PS 321_ International Politics The Balance of Power by pptfiles


									PS 321: International Politics
The Balance of Power
       September 21, 2012
Defining the Balance of Power
The BoP can be defined in three ways:

1. As a Distribution: Describes who has how
   much power. Is the world Unipolar?
   Bipolar? Multipolar?
2. As a Policy: States deliberately seek to
   create a system in which power is balanced
   equally, in the belief that such a system will
   be stable.
3. As a Theory: States will create alliances in
   such a way that power is usually balanced.
   They will usually Balance, but sometimes
Phases of the BoP
The BoP can be divided in 5 phases:

1.   Post-Westphalia (1648-1815)
2.   Concert of Europe (1815-1854)
3.   Rise of Nationalism (1854-1871)
4.   Bismarck’s System (1871-1907)
5.   Bipolar Alliances (1907-1914)
Post Westphalia (1648-1815)
• Ad hoc/Laissex Faire Balance of power

• States act based on self-interest to gain
  territory and/or check the rise of rivals’

• No deliberate or cooperative effort to
  enforce balance

• Ends in failure to check rise of Napoleon
  (everybody cheats!)
Concert of Europe (1815-1854)
• Deliberate system beginning at Congress of
  Vienna to create and maintain a balance of
  power (BoP as a POLICY)

• 5 great powers: Britain, France, Prussia,
  Russia, and Austria

• Slice and Dice Europe to make it so that all
  5 powers are equal in strength

• Agree to meet regularly to ensure balance is
  maintained (Institutions!)
Rise of Nationalism (1854-1971)
• Liberal beliefs in Europe cause it to
  withdraw from active participation in concert

• Rise of nationalism in Austrian territories
  sparks movements for Self-Determination

• Desire for unity among German and Italian
  speaking peoples leads to Irredentism

• Weakening of Austria and rise of Germany
  disrupts the Balance!
Bismarckian System 1871-1907
• Germany rising in power due to unification and
  industrial revolution

• Bismarck realizes this poses a threat;
  encourages Kaiser to limit his ambitions

• Bismarck conducts careful and secretive
  diplomacy to prevent other states from allying
  against Germany

• But German nationalism too great: Kaiser fires
  Bismarck, pursues colonialism and naval build-
Causes of WWI
• Individual Level

• State Level

• Systemic Level
WWI : Individual Level
• Diplomacy of Bismarck…and his firing

• Greed of Kaiser Wilhelm (poor leaders all

• Human nature makes war inevitable
WWI: State Level
• Nationalism makes war politically

• Lack of Democratic restraints in Germany,
  Austria, Russia

• Internal conflicts in Austria and Ottoman

• Political diversion in Germany
WWI: Systemic Level
• Rise of German Power (Realist)

• Rigid Bipolar Alliances (Realist)

• Glorification of War (Constructivist)

• Lack of Interdependence (?) (Liberal)

• Lack of Institutions (Liberal)

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