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This essay contains some political science questions and answers. According to Dunne, Kurki, and Smith, pragmatist theories maintain that nations are more interested in power balance that tends to competition for power achievement or power retention…
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Political Science Questions and Answers
Q1. Why does Mearshimer believe that offensive realism better explains the behavior of great powers than defensive realism does? How would Waltz respond?
According to Dunne, Kurki and Smith,1 pragmatist theories maintain that nations are more interested in power balance that tends to competition for power achievement or power retention. The adoption of this approach is only because survival within the international system provides limited alternatives thereby paving way for offensive realism.
Offensive realism belongs to the realist school and holds that aggressive conducts by nations within global politics emerges from the global system’s anarchic environment. Unlike defensive realism, offensive realism relies on four other premises as proposed by Mearsheimer2: every state is almost certain that another nation will compel it; each state has some unpleasant ability hence proficient to compel others; great supremacies act rationally; and the principle objectives of every nation are home independence, defensive integrity, and endurance. In this sense, Mearsheimer retains that great nations pursue power which when permitted by circumstances results to pursuance for hegemony.
Consequently, great nations rate power based on the material capabilities it controls especially in terms of tangible military assets and the latent power that contributes to the establishment of military power. Consequently, great powers behavior is dictated by the military power they control and the socio-economic components used to generate such power which is true given that nations differ in terms of culture, population, technology etc hence exploit their comparative power[Sny03]. Conversely, Waltz’s3 response retains that; power accumulation attempts by nations would be unwise considering that the global system reprimands any attempts to acquire too much influence. In this case, great powers’ behavior is an outcome of the decision by the system structure.
Q2. Using the concepts of competition and socialization to anchor your analysis, explain what Waltz means when he writes that a structure “may designate a compensating device that works to produce a uniformity of outcomes despite the variety of inputs.”
The implication by Waltz4 is that structure within the global system always focuses on maintaining their outcomes within constricted margins no matter the inputs into them.
This is possible due to socialization factors and competition. Socialization results from differences in societies that arise from informal and impulsive techniques applied in the definition of conduct norms. Consequently, the resulting norms control the group members and this discharges diversity and heartens homogeneity.
Conversely, competition defines organization where the outcomes facilitate the selection of behavior, where the least successful conducts leave the global system and the triumphant institutes set the pace imitated by others5.
Q.3. what are the core assumptions of realism, according to Gilpin? How and WHY do Mearshimer’s assumptions differ?
Guzzini6 reveals Gilpin’s five assumptions: the global system is stable provided no nations attempt changing it; states challenge the system where the benefits arising outdo the expenses incurred; nations seek to system change through economic, politica, and territorial growth up to the point of equilibrium or excess on marginal costs of of continued change compared to marginal benefits; the attainment of equilibrium between benefits and costs resulting from additional change and growth causes faster increment in econiomic cost to sustain the status compared to the financial ability to support th status; and failure to resolve unequity causes system changes settles for a novel equity reflection7.
While Gilpin’s assumptions focus on the system systematic, and interaction changes within the global system, Mearshimer’s assumptiosn focus on factors contributing to the endless competition for security amongst nations.
Additioanally, Mearshimer argues that given that powerful states operate anarchic environment, they feat and distrust each other leaving each to worry about the objectives of the other on security.
Q4. Compare how Lebow and Waltz explain the nature of order and its relevance to the behavior of states on the world stage
Based on Waltz8, the endurance of any state is dependent on its material strength and groupings with other nations while Lebow, the cohesiveness of any society determines the nature of order, globally or domestically, and the means that direct order to human passion and motivations9.
This case, societies coupled with the norms and identities they assist to make significantly define order from the least institution or home to the international institutions10. Classical realists on their part emphasize on the similarities and not differences in politics domestically and universally11. The major element used in these similarities is through the significance of society and ethics in the promotion of stability locally and internationally.
This contrasts neorealist Waltz who reasoned that order results from influence by masking and embedding power in a generally accepted norms system. In this case, processes similar to natural selection shape the conduct of units in a system where successful leadership is not crucial to drive successful strategies12.
Bibliography
Sny03: , (Snyder 2003, 151), Read More
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