Essay Example on The possibility of peace within international Politics

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The possibility of peace within international politics is definitely a realistic prospect for Kant Perpetual peace one of Kant's most influential writings offers three definitive articles detailing the conditions of peace which when achieved would overcome conflict resulting in harmony within society Firstly Kant makes a significant claim that the only type of constitution in which perpetual peace can be achieved is republicanism Based on the liberal principle of separation of powers republics would preserve the freedoms of individuals and reduce the inclination of war as citizens if given the right would not consent to declaring war as it would bring misery upon themselves Kant 100 This leads on to the second article which describes a federation of states Kant advocates the notion of all similar nations establishing a federation whose purpose would be solely to preserve and secure the freedom of each state in itself Kant 104 Focusing on the first two articles in particular demonstrates that

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Kant's belief is that international politics would become more peaceful over time as nations are naturally inclined to seeking perpetual peace which by good fortune would lead to the formation of republics and thus inevitably a federal association a concept which is practicable and has objective reality Kant 104 For Kant this is based heavily on the liberal idea that nature guarantees peace as an amalgamation of states may bring conflict due to religious and linguistic differences but human nature would lead men to gain more understanding and thus overcome these differences nature guarantees perpetual peace by the actual mechanism of human inclinations Kant 114 Therefore international politics has the ability to become more peaceful only via the acceptance of the definitive articles mentioned in his work doyle 226 227 Moving away from Kant's teleological vision Angell argues society has seen structural changes which have made the notion of war less likely as it would bring no plausible benefit to nations thus increasing the likelihood of peace The Great Illusion challenges the perspective that conquest or war would result in economic attainment such as increased wealth due to the increasing economic interdependence in modern international politics which have made New York dependent on London London upon Paris Paris upon Berlin to a greater degree than has ever yet been the case in history Angell 55 Due to this it would be irrational for nations to engage in conflict as it would bring harm rather than prosperity

Therefore Angell s views embedded in liberal values demonstrate how international politics can become peaceful over time as structural changes towards free market economics and expansion of trade result in economic interest foreshadowing conflict Thus Angell considers the militarist view to be an an optical illusion Angell 49 and uses the prosperity of small nations to demonstrate his point If the security of a nation's wealth can only be assured by force and treaty rights are mere waste paper how can we explain the evident security of the wealth of States possessing relatively no force angell 42 hence depicting war as futile and peace as desirable However Angell has been criticised since the publication of the great illusion Ceadel highlights flaws in Angels argument that nations would not benefit at all from conquest as it overlooks instances such as Britain s evident gains from exploiting Ireland and India Ceadel pg1678 signifying that it would be naïve to think that conquest is always futile as history has demonstrated Also commenting on the significance of interdependence is Doyle who argues that international politics can only be peaceful if society is a governed by the people through a representative government whereby institutions values and interdependence all work together to produce peace Doyle 207 However in contrast to the ideas of

Kant and Angel Doyle s ideas are somewhat different this being that though liberal democracies are inherently peaceful this peace is only seen in relation to other liberal societies known as the democratic peace thesis This thesis takes many of its foundations from Kant's ideas which suggests that liberal states are reluctant to engage in conflict with other liberal states due to shared values and mutual respect Doyle 1983 213 Therefore peace in international politics is possible evident through the lack of conflict amongst democracies a liberal zone of peace a pacific union has been maintained despite numerous particular conflicts of economic and strategic interests Doyle 1983 214 215 However Doyle s liberal account suggests that in certain contexts international politics could become more conflictual over time as liberal states view non liberal states as illegitimate resulting in potential war as liberal states would want to promote their values in non democracies Therefore Doyle s argument highlights that liberal institutions can result in peace but only in relations to other democracies thus wars and conflict are undoubtedly possible but would only be declared for liberal or popular purposes A separate peace exists among liberal states Doyle 1983 232 The Democratic peace thesis can indeed be applied to modern international politics as there has been no war between liberal societies but rather most conflicts in the past decades such as the Iraq War 2003 and the Arab Spring have been warfare between the western liberal powers and authoritarian regimes which indicates that unless all nations were to become liberal democracies the thought of international politics becoming peaceful over time is unlikely

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