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충고받은 뻘짓 시작.
수지누님의 충고대로 외국에 잘 된 페이퍼나 원서들을 베껴 타이핑하는 연습을 시작함. 다만 정치학에는 뭔가 독해하기에도 깝깝한 원서들이 많은데…(사실 잘 쓴 글이 아니란 얘기지, 아규와 분석이 좋은거지 명문이 아니란 소리.) 그럼에도 불구하고 잘 써진 원서나 페이퍼를 찾는 것은 어려운 일만은 아니다. 명민한 사람들이 쓴 글들 중에는 졸문도 명문도 찾기 흔하다.
조금은 고전이 되어버린 Kenneth Waltz, 1990, “Nuclear Myths and Political Realities”, APSR을 베끼는 중. 다시 읽어봐도 이 페이퍼가 가져다 주는 이른바 ‘깔쌈한’ 함의는 여전히 재미있다. 처음 이 페이퍼를 쥘 때 정치학에 흥미를 잃었던 나를 흔들어서 다시 깨워준 페이퍼 그 느낌 그대로. 늘 Kenneth Waltz라는 학자가 얼마나 지적인 영감과 감흥을 주는 지 놀라울 뿐이다. 체화되는 그 느낌 그대로.
Goodbye to essays, and Kenneth Waltz
I submitted my last essay at this university. Its printed copy (with the bibliography) ends with Kenneth Waltz’s 1959 masterpiece:
In fact, the essay title was “Levels of Mimesis”, as a spin-off from Waltz’s “levels of analysis” and his reference to the levels as “images”, and alluding to Plato — “Everything we say must surely be mimesis and image making.” (Critias 107b, Halliwell translation.)
- Kenneth N. Waltz, 1924-2013
He’s probably been the biggest straw-man I’ve used in my few years of essay writing, and probably the most cited contemporary political theorist too (maybe aside from Elshtain…).
Why did no alliance form to balance Great Britain in her heyday?
Kenneth N. Waltz believed that no alliance formed to balance Great Britain during the nineteenth century when it was hegemonic because “Britain could not threaten the major continental powers; its imperial burdens and demographic limitations did not permit it to do so.” He was wrong on both counts. Britain’s empire was a source of tremendous strength: the Indian army provided a formidable fighting force paid for by Indian taxpayers, effectively doubling British military power. The democratic limitation argument does not even pass the laugh test.
Why, then, did no alliance form to balance Great Britain in her heyday? First, the ‘stopping power of water’ made continental powers secure against the threat of a sea-borne British invasion, as well Great Britain against continental threats across the channel. Second, due to their proximity to each other, major continental powers threatened each other more than they threatened Britain. They could not resolve their security dilemma and cooperate to balance Great Britain. Indeed, they found it in their interest to ally with Great Britain against neighbors who threatened to conquer their territory instead. Britain thus played the role of the ‘off-shore balancer’. Last but not the least, British naval primacy enabled her to preside over a liberal international order in which she guaranteed the protection of global sea-lanes and open markets that was the bedrock of the great nineteenth century economic expansion that benefited all the major powers. That is, British hegemony did not prompt a balancing coalition because the world economy was firmly centered.
This is important because this is precisely the position the United States will find itself as we move from a unipolar to a multi-polar world. As other great powers rise and the polarity of the system morphs into a multi-polar one, the United States will continue to play the dual role of the off-shore balancer and the center country. For example, Japan and India will seek an alliance with the United States to balance China, a process that is well underway. By maintaining its naval primacy, the United States will also continue to guarantee the protection of global sea-lanes and open markets. It will thereby continue to preside over a liberal international order that major powers in the international system will find in their interest not to jeopardize. As long as the system remains centered, Pax Americana will prevail.