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UNIVERSIDAD DE LAS AMERICAS Political Science and International Relations CPR705 - International Security Andre Granda Garrido 20 March

2013 Prcis WAR (Gilpin, Huntington, Waltz) The three authors studied agree on one of the undeniable truths of international relations: conflict is natural, and therefore the possibility of war is always present. Kenneth Waltz analyzes the causes of war from a neorealist perspective, establishing the similarities of that theory with classical realism but also pointing out their differences. The main thesis of Waltz is that the origin of the war is in the structure of the international system, and not only in its units or individual actors. According to Waltz, the changes in the structure of the international system cause a series of interactions that can lead to an armed conflict, as has happened in history. Relations between states change profoundly depending on the nature of the system, either bipolar or multipolar; this has been demonstrated by the Cold War and the two world wars. According to him, the bipolar system is a much more stable and predictable system than the multipolar, and therefore there is a greater chance of avoiding war in a bipolar structure. Waltz also talks about the effect of nuclear weapons to prevent war and its ability to deter other states to start a war. Robert Gilpin's study is based on the theory of hegemonic war of Thucydides, which establishes that the changes in the international system, seen as the distribution of power between states, are crucial for the wars. Hegemonic war is a great war different from others, caused by profound changes in the international system, so the direct consequence of a hegemonic war is the change in the power relations between states. Gilpin takes the example of Athens and Sparta and talks about the differences between a hegemon and a power on the rise, and then he uses this analysis to question about the validity of Thucydides theory for modern conflicts. Gilpin also analyzes the effect of nuclear weapons as a determinant of war, but believes that despite nuclear weapons the nature of the international system and its fundamental characteristics has not changed, because human nature and consciousness remains the same. Thus is not possible to totally discount the possibility of a hegemonic war in the nuclear age. Huntington argues through his thesis of the Clash of Civilizations the end of ideological conflict between states and the emergence of cultural conflict. This kind of conflict will be between the maximum cultural entities, civilizations. Of course, Huntington addresses the problem from a Western point of view, describing the different civilizations such as Chinese, Arabic, Latin American, Slavic and warning about the problems that could arise between these cultures versus West (the West and the Rest). Huntington considers that states and societies belonging to the same civilization tend to support each other, so it becomes a crucial factor for the conformation of alliances and coalitions, as well as the predisposition for conflict between different civilizations. Therefore, according to Huntington one of the causes for war in the twenty-first century will be cultural differences between civilizations that share common characteristics against those who are different.