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War On Terror by Kenneth Waltz - Research Paper Example

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The writer of this paper aims to compare the three "images" regarding the causes of war by Dr. Kenneth Waltz, such as the nature and behavior of man, an Internal organization of states and the anarchy of the international system. The writer also talks about his thoughts and opinion on the theme.
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War On Terror by Kenneth Waltz
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War On Terror by Kenneth Waltz

Download file to see previous pages... The first image proposes the individual nature of man as the primary cause of wars which is why it can to be known as ‘individual level of analysis’. As Waltz say in his book Man the State and War “the locus of the important causes of war is found in the nature and behavior of man”. This analysis coincides with the point of view of numerous philosophers such as Spinoza, Rousseau and Niebuhr who believed that war was the direct result of human aggressiveness self-interest, misdirected and stupidity to achieve a peace in a self intellectual level. Hence according to this level man must change his psyche, however this theory cannot be declared entirely true as Waltz himself later argued that the importance of human nature as an individual cause of wars is reduced by the fact that the very same nature explains a variety of events.
Waltz then analyses another reason for war, that is the second image. He proposes that war is a product of internal structure and domestic strife within countries. ‘With many sovereign states, with no system of law enforceable among them, with each state judging its grievances and ambitions according to the dictates of its own reason or desire - conflict, sometimes leading to war, is bound to occur.’ He assumes that the nature of a states political institutions and how it is governed will determine whether the state will be at war or peaceful however the most logical counter argument to this analysis is that it assumes that “bad states lead to war…that good states mean peace in the world,”....
He assumes that the nature of a states political institutions and how it is governed will determine whether the state will be at war or peaceful however the most logical counter argument to this analysis is that it assumes that “bad states lead to war…that good states mean peace in the world,” ( Waltz 159) which in itself is a highly doubtful proposition. His third level of analysis emphasizes the anarchical international system composed of states and the interdependence of the policies of all states, namely the structure of the international system is the root cause of war. Analyzing political issues from the third image means relying on the international organizations, forums, and treaties that nations abide by. Major governmental and non governmental organizations are analyzed when seeking the causes of war and conflict according to third level of analysis. Waltz draws heavily upon the work of Rousseau and states that just as individuals act upon their immediate interests to the detriment of the general group interests, states should follow a rational course of action. Harmony in anarchy exists when not only is every state rational but every state assumes that every other state is rational too. Moreover, “To allow...for the irrational acts of others can lead to no determinate solution but to attempt to act on a rational calculation without making such an allowance can lead to (my own) undoing”(Waltz 169) I believe the most important cause lies in the third image i.e., the imperative influence of anarchy is the ‘underlying’ or ‘permissive’ cause of war. Many of the causes of war can be explained by the pressures exerted on states by the anarchic ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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