Summary Force and statecraft

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ISBN-10 0195162498 ISBN-13 9780195162493
114 Flashcards & Notes
3 Students
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This is the summary of the book "Force and statecraft". The author(s) of the book is/are Paul Gordon Lauren, Gordon A Craig, Alexander L George. The ISBN of the book is 9780195162493 or 0195162498. This summary is written by students who study efficient with the Study Tool of Study Smart With Chris.

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Summary - Force and statecraft

  • 1 The Emergence of Diplomacy and the Great Powers

  • Compare & contrast diplomatic practice in Ancient Greece with that of Rome

    Both helped to develop diplomatic practises that are still valuable but in different approaches. For the Greeks, who saw big competition between city states and feared violent outbreaks, diplomacy became a mean to reduce the level of competetiveness and increase interaction among players.

    The romans set the foundation of international law and administrative rules, they were also more 'aggressive'

  • What innovation did Venice introduce to diplomacy?

    They established the idea of embassies (having representatives outside their countries and vice versa), and introduced the concept of constant diplomatic services and not only ad hoc ones.

  • What was the argument between duRosier and Barbaro?

    DuRosier thought diplomats should always strive for peace when negotiating, Barbaro on the other hand thought they should always pursue the states’ interests.


  • What sort of criticism/praise did Macchiavelli’s treatise on statecraft elicit?

    Machiavelli's treatise was very controversial. It said a prince had to have two faces- two ways of behaving. The criticism mainly went against his untraditional and unchristian view. However,
    other statesmen praised his work as it justified the methods and objectives that states had to increase their political power- the end justifies the means.

  • What was Richilieu’s maxim of statecraft?

    It was mainly about power, centralizing ministry of external affairs, few limits. It was one of the first diplomatic cores ever made.

  • What were the characteristics of the modern state?

    The modern state that developed in the 17th century had three main characteristics: it had an effective army, it had a functioning bureaucracy and it finally the state had to define its interests in rational and practical ways.

  • What was the Peace of Westphalia, and why was it significant?

    The Peace of Westphalia ended both the 80 and the 30 Years War and set forward important concepts. It stated the idea of states being sovereign and being able to independently choose for their own people. It affirmed the idea that states didn’t depend from an external power, and that they were equal to one another.

  • What is the historic background of ‘Balance of Power’ in Europe?
    France became an overpowering and threatening country, so other alliances were formed to resist this threat. This was done in the treaty of Utrecht, Willem of Orange together with England and the Hapsburgs formed an alliance surrounding France.
  • Why was deCallieres’ work on diplomacy considered a ‘mine of political wisdom’?

    it enunciated several abilities and qualities that a diplomat should have. Among these were patience, creativity, self-control, and agreeable manners. He also suggested that small conference were preferred over large ones and also explained how lawyers should not be employed as diplomats especially in negotiations. Another main point in his treaty is that he introduced the idea of having professional trained diplomats and not people who had political or other connections.

  • What was the concept of raison d’etat/Staatsrason? Who opposed it, and what finally convinced others it needed to be replaced as a ‘guiding philosophy’ of states?

    It was about the idea that the states' interests should always come first. Countries pursue national interest and broadening living space. Among others, Grotius and Vattel opposed this concept but the society at the time did not listen to them.

  • 2 The Classical System of Diplomacy, 1815-1914

  • Who were the major players at the Congress of Vienna?

    Prince Klemens von Metternich from Austria, Viscount Robert Castlereagh from England, Frederick William III of Prussia, Czar Alexander I, Prince Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand from France. Metternich and Castlereagh created the new international system based on a balance of power.

  • What was meant by the ‘conclusion & affirmation’ of the treaty there?
    This major task was to construct a viable international system of peace and security to prevent wars from breaking out in the future, not just end past hostilities
  • How did the Balance of Power work in practice?

    negotiators in Vienna made territorial arrangements to equally distribute population and capabilities. Countries were paying each other off for more power, and created buffer zones where powers had influence. The practice works but its effectiveness towards weaker states is definitely arguable

  • What was the Concert of Europe?

    A ‘constitution’ constructed by the quadruple alliance and France. it was supposed to have regulatory protection of balance of power from the end Napoleonic wars (1815) to 1914. The constitution was weak/loose and could be seen as an alliance.

  • What techniques did the concert of Europe employ?

    compromise and consensus among the players.

    They had to agree on what constituted a threat, their patterns of conflict and cooperation, and their willingness to engage in a common action to defend the system.

    The Concert of Europe created techniques of crisis prevention by giving means to coordinate relations, limit frictions, establishing what means of policy pursuit were legitimate or not.

  • What crises did the concert of Europe have to deal with?
    There were many wars among the players in the concert of Europe, including the Crimean war and the Franco Prussian war
  • What changes had taken place by 1870 that made diplomacy among the Greta Powers more difficult?

    The Great powers possessed more common borders so there was more tension; free trade was coming to an end. there was a new wave of revolutions that brought with them the idea of nationalism where countries were keener on following their national interest than working in a cooperative system like the one set up in Vienna

  • What was the problem with the ‘Bismarckian’ way of maintaining equilibrium of forces?
    Bismarck had a reputation of realpolitik and felt insecure with the distrust others had in him. He felt like he needed take action and show power in order for German legitimacy.
  • Discuss the relationship between the stronger members of the bipolar alignments and the weaker members, and the consequences.

    The bipolar alignments consisted of the triple entente on one side, and the triple alliance on the other. The triple entente consisted of France, Britain and Russia whereas the triple alliance consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. The stronger powers were England, Germany and France, the weaker ones were Italy, Austria-Hungary and Russia. The stronger powers did not control the weaker ones, which could have prevented some issues that occurred later.

  • Why was diplomacy in the 19th Century not a ‘zero-sum game’ ?
    This was because one party would gain, and one party would loose.
  • Was transparency a good or bad thing in diplomacy according to the authors?
    According to the authors in the book, transparency was a bad thing because they had to be accountable to other people and there was more pressure on decisions made. However, transparency can also be seen as good because the accountability comes with high positions.
  • How did technology influence diplomatic history?
    Technology speeded up processes in several ways. Transportation and communication were the two main areas in which the speed helped.
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