Introduction The traditional political definition of peace was originated among the ancient Romans who defined that peace, “pax” as “absentia belli”, the absence of war. Peace is a state of harmony, the absence of hostility. This term is applied to describe a cessation of violent international conflict. In this case, peace is the opposite of war. Though human-beings are prone to seek peace, prosperity and civilization for their lives, means used to seek them were at times conducted through the contrast process: war.
The origin of war War was influenced by the pessimistic side of human nature. Machiavelli stated in his book “The Prince” that “…. to maintain the state the prince is often obliged to act against his promise, against charity, against humanity and against religion. He should not stray from the good, but he should know how to enter into evil when necessity commands. ” Morgenthau has shown his facet by “Animus Dominandi” or the human “lust” for power (Morgenthau 1965:192).
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
Men and women are by nature political animals: they are born to pursue power and to enjoy the fruits of power. ” “The craving for power dictates a search of relative advantages and secure political spaces. ” Regarding to Thomas Hobbes, “the state of nature”, he quoted: “…without a state to guarantee the means and conditions of security and to promote welfare, human’s life is bound to be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. Insecurity and uncertainty bring about fear of each other in people’s minds and the way to escape is to create and maintain a sovereign state. The fact that each nation-state is motivated by national interest with a high regard for the normative coreand also from Hobbes’ view, these are the reasons why a state needs to seek for protection of its territory, its population, and other valued ways of life which would be concerned as the national interest to further finalize to foreign policies or even worse, to generate a war.
Donald Kagan has pointed out that power by itself is neutral, it being simply a tool for bringing about desired ends. To use power, Kenneth Waltz has stated that the causes of war not only embedded in human behavior, but also from the anarchic structure of the international system. In this essay, I will discuss about which system provides the best conditions for advancing peace, prosperity and civilization. They are namely empire, great power hegemony, balance of power and concerts of power.
According to the British school theory of international relations, studying history is important as it is the base of the present. Empire The empire is defined as a state that extends dominion over areas and populations distinct culturally and ethnically from the culture, ethnicity at the center of power . In regard to this definition, there will be a center nation which has power over the periphery nation so that it can bring about a condition of disharmony of interest between them .
In turn, a dominant state and subordinate states which are directly or indirectly ruled has emerged. In the West, the Athenians discovered that empire, or the extension of territory by a single sovereign power, only succeeds in becoming anything more than “the exploitation, destruction, and subjugation of once free peoples” if the imperial force gives careful consideration to its method of rule. the Spartans were unable to build an empire because, as Aristotle observes, “they had practiced no more fundamental skill than skill in war. The Roman Empire also expanded to conquer the civilized states in the East by using “the fiction of alliance as a cloak for control” or through the slow penetration of Greek society . However, it cannot be denied that Empire is, to use Eric Hobsbawm’s terminology, the domination of the “backward” by the “advanced”. Violence is always implicit in the implementation of empire even though it may not always be necessary. Empire inevitably had political consequences at home.
In the first place it made, it even more difficult to ensure popular participation that is the participation of poor citizens in government. Prolonged warfare reinforced the day-to-day power and the moral authority of the Senate. Though it was a remarkable one, the expansion of territory carried even further shortcomings such as the extension of Roman rule over Italy. In the British imperial history, the unexceptionable proposition that domination involves more than physical or economic coercion; it exists in the minds of the dominated and those who dominate them.
Obvious systems of domination are the ordering of the world into hierarchies based on assumptions about “higher” and “lower” races, separated by immutable physiological differences, or about stages of human progress, some peoples having attained “civilization” while others remain sunk in “barbarism” or “savagery”, from which they will only escape by outside intervention. Such assumptions confirmed the rulers in their sense of superiority and in their mission to bring about change, while convincing, it was hoped, the ruled of their place in the scheme of things.
When the British government in India attempted to impose a small revenue tariff in 1853-54 and again as late as 1890, the British textile industry ensured that an equivalent excise tax was imposed on the fledgling Indian manufacture of textiles. In the part of culture, India, of course rejected those aspects of British thought that overtly consigned them to inferiority. But they willingly imbibed its underlying assumptions. British political and cultural norms became their political and cultural norms.
They suppressed their own traditions or, more commonly, adopted distorted versions of them, derived from British teaching. In the East, Chinese empire system is different. The foreign political, economic and cultural relations were conducted in a world that it ordered by, and experienced through, the tribute system. Though China was ruled by Emperors, its system was formed up in the way of great power hegemony. Great Power Hegemony Antonio Gramsci, an Italian (1891-1937) and a leading Marxist thinker used the term “hegemony” to denote the predominance of one social class over others (e. . bourgeois hegemony). This represents not only political and economic control, but also the ability of the dominant class to project its own way of seeing the world so that those who are subordinated by it accept it as “common sense” and “natural”. Great power hegemony is similar to empire. Both systems share a common conception of a particularistic claim to legitimacy, one which is viewed as wholly universalistic in its scope and dimension and generally hostile to all challenges.
Marc Mancall, the Professor of Harvard University in South Asian history and religions said that the Chinese tribute system served to “intermesh rather than to integrate the Central, East, and Southeast Asian societies that were derivative of, or peripheral to, China and the region’s preponderant Confucian society and tradition. ” He identifies three ways: economic, political and cultural in which this intermeshing took place and argues that they were vital for China’s stability.
In the early T’ang period, Vietnam, Central Asia, Korea and Japan all recognized Chinese suzerainty through occasional presentation of tribute. Tibet, Japan and the Silla kingdom in Korea all used the T’ang dynasty as their model for culture and government. T’ang hegemony had success in advancing civilization and prosperity because T’ang system based on secure ground with regards to safety from attack by other nations, with no attempt to limit cultural or economic exchange either by making it a purely governmental endeavor or by excessive taxation.
This had led to not only increase the wealth of the people but also cultural exchange. Besides, T’ang were able to consolidate their political position since the tribute system proved their authority. However, in Ming dynasty, the tribute system was reformed. There were a combination of domestic politics and foreign manipulation involved and later triggered to a declination of the hegemonic system. Accepted from Mongol, the reduction of foreign trade and contact such as the rule that only ships on an official tributary mission or licensed ones were allowed to trade was the starting point of this failure.
Ming itself also was criticized by Japanese that “fealty to China, expressed in very dutiful terms but regarded by the Japanese feudal rulers as merely a means of monopolizing the lucrative Chinese trade for themselves. ” Less belief in China’s authority and the superiority of China’s systems has caused the lost in its magical hegemonic system. To say, the hegemony system will be successful if that nation is more culturally, politically and militarily advanced than its neighbors. In the 21st century, America has been viewed as a hegemonic state. However, at present, the international relations system has changed.
There is a gathering of “A non-state networking” type of power. Its power has demonstrated how it could challenge a superpower and turned superpower into an actor who merely reacted to another non-state action instead of holding the course of international security in her hands. The 9/11 attack is the best evidence that hegemonic system is not the best system for advancing peace, prosperity and civilization. Balance of Power Kissinger stated: “the security of a domestic order resides in the preponderant power of authority, that of the international order in the balance of forces and in its expression, the equilibrium. The balance of power system is considered as a part of the classic realist tools for maintaining international order interpreted literally; any state of international equilibrium represents a balance of power. The purpose of this system is to prevent hegemony by one state, and to maintain the independence of all state because the balance of power system is an arrangement of affairs wherein no state is in a position to have absolute mastery and domination over others. The exercise of power can never be absolute, only relative.
Policies which aims to restrain growing states and is known as the balance of power policy has been part and that there is more safety in balanced power than in a declaration of good intention. To preserve the balance requires action not only against the neighbor that becomes too powerful but also against distant states. To further exemplify, in the 18th century, the balance of power system was used to prevent the excesses of war, and make sure that no state emerged from a conflict without salvaging a modicum of prestige, territory, or diplomatic position . In the 19th century, the balance of power preserved peace and prosperity in Europe.
German ambitions for new territories, and its chancellor Otto Von Bismarck’s desire for increased prestige, could not be fulfilled in Europe without balance of power. Each state seems to be equal in terms of power sharing, and there was not any emergence of hegemony among the states. States in the regions are altogether in a form of alliance to be against any superpower. At the beginning of the 1972 electoral year, Richard Nixon quoted: “the only time in the history of the world that we have had any extended periods of peace is when there has been a balance of power.
It is when one nation becomes infinitely more powerful in relation to its potential competitor that the danger of war arises…. I think it will be a safer world and a better world if we have a strong, healthy United States, Europe, Soviet Union, China, Japan, each balancing the other, not playing one against the other, an even balance. ” Many voices also said that the balance of power compared to other systems, provides the best conditions for advancing peace, prosperity and civilization peace and prosperity because it can create any onsensus on the nature of international order, save small country which cannot be overthrown by any unilateral force. I myself was almost accepting that it was the best system for advancing peace, prosperity and civilization. However, after taking a look at the famous case of the Cold War, I have reconsidered it. The purpose of Cold War was not originated for advancing peace, prosperity and civilization. On the contrary, it was the result of a clash between communism and capitalism, two opposing world-views.
At the end of World War II, at the Yalta Conference, Germany was divided into four occupied zones controlled by Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States. Berlin was also divided into four sections. Lack of a mutual agreement on German re-unification marked the start of the Cold War. When the USA decided to drop the atomic bomb on Japan, the USSR was upset that America had secretly developed the bomb. Churchill, Truman and Britain’s Atlee were angry that Stalin had already signed a border treaty agreement with Poland.
The Cold War was the period of conflict, tension and competition between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies from the mid-1940s until the early 1990s. Throughout the period, the rivalry between the two superpowers was played out in multiple arenas: military coalitions; ideology, psychology, and espionage; military, industrial, and technological developments, including the space race; costly defense spending; a massive conventional and nuclear arms race; and many proxy wars.
The balance of power system fails to advance peace since it develops an arms spiral that increases whenever one side senses the superiority of the other. Furthermore, the balance of power system also fails for providing no automatic equilibration of power relationships. It gave rise to world war. Under this system nations found it difficult to respond credibly to an aggressor state. While the balancing system aimed to restrain conflict, it did not fully control the aggressive policies of major nations. Concert of Power
The Concert of Power, as Amitav Acharya, the professor who was a proponent of ASEAN’s informal style of multilateral diplomacy until the economic crisis in 1997 stated, consists of four principles: Reliance on multilateral consultations among the great powers, an agreement that there could be no territorial change without great power approval, a commitment to protect all “essential” members of the states system and Recognition that all the great powers must have equal status and that none should be humiliated.
This system is the means by which the peace of Europe was maintained in the 19th century since the great powers agree to act in concert to maintain the balance of power called European arrangement. It required agreement on the territorial status quo, agreement on specific spheres of influence, regular meetings of all great power diplomats where adjustments would be agreed and the shifting alignments between them to give effect to policy decisions.
This system is similar to the system of balance of power, yet more visionary as it focuses on the maintenance of balance of powers and jointly manages inter-states conflicts. It might even go beyond management and attempts to settle major disputes both among the great powers themselves and among third parties, especially those conflicts could bring about involvement of the great powers. Benjamin Miller has pointed out that the concert represented middle ground between the more idealistic notions of collective security and the extreme forms of balance of power .
In the 19th century the Concert of Europe functioned effectively from 1815 to 1822. Napoleonic France was allowed to rejoin Britain, Russia, Austria and Prussia, and agreement among the five great powers provided a short period of direction for domestic as well as foreign affairs. However, it experienced a steady decline after, suffering an eventual collapse with the Crimean War of 1854 because each member only concerned about their own national matters and territories . After 1825, concert of power ceased to control national policies, but it did settle disputes and facilitate compromise.
From 1854-1871, there were five wars of international significance, but only after the first was the concert to have much of an influence in creating condition for peace. From 1871-1890, the concert functioned only once as a multilateral instrument when it convened as the Congress of Berlin in 1878. Otherwise the Concert was increasingly replaced by alliances and alignments of European states. The Concert of Power in Europe ended up with the rise of nationalism amongst the European countries and was incapable to prevent Germany and Italy’s unification to launch the war .
Despite of above evidence, back to the older one, the trade between China, Kushan, Persia and Rome in 90 A. D to at least 166 A. D was one of the peaceful and extended trade which is possible to see the very core of the idea of a concert of power. Nations realize that they have a mutual interest and align together in order to protect and develop that interest. To say the concert of power can bring about an element of legitimacy to the international order if nations have mutual interests to that of a collective whole.
In Asia, Recently, the notion of a “Concert of Asia” has been canvassed as an alternative to the simplistic belief in the virtues of multilateral diplomacy. The concert idea implicitly or explicitly takes as its model the Concert of Europe (from 1815 to 1854). Conceived after the fall of Napoleon, the concert was a coercive diplomatic-security institution in which Britain, Austria, Russia, Prussia, and later France managed the European order in a manner consistent with their perceived interests in upholding the internal stability and territorial integrity of the continental state system.
In recent years, the concert has attracted the attention of numerous observers. Professor Amitav Acharya has recently proposed the concert model for contemporary Asia. Writing in the Autumn 1999 edition of Survival, published by the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London, he noted that the recent occurrence of bilateral summitry between the region’s four “great powers”: the United States, China, Japan, and Russia, could, like the Concert of Europe, be formalized into a system that is able to contain rivalry, maintain order, and preserve the peace. Conclusion
In my point of view, considering which system provides the best condition for advancing peace, prosperity and civilization has no austere verdict. It depends on many factors such as time, situation ideological and political background, geography and so on. For the empire system, both Europe and Asia experience succession of empires. If we look at the case of Roman Empire in the west or some of Chinese empires in the east, they had long live but never had sustainably peaceful, orderly or intact time. Eventually, Roman Empire collapsed under the barbarians’ pressure and China was several times conquered by the Barbarians.
In case of the great power hegemony system, seemingly, this system will be successful if that hegemonic state is more culturally, politically and militarily advanced than its neighbors. Written in the book “Turbulence in World Politics” by James N. Rosenau, the Professor of The Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, Multi-centric world has been introduced. Multi-centric world consists of diverse “sovereignty-free” actors who endlessly confront an “autonomy” dilemma that differs significantly from the “security” dilemma of states. These days, political activities are not limited to be conducted by only