One novelty of our age, however, deserves mention. Discord and Collaboration: Essays on International Politics — Arnold Wolfers — Google Books Arnold Wolfers Find more information about: Yet, this does not necessarily follow, because nations lining up in the UN voting process risk being counted on the side of one or the other disputant. If, on the other hand, one sees only the mass collabogation individual human beings of whom mankind is composed, the power game of states tends to appear as an inhuman interference with the lives of ordinary people. Does the state not take on the character of an a-human monster to whom dignity is given gratuitously, if it is regarded aolfers an actor in its own right, at liberty to place its interests above those of the human beings who compose it?

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Undoubtedly, the anarchical condition inherent in any sytem of multiple sovereignty constitutes one of the prerequisites of international conflict; without it, there could be no international relations, peaceful or non-peaceful.

Yet, in the last analysis, it is the goals pursued by the actors and the way they go about pursuing them that determine whether and to what extent the potentialities for power struggle and war are realized. This can be seen by imagining two extreme sets of conditions, both theoretically compatible with a multistate system, in which, as a consequence of the wide differences in the objectives pursued by the states in question as well as in the means they are willing to employ, the chances of peace would stand at opposite poles.

Starting at one pole, one can postulate a situation in which all actors are entirely satisfied with the established state of international affairs, and are content, therefore, to concern themselves exclusively with domestic matters. In this case, they would have no incentive to make or press demands on others.

As a consequence, there would be no rational cause for conflict or for disturbances of the peace. Needless to say, this is a utopia.

In some historical instances, however, conditions so nearly approached this extreme that to some observers the utopia appeared within reach, while in other times arious schools of thought held it up as at least a goal toward which policy should be directed. Thus, since the days of Cobden, free-traders have argued that if governments ceased to interfere with commercial activities across borders the chief source of international conflict would be removed.

Others have pleaded instead for economic autarchy which, by eliminating the need for international economic intercourse altogether, would make economic demands on others unnecessary. It might be added that some have advocated policies of isolation and neutrality on the same grounds: a condition of dissociation among nations would reduce their interdependence and thus minimize the occasions for conflict.

My purpose here is not to determine whether such policies are practical or desirable, but to draw attention to the close relationship between foreign policy objectives and the incidence of tension that might lead to a resort to violence. This close relationship appears confirmed if one moves to the other pole and postulates that nations are engaged in making exacting demands on one another and are prepared to fight rather than give in.

Actually, to be able to predict very serious threats to the peace, one need only assume that a single powerful actor within a multistate system is bent on attaining goals of territorial expansion or dominion over others, because resistance to any drive toward acquisitive goals of this nature is almost certain to materialize.

The stage is thus set for clashes that justify a high expectation of violence. Before looking into the kinds of goals or objectives that nations tend to pursue in their external activities, one semantic hurdle must be taken. It is customary to distinguish between goals and means, a custom I intend to follow to a certain extent; yet it is impossible to draw a sharp line of demarcation between the two ideas.

All means can be said to constitute intermediary or proximate goals, and few goals if any can be considered ultimate, in the sense of being sought as ends in themselves. Even when a nation aims for a goal as highly valued as national independence, it can be argued that the nation is seeking such independence as a means of providing its citizens with benefits other than national independence itself. Percy Corbett, for instance, points out that "for democratic purposes it seems worthwhile to insist that the prime object of foreign policy.

V, No. To make things more complicated, what constitutes a means or intermediate goal in one context may be a remote if not ultimate goal in another, with specific objectives changing places from one instance to another. Thus, enhanced power may be sought as a means of obtaining more territory, while the acquisition of more territory in turn may be desired as a means of enhancing national power. In the case of Europe prior to the establishment of NATO, the question was whether what was needed most was higher productivity as a means of increasing defensive strength or conversely whether more defensive strength providing a greater sense of security was not a prerequisite of greater efforts toward higher productivity.

Because the objectives a nation seeks to reach can range from the most immediate means to the most remote or ultimate ends, all goals will be taken to fall within the scope of this chapter with the single exception of power and influence. The justification for this exception should become clear when the unique position of these two values as the means par excellence for the attainment of all other foreign policy goals is discussed.

If a nation is helping others through economic aid tO raise their standard of living, it may make a great deal of difference for the chances that such aid will be continued or extended whether the nation extending the aid considers economic improvement abroad as being desirable in itself, or promotes it merely for the sake of cementing its alliance with the assisted country or of drawing that country over to its own side.

To take another example, there has been uncertainty in Europe whether American support for European integration implies that the United States believes such integration to be a good thing in itself--worthy therefore of continued support, cold war or no cold war--or whether greater European unity is valued solely as a means of strengthening Western defenses.

Then again, the importance of aim or purpose may be illustrated by a question that has led to much controversy. Some see the Soviet Union supporting revolutionary movements abroad because world revolution per se is the goal of Soviet policy; others maintain that the aim is to bolster the security of the Soviet Union as a nation-state, and the revolutions can count on Soviet support only when and where they are expected to enhance the power of the Soviet Union and its alliances.

Frequently, of course, a single means can serve to promote two or more concurrent ends. The Soviet leaders being both the rulers of Russia and the leaders of world communism may be unable themselves to distinguish between their national and world revolutionary goals and interests.

As soon as one seeks to discover the place of goals in the means-end chain of relationships, almost inevitably one is led to probe into the dark labyrinth of human motives, those internal springs of conscious and unconscious actions which Morgenthau calls "the most illusive of psychological data.

Hans J. Knopf, New York, , p. It is understandable that historians have devoted so much time to probing the motives of actors. Although the success of an act such as an effort to pacify an area does not depend on the nature of the motivation, overt behavior remains unintelligible except in relation to motivation.

An act of intervention may be the same in its outward appearance whether it is motivated by imperialist design or by the desire to help a people throw off the yoke of a tyrannical government. However, when other governments are making up their minds how to react to such intervention or deciding what to expect from the intervening nation in future contingencies, they cannot avoid seeking to discover what it was that prompted the particular action.

If nations are seen to desire a wide variety of accomplishments and gains ranging all the way from such ambitious ends as empire or predominance to mere trade advantages, opportunities for cultural exchanges, or voting rights in international organizations, one might expect that whatever a nation values and can attain only from other nations will automatically be transformed into a foreign policy objective.

This is not the case. Leading statesmen may give expression to hopes or ideals of their people, but these hopes do not, thereby, become what properly can be called policy goals. They will become goals only if the decision is reached that some national effort involving sacrifices, or the risk of sacrifices, is to be made for their realization. All goals are costly. Therefore an aspiration will not be turned into a policy goal unless it is sufficiently cherished by those who make and influence policy to justify the costs that its attainment is expected to require in terms of sacrifices.

The American people, or influential Americans, may place high value on the liberation of satellite peoples; the question is whether such liberation is valued highly enough to turn it into an American foreign policy goal for which a high price possibly would be paid. Picturing aspirations and goals at opposite poles is not accurate.

One might better regard them as the two ends of a continuum that runs from mere hopes to goals of vital interest. World revolution is not merely a hope, but a goal of Soviet foreign policy. Yet, while it may be close to the pole of vital goals usually assumed to justify the resort to violence, it may be sufficiently removed from this pole to keep Soviet policy-makers from initiating a war for the sake of its promotion.

Statesmen are well advised to keep in mind that threats to the peace may arise if other nations are left uncertain whether or not national spokesmen who proclaim national aspirations have actually decided to turn a particular aspiration into a policy goal, possibly a goal deemed vital enough to warrant risking or sacrificing the peace.

In analyzing international politics, there would be no need to concern oneself with the problem of goals if nation-states were single-purpose organizations. If they were, states would never consent to make sacrifices for purposes--such as the promotion of peace--that obviously do not constitute their sole objective. It should be added, however, that even if foreign policy were directed predominantly toward a single goal, such a goal would not monopolize the entire activity of states, except in the extreme emergency of a war.

Always there would remain the many domestic goals which no government can ignore and which compete for resources with whatever external purposes the nation may be pursuing.

Often these domestic objectives place the severest restraints on external aspirations, as one can gather from any parliamentary debate in which the demand for financial appropriations to meet the needs of external pursuits runs up against demands to increase social benefits or to reduce taxes.

Appearances to the contrary, there is no division of opinion among analysts of international politics about the fact that the policy of nations aims at a multitude of goals. Some exponents of realist thought have been misunderstood to hold that power or even maximum power represents the only significant goal. Authors like Nicholas Spykman and Hans Morgenthau have contributed to this misapprehension, the first by stating on one occasion that "the improvement of the relative power position becomes the primary objective of the internal and the external policy of states," 4 the latter by his statement that "the aspiration for power is the distinguishing element of 4.

Morgenthau, op. Spykman, op. The goals of national independence, territorial integrity, and national survival which figure so large in the foreign policy of all nation-states are not uniform in scope or character and must, therefore, be treated as significant variables.

Governments conceive of these cherished values in more or less moderate and in more or less ambitious and exacting terms. A good illustration is offered by colonial powers. Only those among them who insist that their "colonies"--or some of them--are not colonies at all but an integral part of their national territory are led to treat the preservation of these areas as a requirement of national survival and thus as a vital goal that justifies almost any sacrifice.

The new postcolonial states present another illustration of differences in outlook among different actors. Some insist that any continuing ties with the mother country are unacceptable because such ties would defeat the goal of sovereign independence; others favor "union" or commonwealth types of association in the interest of economic welfare, provided the goal of sovereign equality is attained.

The goal of national survival itself is given a wide variety of interpretations by different countries or countries facing different conditions. Nations intent upon keeping their involvement in international conflicts at a minimum are inclined to consider their survival at stake only when their own territory comes under the threat of attack or actually is attacked.

The idea of "indivisible peace" which would require them to participate in collective action against any aggressor anywhere has little appeal to them. In contrast, a nation engaged in a global struggle, as the United States is today, will tend to regard any shift in the balance of power that favors its adversary as at least an indirect threat to its own survival. As a consequence, it may consider its survival at stake in a conflict over remote and intrinsically unimportant islandso such as Quemoy and Matsu or over legal rights in West Berlin on the ground that, by an assumed domino effect or chain reaction, defeat at any one point will lead to defeat at every other point, until in the end all chances of survival are nullified.

No attempt will be made here to identify and classify all the many goals that nations set for themselves or may set for themselves in the framework of their foreign policy. Instead, I shall limit myself to a discussion of what appear to be particularly significant and persistent groups of contrasting goals. Most of them are in the nature of dichotomies; in the case of the goals pertaining to the national "self" and its accepted limits, however, a distinction into three categories has suggested itself.

These will be treated in a later chapter as goals of national self-extension, national self-preservation, and national self-abnegation. I call the former "possession goals," the latter "milieu goals. The aim may apply to such values as a stretch of territory, membership in the Security Council of the United Nations, or tariff preferences. Here a nation finds itself competing with others for a share in values of limited supply; it is demanding that its share be left intact or be increased.

Because of the possessive nature of these goals, they are apt to be praised by some for being truly in the national interest, while condemned by others as indicating a reprehensible spirit of national selfishness or acquisitiveness. Milieu goals are of a different character. Nations pursuing them are out not to defend or increase possessions they hold to the exclusion of others, but aim instead at shaping conditions beyond their national boundaries.

If it were not for the existence of such goals, peace could never become an objective of national policy. By its very nature, peace cannot be the possession of any one nation; it takes at least two to make and have peace. Similarly, efforts to promote international law or to establish international organizations, undertaken consistently by many nations, are addressed to the milieu in which nations operate and indeed such efforts make sense only if nations have reason to concern themselves with things other than their own possessions.

Writing in the same vein, Paul A. Nitze says that the United States "can no longer look merely to its narrow competitive interests within whatever structure happens, from time to time, to exist as a result of the policy and will of others or as a result of the chance operations of impersonal forces.

If this is so, it follows that a basic objective of U. Milieu goals often may turn out to be nothing but a means or a way station toward some possession goal. A nation may hope to increase its prestige or its security by making sacrifices for the establishment and maintenance of international organizations. But this need not be its exclusive aim. Instead, the nation in question may be seriously concerned about the milieu within which it operates and may expect such organizations to improve the environment by making it more peaceful or more conducive to social or economic progress.

Here for once the analogy with the behavior and interests of individuals should not be misleading. A man is rightly considered not merely selfish but shortsighted in terms of his own interests if he puts all his efforts into the accumulation and protection of his possessions while remaining indifferent to the peace and order, the public health and well-being of the community in which he resides or works.

These are aspects of his milieu, as the term is used here. The difference need not be one only of greater or lesser security of acquired possessions; it may also signify a difference in happiness, in future opportunities, and perhaps in moral satisfaction. Nations also face these differences in their milieu, although it is up to them to decide to what extent they wish to devote their resources to the benefits they may hope to derive from helping to preserve or improve conditions prevailing beyond their borders.

There is bound to be competition here with the demands that their goals of possession, some of them pressing and vital, make on the limited national resources. Statesmen and peoples called upon to allot priorities among goals that belong to these two categories often face trying dilemmas.


Discord and Collaboration: Essays on International Politics



Discord and collaboration



Discord And Collaboration Essays On International Politics


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