Discord and collaboration: essays on international politics. Front Cover. Arnold Wolfers. Johns Hopkins University Press, – Political Science – pages. Discord and Collaboration: Essays on International Politics. Front Cover. Arnold Wolfers. Johns Hopkins Press, – International relations – pages. Title, Discord and Collaboration: Essays on International Politics. Author, Arnold Wolfers. Edition, reprint. Publisher, Johns Hopkins Press, Export Citation.

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Whether the pope merits recognition as an actor in world affairs cannot be determined merely by reference to the fact that he lacks the military power states are able to muster. As in all other fields of human activity, decisions and actions in the international arena can be understood, predicted, and manipulated only in so far as the factors influencing the decision can be identified and isolated. Wolfers’ achievements in the field of political theory.

To say that insularity leads countries to neglect their military defenses can mean only that decision-makers are more likely to consider their country safe if it enjoys an insular position and that they will tend, as a result, to become complacent in matters of military preparedness. As a consequence, it may consider dicord survival at stake colaboration a conflict over remote and intrinsically unimportant islandso such as Quemoy and Matsu or over legal rights in West Berlin on the ground that, by an assumed domino effect or chain reaction, defeat at any one point will lead to defeat at wolvers other point, until in the end all chances of collaboratuon are nullified.

Explanation for the decision may lie in a particularly high degree of foresightedness, or, as others believe, in an unusual degree The Actors in International Politics 17 of compliance with the wishes of friends and allies.

They work arnod convince others of their impartial friendliness, expecting that abstention from making demands on and interfering with others will evoke a response of at least diplomatic amity.

However, although nothing can happen in the world arena unless something happens inside the minds and hearts of scores of men, psychological events are not the whole stuff out of which international politics is formed.

Discord and collaboration; essays on international politics.

Paperbackpages. The “fire and water” stage in physics, as Kurt Lewin has so aptly called it, came to an end to make room for modern physics once the analysts had learned to penetrate to relatively simple and abundant components such as atoms, ions, and velocities. But because theory cannot proceed except by means of abstraction, it becomes necessary here to supplement one set of abstractions with another and thus keep in mind the double aspect of events that must be conceived of as emanating simultaneously from, individuals and from corporate bodies.

Arnold Wolfers Find more information about: To abstract from these aspects of reality is as unrealistic as it is to abstract from the events occurring in the minds and hearts of the men who act in the name of the state. While in modern mass democracies the interests assumed to be those of the general public or the common man are likely to qualify for national support, in more stratified societies it is the interests of certain minorities, ruling groups, or economic elites that will tend to be identified with the interests of the nation.


It appears, then, that to humanize the image of world politics by penetrating to the minds and hearts of actors does not necessarily give us a more peaceful picture of the world. If one were in contact with the people of the Soviet Union today, one probably would find them preoccupied with the tasks of furthering their personal welfare, happiness, and social advancement in much the same way as any similar group of people in the United States.

The goal of national survival itself is given a wide variety of interpretations by different countries or countries facing different conditions. There are many ways in which a favorable image of another nation can be sold to the public, even though anything as radical as the way totalitarian governments manipulate public opinion is incompatible with democracy. As things stand today and are likely to re- main for an indefinite period there can be no serious doubt about the paramount position of the nation-state or about the superiority of its influence and power.

Unfortunately, governments as a rule are too preoccupied with open conflicts and enmities to be able to deal preventively with those that are still latent; they may often fail to anticipate trouble. As mentioned earlier, the once firmly established states-as-actors theory has been reacted to in a second way which also Implies a shift of attention to Individuals and groups of Individuals as the true actors. In the introduction to the book by him and Abraham Kaplan, Power and Society: It would be perfectly realistic to expect that these individuals, with rare excep- tions, would feel compelled to run toward the exits.

The position of the value of national unification in the hierarchy of values, for instance, espe- cially its position relative to particular private needs and desires, is subject to change and differs from group to group and from indi- vidual to individual.

In many instances the pendulum has swung from extreme 1 David Easton introduces the term situational determinants in contrast to psychological determinants to indicate “those determinants which shape activity in spite of the kind of personalities and motivations in the participants.

Discord and collaboration: essays on international politics – Arnold Wolfers – Google Books

As this nation, through the extension of its power, has assumed new responsibility for the fate of many other nations, so the scholars within it have a new responsibility to illumine the complexities of international politics and to raise the level of reflection on which American policy decisions are based.

English Choose a language for shopping. Snyder and Glenn D. The behavior within the Soviet orbit of the satel- lite states, legally recognized as sovereign, can be understood only if the role of the Soviet Union is taken into account, either as a coactor in the background or as the master actor.

This means that danger as well as opportunity for gain, and fear as well as appetite, are not constants but Important variables.

Stanislav Secrieru added it Dec 04, Where less than national survival is at stake, there is far less compulsion and therefore a less uniform reaction. Although in promoting such values the nation usually will benefit some people more than others and frequently even serve some at the expense of others-as in the case of tariffs, subsidies, or bars to immigration-this inequity does not in itself militate against such promotion.


Subcon- scious or neurotic psychological compulsions over which the actor actually has no control would fall into the category of external determinants. However the situation of theory is not as precarious or dismal as the hypothesis suggests.

There are those who claim that too great an emphasis on the role of states and their interests in power, prestige, territory, and the like, will divert polit- ical action from the satisfaction of the common man’s real needs and desires to the service of the few who can parade their interests as those of the nation.

Some goals like national independence or national security unmistakably are direct national goals.

Theory of International Politics. This item was part of a history library in my father’s home. People-to-people diplomacy and cultural exchanges can be useful, however, if they help to bolster popular feelings of friendship where and when amical interstate relations or a relaxation of interstate tension is in the national interest.

While amity among allies, particularly among wartime allies, may be as intimate as relations between independent nations can ever become, it would be a mistake to underestimate the strains that almost any alliance in war or peace places on such amity.

Arnold Wolfers well performs that task, and it is to be hoped that his wise and learned book will have the widest possible reading. The new postcolonial states present another illustration of differences in outlook among different actors. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Get to Know Us. The actors in international politics — Amity and enmity among nations — The determinants of foreign policy — Statesmanship and moral choice — The goals of foreign policy — The pole of power and the pole of indifference — Power and influence: Similarly, the exaggeration of the determining effect of personal predisposition may have caused statesmen to err, as did Franklin D.

Indira Paneru added it Nov 16, Yet, while it may be close to the pole of vital goals usually assumed to justify the resort to violence, it may be sufficiently removed from this pole to keep Soviet policy-makers from initiating a war for the sake of its promotion. Often it has been assumed that a process involving state power and its distribution among nations has a place in the states-as-actors approach alone and can be treated adequately by means of this approach.

It is customary to call this the realist school. A theoretical discussion of the actors is not the place to answer the question whether nonstate corporate actors are presently gain- ing or losing ground in their competition with the nation-state. A government that had assured its country of adequate security would not be violating its duties if it extended help to friendly nations without concern for the advantages its own country might expect to gain in return.

You may send this item to up to five recipients. Not all criticism of efforts directed toward milieu goals can, however, be discounted in this fashion.