Chapter 2: Realism

Report
Chapter 2: Realism
Is international anarchy the
permissive cause of war?
© 2014 Cynthia Weber
Learning aims:
Understand the
international
anarchy myth
Tell the
difference
between realism
and neorealism
Understand
developments in
Waltz’s thinking
and why these
matter
Critically reflect
on the work that
“fear” does for
the international
anarchy myth
© 2014 Cynthia Weber
Last week: Introduction
Culture: “an ensemble of stories we tell about
ourselves” (Geertz, 1975)
Ideology: Conscious (e.g. liberalism) and
unconscious (e.g. “boys will be boys”)
The myth function in IR: cultural interpretation 
Myth function “Natural Fact”
© 2014 Cynthia Weber
(Neo) Realism Flashcard
Key thinkers:
Hans
Morgenthau &
Kenneth Waltz
Concepts:
Sovereign States
Human Nature
International
Anarchy
Fear
Myth: “international
anarchy is the
permissive cause of
war”
© 2014 Cynthia Weber
Realism vs. Neorealism (table 2.1)
Realism
Neorealism
Interest of States
Survival
Survival
How to achieve survival
Increase power because
world government is
unachievable
Increase power because
world government is
unachievable
Human nature
Man is flawed and
therefore prone to conflict.
This explains why
cooperation is never
guaranteed and world
government is
unachievable
Man may or may not be
flawed. Human nature is
not essential to an
explanation of conflict
Anarchy
The environment in which
sovereign nation-states act
Describes the social
relations among sovereign
nation-states that causally
explain why wars occur
© 2014 Cynthia Weber
Causes of war for Waltz (table 2.2)
Location
Description
Type of cause
First image
Nature of man
Immediate
Second image
International organization
of states and societies
Immediate
Third image
International anarchy
Permissive
© 2014 Cynthia Weber
Waltzian neorealism (table 2.3)
Structure
Ordering principle
Formal differentiation
Distribution of power
Domestic
• Hierarchy
• Centered
• Heterogeneous
• Dissimilar
Monopoly
Global
• Anarchy
• Decentered
Heterogeneous
Oligopoly
Consequences
Political processes
Relationships
Goals
Domestic
Specialization
High interdependence
Maximize welfare
Global
• Intimidation
• Balancing
Low interdependence
Maximize security
© 2014 Cynthia Weber
Theory activity: “International anarchy
is the permissive cause of war”
• Aim: Be able to understand the workings of
Waltz’s myth (“international anarchy is the
permissive cause of war”) through a real
world example
• Scenario: Iran has acquired nuclear weapons
• Divide into five groups: Iran, USA, US ally
(Britain), Neutral state (Sweden) and World
government (quasi world government/ UN)
© 2014 Cynthia Weber
Theory activity cont.
USA
UK
Iran
Sweden
World
government
Quasi-world
government
No world or
quasi-world
government
• What would your country do in the different
scenarios? Use the table to chart out the
different possibilities
© 2014 Cynthia Weber
How does Lord of the Flies represent
hierarchy and anarchy?
How does Lord of the Flies represent hierarchy and anarchy?
(table 2.4)
Hierarchy
Anarchy
Characterized by rules, reason,
law and order, all of which are
guaranteed by the presence of
adults
Characterized by the absence
of guarantees to order or
reason because of the absence
of adults
© 2014 Cynthia Weber
What is typical and what is deviant in
the two worlds of the Lord of the Flies?
(table 2.5)
Typical
Deviant
Familiar world:
Familiar world:
Hierarchy
Anarchy
Island world:
Island world:
Anarchy
Hierarchy
© 2014 Cynthia Weber
Lord of the Flies (box 2.2)
Where does fear figure in Waltz’s myth as enacted in Lord of the Flies?
1. Loss of hierarchy (lack
of adults)
2. Reestablishment of
hierarchy with rules and
elections (conch shell)
3. Hierarchy fails (Jack
leaves and starts rival
group)
4. Conflict occurs (Jack
and Ralph’s groups
fight/Piggy is killed)
© 2014 Cynthia Weber
Fear becomes widespread
(belief in beast)
This is what goes without
saying in Waltz’s myth
5. Anarchy ends (boys
rescued and
reintroduction of adults)
Lord of the Flies (table 2.6)
The locations of fear in Lord of the Flies
Location
Description
Illustration
First image
Human nature
Jack and his followers
increasing savagery
Second image
International organization
of states and societies
Jack’s bad tribe against
Ralph’s good tribe
Third image
International anarchy
Competitive, self-help
system in which boys
create security dilemma on
island
None of Waltz’s images
Irrationally generated by
the boys themselves and
externalized
The beast
© 2014 Cynthia Weber
Film activity: Lord of the Flies and fear
Aim
• Use film Lord of the Flies to investigate how Waltz’s myth
“international anarchy is the permissive cause of war” functions
and to show that FEAR is a necessary supplement to this myth
• Discuss content of film: plot, characters and cinematic effects
Discuss
Answer
• How does the film make sense of the world?
• What does the film say is typical and deviant in that world?
• Where is FEAR located in the film?
© 2014 Cynthia Weber
Next week: Idealism
Film:
Independence
Day
“Domestic
analogy”
Is there an
international
society?
© 2014 Cynthia Weber

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