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  Educators Course Syllabi Politics, Pfaltzgraff- World Politics, Theory and Practice, 3

Week 3: The Units of Analysis: Power, Political Realism, and the State as an Actor

Topics for Reports:

  • Systems Structure: The Anarchic Society
  • The Idea of National Interest: Hans Morgenthau
  • Realpolitik in International Relations Theory
  • Neorealism and International Relations Theory
  • The Neorealist-Neoliberal Debate

Basic Readings:


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Baldwin, David A. (ed.)
Neorealism and Neoliberalism: The Contemporary Debate (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993), Chs. 1; 11-12.
Carr, E.H
* The Twenty Years Crisis, pp.63-192
Doran, Charles F.
Systems in Crisis: New Imperatives of High Politics at Century's End (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp.1-59; 117-143.
Dougherty, James E. and Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr.
* Contending Theories of International Relations, Chapter 3
Gilpin, Robert G.
War and Change in World Politics, pp. 9-50
Keohane, Robert O., ed.
* Neorealism and Its Critics, pp. 1-17; 98-131; 158-203; 255-345

Selected Bibliography:

Aron, Raymond
Peace and War (New York: Doubleday, 1967)
Cline, Ray S.
World Power Assessment (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1977)
World Power Trends and U.S. Foreign Policy for the 1980s (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1980)
Cook, Thomas J. and Malcolm Moos
Power Through Purpose: The Realism of Idealism as a Basis for Foreign Policy (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1954)
Davis, Harry R. and Robert C. Good, eds.
Reinhold Niebuhr on Politics (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1960)
Dickson, Peter W.
Kissinger and the Meaning of History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978)
Fox, William T.R.
"The Reconciliation of the Desirable and the Possible," The American Scholar (Spring 1949), Vol. 18, pp.212-216
Furniss, Edgar S., Jr.
"The Contribution of Nicholas John Spykman to the Study of International Politics," World Politics (April 1952)
Good, Robert C.
"The National Interest and Political Realism: Niebuhr's `Debate' with Morgenthau and Kennan," Journal of Politics (November 22, 1960), pp.597-619
Herz, John H.
Political Realism and Political Idealism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951)
Kennan, George F.
"America and the Russian Future," American Diplomacy (1950), pp.129-154
American Diplomacy, 1900-1950 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951)
On Dealing with the Communist World (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1964)
Realities of American Foreign Policy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1954)
Russia, the Atom, and the West (New York: Harper Brothers, 1958)
"The Sources of Soviet Conduct," American Diplomacy, 1900-1950, pp.107-128
Memoirs, 1925-1950 (Boston: Atlantic-Little, Brown, 1967)
The Cloud of Danger: Current Realities of American Foreign Policy (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1977)
Kindleberger, Charles P.
Power and Money: The Politics of International Economics and the Economics of International Politics (New York: Basic Books, 1970)
Kipnis, Kenneth and Diana T. Meyers
Political Realism and International Morality: Ethics in the Nuclear Age (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1987)
Kissinger, Henry A.
A World Restored (New York: Grossett and Dunlop, 1964)
Diplomacy (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994)
Knorr, Klaus
Military Power and Potential (Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath, 1970)
The Power of Nations: The Political Economy of International Relations (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1975)
The Prince (New York: Modern Bookstore, 1940)
Meinecke, Friedrich
Machiavellism: The Doctrine of Raison d'þtat and Its Place in Modern History (New York: Praeger, 1965)
Morgenthau, Hans J.
Politics Among Nations, 5th revised edition (New York: Knopf, 1978)
Scientific Man Vs. Power Politics (New York: Knopf, 1950)
In Defense of National Interest (New York: Knopf, 1951)
The Purpose of American Politics (New York: Vintage Books, 1964)
The Decline of Democratic Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951)
The Impasse of American Foreign Policy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962)
Science: Servant or Master? (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1972)
"Another `Great Debate': The National Interest of the U.S," American Political Science Review, Vol. XLVI (December 1952), pp.961-988
"The Mainsprings of American Foreign Policy: The National Interest vs. Moral Abstractions," American Political Science Review, Vol. XLIV (December 1950), pp.833-845
"The Permanent Values in the Old Diplomacy," in Kertsz and Fitzsimons, eds., Diplomacy in a Changing World (Evanston, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1959, pp.10-20.
Dilemmas of Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958)
"Political Science of E.H. Carr," World Politics (October 1, 1958), pp.127-134
Truth and Power: Essays of a Decade, 1960-1970 (New York: Praeger, 1970)
______________________ and K.W. Thompson
Principles of Problems of International Politics (New York: Knopf, 1950)
Niebuhr, Reinhold
An Interpretation of Christian Ethics (New York: Harper Brothers, 1935)
Man's Nature and His Communities (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1965)
Christian Realism and Political Problems (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1933)
The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1960)
Moral Man and Immoral Society (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1959)
The Structure of Nations and Empires (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1952)
The Irony of American History (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1952)
Christianity and Power Politics (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940)
Osgood, Robert E.
Ideals and Self-Interest in America's Foreign Relations (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953)
Rommen, Heinrich
"Realism and Utopianism in World Affairs," Review of Politics (April 1944)
Russell, Bertrand
Power: A New Social Analysis (London: Unwin Books, 1962)
Russell, Greg
"Searching for Realism's Grand Design: George F. Kennan and the Ethics of American Power in World Affairs," The Political Science Reviewer, Spring 1990.
Hans J. Morgenthau and the Ethics of American Statecraft (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1990)
"Hans J. Morgenthau and the Normative Foundations of Diplomacy and Statesmanship," Diplomacy and Statecraft, March 1991.
Schwarzenberger, Georg
Power Politics (New York: Praeger, 1964)
Sprout, Harold H.
"Review of America's Strategy in World Politics," American Political Science Review, Vol. 36 (October 1942), pp.956-958
Spykman, Nicholas J.
The Geography of Peace (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1944)
America's Strategy in World Politics (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1942)
"States' Rights and the League," Yale Review, Vol. XXIV, No. 2, (December 1934), pp.274-293
"Frontiers, Security, and International Organization," Geographical Review, Vol. XXII, No. 3 (July 1942), pp.436-438
"Geography and Foreign Policy I," American Political Science Review, Vol. XXXIII, No. 1 (February 1938), pp.213-236
_____________________ and Abbie A. Rollins
"Geographic Objectives in Foreign Policy (I)," American Political Science Review, Vol. XXXIII, No. 3 (June 1939), pp.391-410
Strausz-Hupe, Robert
The Zone of Indifference (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1952)
Power and Community (New York: Praeger, 1956)
The Balance of Tomorrow (New York: Putnam's Sons, 1945)
Geopolitics, (1942)
____________________ and Stefan T. Possony
International Relations (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1954)
Thompson, Kenneth W
Political Realism and the Crisis of World Politics: An American Approach to Foreign Policy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1960)
Tillich, Paul, John C. Benneth, and Hans J. Morgenthau
Reinhold Niebuhr (Greenwich, CT: Seabury Press, 1962)
Treitschke, Heinrich Von
Politics, Hans Kohn, ed. (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1963)
Vasquez, John A
The Power of Power Politics: A Critique (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1983)
Walker, R.B.J.
"Realism, Change, and International Political Theory," International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 31, No. 2 (March 1987)
Wolfers, Arnold
Discord and Collaboration (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1962)
Britain and France between the Wars (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1940)

Study Questions

III. Nuclear-weapons Non-proliferation

  1. Which are the declared nuclear-weapon states?
  2. Which are the undeclared nuclear-weapon states?
  3. Which countries have shut down their nuclear-weapons programs? Why?
  4. Which other countries are suspected of seeking nuclear weapons?
  5. What are some reasons countries seek nuclear weapons? Can we influence that choice?
  6. What is the basic compact between the nuclear-weapons and non-weapons states in the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)?
  7. What international agency is responsible for verifying that non-weapons signatories are adhering to their NPT commitments? How does it carry out this responsibility?
  8. What are the key "fissile" materials required to make a nuclear weapon? How are they produced?
  9. About how much highly-enriched uranium (plutonium) is required to make a nuclear bomb?
  10. What are the key technologies required to produce or obtain direct access to these weapons-useable fissile materials? Do all countries with nuclear-power programs require them?
  11. What types of enrichment technologies have been used during the past two decades in the weapons programs of less-developed countries?
  12. What types of neutron-moderating (slowing) materials are used in reactors that can be fueled by natural uranium -- therefore making it unnecessary for a country to acquire or produce enriched-uranium fuel?
  13. About how much U-235 is charged and how much plutonium is discharged annually in the fuel of a large (1 Gigawatt electric [Gwe]) nuclear power plant?
  14. Why do nuclear-energy proponents argue that spent-fuel reprocessing will eventually be an essential part of any future large-scale fission-energy program? Why do those concerned about nuclear weapons proliferation argue that reprocessing is unnecessary for decades at least?
  15. What are "dual-use" technologies? Why do the industrialized countries try to limit their export to developing countries?
  16. Why does the U.S. nuclear-weapons establishment insist on retaining thousands of nuclear warheads when any country could be destroyed with a hundred?