International Relations Study Notes (IR notes)

International Relations Study Notes (IR notes)

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Notes October 5, 1998 Suggested Questions for Essay 1 Answer one of the following: 1. Is the balance of power the only reliable basis for order in international relations? 2. Compare and contrast the League of Nations and the United Nations as international organizations. 3. Did decolonization after WWII undermine or strengthen the structure of the modern international society? 4. Why did the 'second Cold War' begin; and why did it end with the collapse of the USSR? 5. Are liberal theories of international relations necessarily utopian, and is this a problem? October 5, 1998 During the pre-Westphalian system, there was no real concept of sovereignty. There's no real distinction between "domestic" and "international." There was a central authority (the Pope), and a common language, Latin. Therefore, everything is somewhat unified.

Causes for change from Westphalian system Capitalism 

Emergence of a new type of class division, along with new workings between classes. The kings were "keen" on working with the upper capitalist class so that they could get land from the feudal lords and the kings could rule over a bigger area.

Bodin - outlined sovereignty: 1) King has absolute authority over a certain area, and 2) externally the king has no authority over him.

Changes in thought (the Reformation/Renaissance/Enlightenment) 

Splits in the Catholic church that reduced the authority of the Pope. Ideas emerge that morals and laws are separate from the Church.

Scientific knowledge expands, finding natural laws which further reduce Church authority.

Change in perspective in art. (Ruggie did work on this.) The perspective may reflect the recognition of the world being split up into separate defined areas.

Changes in military 

Medieval system was based upon the concept of the knights, which ran around with different kinds of weapons.

This sort of thing shifted to large, standing armies. (Give the peasants guns.)

This brought programs of training and drilling. (Show the peasants how to shoot.) (Note that castles were no longer effective, and large structures needed to be built to protect large areas.)

All of this brought about the idea of states and reduced the authority of Christendom. This culminated in the Thirty Years War. Thirty Years War - a bunch of conflicts evolving around Catholic vs. Protestants. 

Catholics versus Protestants.

Holy Roman Emperor versus France, Sweden, and a few Protestant Germany.

Netherlands against Spain.

In Munster and Osnabruck, no less than 194 authorities were present. In 1648, the Peace of Westphalia basically made Protestants the winners. Important things about the Peace of Westphalia 

First recognition of sovereignty of states in Germany.

General secularization of international relations, and a recognition of religious diversity.

Formalization of diplomatic protocols, much of which were brought about during the negotiations of the Peace of Westphalia.

Origin of modern international law, again moving away from the previous single source of authority, the Catholic Church. Positive International Law, where states can only be held to laws which the state agrees to.

This all brought about a new "mechanical system" of independent states, along with a system of rules for an international society. These are important concepts for this course: again, a system of sovereign states, and a society of states. The painting of the signing of the Peace of Westphalia, according to the speaker, reflected a new anonymization of the diplomat, no longer, "John Smith," but just a representative of a certain state.