Alex Liebman email@example.com Summary for Katzenstein
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Alex Liebman firstname.lastname@example.org Summary for Katzenstein (Chapters 1, 5, 10, 12) Chapter 1: Introduction (Katzenstein) The basic mission of the book is to “problematize” the notion of state interests. It asks not why or how states defend their interests, but rather how they define these interests. The book focuses on two “determinants of national security policy: the cultural institutional context…and the constructed identity of states, governments, and other political actors” (4). Katzenstein asserts three definitions: “norms are collective expectations for the proper behavior of actors with a given identity,” “identity is a shorthand label for varying constructions of nation- and statehood,” and “culture is a label that denotes collective models of nation state authority or identity carried by custom or law” (5-6). The argument of the book is that collective expectations define interests, and therefore one cannot look at security policy without considering these norms and the identities upon which they are premised. Katzenstein then engages in a long summary of neorealism and neoliberal institutionalism, which I won’t summarize. The key point is that he argues that both theories depend on questions of identity. For example, Gilpin’s distinction between status quo and revisionist powers is essentially a question of identity. In the end, Katzenstein relaxes two assumptions of the two theories: 1) don’t just focus on the material capabilities of states (although the liberals don’t either), and 2) not merely focusing on the effects institutional constraints have on interests (that is, also consider the effect of identity and norms, which liberals do not). Both the social-institutional context and the collective identity of actors affect their national security preferences and policies. Chapter 5: Constructing Norms of Humanitarian Intervention (Finnemore) The puzzle Finnemore tries to answer is: why do states make humanitarian interventions when there is no compelling material or security interest at stake? Her thesis: realist theory cannot make sense of interventions such as that in Somalia; the only way to explain such interventions is to look at norms. She focuses on the justification for intervention, not the true motivation, on the grounds that if the language of justification persists over time, this shows that a new norm has become entrenched. Finnemore argues that while humanitarian intervention has persisted over time (she analyzes cases from the 19th and 20th centuries), the specific normative justification has changed (for example, from protecting Christians whites to protecting non-Christian non-whites). In looking at the 19th century, she briefly summarizes four cases: the Greek war for independence, Lebanon/Syria in 1860, the Bulgarian Agitation (1876-78), and Armenia (1894-1917). Strangely, she concludes that “humanitarian action was rarely taken when it jeopardized other stated goals or interest of a state” (168). Indeed, realpolitik concerns seem to dominate humanitarian ones in all four cases. She has to fall back on the argument that, basically, some people wanted to intervene whereas before they had not – hence a new norm had emerged. Next, she analyzes the campaign to end the slave trade and decolonization, and concludes that while new norms were not the only factor (she Alex Liebman email@example.com doesn’t mention it, but WORLD WAR II comes to mind as a potential material factor), and concludes that logical coherence of normative positions make for stronger movements. Finally, she analyzes several interventions post 1945, and concludes that what has changed is that now humanitarian intervention must be multilateral to be legitimate. My comment: This article is unsatisfying. Finnemore compares previous forms of humanitarianism to later ones, and concludes that the motivation has changed, but does not address the real question head on: when did these states act for normative, and not realist, reasons? If anything, she seems to conclude that the realist concerns were more important. Second, she is horribly guilty of “selecting on the dependent variable.” She chooses conflicts in the 19th century where the British fought against the Turks, and concludes that the rhetoric about protecting Christians must represent a new norm which drove this behavior. An obvious problem then, are examples of British-Turk cooperation (like the Crimean War), which in terms of men lost and geopolitical significance probably outweighs the other conflicts she mentions combined. Finally, she is completely vague about her dependent variable. On the one hand, she seems to be trying to explain policy outcomes (intervention). But in deciding to look at “justification, not motivation,” (because looking at the language of justification would be a good way to prove the emergence of a new norm), she is implicitly making norms the dependent, not the independent, variable. Is she trying to prove that norms change, or that norms drive outcomes? She may succeed in the former, but fails in the latter. Chapter 10: Collective Identity in a Democratic Community: The Case of NATO (Thomas Risse-Kappen) The thesis: contrary to the realist idea that NATO has stuck together due to the existence of the “Soviet threat,” Kappen argues that NATO has had tremendous cohesion because of the “republican liberalism linking domestic polities systematically to the foreign policy of states” (358). He doesn’t disagree with the idea of a Soviet threat per se, but argues that this threat was perceived precisely because of the “otherness” of the Soviet ideology. Essentially, this is a democratic peace argument applied to the type of institutions that democratic states will form. Kappen makes a long summary of realist views of NATO – basically, that the creation of NATO was an effort to balance power. Kappen argues instead that NATO’s origins came because “fundamental ideas – worldviews – about the domestic and the international order for the post World War II era clashed” (378). To meet this threat, those with similar worldviews founded an organization whose operating principles were consistent with their democratic norms. Kappen analyzes two cases to show that his “liberal” explanation is superior to the realist explanation. Apology to reader: I’m sorry, I can’t really summarize the argument here because I can’t understand it. I’ve read it over four times, and just don’t get. If you do, please let me know. Here’s as much as I can glean: Alex Liebman firstname.lastname@example.org In the 1956 Suez crisis, the British and French teamed up with the Israelis to take back the Suez canal and overthrow Nasser. The US opposed the idea and so was deliberately kept out of the planning. Once the three states attacked, the US lost trust and confidence and therefore had to “abandon the community,” and coerce its two allies (and Israel) to pull out. They did, and after Anthony Eden took the fall, the Brits and the US reassured each other that the “special relationship” would be restored quickly. The claim is somehow that this sequence of events “proves” that the NATO alliance was really about identity, not about interests. I just can’t see how it does this. Then, Kappen argues that the alleged close collaboration between the US and Britain during the Cuban Missile Crisis also shows that the alliance was based on identity. He concedes that “reputational concerns and the credibility of the US commitment to NATO [realist factors] were at stake during the Cuban missile crisis. But I submit that these worries can be better understood within the framework of a security community based on collectively shared values than on the basis of traditional alliance theory” (393). As far I can tell, this is really just an assertion. But here’s the kicker: secrecy, deception and coercion on the one hand (Suez), and close cooperation on the other (CMC crisis), both prove the alliance was based on identity. I’m sorry if I’m missing something, but I just find this completely unclear. Kappen concludes by discussing the future of NATO. Both realists and liberals would assert that a weaker Russia means less chance for NATO continuing – the realist because the Soviet threat has diminished, the liberal because Soviet ideology is no longer a threat. Chapter 12: Norms, Identity, and Their Limits: A Theoretical Reprise (Kowert and Legro) Kowert and Legro provide a (somewhat) critical analysis of the rest of the essays in the book. They concur that norms and identities matter in international politics. Neoclassical realism, premised on microeconomic foundations, cannot explain the differences we see in state goals. But like realism, constructivist explanations can be systemic, except that instead of focusing on material factors within the system, they focus on the social attributes of structure. Kowert and Legro assert that norms influence three things: 1) what states see as their interests; 2) the best way to achieve those interests (“instrumentality”), and 3) other norms. Kowert and Legro do hit the key criticism of the entire book: namely, that while each author has allegedly identified the effect of specific norms in particular cases, they have not put forward any theory of what process generates these norms in the first place. Kowert and Legro offer three possibilities for where norms might come from: 1) ecological processes – “the patterned interaction of actors and their environment.” For example, shocks to the environment such as World War II generate new norms. 2) Social processes. These theories focus on diffusion of norms through institutions, language, or in-group out-group dynamics. 3) Internal processes. Cultures and countries have their own histories which generated norms in the past; norms are not a function of the international system but of particular countries. Alex Liebman email@example.com Finally, Kowert and Legro assess some of the difficulties in studying norms. 1) How widespread does an idea or standard have to be before it can be considered a “norm?” 2) Often times there are so many norms, that any predictive power is lost – there is simply an “anything goes” attitude – “any behavior can be explained with reference to some norm” (487). 3) Norms must be able to account both for cases of continuity and for change. 4) They emphasize that norms are not completely disconnected from the material world – what needs to be studied are the interactions between the two. 5) Agency and norms: many times elites strive to manipulate, abuse, or change a norm (or an identity). If norms are endogenous to political actors’ behavior, then they cannot really be said to be causing particular outcomes.