter Moscow, regulate its
behavior and place limits on its expansionism.
This was due to Chinese-Russian ideological
rivalries in the 1960s. This was a manifestation
of a balance of power theory. Richard Nixon,
a realist had the opportunity to apply this
theory during his presidency which led to the
negotiations between China and the United
States, culminating in the Shanghai
Communique of 1978. For both, stability in
international relations reflected a balance of
power between China, the USSR and the US.
Containment: geographic, military and
political encirclement and imposition of
limitations on the Soviet Union’s expansion.
Linchpin
States: countries bordering or in
proximity of the Soviet Union with Western
leanings: Germany, South Korea and Iran.
 Domino
Theory: The extension of
communism onto other countries and
particularly the third world. Such
developments brought Western
engagements in Vietnam and Nicaragua.
The
cold war strategy instigated
intervening in Eurasia with bases, troops
and alliances within the rimlands,
specifically in Western Europe, the
Persian Gulf and Korea-Japan.
The
purpose was to limit or stop the
Soviet expansion outward from the
heartland core onto Asia and Europe.
THE GEOPOLITICAL CHOKE POINTS OF THE
WORLD:
PANAMA CANAL
SUEZ CANAL
PERSIAN GULF
MALACCA STRAIT
GIBRALTAR
Checkerboards: My neighbor my enemy but the
neighbor of my neighbor my friend.

Pakistan/China

India/Soviet Union
 Shatterbelt:
When
rival states in a region experience
tensions among themselves and then
external actors become involved on two
sides of the rivalry and form alignments
with local contestants.
 Offshore
 Moving
balancing:
towards multipolarity by allowing the
rise of new global players and intensive
expansion of the Navy to contain the
expansionist drives of rivals.
 Lintel
Countries:
In its intel configuration between Brazil and
Argentina, Paraguay balances the two
neighbors by its traditional strategy as a
brace or barrier to protect against its own
absorption. It creates a regional stability in
which Paraguay’s independence is solidified
because neither Brazil nor Argentina could
absorb the lintel republic without its rival’s
opposition, giving some amount of
permanence and balance in the region.
Decline of Geopolitics after the Cold War
1. Francis Fukuyama: The End of History and the Last
Man, 1992
The end of ideology and the universality of Western
liberal narrative
2. Samuel Huntington: The Clash of Civilization and
the Remaking of World Order, 1996
Conflict over ideas and ideology
3. War on Terror: The Bush Presidency and the
conflict over ideology after the terrorist attacks of
September 11, 2001
 Globalization,
economic development and
geopolitics
 Economic expansion in the coastal and littoral
regions of the world, growth of cities
 Shanghai not Beijing
 Mumbai not Delhi
 90% of trade is carried out by shipping,
signifying the coastal areas of countries
 Relevance of national security to geopolitics?
Are Singapore and Switzerland any examples?
Economic benefits of Russian domination of the
heartland?
 The fourth industrial revolution and geopolitics:
Relevance?
What is the analysis by Jeffrey Frieden (et al) on ‘what shaped our world?’ State your agreements and
disagreements with the analysis he has outlined.
What are the four stages of industrialization? How did the fourth stage alter the nature of global politics and
economics?
What are the features of a nation-state? Which features stand out and why? Provide examples in your discussion.
What is Robert Dahl’s definition of power? How does his definition compare with hard, soft, subtle, smart and
quite power? Provide examples in your analysis.
What elements determine the national interests of a state? Are they uniform in all states? Analyze on the basis of
a number of cases.
Define and outline the assumptions of realism and constructivism. Choose two cases and apply the two theories.
Define and outline the assumptions of liberalism and behavioralism. Choose two cases and apply the two theories.
What is the contribution of Adam Smith to the theories of international relations? What does he mean by the
‘invisible hand?’ Is Adam Smith relevant to contemporary international relations? Why or why not?
What are the variables at the polity level that affect possible aggressive behavior? Provide the taxonomy and
discuss by examples.
Explain the hierarchy of needs by Abraham Maslow? What is the relevance of this theory to violence/aggressive
behavior?
How does Steven Lamy (et al) characterize ‘security?’ In his opinion, how has the character of ‘war changed in
recent decades?
Are wars becoming obsolete? Why and why not? What other kinds of conflict are on the rise in international
relations?
How does Jeffrey Frieden explain the causality of wars? What are the relationships between these causes? What
are some examples for these causes?
How does ‘Geopolitics’ relate to George Kennan’s theory of containment of the Soviet Union?
Choose five authors on geopolitics from Bert Chapman’s book and compare their definitions of geopolitics.

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