Israel Power Transition and Classical Realism
The problem of power transition today has aroused several questions in different governments. Several schools of thought define the power transition theory as the cynical nature of war and its relationship with the power in international relationships. Today however there has been further expansion of this topic to cover areas like international politics and hierarchy and how transition of power affect the occurrence of the major wars. This idea which is so much narrowed down especially by the less developed countries is thought to be concentrated on the developed countries like the United States and the U.K. Reasons for such belief is that the occurrence of wars and the emergence of such new things is from the western world.
The theory of power transition today is very much associated with the likelihood of wars and stability of nations which have merged together in form of alliances. War is inherent as when there is a dispute between two countries and especially to a higher magnitude, when a challenger to the big and established powers enter with the same parity with the dominant states due to the satisfaction with the existing system. (Weber, 2004)
Alliances which have proved to be stable are those alliances which are satisfied with the given structure. This however poses the question; to what extend do these countries come into harmonious relationship about their structures? The overall overview of this is the instability in the power balance amongst states. Those countries which are said to share the same geopolitic qualities are said to be stable and there is less was in these states. However much power is taken to determine how a country is performing in the world, the sources of power transition vary in their magnitude ranging from how the population of a country is and how the politics has been developed in the particular country, the availability of vast resources including nuclear power, what they can produce and export to other countries and the availability of reservoirs of various resources. This gives us a base in which to rank the weaker and the stronger states as the strongest states being hose with dominant power and the weak states are those with less power.
Consequently this will mean that the dominant states will have a larger share of the resources and the weaker countries definitely will have a lower share. The resources include things like the military forces, the population of that particular state, economic size, natural resources, political stability and other factors.
International relationship theory tends to give a conceptual knowledge in which the international nations can analyze relations. There are several theories of International relationships but all depend upon the essentiality and relying upon some set assumptions. It is considered a watch glass in which an individual can choose to consider taking a particular direction to which he himself likes best and be able to consider the salient features in each theory. These theories can be based on realism yet constructionalism may give a critic in this but all are considered IR theories.
The transition of power today has taken a different dimension which is so much in line with the International relations theory of Realism. Realism is one of the positivist schools of thought which is most prevalent and is the key indicator of how governments are organized today and these theories are becoming very popular especially in the United States. Realism as an International relations Theory is based on several assumptions, first it assumes that nation states are situated geographically in different locations in an anarchic international system and that these states are unitary. It further indicates that these states have no authority whatsoever to regulate interactions between states and there is nothing like a world government which exists.
The other assumption of this theory is that sovereign states are the primary factors in the international affairs, this gives the concept that states are normally in competition with each other. Every state is striving to achieving, through an organized internal security system and having one primary goal in mind. This theory states that as an attempt of these states to solicit resources for its development, their relative levels of power will be exhibited. This power determines the States economic and military capabilities and thus the positions which are attached to the various nations of the world, overally there will be those states which will be satisfied and others still will be dissatisfied because of lack of achievement. (Weber, 2004)
Narrower down, we tend to reason as to how such nations like America can be ranked with others countries which do not possess the vast majority of resources and some of the limitations of this theory shows itself in this way. Still others will want to ask whether the minority and the superior groups contribute to the State being considered a superpower. All these may not have been addressed by one theory but this calls for the need to merge several theories if we are to relate the western world and the African States.
It is very unrealistic however to rely on the theory of realism which majorly focuses on the cognitive functions terming it as logical and practical reasoning methods of dealing with the real world. The world is a comprehensive mass of activities and people who not only are controlled by the actions they do following their conscience but also some external factors are known to control the organizations in the world. There is a lot of criticism on the theory and they include errors which are normally made by the mind, peoples may reason in their own ways thus may not come to a negotiation with another person and some other people may include lies in the conversations thus the whole process becomes unreal. The realism theory is also subject to the changes which occur almost everytime. (Rose, 1998)
Another major criticism about this theory is the pseudocertainty nature where the framing of a question demands a particular specific answer. If realism theory is considered in detail, the human mind actually frames something as a valid evidence and therefore becomes the best method of selecting an answer since its not biased. This will entirely depend on the person who will be raising the question and also the person who will be answering it. Ofcourse the person asking the question might deceive the other or maybe the person answering may not be well conversant with the topic thus bringing a conflict in the entire process of determining policies, thus the unreliability of this theory.
The consequence of these has been that there is a bias in power sharing amongst the different states and war has sometimes erupted in these countries with different powers.
Several states have been ranked as the current regional powers especially by a research done by the political science academics. Different experts in different states came together and as a result of their thought they ranked these nations as regional powers. In East Asia, a vast region endowed with power, China has been considered a very influential power and consequently considered a superpower by the political analysts. Their basis relates to the theory of realism since it has used statistics found in a research which has been conducted by individuals. China is thought to have a population which is said to be about 1.3M, its economy has been considered the 3rd largest in the world because of its purchasing powers and the rate of the economy is growing yearly at the rate of 11%. China is known to have the largest reserve of foreign exchange and gold in the whole world. Some of the other indicators include the military of the country and China is said to have a very organized military system with around 2,250,000 active troops. China also is known to be having nuclear weapons and its expense expenditure is the highest in East Asia and ranked fourth in the world.
Japan is ranked the second in the Asian continent with power and is specifically considered by the academicians of Hong Kong city as a core great regional power. It’s known to have the highest GDP percentage in the world, it has the largest defense budget and the largest population ranked tenth I the whole world.
In Europe, France is considered a regional power with a renowned description as a core great regional power. Frances economy is the third largest most established states in terms of economy in the whole world. France has nuclear weapons, intercontinental and submarine missiles and a nuclear powered aircraft apart from United States. The security in France is always under supervision by the Un Security Council and thus is one of the best security levels in the world.
Germany and Italy are ranked second and third respectively in Europe as superpower countries. German is the world’s largest exporter and has the largest economy in Europe, its population also has an influence in the E.U and it has the largest defense expenditure in Europe. Italy on the other hand is taken to be a superpower because its one of the states where corruption has been fought with much success. Italy has undergone several military upgrades and reformations including the making of an aircraft carrier.
Russia and the U.K closely follow in the category. Russia has the largest population in Europe and the largest land area in the world. Its economy is ranked sixth in Europe and has a vast availability of nuclear weapons. It’s the world’s largest producer of natural gas and has the biggest reservoirs in the world. U.K has the fifth largest population in the World and is ranked the second largest in Europe. Other factors which put U.K in the top chart is the availability of nuclear energy, its organized security system and the economy which is considered stable.
In the American States, Brazil is ranked the best superpower in Latin America and is followed by Mexico. These two states have a vast population, well organized military, have nuclear energy and are the world’s producers e.g. Brazil is known to be a good producer of agricultural products while Mexico has the world’s largest reservoirs of oil.
In North America, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran and Egypt are considered the superpowers of that particular region. This is obviously due to the reason that these countries have nuclear power, they have a vast amount of resources and well organized military systems.
Egypt is the leading superpower in Africa and this is largely due to the fact that it has excelled in its academics. Its population is the largest in the Middle East and it has a very organized military system. Iran also is known for its superpower due to the reasons that it has excelled in sports and has the best organized military so far in the Middle East religion. Iran has been waging war several times with some of the other superpowers like America due to disagreements amongst the use of guns and therefore its capability to compete and fight with the other superpowers show that it is indeed a superpower.
Israel has numerous superior Armies recognized in the whole world and academicians have really advocated for it to be a superpower because of its organization of the Army. Israel is known to contain nuclear energy and has the largest budget in the region with its GDP the fourth largest in the region. Saudi Arabia has been called the regional super house because of the difficulty in identifying its military capabilities. Saudi Arabia contains the world’s largest regional centers and centers considered holiest places. It’s known to be the largest producer and exporter of oil and also has the biggest reservoir of oil. Turkey is considered to have the most organized and largest military force. Its navy is one of the largest in Europe.
The North America also has a vast means of measuring their power and the ranking in this region includes The United States, where it has one of the leading developed military Unit, Its GDP is the largest in the world. It also has the largest population in the world.
Unipolarity issue then becomes predominant in our discussion on the distribution of power amongst countries. This is the distribution of power basing on the cultural, economic, social and military influence. Examples of unipolarity is the ranking of the empires which gave an upper hand to the Egyptian empire perhaps best known for its effective military, the Greeks, the Persian empire and the imperial empire.
Bipolarity also has been a major factor which has been seen especially in the United States and the Soviet Union. Bipolarity refers to the sharing of power between two states which have a majority of economic, cultural and military influence both internationally and regionwise. Anther example is the Great Britain and France during colonial era. The two states were seen cooperating together and sharing the military powers especially in the Second World War.
There are so many impacts as to having a lot of focus on the nations which are perceived to be superpowers. These nations are seen to be having a very high and always leading in position. There ability to influence is so much felt and so many other countries perceive that they cannot do without them.
The mentioned states which the theory of realism has perceived to be of much powers of influence in the whole world may not be with those powers really. The extend to which the theory of realism states is not logical in some cases because some of these states only have gotten the resources they posses because naturally they have been endowed with then. A good example is the nuclear energy where several countries have been classified as being very rich and of much influence with it. If we asked ourselves suppose that other nations had a reservoir for these nuclear weapons, then wouldn’t they also access them and be classified according to the classical realism theory as superpowers? (Doyle, 1997)
So many lesser nations have relied upon the nations which have been placed high in the classical realism at the detriment of their developments. Many countries go out borrowing loans from these countries and that have become very dependent on them. Many nations cannot progress because they have the problem of debts with these countries. There is so much trust on these countries by the lesser nations thereby leading to a very high influx of manpower and ideas to these nations.
Overemphasis on one particular state or actor in the running of the other nations is very dangerous because the political system of a particular state can easily be changed to fit the other states political systems. The entire political system of a state can be easily influenced by the realism world for example tampering with the countries democratic peace. The highly placed states tend to place themselves in a very high positions belief that they cannot wage war with the other lesser states and therefore the overpower them. This assumption is very remote and dangerous and has had several critics by several professors and schools of history. (Burchill, 2005)
Due to so many critics therefore, there is no need according to my own point of view is that other theories should be adopted for the equal and well balanced view of the international relations. One of these theories is the theory of liberalism. This theory advocates the issues of idealism. It is a theory which focuses on a country making its own internal political systems and foreign policies. The country should focus on the problems of their own with reference to the problems outside the nation itself. The likes of the state rather than the capabilities are the major concerns of this theory. The entire nation will focus on its problems like they are really a problem since they are burdened and that it’s a prevalence they have to take.
This theory contrasts with the theory of realism in that one nation is seen as a supreme actor and a very powerful state, this theory allows the working together of the nations a phenomenon called plurality. The working of these countries will see the nations getting up together and coping from one another very important principles that will assist in bringing up another country.
Countries differ in their likes and the priorities that will be taken by each country will base on these e.g cultures, politics, economy and the state security. According to this theory its not only the political system or the security that will make states come together but other factors like business and culture will also make these countries interact. It realizes the fact that the minor factors also can serve to change the nation’s history.
The players to this theory can be an individual, the state in general or some agencies like the church and other firms. It thus points a very positive point of cooperation between the individuals of the nation and people get to learn the best way of living through obtaining opportunities for cooperation’s and broader ideas of power. It discourages the idea of a large system of governments which come together and cannot address issues of the common man. In this way countries get to know each other well and thus the products of that country can get a channel through which they can be exchanged.
Gains and interaction between communities can be seen to improve for the better and they can also be in a position to have an influence on the other countries since each country can e felt in terms of what it produces. (Doyle, 1997)
In conclusion we can mention that the organization of countries both politically and in terms of the powers they hold is a very sensitive thing. As much as we view this as a very common phenomenon, it has a lot of impacts especially the countries which have adopted the realism kind of system in their international relations theories. Today the nations which are considered superpowers are viewed as very powerful and has caused the other countries to really rely on them.
There is need for the nations to adopt the varied theories especially the theory of liberalism is very key in seeing these countries succeed in their political systems and consequently in the overall performance in their economy. Countries which have adopted this kind of theory have had a success especially in their development since they have had the chance of making interactions especially in what they produce. Today this theory is very fundamental because one country cannot live without interacting with another country. The countries which still are in the old systems of realism face a very big problem of markets and other facilities like obtaining oil since they are not allowed by other countries unless they are willing to be liberal.
Burchill, S. (2005) Theories of international relations, Palgrave.
Doyle, M. (1997) Ways of peace and War: Realism, Liberalism and socialism, London: Norton company
Rose, G (1998) Neoclassical Realism and Theories of foreign policy, Oxford.
Weber, C. (2004) International relations theory: an introduction, 2nd edn, Taylor and Francis.