Conflict in Global Politics : Why we fight Week 2 Lecture 2 Dr Bernie Kaussler Violent Conflict in World Politics Nuclear age: Main use of nuclear weapons as means of deterrence War continues to be employed as political tool Legitimacy of the use of force: United Nations ?, UN Charter: collective security ? Central element of violent struggle: control of the state: since WW II, 150 states have been created Force used as principal tool by non-state actors to challenge established government?s control of a state/region. Use of force by non-state actors: No.1 challenge to the contemporary global system Why do we fight? Kenneth Waltz "Man, the State, and War" (1959) international politics / conflict being driven primarily by actions of individuals, or outcomes of psychological forces ?being driven by the domestic regimes of states ?being driven by systemic factors, or the effect that international anarchy was exerting on state behavior Human Aggression Roots of war/violence: built in human aggression for violence and domination Debate over ?nature vs. nurture? Biology vs. anthropology What accounts for human actions: innate genetic characteristics or cultural, political, social environment? War, just like ?slavery? and ?dueling? can be unlearned Violence is not built in Relative Deprivation & Aggression Feeling of deprivation relative to others / expectations of what one should have ? violence People, governments compare one?s past, present and expected future condition Images of this condition, strongly affected by where one (or one?s country) sits within the hierarchy of the global or domestic system based on Status, prestige, military power, wealth These feelings are widespread during recessions and depressions Exclusion from benefits / rights Human needs Domestic political and economic structure and war Waltz?s 2nd image: ?the internal organization of states is the key to understanding war and peace? Authoritarian vs. democratic states Economic structure: Capitalism: a force for good or bad? Conflict between States Since Pease of Westphalia: 46 % of the 181 major armed conflicts fought over possession over territory 20 % of all wars were fought over ?strategic territory? ?Nation-state? creation Ideology: Conflict over ideas About proper form of political, economic and social interaction Conflicts arise from religious or ethnic affiliation, to protect them or break away from states System Polarity and War Waltz?s third image: Emphasizes the anarchical system of international relations Each state pursues foreign policies according to national interest Balance of power important element Bipolarity: War would be long and costly, no easy victory,crisis-management Post-cold war: unipolar order United States: a benign or coercive hegemon? Regional rivalries Clash of civilizations Terrorism War and rational choice 3rd image tells little about actual calculations and decision-making Leaders must chose between a selections of moves (like chess) which will have various outcomes Each side tries to anticipate future sequences or events; each state seeks the best outcome for itself (intelligence ?) Civil war and irregular warfare Post-cold war conflict arise from threats to group identification or loyalty (i.e. the state vs. minority) New states with artificial borders Diversity of tribal, ethnic, religious groups ? pressure toward separatism from state These groups feel treated unfairly, or being exploited and feel being part of the state no longer benefits them. (eg. Yugoslavia, Bangladesh in 1979, Basques in Spain, Welsh+Scots in UK, Quebec in Canada ?Ethno-politics?: most prevalent conflict in global politics Unconventional conflict Guerilla warfare: conducted by paramilitary forces Terrorism: target of civilians Systematic use of violence for political ends Ongoing series of acts intended to produce fear that will change attitude towards government, or change government policy State sponsored terrorism: use of terrorism by states Conclusion: International conflict Human imperfection: passion overwhelms reason Human needs / deprivation Economic and political system of the state International anarchy Ideology/group loyalty (between states and within states
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