Title: Way of War and Peace

Author: Michael Doyle


Summary:  Doyle presents three different schools of thought, Realism, Liberalism, and Socialism.  He uses several historical figures to present his ideas, such as Thucydides, Rousseau, Locke, Marx, and a few others.  His discussion revolves around the theories that make harmony, cooperation, and conflict as it relates to war and peace in world politics.  Finally he uses his discussion to present ideas on how to examine explanatory and moral questions about the sources and strategies of war and peace and when to intervene with force.

Main Points:

206 – liberalism resembles a family portrait of principles and institutions, recognizable by certain characteristics: individual freedom, political participation, private property, and equality of opportunity, equality before law, free speech, and other civil liberties, private property and elected representation

209 – realism: a state of war coming among all states and societies, which is a condition in which war was regarded as a continuous possibility, threatening  prospect, in which each state has to regard every other state as presenting the possibility of this threat.

1)    Relations among states were anarchic

2)    State were independent units that could be treated as strategic actors

3)    Some states sought to expand; others, merely survive

216 – Lockean – man is morally equal, rational, and independent; no system of government; man is obligated to obey a clear set of natural laws that confer natural rights and duties

219 – Liberal Foreign Power – the commonwealth makes the legislative power supream  because it enables the representatives of citizens to express the continuing consent of the majority to the laws of the state

233 -  Liberal International Political Economy: Trade is the source of finance and finance is the vital nerve of war

235 – free trade – unsubsidized and unrestricted is best for all, a view shared by most modern economists

237 – War is a rational function of two factors:

1)    The spoils that successful aggression gains

2)    the cost of war: determined by the opportunity cost of war and the net costs of war, the larger the spoils, the lower the opportunity costs, and the higher the chance of victory, the more likely the war; and vice versa for peace

245 – Capitalism: produces and unwarlike disposition; its populace is democratized, individualized, and rationalized

245 – Democratic Capitalism:

1)    throughout the Capitalist world opposition has arisen to war and expansion

2)    contemporary capitalism is associated with peace parties

3)    industrial worker of capitalism is vigorously anti-imperialist

4)    capitalist world has developed the means of preventing war

5)    the least feudal, most capital society (US) has demonstrated the least imperialistic tendencies

255 – Kant: International law guarantees justice; states have the right to make war when they are injured

1)    when they believe they are injured

2)    when the state experiences a threat as another state makes preparations for war

3)    when another state achieves as alarming increase in power

258 – Liberal Internationalism:

1)    First effect of liberalism on the foreign relations of liberal states is the establishment of peace among them

2)    Second effect; aggression against non-liberals. Peaceful restraints seem to work only in the liberals relations with other liberals.  Liberal or democratic states are not less warprone that nonlibertarian or nondemocratic states

3)    Third effect is the relations of liberal states is of supine complaisance: 

a.     One is a failure to support allies

b.     Other is a failure to oppose enemies

287  -  Kantian Theory - Three expectations among states to make peace, must meet three conditions:

1)    Representative, republican government – elected legislature, separation of powers, and rule of law

2)    A principle respect for nondiscriminatory human rights – commitment to respect the rights of fellow liberal republics and suspicion of nonrepublics

3)    Social and economic interdependence – trade and social interaction generally engender a mix of conflict and cooperation

301 – Kantian internationalist: the state of war is a potent structural force that can be overcome only by a process of constitutional evolution among themselves a state of peace, pacific union

303 – realists hold that the effects of differing domestic regimes are overridden by the international anarchy under which all states live

334 – cooperation and conflict as sources of war and peace, characterized relations among countries not subject to imperial conquest, Marx and Engels argues.  Military power depended on the mode of production both for its war materiel and organization

346 – Lenin’s Imperialism:  monopoly stage of capitalism; five features:

1)    Concentration of production and capital developed a high stage, that created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life

2)    Merging of bank capital with industrial capital and the creation on the basis of financial capital

3)    Export of capital which has become extremely important, as distinguished from the exports of commodities

4)    Formation of international capitalist combines which share the world among themselves

5)    Territorial division of the world among the greatest capitalist powers is completed

34 9 – Imperialism: product of institutions and forces

1)    Institutions are monopoly capital, composed of the merger of industrial and back capital and the state, a reflection of those economic institutions

2)    Forces are exerted by and through the institutions

390 – Thucydides argued nonintervention  as seen with the blockade of Melos:  the only rules are the will of the strong and the obedience of the weak

395 – Liberal Nonintervention: 

1)     Most important value they saw in the principle was that it reflected and protected human rights

2)    Consequences: it would be a great mistake to export  freedom to a foreign people that was not in a position to win it on its own

a.     Begin to rule as did the previous governments, repress their opposition

b.     Simply collapse in an ensuing civil war

c.     Or the intervenors would have continually to send in foreign support

396 – liberal intervention:

1)    Cosmopolitan liberals are radically skeptical of the principle of nonintervention

a.     Morally adequate recognition of equal human freedom rights freedom from tourture, free speech, privacy rights, and private proprty

2)    National liberals are firm defenders of nonintervention but would override the principle in certain exceptional circumstances

Hobbensian: Hobbes was a champion of absolutism for the sovereign but he also developed some of the fundamentals of European liberal thought: the right of the individual; the natural equality of all men; the artificial character of the political order (which led to the later distinction between civil society and the state); the view that all legitimate political power must be "representative" and based on the consent of the people; and a liberal interpretation of law which leaves people free to do whatever the law does not explicitly forbid.

·      He was one of the founders of modern political philosophy. His understanding of humans as being matter and motion, obeying the same physical laws as other matter and motion, remains influential; and his account of human nature as self-interested cooperation, and of political communities as being based upon a "social contract" remains one of the major topics of political philosophy.

·      Hobbes would no doubt agree with Machiavelli concerning the natural human disposition. Émile Bréhier comments by saying that "Hobbes held that men . . . were sinister beasts of prey that could be subdued only by the absolute ruler . . . [and was] unwilling to admit that any charitable or altruistic impulse in men given, through sin, to concupiscence could have its source outside of divine grace."( Yet an important difference exists between Machiavelli and Hobbes: the State of Nature. Hobbes states that humanity exists naturally in a state of absolute freedom and equality (the equality being derived from each human being's equal capacity to kill other human beings). The State of Nature gives all humans the right to use whatever power they can conjure to get or do whatever they wish, a right which gives every human being the right to dominate every other human being. This creates a sort of "war of all" (bellum omnium contra omnes) in which everyone is continually at war with all others. As Dante Germino puts it, "Hobbes sees him [man] as possessed by evil inclinations that are not evil in themselves, but which can lead to evil results if they are not controlled."


·      Kant foreshadowed the theory in his essay Perpetual Peace written in 1795, although he thought that a world with only constitutional republics was only one of several necessary conditions for a perpetual peace. Kant's theory was that a majority of the people would never vote to go to war, unless in self-defense. Therefore, if all nations were republics, it would end war, because there would be no aggressors

·      Three expectations among states to make peace, must meet three conditions:

o   Representative, republican government

o   A principle respect for nondiscriminatory human rights

o   Social and economic interdependence  

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