Dictionary of Arguments


Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute
 
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Entry
Reference
Balance of Power Waltz Brocker I 634
Balance of Power/WaltzVsTradition/Waltz: the central assumption of a Balance-of-Power theory is that states are unitary actors whose minimum goal is their own survival and whose maximum goal is universal dominance. To this end, states have two means of power: increasing internal power (arming, strengthening the economy) or increasing external power (forming alliances or conquering). Since increasing external power requires a system of at least three states, the traditional theory is based on at least three actors. WaltzVs: this assumption is wrong (1). Two or more states coexist in a self-help system without superordinate central power, which can rush to the aid of a weak state or deter a state from using the means of power it could use to pursue its interests. In such a system, the expected result is a balance of power. According to Waltz, the primary goal of states is to maintain their position in the international system (2). Therefore, they will prefer balancing the powers over bandwagoning to stronger states.
Waltz's thesis: this applies not only to the relationship between great powers, but to any constellation of two states in competition.
WaltzVsTradition/WaltzVsMorgenthau: older authors (including Hans J. Morgenthau) had adopted a will of state actors to create systems of balance, Waltz considers this superfluous. (3) Waltz: not the motives of the actors, but the system structure ensures that balance occurs. (4)


1. Kenneth N. Waltz, „Theory of International Relations“, in: Fred Greenstein/Nelson W. Polsby (Hg.) International Politics: Handbook of Political Science, Reading, Mas. 1975, p. 36
2. Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics, Reading, Mas. 1979, p. 126.
3. Hans J. Morgenthau, Macht und Frieden. Grundlegung einer Theorie der internationalen Politik, Gütersloh 1963, p. 219-220.
3. Waltz 1979, p. 128.

Carlo Masala, „Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics” in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018

PolWaltz I
Kenneth N. Waltz
Man,the State and War New York 1959


Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018
Liberalism Morgenthau Brocker I 280
Liberalism/MorgenthauVsLiberalism/Morgenthau: Thesis (1948): European liberalism, historically derived from the internal political struggle against absolute violence, was transferred to the completely different field of interstate relations by academic and foreign elites in Washington. A denatured liberalism of this kind was not able to eliminate the - according to Morgenthau, anchored in humans themselves - elementary power of the political, but rather the objectivity in dealing with the political. America was biased in a tangle of desirables, deceptive hopes and abstract ideals, in simplifying schemes and recipes that supposedly dispensed with the confrontation with power-political reality.
Brocker I 286
MorgenthauVsLiberalism: he tries to negate in a decadent way the everywhere existing striving for power, which determines the political. This striving for power is inherent in human nature and dominates both private and social life. See Politics/Morgenthau, Power/Morgenthau. VsMorgenthau: this realistic view was hostile to his American contemporaries ((s) at the end of the 1940s), something Morgenthau had not reckoned with. For Morgenthau, however, this description was morally indifferent. Morgenthau did not realize that his diagnosis could and was understood as a moral affirmation of power and power politics.


Christoph Frei, „Hans J. Morgenthau, Macht und Frieden (1948)“ in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018

Pol Morg I
Hans Morgenthau
Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, New York 1948
German Edition:
Macht und Frieden. Grundlegung einer Theorie der internationalen Politik Gütersloh 1963


Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018