Law School Discussion

The Realist Perspective of International Relations

giffy

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Re: The Realist Perspective of International Relations
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2005, 06:57:25 PM »
A global governmental entity such as the UN could function the same way as the federal government did and odes in the US.

That's a pipedream. Imagine the factions! Not only that, but there is NO WAY you would get even a continent under the same banner, let alone the world. Who would lead this World Organization? A white guy, black guy, indian, russian, sumerian, persian, canadian, german, italian, pol, chinese, japanese, korean, egyptian, et al?
This is some star wars *&^%, dude. I am not trying to be a smartass, but can I try what you're smoking?

I agree it is pretty unlikely, especially now, but I think it may at some point be possible. Very few thought the US federal system would be able to function, but it did, It took a bloody civil war and some pretty tenuous periods of civil disturbance, but it HAS worked. The EU also seems to working and once again who would have thought say fifty or a hundred years ago that Europe would be one the road to unification. Once again I am not saying it will happen, but I think that would be the goal of liberal internationalists. Conversely you could say the goal of realist or militaristic internationalist, to prevent war by overwhelming force is equally unlikely to work completely.

Being a bit of a moderate, I recognize the importance of a strong military, I just think that we should be restrained in its use, and work to support institutions like the UN.

strouse

Re: The Realist Perspective of International Relations
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2005, 07:01:03 PM »
A global governmental entity such as the UN could function the same way as the federal government did and odes in the US.

That's a pipedream. Imagine the factions! Not only that, but there is NO WAY you would get even a continent under the same banner, let alone the world. Who would lead this World Organization? A white guy, black guy, indian, russian, sumerian, persian, canadian, german, italian, pol, chinese, japanese, korean, egyptian, et al?
This is some star wars *&^%, dude. I am not trying to be a smartass, but can I try what you're smoking?

I agree it is pretty unlikely, especially now, but I think it may at some point be possible. Very few thought the US federal system would be able to function, but it did, It took a bloody civil war and some pretty tenuous periods of civil disturbance, but it HAS worked. The EU also seems to working and once again who would have thought say fifty or a hundred years ago that Europe would be one the road to unification. Once again I am not saying it will happen, but I think that would be the goal of liberal internationalists. Conversely you could say the goal of realist or militaristic internationalist, to prevent war by overwhelming force is equally unlikely to work completely.

Being a bit of a moderate, I recognize the importance of a strong military, I just think that we should be restrained in its use, and work to support institutions like the UN.

I don't think a realist even consider preventing war.  War in inevitable and happens.  The analogies about the US and EU is one thing, but that cannot be applied on a global scale imo.  You're talking about regions with majority ethnic populations.  I agree that it was once considered lunacy to believe people could govern themselves, but that doesn't equate with a world governing body. Like I said before, that is like Star Wars.  Even they were broken into galaxies I think   ;)

VinnyMyCousin

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Re: The Realist Perspective of International Relations
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2005, 07:06:21 PM »
Liberals or progressives take the same approach to IR that was taken to government in the 1700's. Prior to that the notion that one could have a government that was limited, democratic, and accountable was seen as crazy.

Are you saying Americans took this approach in the 1700s? If not, who? I will take it you mean Americans to which I will answer that the Founders would be mortified by your suggestion, giff. There would be no such thing as a popular, accountable world leader b/c the statesmen-philosophers that est. the U.S. were aware that simply electing one's rulers was not the means by which a nation where power lay in the hands of its citizens was to be formed. The only way to limit govt. would be to limit the govt.'s power via a written Const., which would effectivly be rendered obsolete if your ideal world ever materializes. Remember, in the 1700s Americans realized that govt. was a necessary evil and were wary of the centralization of power.  The more locally-based that necessary evil, the less threatening, a far cry from the one-world govt. you suggest. Also, the fed. govt is a horrible role model for this, if nothing other than b/c it, itself, has expanded so far outside the box into which the Const. places it, and has exhibited a trend of ever-increasing encroachment on the lives of its citizens. I cannot begin to imagine this on a worldwide scale. Globalism is nothing short of tyranny!

HTH

strouse

Re: The Realist Perspective of International Relations
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2005, 07:12:27 PM »
Liberals or progressives take the same approach to IR that was taken to government in the 1700's. Prior to that the notion that one could have a government that was limited, democratic, and accountable was seen as crazy.

Are you saying Americans took this approach in the 1700s? If not, who? I will take it you mean Americans to which I will answer that the Founders would be mortified by your suggestion, giff. There would be no such thing as a popular, accountable world leader b/c the statesmen-philosophers that est. the U.S. were aware that simply electing one's rulers was not the means by which a nation where power lay in the hands of its citizens was to be formed. The only way to limit govt. would be to limit the govt.'s power via a written Const., which would effectivly be rendered obsolete if your ideal world ever materializes. Remember, in the 1700s Americans realized that govt. was a necessary evil and were wary of the centralization of power.  The more locally-based that necessary evil, the less threatening, a far cry from the one-world govt. you suggest. Also, the fed. govt is a horrible role model for this, if nothing other than b/c it, itself, has expanded so far outside the box into which the Const. places it, and has exhibited a trend of ever-increasing encroachment on the lives of its citizens. I cannot begin to imagine this on a worldwide scale. Globalism is nothing short of tyranny!

HTH

This is true. No rational state would give away its authority to another actor. The only plausible world govt. would come in a fascist dictator who managed to nuke all his enemies.  That would be insane.  Then most of the planet would be uninhabitable due to the fallout anyway. 

giffy

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Re: The Realist Perspective of International Relations
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2005, 07:15:21 PM »
Liberals or progressives take the same approach to IR that was taken to government in the 1700's. Prior to that the notion that one could have a government that was limited, democratic, and accountable was seen as crazy.

Are you saying Americans took this approach in the 1700s? If not, who? I will take it you mean Americans to which I will answer that the Founders would be mortified by your suggestion, giff. There would be no such thing as a popular, accountable world leader b/c the statesmen-philosophers that est. the U.S. were aware that simply electing one's rulers was not the means by which a nation where power lay in the hands of its citizens was to be formed. The only way to limit govt. would be to limit the govt.'s power via a written Const., which would effectivly be rendered obsolete if your ideal world ever materializes. Remember, in the 1700s Americans realized that govt. was a necessary evil and were wary of the centralization of power.  The more locally-based that necessary evil, the less threatening, a far cry from the one-world govt. you suggest. Also, the fed. govt is a horrible role model for this, if nothing other than b/c it, itself, has expanded so far outside the box into which the Const. places it, and has exhibited a trend of ever-increasing encroachment on the lives of its citizens. I cannot begin to imagine this on a worldwide scale. Globalism is nothing short of tyranny!

HTH
It wasn't just Americans. Notions of popular sovereignty also flourished in Europe and eventually Asia. Previously limited examples could be found in tribal societies. However the idea of a limited federalist style of government was rather unique to America.

As for the whole limited government being impossible on a global scale, you may be right. It will be interesting to see how it works out with regard to the EU. I for one am a bit of a optimist and tend to think that at some point we will be able to overcome our differences and create some sort of global government. I would not bet on it though.

strouse

Re: The Realist Perspective of International Relations
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2005, 07:17:58 PM »
I would not bet on it though.


Wise choice.  That's the realist in you   ;)


EDIT: and those notions of popular sovereignty are for regional, cultural, or ethnic affiliated peoples.  I would doubt you could recreate that to include all people. (actually, I would just about guarantee you couldn't) 

BigBadBo

Re: The Realist Perspective of International Relations
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2005, 07:23:46 PM »
The EU will work as an economic power - it will rival the U.S. - though not likely surpass it (that will come with India, Korea, China, and Southeast Asia) However I am very dubious that it will work as a political/military power - the militaries of Europe are not compatible as of yet... though PM Blair has it right, a joint strike force is necessary.

I wrote a paper on this actually - most people believe if Europe becomes militarily powerful they will challenge the U.S. -

No.  This is incorrect - As two major powers with similar interests, Europe will become more aggressive militarily, likely producing a favorable situation for the United States also.

VinnyMyCousin

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Re: The Realist Perspective of International Relations
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2005, 07:23:57 PM »
It wasn't just Americans. Notions of popular sovereignty also flourished in Europe and eventually Asia. Previously limited examples could be found in tribal societies. However the idea of a limited federalist style of government was rather unique to America.

But for example, the French conception of this differed quite a bit from the American one. The vastly different character of the French revolution from the American one can partially be explained by this.  America's conception of IR was also quite diff. from that of European countries at the time. The intentions were that the U.S. would be more isolationist, so that its citizens would not be embroiled in foreign wars, some of the worst of which had occurred in Europe in the 1600s. Also, the U.S. was more free market-oriented and Europeans still quite protectionist. Obviously, these aspects of American IR didn't last too long.

strouse

Re: The Realist Perspective of International Relations
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2005, 07:27:16 PM »
LOL, French idea of Democracy=  Kill everyone who disagrees with the idea of everyone being aloud to disagree.  Then let a strongman take control and go to war with all your neighbors.

BigBadBo

Re: The Realist Perspective of International Relations
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2005, 07:32:47 PM »
Though it was 30 years ago... i did find it hard to trust a french government about iraq when they slaughtered their Algerian neighbors so recently...

France has been so contradictory about its foreign policy in the last 50 years it is tough to believe anything they suggest (based on history).  Perhaps they have had a serious change of heart - however I would suggest that is based on the fact that they have no serious power in the world today.


*I voted for Kerry.