War and Diplomacy

  • Created by: becky.65
  • Created on: 25-11-19 22:05
What is war?
Organised violence between two or more political entities
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How long has war been around?
Since the start of IR, it is what makes us human
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What is war shaped by?
The societies that fight it, the level of technology, culture, economic circumstances and more
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What is the idea of war and society?
Society shapes war and war shapes society
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If war is fundamentally illogical then why do we have it so often?
The International System: Anarchy, power transitions, security dilemmas and first-strike incentives. Domestic process: miscalculation, diversionary war, rhetorical entrapment and groupthink
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What do realists argue about war?
So long as there is no hierarchy in the international system, there will be war
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What are states seeking to do and what result does this have?
To maximise their security which in turn makes other states feel more insecure
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What happens during power transitions?
Declining powers will attempt to prevent attack of rising powers whilst they still have a chance of winning and rising powers will seek to restructure international institutions when they are powerful enough, which is a prominent cause of WWI
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What is the security dilemma?
When states' efforts to make themselves more secure make their neighbours feel threatened
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What is an example of a security dilemma?
Sweden during the Cold War had a large air force and the USSR found this threatening and made them feel insecure
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What happens when military technology favours offensive operations?
States have incentives to launch pre-emptive attacks when crises occur
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What is an example of a pre-emptive attack?
In the Egypt and Israel conflict neither state wanted to go to war but both sides build up military technology. Israel thought it was in their best interest to have a pre-emptive strike because they wanted to win and they did in 7 days
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How can miscalculation lead to war?
It leads to losing war because states miscalculate their weakness. When two states go to war, one is correct and one has miscalculated; strategy and technologies are difficult to tell if they are good until they go to war
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What are two examples of miscalculation in war?
Napoleon III in Franco-Prussian War and American new weapons in Vietnam war - only 12% of missiles worked in Vietnam because of differing weather
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What is groupthink?
When governments make particularly bad decisions when policy is make by a small homogenous group working under pressue
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What's an example of groupthink?
The US in the Bay of Pigs: they ignored the size of the Cuban army and the popularity of Castro
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What do organisational incentive lead to?
Military organisations to over-promise what they can achieve
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Why do unpopular governments often go to war?
To distract from domestic problems. Governments will go to war if they are failing to make them more popular; if they don't go to war they will implement an aggressive foreign policy which may lead to war
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What is an example of unpopular governments going to war?
The Falkland's War. The Junta were very unpopular and Argentina thought if they took the island they would become more popular as they thought Britain wouldn't contest it
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What is rhetorical entrapment?
When governments entrap themselves into positions where they feel obliged to go to war
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What is an example of rhetorical entrapment?
United States and Vietnam; each President had a little bit more force to help the south Vietnam Maize not collapse so they kept escalating the siutation
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How has the ideas of war changed since WWI?
The biggest inter-state wars have been the world's bloodiest conflicts but after the Cold War, the threat of nuclear war disappeared as did the great powers, so there was a rise of wars within states as a result of the dissolution of the USSR partly
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What happened in the Somalian civil war?
The militia were running wild on the street; civil war led to famine. International intervention fails because of resistance from local factions
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What happened in the Yugoslavian civil war?
After the collapse of the USSR, Yugoslavia falls apart. There are mass atrocities where 260,000 people are killed; 2.2 million displaced and mass ****
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What happened in the Rwandan civil war?
Genocide leads to 500,00 being killed in 100 days
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What happened in the DRC Congo civil war?
Internationalised civil war becomes the bloodiest conflict since WWII. Five million estimated deaths - still going on today but was very intense for 7 years
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What were the perspectives on these conflicts?
Ethnicity becoming the key driver of conflict - Moynihan; Conflict along civilisational fault lines - Huntington; Ancient hatreds, overpopulation, resources struggles - Kaplan
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At a sub-state level, what do intra-state wars feature?
Paramilitary groups, organised criminal organisations, local warlords and child soliders
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At an international level, what do intra-state wars feature?
Mercenaries/Arms Smugglers, international organisations, NGOs and Ethnic Diasporas
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How can state failure cause war?
When states begin with limited government capabilities they have lots of internal devisions. Structural adjustment programs deprived states of their resources which led to hyperinflation, rioting, military not getting paid so they start looting
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How can ethnic power imbalances cause war?
In weak states, disadvantaged groups frequently riot. Natural resources which are exploited by the state are not evenly distributed which makes the problems worse. It enables those in power to unevenly share economic benefits of natural resources
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How can violent entrepreneurship cause war?
Unemployed young men + plunder-able natural resources + firearms = WAR
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How can inter-ethnic relations stimulate security dilemmas?
Ethnically divided societies have more potential for conflict as groups buy SALW to protect themselves and in turn rival groups reciprocate leading to a spiral of action and reaction and pre-emptive action
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What effect is the end of unipolarity having on war?
It is more war prone as there are more powerful states struggling for unipolarity
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How could China's rise effect war?
China is the largest spending in its region on defence. It potentially could have the largest navy in the world and the economic power of China may lead to military power and thus in this power transition there could be war
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How could Europe's integration effect war?
The EU is the largest economy in the world and have the world's second largest army. However, after the 2009 Eurozone crisis this it is no longer as integrated
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How could Russia's resurgence effect war?
Russia has comparative advantages although its economy is only the 14th largest in the world. It has Security Council membership, natural resourced, defence industry and is the world's second largest nuclear power
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What does this new period of multi-larity mean for war?
More power transitions which are risky, increasing rival strategies (China-US), more civil wars, climate change wars and the return of proxy wars
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How long has war been around?


Since the start of IR, it is what makes us human

Card 3


What is war shaped by?


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Card 4


What is the idea of war and society?


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Card 5


If war is fundamentally illogical then why do we have it so often?


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