FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Monday, August 20, 2012

Notes on Stephen Walt's "IR: One World, Many Theories"

BONUS LINK:  My entire (so far) grad school notes collection can be found here. 

*We are better off with a diverse array of competing ideas than a single theoretical orthodoxy.

Where are we coming from?

study of IR is protracted competition between realist, liberal and radical

*Realism: struggle for power among self-interested states, pessimistic about prospects for peace
            Classical:     states (like humans) have innate desire to dominate others
            Neorealist:   effects of international system, a number of great powers trying to                                    survive
            Defensive:states merely seek to survive and guarantee security through                                                alliances and defensive military postures

            - economic interdependence would discourage states from using force against each other
            - Spread of the democracy the key to world peace (democratic states more peaceful than autocratic ones)
            - encourage states to forgo immediate gains for greater benefits of long term           

            - orthodox Marxism say capitalism central cause of conflict
            - neomarxist dependency theory says large capitalists states ally with elites of developing world to exploit the masses
            - deconstructionist emphasize importance of language and discourse but haven’t   
            offered a lot on alternatives to mainstream theories

New Wrinkles in Old Paradigms
*In Realism redux, the problem of relative and absolute gains arises. 
*New Liberalism:
            - Democratic peace theory says democracies rarely fight each other, however in new democracies, the states are more prone to war, so promoting democracy can actually promote instability
            - Institutionalist point to NATOs ability to adapt
            - the impact of ideas, such as Gorbachev embracing ‘common security’
            - Wendt: Anarchy is what states make of it

Domestic politics Reconsidered:
- emergence of interest in the concept of culture which intersects and overlaps with constructivists
*Walt points to realism as the most compelling framework for the future

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