THE EVOLUTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM
Fall Term 1995
William Wallace
Martin Palous
Department of European Studies
Central European University




Course Description

Modern international relations and its concepts have grown out of the development of the European international system since the 16th century. The 20th century has seen international order in Europe collapse twice into war; since 1989 a third transformation has begun. This course examines the relationship between concepts and historical developments, the impact of economic, technological and social change on the European international system, the growth of regional rules and institutions, and the bases for establishing a stable post-cold war regional order.

Basic texts and background reading:
Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. 1987.
Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society: a study of order in world politics. 1977.
Robert J. Art and Robert Jervis, eds., International Politics: enduring concepts and contemporary issues. 1992.
J. M. Roberts, Europe 1880-1945.
William Wallace, The Transformation of Western Europe. 1990.
R. J. Crampton, Eastern Europe in the 20th Century. 1994.

Supplementary texts:
Walter Laqueur, Europe in our time: A history, 1945-1992.
John Hutchinson and Anthony D. Smith, eds., Nationalism: a reader. 1994.
Hedley Bull and Adam Watson, eds., The Expansion of International Society. 1984.
Richard R. Little and Steve Smith, eds., Belief Systems and International Relations. 1988.
Barry Buzzan, People, States and Fear. (2nd edition) 1991.
James Mayall, Nationalism and International Society. 1990.
Ernst-Otto Czempiel and James Rosenau, eds., Global Changes and Theoretical Challenges. 1989.
James N. Rosenau and Ernst-Otto Czempiel, eds., Governance without government: order and change in world politics. Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Stanley Hoffmann, Janus and Minerva: essays in the theory and practice of international politics. 1987.
Richard Little and Michael Smith, Perspectives on World Politics. (2nd edition) 1991.
Kenneth Waltz, Man, the state and war. 1959.
Roper Gilpin, The Political Economy of International Relations. 1987.
Martin Wight, Power Politics. 1945, revised 1979.

Course Outline

Week 1. The origins of the International System.
Concepts of "system", "order", "state", "sovereignty", "legitimacy". The Breakdown of western Christendom: Reformation and Counter Reformation. The emergence of the "modern" state system in western and central Europe: divergent developments in eastern and south-eastern Europe. Russia and Turkey and semi-European states. Concepts and assumptions we have inherited from the "classic" 18th century European order. Structural explanations of international politics, vs. voluntarist explanations of national actions and objectives in world politics.

Further reading:
Ian Clark, The Hierarchy of States. 1988.

Week 2. Ideas, ideology and international relations.
Realism and idealism: Kant and Metternich, Woodrow Wilson and E. H. Carr. Identity, legitimacy, and the state; belief systems and international politics. Nationalism and internationalism; national communities and transnational communities. Economic liberalism, mercantilism, Marxism. Geopolitics: the power of mental maps. Ordered anarchy, or world society?

Further reading:
Martin Wight, International relations: the three traditions. 1993.
Thomas Franck, The Power of Legitimacy among Nations.
Albert O. Hirschmann, The Passions and the Interests.

Week 3. Man, the state and war.
The impact of the two world wars on the international system. War and socio-political breakdown. War and technological advance. War, revolution, the rise and fall of states and the reconstruction of international order. The nuclear revolution. Legitimate force and revolutionary force: armies and guerrillas, inter-state wars and civil wars.

Further reading:
Michael Howard, The Causes of War.

Week 4. Economic Development and world order: the evolution of a global economy.
The "great transformation" and the collapse of the 19th century world economy. Keynesianism and the reconstruction of the Western international economy after 1945. The role the USA as economic hegemon. The Marxist alternative. Impact of multinational finance, management, production. Is an open world economy manageable?

Further reading:
Susan Strange, States and Markets.
Robert O. Keohane, After Hegemony.
J. Bhagwati, The New Economic Order.
David A. Baldwin, Economic Statecraft. 1985.

Week 5. States as actors: domestic politics and foreign policy.
Sovereignty, legitimacy and recognition; the state as "gatekeeper" between domestic and international politics. National interest and national administration; the making of "foreign" policy. The two-audience problem for foreign policy-makers: domestic and foreign audiences. Perception and misperception in foreign policy.

Week 6. Rules institutions and regimes.
International law as the basis for international order. The evolution of international institutions. Rules as limitations on state sovereignty. The individual in international relations: minority rights, human rights, women's rights. Global values vs. national values.

Further reading:
Adam Roberts and Ben Kingsbury, eds., United Nations, Divided World. 1988.
Antonio Cassese, International Law in a divided world. 1991.
Antonio Vincent, Human Rights and International Relations. 1987.

Week 7. The Cold War as an international system.
Hegemony, bipolarity, multipolarity. The Cold War as a European conflict and as a world conflict: as a nuclear confrontation, an ideological struggle, an economic competition. The "three worlds" of the Cold War: the third world as a contested arena.

Further reading:
Raymond Garthoff, Détente and Confrontation.
Charles Gati, The Block that failed. 1991.
John Gaddis, The Long Peace.

Week 8. The Rise of World Society.
The concept of transnational civil society - as a regional community, and as a global community. Elites and masses, epistemic communities and popular non-involvement. The communications revolution: mass culture as global culture? European values and non-European values.

Further reading:
A. G. McGrew and P. G. Lewis, Global Politics. 1992.

Week 9. Regional Order and world politics, (I): the emergence of a European regional system.
The institutalization of regional order: EU, NATO, CSCE. The collapse of the European socialist order. A Europe of states, or a Europe of institutionalized networks? Cooperation or hegemony: Germany, USA, Russia and the evolution of a post-cold war European order.

Further reading:
Wallace, Regional Integration: the West European experience.

Week 10. Regional Order and world politics (II): the recovery of Asia.
Shifting balances of world population, production, wealth. The Islamic world: a "clash of civilization", or a crisis of modernization? The fourth world: the collapse of order in Africa. Regional integration in the Western hemisphere and in Asia: towards a regionally-based world order?

Further reading:
Vincent Cable and David Henderson, eds., Trade Blocks: the future of regional integration. London, RIIA, 1994.

Week 11. Transformation and continuity: the emergence of a post-cold war global system.
Globalisation vs. nationalism: is the nation state model essential to stable order? Hegemony and multilateral management: managing and maintaining a "civilized" global order. The changing agenda of world politics: sustainable economic development, environmental trade-offs, and global economic management. demographic shifts, and global migration; the aging North and West, vs. the dynamic South and East?

Further reading:
Andrew Hurrell and Ben Kingsbury, eds., The International Politics of Environment. 1992.
Gil Loescher and Laila Monahan, eds., Refugees and International Relations. 1989.
Sarah Collinson, Europe and International Migration. London, RIIA, 1993.
Sean M. Lynn-Jones and Steven E. Miller, eds., The Cold War and After: Prospects for Peace.
Robert O. Keohane and others, After the Cold War. Harvard University Press, 1993.
OECD, Long-term Prospects for the World Economy. 1992



CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Modified: April, 1996


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