International Relations

Anonymous
timer Asked: Dec 15th, 2018
account_balance_wallet $35

Question description

For this assignment, please write a 500-600 words in length, double-spaced, essay on one of the wars we've covered so far (e.g. World War I, World War II, or the Cold War). Be sure to apply at least one theoretical perspective to it and articulate the level(s) of analysisyou're using and to demonstrate your understanding of at least five international relations terms (e.g. like the ones discussed on the Week 1 Forum). Your essay should be insightful and demonstrate your critical thinking on the topic.

In your introductory paragraph, introduce the war, theoretical perspective, level(s) of analysis and terms you're going to discuss. End the paragraph with your thesis statement, which is about what you have to say about the topic.

Example of introduction with a thesis statement: In the summer of 1914, Europe found itself on the brink of a military conflict which would eventually encompass large portions of the world. Today, we call this conflict WWI, while contemporaries referred to it as the Great War. In this essay, I use Realism to explain the reasons which led to the outbreak of WWI. Furthermore, I apply the system level of analysis to show the international dynamics leading to the conflict. In my analysis, I will employ the following concepts: sovereignty, balance of power, alliances, zero-sum game, and international institutions.

For more information on the introductory paragraph, please check out the examples from OWL Purdue available at this link. Although this essay is a bit different than the essays discussed on the Purdue OWL website, it is still a good reference. I recommend checking it out.

In the second section of your essay, please address the theoretical approach and the levels of analysis. Begin by outlining the assumptions of the theory you're using and follow by applying those assumptions to the conflict your choice. As you explain the theory and start applying it, you will naturally be using the concepts. PLEASE REMEMBER: you must define the theories and concepts before you apply them.

Conclude your essay by summarizing the main points with which you want to leave your reader.

Your submission should be free from errors and demonstrate your knowledge on the topics you discussed. Exclusive use of the course materials is required. Please upload your work as a .doc or .docx file.

Please remember that this essay is due on Tuesday of Week 6 (12/11).

Rubric:

Introduction & thesis: /20
Content knowledge: /20
Analysis & critical thinking: /20
Writing and organization: /20
Sources and citations: /20
Total: /100



Additional Resources:

International Relations Terms: state sovereignty, Treaty of Westphalia, intergovernmental organizations (IGO), power in international relations, balance of power, neorealism, neoliberalism, neoliberal institutionalism, levels of analysis, prisoner's dilemma, non-governmental organizations (NGO), security dilemma, Concert of Europe, democratic peace theory, dominant discourse, anarchy in the international system, constructivism, state, interdependence, vulnerability (in interdependence), sensitivity (in interdependence), hard power, soft power.

https://www.uctv.tv/shows/Law-Strategy-and-the-Tra...



The Challenge for Political Science and History I focus this essay on ways in which political scientists and historians can usefully learn from each other. I offer a number of suggestions for blending history and political science perspectives to produce more and better knowledge for statecraft. These observations derive from personal experience of working at the intersections between these two disciplines (as well as with psychology), and from collaborative work with historians. The Study of Statecraft For most of my career I have concentrated my research on problems of international conflict avoidance, management, and resolution. For this research program--dating back to twenty years spent with the RAND Corporation before coming to Stanford in 1968--I have found a historical perspective particularly useful (although I would emphasize also that of cognitive and social psychology). A cross-disciplinary perspective is needed for studying three questions. How and why do policymakers make the decisions they do in conducting relations with other states? How can one explain the outcomes of foreign policy interactions between states, of either a conflictful or cooperative character? And how can "lessons of history" be correctly drawn and cumulated into policy-relevant theory? These questions are of interest to political scientists and historians alike. The study of "statecraft," as historians used to call it, provides a basis for serious two-way interaction between historians and international relations specialists who, like myself, believe it is necessary to study what goes on in the "black boxes" of decision making and strategic interaction, and not simply make assumptions about them, as do rational choice and game theories. I would emphasize to my colleagues in political science that such an approach to the study of statecraft is needed to develop international relations theory more fully. Research that aims to develop policyapplicable knowledge and theory is not at all inconsistent with efforts to develop international relations theory. Rather, I would argue that it is indispensable for its further development and refinement. Kenneth Waltz's structural-realist theory, the dominant international relations theory in political science, is certainly necessary but insufficient by itself either for explaining foreign policy decisions and outcomes or for conducting foreign policy. Indeed, Waltz himself emphasized that his structural-realist theory is not a theory of foreign policy. He warned against expecting his theory to "explain the particular policies of states" and regarded it as an error "to mistake a theory of international politics for a theory of foreign policy." Waltz also acknowledged that structural-realist theory "makes assumptions about the interests and motives of states, rather than explaining them." That he regards structural-realism as a theory of constraints on foreign policy rather than a theory of foreign policy is made clear in his observation that "what it [structural-realist theory] does explain are the constraints that confine all states."[1] We are left, therefore, with a "vacuum" in international relations theory that must be addressed if one is interested in developing more and better knowledge for statecraft. Theory, Practice, and Foreign Policy I do not believe, however, that it is useful for this purpose to try to develop a general theory of foreign policy. More useful contributions to foreign policy are made by focusing specifically on each of the many generic problems encountered in the conduct of foreign policy--such generic problems as deterrence, coercive diplomacy, crisis management, war termination, preventive diplomacy, crisis avoidance, mediation, cooperation, and so on. Incidentally but importantly, focusing on developing systematic, empirically grounded knowledge about these generic problems helps to "bridge the gap" between scholarly studies undertaken by academics and the needs of policymakers. As I quickly found out in interviews with policy specialists several years ago, their eyes glazed whenever I used the word "theory," but they nodded approvingly when I spoke of the need for "generic knowledge"--that is, better knowledge of the generic problems that arise repeatedly in the conduct of foreign policy. Diplomatic History and International Relations Theory: The Case for Cross-Fertilization It is my belief that useful knowledge of each of these generic problems can be distilled from older historical examples as well as cases since World War II. Accordingly, in designing the course, "The Diplomatic Revolution of Our Time,"[2] a collaborative course I taught beginning in the late 1970s with a series of historians (Paul Gordon Lauren, Peter Paret, and finally Gordon Craig), I chose with their help-three cases of each type of generic problem: one rather old, going back to the early or mid-nineteenth century, one quite a bit later, and one fairly modern one. The three cases of coercive diplomacy were the Egyptian crisis (1838-41), U.S. policy toward Japan (1938-41), and Arab oil diplomacy (1973-74). The three cases of deterrence were France and the Congress system (1816-22), the Western Allies' attempts to deter an attack on Poland (1938-39), and U.S. deterrence policy in the Middle East since the end of World War II. The historical perspective was invaluable for both teaching and research. One could see how efforts to use deterrence, for example, have been affected in the past 150 years by changes in the nature of the international system, technology, the role of diplomats, the influence of public opinion, the communications revolution, and so forth. At the same time, one could appreciate how some of the essential elements and challenges of making effective use of deterrence, crisis management, war termination, and so on, persist through time. In this connection, I call attention to Gordon Craig's presidential address, "The Historian and the Study of International Relations," which he gave to the American Historical Association in December 1982.3 I believe that as a result of our collaboration Craig saw the possibility not of reviving old-fashioned diplomatic history but, by incorporating some aspects of a political science approach, of developing a more rounded way of producing knowledge for statecraft. Consider the following quote from his address to the historians: In dealing with these and other problems of recent diplomacy, we may gain in analytical sophistication if we overcome our congenital distrust of theory and our insistence upon the uniqueness of the historical event. ... and in this spirit some of our colleagues in political science have reminded us that one can, after all, on the basis of similarity, treat unique cases as members of a class or type of phenomenon and, by appropriate methods of analysis, discover correlations among different variables that may have causal significance or, at the very least, serve as indicators of predictive value. By the use of case studies and what has been called the method of structured, focused comparison, Alexander L. George and Richard Smoke have described the various ways in which deterrence has been used in U.S. foreign policy and the combinations of techniques and circumstances that have made for success or failure in its employment, elaborating in the course of their analysis a theory of deterrence; and there is no good reason why this method should not be applied to the study of a whole range of diplomatic modalities and issues. This enterprise can best be conducted by means of a collaboration between disciplines, to the benefit of both. Political scientists would profit from the fidelity to milieu et moment that historians would bring to case studies; they, in turn, might learn from the analytical techniques employed by their partners some new questions to ask in their individual research and some new ways to test the validity of their hypotheses.4 Another reflection of the interest taken by some historians in broadening the approach to diplomacy and statecraft is to be found in the book Diplomacy: New Approaches in History, Theory, and Policy, edited by Paul Gordon Lauren, who studied with both Craig and myself. Contributors to this book include historians (Gordon Craig, Samuel Williamson, Jr., Roger Dingroan, Samuel Wells, Jr., and Lauren) and political scientists (Ole Holsti, Melvin Small, Richard Smoke, Robert Jervis, and myself). As Craig's remarks above indicate, the method of structured, focused comparison provides a methodology that bridges the two disciplines. The resemblance of what I have called "process-tracing" to historical explanation has often been noted. The similarities and differences between process-tracing and historical explanation are discussed in my chapter in Lauren's book. It may be briefly noted here that process-tracing is indeed a special type of historical explanation. Political scientists who undertake to do historical case studies of a phenomenon such as deterrence in order to develop generic knowledge of it typically convert a historical explanation into an analytical one couched in theoretically useful variables. To this practice historians often offer an objection that thereby some unique characteristics of the historical case are lost. This is undoubtedly often true; some loss of information and some simplification of the understanding of the case is inherent to any effort to develop generic knowledge of the phenomenon or a theory about it. Political scientists, however, reply that the critical question is whether the loss of information and condensation of the explanation jeopardizes the validity of the generic knowledge and its utility for diagnosing and dealing with new instances of that phenomenon. This question cannot be answered on an a priori basis. Much depends upon the sensitivity and judgment of the investigator in choosing the explanatory variables for purposes of arriving at an analytical explanation. Hence, while there are important basic similarities between historical explanation and analytical explanation, there are also these differences; and it must be recognized that the research tasks and objectives of the political scientist are different from those of the historian. A more detailed explication will appear in a forthcoming study that I am doing with Andrew Bennett, which evaluates the considerable experience gained in the past twenty years in using case studies for theory development.[5] Case Studies and Historical Research In addition to co-teaching and undertaking collaborative research with historians, political scientists engaged in the difficult task of doing historical case studies should be encouraged to follow the example set by Richard Smoke.[6] Smoke employed the method of structured, focused comparison to study successes and failures in controlling escalation in five cases: the Spanish Civil War, the Austro-Prussian War, the Franco-Prussian War, the Crimean War, and the Seven Years' War. The study was designed to test, refine, and elaborate Thomas Schelling's earlier analysis of escalation dynamics in The Strategy of Conflict and Arms and Influence.[7]In preparing his study, Smoke asked historians to recommend the best scholarly studies available for each case and to review his case studies before publication. (Historians, in turn, could check with appropriately selected political scientists and psychologists regarding the best relevant work on the theories and methodologies they wished to use in their studies.) Political scientists employing the approach to research outlined above should take "the cure of history." Many of us, in fact, have been trying to do so for years. Not only most of my own Ph.D. students[8]but other political scientists specializing in international relations have done serious, intensive work on archival sources, and on occasion have consulted historians specializing in the particular period or problem under review to receive advice on archival sources. Historians, in turn, have an obligation to produce an authoritative, detailed analysis of the problems associated with making scholarly use of archival sources, something that I have not encountered.[9]Such a tract would be invaluable in training political scientists as well as young historians. Various organizational arrangements have been tried for bringing historians and political scientists specializing in international relations together for sustained interaction. For example, several years ago the American Academy of Arts and Sciences sponsored a series of such meetings. More efforts along these lines would be useful. Similarly noteworthy is the successful effort made by some individual historians--a leading example being John Lewis Gaddis--to acquire a deep and broad understanding of the uses and limitations of various theories and methods employed by political scientists. Postdoctoral programs, such as the two-year Social Science Research Council-MacArthur Fellowships, can be used and to some extent have been employed to enable well-selected younger scholars to acquire training in other disciplines relevant for their research programs. Types of Knowledge for Policy Much scholarly theory and knowledge is cast in the form of probabilistic generalizations. These are not without value for policymaking. But it leaves the policymaker with the difficult task of deciding whether the probabilistic relationship in question applies to the particular case at hand. I therefore urge moving away from theory and knowledge cast in probabilistic terms to conditional generalizations. For example, we need to move away from the proposition that arms races are likely to lead to war toward research that will identify the conditions under which arms races do (or do not) lead to war. Similarly, it is true that statistical-correlational findings about different aspects of international relations are not without some value for policymaking, but their value is often sharply reduced because such studies seldom include causal variables over which the decision maker has some control. A better form of knowledge for shaping policy is needed that identifies the causal process or "causal mechanism," which explains how an antecedent condition/variable is linked to variance in the outcome variable. It should not be surprising that policy-relevant research attempts to go beyond statistical-correlational findings to identify causal processes. In this respect, the science of microbiology and its relation to medical practice offers us a highly relevant model. Consider the relationship of smoking cigarettes (and exposure to other carcinogens) to cancer. Statistical-correlational studies have long since convinced most of us that some kind of causal relationship does indeed exist. Microbiologists have been working for years--lately with considerable success--to identify the intervening causal processes. Why is this important? Finding the causal link creates opportunities for developing intervention techniques to halt the development of cancers. This medical analogy is highly germane for the development of policy-relevant knowledge of international relations. Knowledge of causal mechanisms offers practitioners of foreign policy opportunities to identify possibilities for using leverage to influence outcomes of interaction with other actors. Of course, the success microbiology is having in identifying causal mechanisms cannot be easily duplicated in the study of international relations. Nonetheless, it is heartening that in recent years political scientists have increasingly acknowledged the importance of trying to identify causal mechanisms. The Relationship between Theory and Practice In my writings I have emphasized that a "gap" exists between theory and practice. The nature of this "gap" needs to be better understood, and such understanding leads to a sobering conclusion: the "gap" between theory and practice cannot be eliminated; it can only be "bridged." Progress in this direction requires that scholars take a realistic view of the limited, indirect, but important impact that scholarly knowledge about foreign policy can have on policymaking. Scholarly knowledge of generic problems encountered in the conduct of foreign policy is best viewed as an input to policy analysis of specific problems within the government. It is an aid, not a substitute for judgments that decision makers must exercise when choosing a policy. In other words, it is a mistake to view theory or systematic generic knowledge as capable of providing policymakers with detailed, high-confidence prescriptions for action in each contingency that arises. Such policy-relevant theory and knowledge does not exist and is not feasible. Rather, we must think in terms of an analogy with traditional medical practice, which calls for a correct diagnosis of the problem before prescribing a treatment. In accord with this analogy, I argue that the major function and use of theory and generic knowledge is to contribute to the diagnosis of specific problematic situations with which decision makers must deal, rather than to attempt to provide prescriptions for action. Like the medical doctor, the policymaker also acts as a clinician who strives to make a correct diagnosis of a problem before determining how best to deal with it. Some Implications for Research in Foreign Policy The preceding reservations have important implications for at least some research that is needed on foreign policy. One implication is that theory and generic knowledge do not need to satisfy the high degree of verification that science attempts to achieve. Just as intelligent people are generally able to manage the many chores of everyday life reasonably well without benefit of knowledge that meets the highest scientific standards, so too can intelligent policymakers use knowledge of the different generic problems of statecraft when it is available. In other words, when scientific knowledge is not attainable, we can at least strive to produce "usable knowledge." A second implication is that scholars should include in their research design variables over which policymakers have some leverage. A third implication is that too strict a pursuit of the scientific criterion of parsimony is inappropriate for developing useful policy-relevant theory and knowledge. The policymaker has to deal with complex situations that embrace many variables; he or she will get more help from "rich" theories, by which I mean theories that embrace many relevant variables. Such theories must meet two criteria: their contents must be at least plausible, and they should contain indications of the particular conditions under which their propositions are likely to hold. Such theories and generic knowledge serve at the very least as a sophisticated checklist that reminds policy specialists of the numerous conditions and variables that can influence their ability to achieve desired outcomes. But when more fully developed, such "rich" theories of generic problems identify the conditions that favor--although they do not guarantee-the success of a policy option. Hence the objective of this type of policy-relevant knowledge is to produce conditional generalizations and "usable knowledge." Finally, my studies and those of others lend strong support to the observation that top policymakers often operate with inadequate conceptual and generic knowledge of problems they encounter and of the strategies they employ in conducting foreign policy. Also, such policies are often based on an inaccurate image of other actors whom they are trying to influence. I conclude by urging political scientists and historians to accept as a challenge to scholarship the necessity to develop better conceptualization and knowledge of the many generic problems that foreign policy specialists must deal with every day. 1. Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1979), pp. 121-122. • 2. I taught this course six times, the last three with Gordon Craig, and it provided much of the material for our book. See Gordon A. Craig and Alexander L. George, Force and Statecraft: Diplomatic Problems of Our Time, 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). Chapters 13-18 report briefly the results of comparing cases of each generic problem in different historical periods. Coteaching with Gordon Craig was the highlight of my teaching experience at Stanford. Hence you will understand why I strongly recommend collaborative teaching by historians and political scientists. • 3. Craig's presidential address was published in the American Historical Review, Vol. 88, No. 1 (February 1983), pp. 1-11. • 4. For a detailed explication of this method, see Alexander L. George, "Case Studies and Theory Development: The Method of Structured, Focused Comparison," in Paul Gordon Lauren, ed., Diplomacy: New Approaches in History, Theory, and Policy (New York: Free Press, 1979). • 5. Alexander L. George and Andrew Bennett, Case Studies and Theory Development (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, forthcoming 1998). • 6. Richard Smoke, War: Controlling Escalation (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1977). • 7. Thomas C. Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1960), and Thomas C. Schelling, Arms and Influence (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1966). • 8. See, for example, the intensive work in archival sources that Deborah Larson did in preparing her study, The Origins of Containment (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1985), a book that won praise from John Lewis Gaddis in his review in the American Historical Review, Vol. 91, No. 2 (April 1986), pp. 485-486. • 9. A small but encouraging step in this direction was taken in the roundtable on use of archives and other primary sources for understanding U.S. foreign policy held at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association in San Diego, California, in April 1996. The panel included historians and political scientists. It was organized by Benjamin Fordham of the Center of International Studies at Princeton University. ~~~~~~~~ By Alexander L. George Alexander L. George is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Stanford University. He has written extensively on international conflict and cooperation. His works include Deterrence in American Foreign Policy (New York: Columbia University Press, 1974) (with Richard Smoke), which was awarded the Bancroft Prize, Presidential Decisionmaking in Foreign Policy (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1980), and Bridging the Gap: Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy (Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 1993). He is the 1997 recipient of the National Academy of Sciences' Award for Behavioral Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War.
The Challenge for Political Science and History I focus this essay on ways in which political scientists and historians can usefully learn from each other. I offer a number of suggestions for blending history and political science perspectives to produce more and better knowledge for statecraft. These observations derive from personal experience of working at the intersections between these two disciplines (as well as with psychology), and from collaborative work with historians. The Study of Statecraft For most of my career I have concentrated my research on problems of international conflict avoidance, management, and resolution. For this research program--dating back to twenty years spent with the RAND Corporation before coming to Stanford in 1968--I have found a historical perspective particularly useful (although I would emphasize also that of cognitive and social psychology). A cross-disciplinary perspective is needed for studying three questions. How and why do policymakers make the decisions they do in conducting relations with other states? How can one explain the outcomes of foreign policy interactions between states, of either a conflictful or cooperative character? And how can "lessons of history" be correctly drawn and cumulated into policy-relevant theory? These questions are of interest to political scientists and historians alike. The study of "statecraft," as historians used to call it, provides a basis for serious two-way interaction between historians and international relations specialists who, like myself, believe it is necessary to study what goes on in the "black boxes" of decision making and strategic interaction, and not simply make assumptions about them, as do rational choice and game theories. I would emphasize to my colleagues in political science that such an approach to the study of statecraft is needed to develop international relations theory more fully. Research that aims to develop policyapplicable knowledge and theory is not at all inconsistent with efforts to develop international relations theory. Rather, I would argue that it is indispensable for its further development and refinement. Kenneth Waltz's structural-realist theory, the dominant international relations theory in political science, is certainly necessary but insufficient by itself either for explaining foreign policy decisions and outcomes or for conducting foreign policy. Indeed, Waltz himself emphasized that his structural-realist theory is not a theory of foreign policy. He warned against expecting his theory to "explain the particular policies of states" and regarded it as an error "to mistake a theory of international politics for a theory of foreign policy." Waltz also acknowledged that structural-realist theory "makes assumptions about the interests and motives of states, rather than explaining them." That he regards structural-realism as a theory of constraints on foreign policy rather than a theory of foreign policy is made clear in his observation that "what it [structural-realist theory] does explain are the constraints that confine all states."[1] We are left, therefore, with a "vacuum" in international relations theory that must be addressed if one is interested in developing more and better knowledge for statecraft. Theory, Practice, and Foreign Policy I do not believe, however, that it is useful for this purpose to try to develop a general theory of foreign policy. More useful contributions to foreign policy are made by focusing specifically on each of the many generic problems encountered in the conduct of foreign policy--such generic problems as deterrence, coercive diplomacy, crisis management, war termination, preventive diplomacy, crisis avoidance, mediation, cooperation, and so on. Incidentally but importantly, focusing on developing systematic, empirically grounded knowledge about these generic problems helps to "bridge the gap" between scholarly studies undertaken by academics and the needs of policymakers. As I quickly found out in interviews with policy specialists several years ago, their eyes glazed whenever I used the word "theory," but they nodded approvingly when I spoke of the need for "generic knowledge"--that is, better knowledge of the generic problems that arise repeatedly in the conduct of foreign policy. Diplomatic History and International Relations Theory: The Case for Cross-Fertilization It is my belief that useful knowledge of each of these generic problems can be distilled from older historical examples as well as cases since World War II. Accordingly, in designing the course, "The Diplomatic Revolution of Our Time,"[2] a collaborative course I taught beginning in the late 1970s with a series of historians (Paul Gordon Lauren, Peter Paret, and finally Gordon Craig), I chose with their help-three cases of each type of generic problem: one rather old, going back to the early or mid-nineteenth century, one quite a bit later, and one fairly modern one. The three cases of coercive diplomacy were the Egyptian crisis (1838-41), U.S. policy toward Japan (1938-41), and Arab oil diplomacy (1973-74). The three cases of deterrence were France and the Congress system (1816-22), the Western Allies' attempts to deter an attack on Poland (1938-39), and U.S. deterrence policy in the Middle East since the end of World War II. The historical perspective was invaluable for both teaching and research. One could see how efforts to use deterrence, for example, have been affected in the past 150 years by changes in the nature of the international system, technology, the role of diplomats, the influence of public opinion, the communications revolution, and so forth. At the same time, one could appreciate how some of the essential elements and challenges of making effective use of deterrence, crisis management, war termination, and so on, persist through time. In this connection, I call attention to Gordon Craig's presidential address, "The Historian and the Study of International Relations," which he gave to the American Historical Association in December 1982.3 I believe that as a result of our collaboration Craig saw the possibility not of reviving old-fashioned diplomatic history but, by incorporating some aspects of a political science approach, of developing a more rounded way of producing knowledge for statecraft. Consider the following quote from his address to the historians: In dealing with these and other problems of recent diplomacy, we may gain in analytical sophistication if we overcome our congenital distrust of theory and our insistence upon the uniqueness of the historical event. ... and in this spirit some of our colleagues in political science have reminded us that one can, after all, on the basis of similarity, treat unique cases as members of a class or type of phenomenon and, by appropriate methods of analysis, discover correlations among different variables that may have causal significance or, at the very least, serve as indicators of predictive value. By the use of case studies and what has been called the method of structured, focused comparison, Alexander L. George and Richard Smoke have described the various ways in which deterrence has been used in U.S. foreign policy and the combinations of techniques and circumstances that have made for success or failure in its employment, elaborating in the course of their analysis a theory of deterrence; and there is no good reason why this method should not be applied to the study of a whole range of diplomatic modalities and issues. This enterprise can best be conducted by means of a collaboration between disciplines, to the benefit of both. Political scientists would profit from the fidelity to milieu et moment that historians would bring to case studies; they, in turn, might learn from the analytical techniques employed by their partners some new questions to ask in their individual research and some new ways to test the validity of their hypotheses.4 Another reflection of the interest taken by some historians in broadening the approach to diplomacy and statecraft is to be found in the book Diplomacy: New Approaches in History, Theory, and Policy, edited by Paul Gordon Lauren, who studied with both Craig and myself. Contributors to this book include historians (Gordon Craig, Samuel Williamson, Jr., Roger Dingroan, Samuel Wells, Jr., and Lauren) and political scientists (Ole Holsti, Melvin Small, Richard Smoke, Robert Jervis, and myself). As Craig's remarks above indicate, the method of structured, focused comparison provides a methodology that bridges the two disciplines. The resemblance of what I have called "process-tracing" to historical explanation has often been noted. The similarities and differences between process-tracing and historical explanation are discussed in my chapter in Lauren's book. It may be briefly noted here that process-tracing is indeed a special type of historical explanation. Political scientists who undertake to do historical case studies of a phenomenon such as deterrence in order to develop generic knowledge of it typically convert a historical explanation into an analytical one couched in theoretically useful variables. To this practice historians often offer an objection that thereby some unique characteristics of the historical case are lost. This is undoubtedly often true; some loss of information and some simplification of the understanding of the case is inherent to any effort to develop generic knowledge of the phenomenon or a theory about it. Political scientists, however, reply that the critical question is whether the loss of information and condensation of the explanation jeopardizes the validity of the generic knowledge and its utility for diagnosing and dealing with new instances of that phenomenon. This question cannot be answered on an a priori basis. Much depends upon the sensitivity and judgment of the investigator in choosing the explanatory variables for purposes of arriving at an analytical explanation. Hence, while there are important basic similarities between historical explanation and analytical explanation, there are also these differences; and it must be recognized that the research tasks and objectives of the political scientist are different from those of the historian. A more detailed explication will appear in a forthcoming study that I am doing with Andrew Bennett, which evaluates the considerable experience gained in the past twenty years in using case studies for theory development.[5] Case Studies and Historical Research In addition to co-teaching and undertaking collaborative research with historians, political scientists engaged in the difficult task of doing historical case studies should be encouraged to follow the example set by Richard Smoke.[6] Smoke employed the method of structured, focused comparison to study successes and failures in controlling escalation in five cases: the Spanish Civil War, the Austro-Prussian War, the Franco-Prussian War, the Crimean War, and the Seven Years' War. The study was designed to test, refine, and elaborate Thomas Schelling's earlier analysis of escalation dynamics in The Strategy of Conflict and Arms and Influence.[7]In preparing his study, Smoke asked historians to recommend the best scholarly studies available for each case and to review his case studies before publication. (Historians, in turn, could check with appropriately selected political scientists and psychologists regarding the best relevant work on the theories and methodologies they wished to use in their studies.) Political scientists employing the approach to research outlined above should take "the cure of history." Many of us, in fact, have been trying to do so for years. Not only most of my own Ph.D. students[8]but other political scientists specializing in international relations have done serious, intensive work on archival sources, and on occasion have consulted historians specializing in the particular period or problem under review to receive advice on archival sources. Historians, in turn, have an obligation to produce an authoritative, detailed analysis of the problems associated with making scholarly use of archival sources, something that I have not encountered.[9]Such a tract would be invaluable in training political scientists as well as young historians. Various organizational arrangements have been tried for bringing historians and political scientists specializing in international relations together for sustained interaction. For example, several years ago the American Academy of Arts and Sciences sponsored a series of such meetings. More efforts along these lines would be useful. Similarly noteworthy is the successful effort made by some individual historians--a leading example being John Lewis Gaddis--to acquire a deep and broad understanding of the uses and limitations of various theories and methods employed by political scientists. Postdoctoral programs, such as the two-year Social Science Research Council-MacArthur Fellowships, can be used and to some extent have been employed to enable well-selected younger scholars to acquire training in other disciplines relevant for their research programs. Types of Knowledge for Policy Much scholarly theory and knowledge is cast in the form of probabilistic generalizations. These are not without value for policymaking. But it leaves the policymaker with the difficult task of deciding whether the probabilistic relationship in question applies to the particular case at hand. I therefore urge moving away from theory and knowledge cast in probabilistic terms to conditional generalizations. For example, we need to move away from the proposition that arms races are likely to lead to war toward research that will identify the conditions under which arms races do (or do not) lead to war. Similarly, it is true that statistical-correlational findings about different aspects of international relations are not without some value for policymaking, but their value is often sharply reduced because such studies seldom include causal variables over which the decision maker has some control. A better form of knowledge for shaping policy is needed that identifies the causal process or "causal mechanism," which explains how an antecedent condition/variable is linked to variance in the outcome variable. It should not be surprising that policy-relevant research attempts to go beyond statistical-correlational findings to identify causal processes. In this respect, the science of microbiology and its relation to medical practice offers us a highly relevant model. Consider the relationship of smoking cigarettes (and exposure to other carcinogens) to cancer. Statistical-correlational studies have long since convinced most of us that some kind of causal relationship does indeed exist. Microbiologists have been working for years--lately with considerable success--to identify the intervening causal processes. Why is this important? Finding the causal link creates opportunities for developing intervention techniques to halt the development of cancers. This medical analogy is highly germane for the development of policy-relevant knowledge of international relations. Knowledge of causal mechanisms offers practitioners of foreign policy opportunities to identify possibilities for using leverage to influence outcomes of interaction with other actors. Of course, the success microbiology is having in identifying causal mechanisms cannot be easily duplicated in the study of international relations. Nonetheless, it is heartening that in recent years political scientists have increasingly acknowledged the importance of trying to identify causal mechanisms. The Relationship between Theory and Practice In my writings I have emphasized that a "gap" exists between theory and practice. The nature of this "gap" needs to be better understood, and such understanding leads to a sobering conclusion: the "gap" between theory and practice cannot be eliminated; it can only be "bridged." Progress in this direction requires that scholars take a realistic view of the limited, indirect, but important impact that scholarly knowledge about foreign policy can have on policymaking. Scholarly knowledge of generic problems encountered in the conduct of foreign policy is best viewed as an input to policy analysis of specific problems within the government. It is an aid, not a substitute for judgments that decision makers must exercise when choosing a policy. In other words, it is a mistake to view theory or systematic generic knowledge as capable of providing policymakers with detailed, high-confidence prescriptions for action in each contingency that arises. Such policy-relevant theory and knowledge does not exist and is not feasible. Rather, we must think in terms of an analogy with traditional medical practice, which calls for a correct diagnosis of the problem before prescribing a treatment. In accord with this analogy, I argue that the major function and use of theory and generic knowledge is to contribute to the diagnosis of specific problematic situations with which decision makers must deal, rather than to attempt to provide prescriptions for action. Like the medical doctor, the policymaker also acts as a clinician who strives to make a correct diagnosis of a problem before determining how best to deal with it. Some Implications for Research in Foreign Policy The preceding reservations have important implications for at least some research that is needed on foreign policy. One implication is that theory and generic knowledge do not need to satisfy the high degree of verification that science attempts to achieve. Just as intelligent people are generally able to manage the many chores of everyday life reasonably well without benefit of knowledge that meets the highest scientific standards, so too can intelligent policymakers use knowledge of the different generic problems of statecraft when it is available. In other words, when scientific knowledge is not attainable, we can at least strive to produce "usable knowledge." A second implication is that scholars should include in their research design variables over which policymakers have some leverage. A third implication is that too strict a pursuit of the scientific criterion of parsimony is inappropriate for developing useful policy-relevant theory and knowledge. The policymaker has to deal with complex situations that embrace many variables; he or she will get more help from "rich" theories, by which I mean theories that embrace many relevant variables. Such theories must meet two criteria: their contents must be at least plausible, and they should contain indications of the particular conditions under which their propositions are likely to hold. Such theories and generic knowledge serve at the very least as a sophisticated checklist that reminds policy specialists of the numerous conditions and variables that can influence their ability to achieve desired outcomes. But when more fully developed, such "rich" theories of generic problems identify the conditions that favor--although they do not guarantee-the success of a policy option. Hence the objective of this type of policy-relevant knowledge is to produce conditional generalizations and "usable knowledge." Finally, my studies and those of others lend strong support to the observation that top policymakers often operate with inadequate conceptual and generic knowledge of problems they encounter and of the strategies they employ in conducting foreign policy. Also, such policies are often based on an inaccurate image of other actors whom they are trying to influence. I conclude by urging political scientists and historians to accept as a challenge to scholarship the necessity to develop better conceptualization and knowledge of the many generic problems that foreign policy specialists must deal with every day. 1. Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1979), pp. 121-122. • 2. I taught this course six times, the last three with Gordon Craig, and it provided much of the material for our book. See Gordon A. Craig and Alexander L. George, Force and Statecraft: Diplomatic Problems of Our Time, 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). Chapters 13-18 report briefly the results of comparing cases of each generic problem in different historical periods. Coteaching with Gordon Craig was the highlight of my teaching experience at Stanford. Hence you will understand why I strongly recommend collaborative teaching by historians and political scientists. • 3. Craig's presidential address was published in the American Historical Review, Vol. 88, No. 1 (February 1983), pp. 1-11. • 4. For a detailed explication of this method, see Alexander L. George, "Case Studies and Theory Development: The Method of Structured, Focused Comparison," in Paul Gordon Lauren, ed., Diplomacy: New Approaches in History, Theory, and Policy (New York: Free Press, 1979). • 5. Alexander L. George and Andrew Bennett, Case Studies and Theory Development (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, forthcoming 1998). • 6. Richard Smoke, War: Controlling Escalation (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1977). • 7. Thomas C. Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1960), and Thomas C. Schelling, Arms and Influence (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1966). • 8. See, for example, the intensive work in archival sources that Deborah Larson did in preparing her study, The Origins of Containment (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1985), a book that won praise from John Lewis Gaddis in his review in the American Historical Review, Vol. 91, No. 2 (April 1986), pp. 485-486. • 9. A small but encouraging step in this direction was taken in the roundtable on use of archives and other primary sources for understanding U.S. foreign policy held at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association in San Diego, California, in April 1996. The panel included historians and political scientists. It was organized by Benjamin Fordham of the Center of International Studies at Princeton University. ~~~~~~~~ By Alexander L. George Alexander L. George is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Stanford University. He has written extensively on international conflict and cooperation. His works include Deterrence in American Foreign Policy (New York: Columbia University Press, 1974) (with Richard Smoke), which was awarded the Bancroft Prize, Presidential Decisionmaking in Foreign Policy (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1980), and Bridging the Gap: Theory and Practice in Foreign Policy (Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 1993). He is the 1997 recipient of the National Academy of Sciences' Award for Behavioral Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War.
Not Use or Abuse, but Fit or Misfit My contribution to this symposium represents the point of view of a historian of international politics rather than an international relations theorist or analyst, is formed by the experiences and needs of that pursuit, and remains provisional even for me. The first-person pronouns are in it as truth in advertising, to indicate that it rests on reflection and experience rather than on research and represents an attempt to explain, to myself as well as others, why my efforts to use international relations theory in doing international history have sometimes been rewarding, sometimes disappointing and frustrating. The basic problem does not seem to me one of the use or abuse of historical evidence by international relations theorists and analysts, or vice versa. Misunderstanding and misuse of the other side's materials and findings certainly happen in both camps, but in neither case is this essential or defining for the practice. Most international relations studies I read take history seriously and try to use it responsibly, and many do a good job of it. On both sides, nonuse or insufficient use of the other's material may be a bigger problem than abuse. The more serious issue seems instead one of fit or misfit. A comment made to me by William H. McNeill, one of the most eminent living historians, at a conference some years ago may illustrate what I mean. To my remark that I sometimes felt that political scientists understood what I was trying to do better than historians did, he replied, "Really? That's not my experience at all. They don't seem to understand that I'm doing history, not political science." Whether this was merely an offhand comment or a considered judgment, McNeill's remark represents an instance of a perception widespread among historians, also in international history, of a misfit between the two disciplines, a misunderstanding by political scientists of the nature and goals of the historian's task that leads them to view and use historical materials in inappropriate ways. This issue of the fit or misfit between what historians do and find and how political scientists make use of the results has often been canvassed, but what the survey adds up to may be worth restating. Misconceptions of the Differences between the Disciplines There are three common conceptions of the differences between the historian's and the political scientist's tasks and goals that, if not dead wrong, are at least inadequate and misleading. First, unlike the political scientist who looks for regularities and broad patterns, the historian is primarily concerned with richness of detail and scrupulous fidelity to the individual facts unearthed in his research--as has sometimes been said, the pursuit of the pure particular. Second, and a variant of the first, the difference between the two disciplines is that between nomothetic and idiographic disciplines, that is, those that aim to establish laws and predict and those that aim to portray particular situations. Third, history seeks to "explain" events and developments not by assigning specific causes for them, but by thinking one's way into them and seeing them from inside through a process of empathetic understanding, Verstehen.[1] Each of these related views seems plausible, but they distort, sometimes to the point of caricature, the task and goals of history and historians in general, including especially international history. More important, they serve to give political scientists a kind of license to use and manipulate historical materials freely for their own purposes by implying that historians are not interested in reaching goals like those of political science, and that therefore political scientists and others must use historical materials differently if overall theories, testable hypotheses, laws or lawlike generalizations, broad patterns, intersubjectively verifiable findings, and clearly assignable causes for particular outcomes are to be attained. Where do these views go wrong? First, on the score of "richness of detail": as Lewis B. Namier argued long ago, "What matters in history is the great outline and the significant detail; what must be avoided is the deadly morass of irrelevant narrative."[2] There are various reasons, all more or less valid, why many works of history, including outstanding ones in international history, contain much narrative and descriptive detail:[3] a commitment to microhistory, a conviction that broad patterns become clear only through a mastery of the details, a desire to identify key turning points and decisive changes by showing in detail just what led to them and resulted from them, a wish to convince other historians that one's research has been thorough and has explored all avenues, and above all the desire to make one's case more convincing by showing how much evidence supports it. Considerations of style and of holding the reader's interest may enter in. Any sensible historian knows, however, that even in the most exhaustive narrative he or she is omitting far more relevant details than are included; and unless the work is simply bad "show-and-tell" history, the details are never there for their own sake, but for the sake of the patterns, turning points, and causes they reveal and the broad interpretations and theses they undergird. To suppose otherwise is to imagine that a pointilliste painter is interested only in the dots of color applied to the canvas, not the landscape he or she thinks the dots best portray. Much the same applies to the old nomothetic-idiographic distinction introduced in the nineteenth century by certain German philosophers as a way of distinguishing history and other idea-oriented mental or spiritual sciences (Geisteswissenschaften) from the natural sciences (Naturwissenschaften). Whole fields of history (e.g., demographic, economic, comparative social) and major schools of historiography (the so-called Annales school, Gesellschaftsgeschichte [history as the scientific study of the evolution of society], some varieties of Marxism) specifically disavow a narrative-descriptive approach and pursue the social science ideal of testing specific models and hypotheses, establishing lawlike generalizations, and even offering predictions and policy prescriptions. More important, even histories that are narrative-descriptive in form, including most work in international history, are clearly nomothetic in the sense that they develop hypotheses, assign particular causes for events and developments, and establish general patterns. One need only survey the literature on major controversies, such as the origins of World War I and the Cold War, or think of some of the classic works of international history, past and current,[4] to see that this is true. As for empathy and Verstehen, they may be useful, even important, as one way to arrive at the kind of judgments historians make. The possibility of achieving some degree of empathetic understanding of human conduct, furthermore, is one presupposition for the possibility of historical knowledge (along with other kinds of knowledge in other humane disciplines). That is, history presumes the possibility of understanding human actions and experiences from inside, as human beings, in certain ways not open to us--at least to the same degree--in dealing with other objects of knowledge.[5] Yet this does not mean either that empathetic understanding is the main goal of historical research, or that it constitutes the sole or main ground for historical judgments. It may or may not help us understand the origins of World War II or the Holocaust to be able somehow empathetically to understand the individual mind-set of Adolf Hitler or the collective mind-set of members of the SS. Empathetic understanding of this sort, however, even where and if it is possible and helpful, in no sense constitutes for the historian the explanation for the war or the Holocaust, or substitutes for it, or is required for it. For that explanation historians look for much the same things political scientists seek--clear assignable causes resting on evidence subject to intersubjective test and verification and capable of supporting broad, significant generalizations and patterns. What Are the Differences? The differences between history and political science in the area of international politics lie in three areas (although even here they overlap and the differences are blurred): the phenomenon to be explained, the way in which this phenomenon is conceived for purposes of explanation, and the art and method of explanation. For history, the phenomenon to be explained is change in human life, society, institutions, and so on over time. History, as Herbert Butterfield argued, is the study of the changes of things that change.[6] (The word "human" is of course implicit in the definition of "things that change," as is the recognition of fixed limits and conditions within which change occurs, and continuity as the inescapable counterpart of change.) Historians, moreover, conceive and explain historical change primarily or ultimately in terms of human conduct, that is, purposive acts of agency, not behavior. Although recognizing that human life is powerfully limited, conditioned, shaped, and driven by external, nonhuman factors, historians would nonetheless insist that the story of dia-chronic change as history rather than biology or something else centers on human conduct in response to these factors. The Black Death is explained by biological factors; the history of the Black Death is the history of human responses and societal changes involved in it. Likewise, voting patterns can to some extent be analyzed, explained, and even predicted as behavior, apart from the particular purposes and aims of those who vote; a history of voting must see voting as conduct and deal with the human purposes and agency it involves.[7] Finally, it is in how historians typically try to explain historical change, and the kind of "explanation" sought, that the difference between history and social science most often becomes apparent. The standard social science approach, ! take it, calls for the formulation of an initial hypothesis, examination of relevant theory, exposition and defense of a research strategy, testing of the hypothesis (ideally with materials and methods that are intersubjectively verifiable according to a standard procedure explicitly announced and defended), leading to a conclusion confirming, disproving, or revising the initial hypothesis as a step toward better theory and sounder generalizations. Instead of this, one typically finds the historian starting by perceiving a problem--a historical phenomenon ignored, left unexplained, or apparently analyzed and accounted for inadequately or wrongly. The procedure for addressing the problem, distressingly vague by social science standards, is to constitute a limited universe of inquiry by defining the historical development to be studied, determining what kinds of evidence would shed light on it, marshaling all the available relevant evidence possible, and trying to develop a new, better synoptic judgment or interpretation of the phenomenon on the basis of that evidence. A synoptic judgment[8] means a broad interpretation of a development based on examining it from different angles to determine how it came to be, what it means, and what understanding of it best integrates the available evidence. Most important historical controversies, however much they may seem to revolve around particular discrete facts, represent a conflict between differing synoptic judgments in which one version typically does not claim simply to refute and destroy another competing one, but to subsume and transcend it, to include what is true about it while eliminating what is false by integrating the evidence in a better, more comprehensive and profound way. (For example, my own synoptic judgment on the origins of World War I as the result of systemic breakdown does not exactly deny or reject the prevailing view that it was caused by Austro-German aggression, but instead argues that the concept of systemic breakdown makes better sense both of the evidence for Austro-German aggression and other relevant evidence left out or inadequately treated in the conventional picture.)[9] Synoptic judgments are not the province of historians alone; scholars in various fields can reach them, and do. They do not rely on empathetic understanding, nor are they a matter of "thick description," but are founded on evidence, bounded by it, and challengeable and corrigible on the basis of it. They obviously do not exclude theory--ideally, as much theory as possible should be considered in arriving at them--and they may well serve to generate theory. They involve insight and intuition only to the same degree, or a similar degree, that the intuitive perception of connections between phenomena plays a role in all discovery. The best analogy I can suggest for the way in which synoptic judgments are reached is that of a physician's diagnosis[10]--a combination of broad medical knowledge, relevant evidence drawn from various tests, a knowledge of various theoretical possibilities for explanation, and skill in seeing which interpretation of the evidence works best in a particular case the difference being, of course, that the physician deals primarily with law-bound physiological processes, the historian primarily with human conduct and purposive action. This discussion of the historian's task and contribution as culminating in the development of better synoptic judgments on the causes and meaning of historic change, even if not novel, makes a point useful for this symposium. If sound, it leaves open a large area for a potential fit between international history and international relations theory, enabling each side to use the other's materials and findings profitably. At the same time, it indicates the potential for a partial or total misfit between them, and in consequence a partial or total misuse or abuse of them on both sides. To be more specific, it means that in international relations theory (as I imperfectly understand it), everything from realism in its classical and softer neorealist forms through the varieties of idealism and liberal institutionalism over to constructivism on the left would seem to present no fundamental challenge to the assumptions and goals of historical explanation, and therefore offer no obstacle in principle to cooperation between the two disciplines. This does not mean that political scientists and international relations theorists in this broad camp need to accept or endorse the historian's goals and assumptions. The cooperation or collaboration, whatever it may be, could be much more fruitful precisely because they need not and do not. Political scientists may well make regularities and constants in the pattern of international politics their main explanandum, may want to be agnostic on the question of whether their subject matter constitutes human conduct or behavior, and may regard the question of whether actions in international politics constitute purposive agency as irrelevant to their purposes. They will certainly want to insist on different methods, aim for a different kind of testing of hypotheses, and seek a different kind of outcome than the historian's synoptic judgments. Nonetheless, as long as neither side denies in principle the possibility and validity of the other's general approach to explanation, or rejects in principle its truth claims, there is room for a good fit between them and valuable collaboration or mutual borrowing. My own experience has convinced me that international historians can learn a lot from international relations theory and apply it usefully to their craft. It can, for example, help historians avoid naive empiricism ("Just the facts, ma'am"); offer them a wide variety of explanatory models and paradigms; compel them to think through their own methodological and epistemological presuppositions more carefully; help them see repetitive patterns and substantive analogies where they might otherwise have seen only unique particular circumstances; and in general assist them in reaching broader, more profound, and more convincing synoptic judgments. So obviously can other social science disciplines as well. The Limits of Cooperation The other side of the coin is that this very potential for close fit and mutually profitable use creates the danger of misfit and abuse. I am not qualified to talk about how historians misunderstand and misuse international relations theory, but I can say something about what historians perceive as common misuses of history by political scientists. This does not refer to the garden variety kind of bad history often found in works of political science ..inaccurate statements, ignorance of vital facts, untenable interpretations, and so on--attributable to inadequate historical knowledge and research. (A particularly common and objectionable source of this bad history is the tendency of political scientists to rely for their accounts of historical events and developments on the work of other political scientists rather than historians--like brewing tea from already used tea bags.)[11] This represents a widespread problem, in my opinion; but it is not at all confined to political scientists working in history. Historians are frequently guilty of the same sins even within their own specialty, to say nothing of their ventures outside it. Political scientists can in principle combine their particular approaches with adequate historical research (many do so, some remarkably well). Hence this problem is incidental to the basic relation between the disciplines; any abuse or misuse of history arising from it need not indicate a misfit--that is, a misunderstanding and consequent misapplication of historical material. The latter happens, in my view, when political scientists, even if their basic assumptions and approaches do not fundamentally collide with basic historical presuppositions and goals, either fail to understand the nature and limits of the material that works of history provide them, or ignore the limits in practice, and thereby turn historical facts and data into something they are not. To be more specific, a misfit leading to misuse or abuse occurs when political scientists fail to understand or keep sufficiently in mind that the historical "facts" they abstract from historical accounts and organize and stylize for their own purposes are historians' selections and constructs that, as explained above, (1) serve to expound and account for historical change; (2) are understood as human conduct, as acts of purposive agency, not behavior; and (3) form the basis for historical synoptic judgments about their causes, meaning, and significance. For example, political scientists may wish to study the differences in war proneness between, say, absolutist and democratic governments. If in doing so they classify governments in various historical eras as one or the other according to certain codified criteria regardless of how much the concrete, historical definitions and practical components of the terms "democracy" and "absolutism" have changed over historic time and how much these changes can be shown to have affected the characteristic attitudes and actions of governments in international politics, the result is likely to be a fundamental distortion and denaturing of the very historical material employed in the investigation. Something similar occurs when actions are classified and manipulated as if they constituted mere behavior, stimulus and response, rather than conduct, acts of purposive agency; or when a historian's synoptic judgment as to the ultimate causes of a war or a settlement or other development is taken as a "fact," a hard, discrete classification of the phenomenon in question placing it in one category of a hypothetical scheme as opposed to another. All this, I realize, is passably vague. The only good remedy would be a much longer explanation backed up by many detailed examples drawn from concrete instances in the literature--something far beyond the scope of this essay.[12] A few remarks might help at least to clarify my meaning and perhaps mitigate any appearance of condescending arrogance in this critique. First, the difference between offering ordinary historical criticism of a work of political science and claiming that it involves a misfit and consequent misuse of historical data is the difference between saying, "You're mistaken on certain points, ignoring certain facts--you can't say that" (which historians do to each other all the time) and saying, "You're on the wrong track, misunderstanding the material you're dealing with--you can't do that." The latter charge is of course more serious, but it also may be more important and useful. Second, the sign I am trying to post on historical terrain for political scientists is not "Keep Off--Private Property" (which would be absurd), but rather "Thin Ice." The reason for posting the historical terrain at all is not that the historian's analyses and synoptic judgments are too fine, subtle, and admirably complex to be subjected to the crude manipulations of social science, but rather the opposite: they are for social science purposes often not good enough. Besides all the well-known problems associated with using historians' judgments as social science data--that historians notoriously disagree, that both the questions and the answers constantly change, that even the most widely accepted of historians' synoptic judgments in different areas conflict with each other--the basic problem remains that even where the historian's synoptic judgment and the social scientist's verdict agree, they often do not mean the same thing. The context and significance are different, the agreement usually more apparent than real. To use a metaphor I have employed before, historians' synoptic judgments are pieces of sculpture, and do not work well as building blocks. Third, I see a certain area in the spectrum of political science approaches to international politics, ranging from hard neorealism or structural realism through pure game theory to the statistical-mathematical analyses of international transactions as correlations of coded phenomena along the lines of econometrics, to which all of this discussion does not apply. Here, it is not so much a question of a misfit between history and political science, even where historical materials are used extensively as data, as one of no real connection at all. The concept of what is to be discovered and explained (not change over historic time, but supposedly lawlike, structural correlations between fixed stylized phenomena); of the subject matter (not human conduct, acts of purposive agency, but behavior, phenomena to be stripped of their human, purposive element precisely in order to be manipulable and calculable for scientific purposes); and of the desired explanatory outcome (designed precisely to exclude synoptic judgment and to consist of proofs, preferably statistical-mathematical, of such correlations)--all these are so remote from and alien to what historical scholarship is about and always will be, that between it and this kind of endeavor no genuine conversation, much less fit and collaboration, is possible? Two more remarks to relieve the pessimism of the foregoing and indicate what kind of overall relationship between international history and international relations theory might be fruitful. First, although no ideal fit or partnership is possible in most cases because of the differences in presuppositions, goals, and methods, this is no reason not to try for one. Many tasks in scholarship as generally in life are simultaneously necessary and impossible. The answer is not to abandon them, but to do one's best and to discover in so doing how far the limits can be stretched. Second, the nature of the working relationship to be sought will vary with the kind of international relations theory and practice being pursued. At the "hard" end of the international relations theory spectrum, if I am right, the best one could aspire to would be a treaty of mutual nonaggression. At some points on the other end a genuine working partnership might be possible, though never without points of friction. The main relationship between the two fields, however, should be an alliance, specifically conceived not primarily as a means of capability aggregation and joint security, but as a general instrument of restraint, influence, and management, above all the management of one's ally. This kind of alliance, today increasingly common and vital in international politics, would help keep international relations theorists and historians aware of their common and divergent interests, aims, and truths, enabling them better to watch and influence each other, negotiate over their differences, keep each other honest, and avoid becoming rivals and doing each other harm. 1. Gary King, Sidney Verba, and Robert O. Keohane, Designing Social Inquiry (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994), pp. 36-39. • 2. Lewis B. Namier, "History," in Fritz Stern, ed., The Varieties of History (Cleveland, Ohio: World, 1956), p. 379. • 3. For good examples, see Lucien Bely, Espions et ambassadeurs au temps de Louis XIV (Paris: Fayard, 1990), and Enno E. Kraehe, Metternich's German Policy: The Congress of Vienna, 18141815 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1983). • 4. See, for example, Albert Sorel, L'Europe et la revolution francaise, 8 vols. (Paris: Plon-Nourrit, 1893-1912); Edouard Driault, Napoleon et l'Europe, 6 vols. (Paris: Felix Alcan, 1910-27); Georges Lefebvre, The French Revolution, 2 vols. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1962-64); Georges Lefebvre, Napoleon, 2 vols. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1969); Charles K. Webster, The Foreign Policy of Castlereagh, 1815--1822 (London: G. Bell, 1925); Charles K. Webster, The Foreign Policy of Castlereagh, 1812-1815 (London: G. Bell, 1931); William L. Langer, The Diplomacy of Imperialism, 1890-1902, 2 vols. (New York: Knopf, 1935); William L. Langer, European Alliances and Alignments, 1871-1890 (New York: Knopf, 1939); A.J.E Taylor, The Struggle for Mastery in Europe, 1848-1918 (Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon, 1954); Paul M. Kennedy, The Rise of the Anglo-German Antagonism, 1860-1914 (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1980); and Gerhard L. Weinberg, The Foreign Policy of Hitler's Germany, 2 vols. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970-80). All these works are filled with narrative and descriptive detail; but all, including the most positivist and factoriented, have clear if sometimes implicit theses and advance broad explanations and generalizations. • 5. Giambattista Vico indicated this point in the early eighteenth century in his aphorism Verum et factum convertuntur. Roughly translated, this means: We only truly know what we ourselves have made. • 6. Herbert Butterfield, History and Human Relations (London: Collins, 1951). • 7. For an analysis of the distinction and its consequences for history and other disciplines, see Michael Oakeshott, On Human Conduct (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972). • 8. The phrase is borrowed from Louis O. Mink. See Louis O. Mink, "Narrative Form as a Cognitive Instrument," in Robert H. Canary and Henry Kosicki, eds., The Writing of History: Literary Form and Historical Understanding (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1978), pp. 129-150, and Louis O. Mink, Historical Understanding (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1987). • 9. See Paul w. Schroeder, "World War I as Galloping Gertie," reprinted in various collections of essays on the origins of the war, including H.W. Koch, ed., The Origins of the First World War, 2nd ed. (London: Macmillan, 1984), and Holger H. Herwig, ed., The Outbreak of World War I, 5th ed. (Lexington, Mass.: D.C. Heath, 1991). • 10. This analogy is also suggested by Namier, "History." • 11. For example, in "Why NATO Survives," International Organization, Vol. 50, No. 3 (Summer 1996), pp. 445-475, Robert B. McCalla cites as one historical example of the different directions NATO might take the case of post-1815 Europe: "It [NATO] might lose cohesion and direction, the fate of the coalition of Austria, England, Prussia, and Russia that defeated Napoleon in 1815" (p. 445). Because I have devoted great effort to showing how this coalition actually survived and retained its essential cohesion for decades, I was interested in the author's ground for his interpretation. See Paul W. Schroeder, The Transformation of European Politics 1763-1848 (Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon, 1994). His source was a general analysis of alliance cohesion by three political scientists published in 1973, which makes this judgment about the 1815 coalition on the basis of a single quotation dating from 1836 cited in an article surveying nineteenth-century diplomacy. • 12. I can only offer as illustration here two examples of political science works in which the fit between history and international relations analysis seems to me very close and no basic problems of misfit arise, and one in which, although the approach to history and the historical research are good, certain problems of misfit and misapplication indicated above seem to arise. For the former, see J.L. Richardson, Crisis Diplomacy (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1994) and Richard Ned Lebow, Between Peace and War (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981). For the latter, see Stephen M. Wait, Revolution and War (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1996). • 13. A recent example is Edward Mansfield, Power, Trade, and War (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994). ~~~~~~~~ By Paul W. Schroder Paul W. Schroeder is Professor of History and Political Science at the University of Illinois, UrbanaChampaign. He is the author of numerous works on European international politics and the international system. His most recent book is The Transformation of European Politics, 1763-1848 (Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon Press, 1994).

Tutor Answer

Msharon
School: UIUC

...

flag Report DMCA
Review

Anonymous
Good stuff. Would use again.

Similar Questions
Hot Questions
Related Tags

Brown University





1271 Tutors

California Institute of Technology




2131 Tutors

Carnegie Mellon University




982 Tutors

Columbia University





1256 Tutors

Dartmouth University





2113 Tutors

Emory University





2279 Tutors

Harvard University





599 Tutors

Massachusetts Institute of Technology



2319 Tutors

New York University





1645 Tutors

Notre Dam University





1911 Tutors

Oklahoma University





2122 Tutors

Pennsylvania State University





932 Tutors

Princeton University





1211 Tutors

Stanford University





983 Tutors

University of California





1282 Tutors

Oxford University





123 Tutors

Yale University





2325 Tutors