Kenneth N. Waltz (5/12/13) was a giant in the field of international relations theory (“the Darwin” according to Ken Booth)–who contributed to “structural realism”–and made the case, linking theory to contemporary policy issues, for Iran and DPRK getting the bomb as a means to global peace and stability.
“Without a theory, we’re just lost,” said Robert Jervis, a political science professor at Columbia. “We just have all these random phenomena we can’t make any sense of.”One of Mr. Waltz’s propositions was that wars are not caused simply by human aggression or bad governments but by the anarchic, dog-eat-dog nature of international relations. Each nation-state, he said, will push as far as it can to advance its own self-interests.
He used as an example the collapse of the Soviet Union, which he said freed the United States to become a bully because it no longer had an opponent in its own weight class. In this new “unipolar” world, the United States “abuses its power, singling out poor, weak countries — that’s what we specialize in — and beating them up,” he said in 2011 in an oral history interview at the University of California, Berkeley.“It is sad,” he continued, “but this is a typical behavior of powers that are dominant, or used to be dominant in their regions, and now are globally dominant.