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Global Governmental issues

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  1. International Politics POSC 120Intro to Politics and Political Analysis Braunwarth

  2. War • Sustained, organized violence between states • Causes: Human (micro) factors: • Human nature, psychology, misperceptions State or System (macro) factors: • National goals, Imbalance of power

  3. Key Question: • What creative breakthroughs can help us achieve a more peaceful world order? • Ethical and Empirical Factors of Modern War: • The mortal threat of nuclear war • The consequences of conventional wars • The burden of arms expenditures • Dangers of the sovereign nation-state • The war on terrorism

  4. The Mortal Threat of Nuclear War • The threat of all-out nuclear war has subsided. • Yet the United States and the Russian Republic still deploy roughly thirteen thousand strategic nuclear weapons between them, and we are plagued by nuclear proliferation. • India and Pakistan • Iran

  5. The Consequences of Conventional Wars • Human Costs: 87.5 million killed in 20th c. • The Burden of Arms Expenditures • World military expenditures in excess of $1,035,000,000,000 per year. • Total cost of the war in Iraq • Channels financial resources away from basic human needs: jobs, food, clothing, housing, education, and medical care.

  6. Dangers of the Sovereign Nation-State • The nation-state system requires countries to protect their national interests by relying on their own arms. • Power is necessary to pursue one’s national interest • No supranational authority or global law to adjudicate conflict peacefully. • Essentially a system of anarchy • National rivalries and nationalism have played major roles in triggering war.

  7. The War on Terrorism Unprecedented characteristics: • It is not a war between states. • The transnational nature of the adversary makes the scope of the war less than clear. • Because the September 11 attacks were on American soil and a domestic catastrophe, waging the war involves a major new domestic security component.

  8. Potential Sources of Future Conflict • Resentment over the “McWorld” capitalist culture (Barber) • or a “clash of civilizations” in which religion is a potent political force (Huntington) • or a competition for resources such as oil or water • or blowback from U.S. imperialism and militarism (Chalmers Johnson) • or a combination of them all

  9. Stoessinger’s Model • No nation that began a war in the 20th century emerged a winner • Emphasis on the role of leaders • Biggest precipitating factor is misperception

  10. Misperceptions • Expectations of brief, decisive conflict • Distorted views of adversary’s character • Belief that you are about to be attacked increases likelihood of war • Misperception of adversary’s power

  11. Iraq as an example • Was it a quick, decisive conflict? • What was Bush’s view of Hussein? • Was there a belief that Iraq was going to attack the U.S.? • What was Bush’s perception of Hussein’s power?

  12. Alternative Approaches to a More Peaceful War • A new balance of power • The United Nations’ third-party activities • Collective security • Global economic integration • Nonviolent civilian defense • We’ll examine in turn

  13. A New Balance of Power • Will the U.S. remain the sole hegemon or will there be a new multi-polar order? • Perhaps the United States and other regional units such as the European Union, Japan and other Southeast Asian countries, China, etc.

  14. The United Nations’ Third-Party Activities • More effective use of good offices, conciliation, investigation, mediation, arbitration, observation, truce supervision, and most important, peacekeeping? • Is this likely? Is the U.S. likely to agree?

  15. Collective Security • Strengthening the U.N. Collective Security provisions under Chapter VII of the charter, whereby states to respond to an aggressor with overwhelming force • (Wilson, Bush Sr.)

  16. Global Economic Integration • By making states increasingly interdependent on each other, the costs of going to war also increase. Therefore the probability of war decreases. • Is this likely?

  17. Nonviolent Civilian Defense • According to Gene Sharp, nonviolence must be seriously considered as a means of gaining a more peaceful world. • Is it practical idea? Realistic?

  18. Questions: • If these alternatives to dealing with war are inadequate, unrealistic, or undesirable, can you think of others? • Or are we doomed to the seemingly never-ending cycle of violence that has plagued our history?