You are on page 1of 14

POLÍTICA CONTEMPORANEA

Autor: John Mearsheimer

Libro: The tragedy of great power politics

Capítulo 2: Anarchy and the Struggle for power

Universidad Argentina de la Empresa


Licenciatura de Relaciones Públicas
Jazmín Domínguez 1
LU 1028221
25 de agosto de 2014
WHY STATES PURSUE POWER

5 assumptions

John Mearsheimer - The tragedy of great power politics - Chapter 2


BEDROCK ASSUMPTIONS

1. International system is anarchic

2. Great powers inherently posses some offensive military


capability

3. States can never be certain about other states´


intentions

4. Survival is the primary goal of great power

5. Great powers are rational actors

John Mearsheimer - The tragedy of great power politics - Chapter 2


STATE BEHAVIOR
1. Fear

2. Self-help

3. Power maximization

John Mearsheimer - The tragedy of great power politics - Chapter 2


CALCULATED AGGRESION
Military might

Balance of power

Reaction of other states

John Mearsheimer - The tragedy of great power politics - Chapter 2


HEGEMONY´S LIMITS

Domination of the system:

Global hegemons

My argument […] is that except for the unlikely

event wherein one sate achieves clear-cut nuclear

superiority, it is virtually impossible […]

Regional hegemons
6

John Mearsheimer - The tragedy of great power politics - Chapter 2


POWER AND FEAR
Fear

[…] The amount of fear between great power determines


the severity of their security competition, as well as the
probability that they will fight a war.

Power

* State´s potencial power: size of its population + level of


its wealth

* State´s actual power: its army + air and naval forces

John Mearsheimer - The tragedy of great power politics - Chapter 2


POWER AND FEAR (2)

Rival state that possess nuclear force that can survive a


nuclear attack and retaliate against are likely to fear each
other less than if these same states had no nuclear
weapons.

When great powers are separated by large bodies of


water, they usually do not have much offensive capability
against each other

The distribution of power among the states in the system


also markedly affects the level of fear.
8

John Mearsheimer - The tragedy of great power politics - Chapter 2


POWER AND FEAR (3)

Configuration of power:

Multipolar system: most fear

Bipolar system: less fear

Others considerations:

State´s intention: ultimately unknowable

State´s capabilities: measurable

State´s with large populations and rapidly expanding


9
economies: potencial threat
John Mearsheimer - The tragedy of great power politics - Chapter 2
THE HIERARCHY OF STATE GOALS

1. Survival

2. Economic prosperity

3. National unification

4. Foster human right around the globe

Offensive realism:

[…] great powers might pursue these non-security goals […]


as long as the requisite behavior does not conflict with
balance-of-power logic […] 10

John Mearsheimer - The tragedy of great power politics - Chapter 2


CREATING WORLD ORDER
World peace, it would appear, can only enhance a state´s prosperity
and secutiry.

[…] each seeks to maximize its own share of world porwer, which is
likely to clash with the goal of creating and sustaining stable
international orders.

Great powers cannot commit themselves to the pursuit of a peaceful


world order for 2 reasons:
1. States are unlikely to agree on a general formula for bolstering peace.
2. Great powers cannot put aside power considerations because they
cannot be sure that their efforts will succeed.
11

John Mearsheimer - The tragedy of great power politics - Chapter 2


COOPERATION AMONG STATES
States can cooperate, althought cooperation is sometimes
difficult to achive and always difficult to sustain. Two
factors inhibit cooperation:

1. Relative gains

2. Cheating

* Great powers often form alliances and cooperate against

common enemies.
12

John Mearsheimer - The tragedy of great power politics - Chapter 2


CONCLUSION

[…] my argument is that the structure of the intenational


system […] causes them to think and act offensivel and
to seek hegemony. […] I assume that the principal motive
behind great power behavior is survival. In anarchy,
however, the desire to survive encourges states to
behave aggresively.

13

John Mearsheimer - The tragedy of great power politics - Chapter 2


ESPACIO DE CONSULTAS

14

John Mearsheimer - The tragedy of great power politics - Chapter 2