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Intro to IR: An open discussion

kasmic
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6/9/2015 12:01:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
International Relations (IR)

The Collective Goods Problem:

IR revolves around this key problem: How can a group-such as two or more nations-serve its collective interests when doing so requires its members to forgo their individual interests?

Recently I participated in a debate with BSH1. The topic was "When in conflict, international actions to counter terrorism ought to be prioritized over the national interest." (Of course BSH1 destroyed me in this debate) The resolution of this debate is a perfect example of the collective goods problem. In very broad terms it is reasonable to assume that the nations of the world have a collective interest to oppose terrorism. However, there are cases where contributing to the collective interest would come at the expense of a national interest.

Current issues in the Middle-East serve as a great example. ISIS is a growing problem in the world, especially in the Middle-East. However, Israel may not want to get involved because the U.S. and other nations are already addressing the problem. This is called Free Riding. In addition ISIS in some ways helps Israel maintain some interests like keeping Syria weak. This is called a mixed interest game.

Should a nation that benefits from collective action prioritize collective interest over national interest?

Is this a reasonable yes or no question?

Should it be determined case by case?

Do you agree or disagree with the resolution that "When in conflict, international actions to counter terrorism ought to be prioritized over the national interest."

If so, why? If not, why?
"Liberalism Defined" http://www.debate.org...
"The Social Contract" http://www.debate.org...
"Intro to IR An Open Discussion" http://www.debate.org...

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kasmic
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6/11/2015 11:18:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
bump: (is this really not an interesting topic to anyone?)
"Liberalism Defined" http://www.debate.org...
"The Social Contract" http://www.debate.org...
"Intro to IR An Open Discussion" http://www.debate.org...

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My latest article: http://www.sensiblesoapbox.com...
ben2974
Posts: 767
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6/11/2015 11:45:49 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/9/2015 12:01:00 PM, kasmic wrote:

Should a nation that benefits from collective action prioritize collective interest over national interest?

Is this a reasonable yes or no question?

Should it be determined case by case?

If a country is benefiting from collective action, then couldn't they somewhat substitute collective action over national interest, as collective action is necessarily working to help the national interest?
kasmic
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6/11/2015 11:51:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/11/2015 11:45:49 AM, ben2974 wrote:
At 6/9/2015 12:01:00 PM, kasmic wrote:

Should a nation that benefits from collective action prioritize collective interest over national interest?

Is this a reasonable yes or no question?

Should it be determined case by case?

If a country is benefiting from collective action, then couldn't they somewhat substitute collective action over national interest, as collective action is necessarily working to help the national interest?

So in the situation listed above. Surely Israel has an interest in counter terror. But the interest is less urgent as other nations are addressing ISIS, as well as ISIS is keeping Syria weak. It seems that the collective interest here is at odds with the national interest. So what should Israel do and why?
"Liberalism Defined" http://www.debate.org...
"The Social Contract" http://www.debate.org...
"Intro to IR An Open Discussion" http://www.debate.org...

Check out my website, the Sensible Soapbox http://www.sensiblesoapbox.com...
My latest article: http://www.sensiblesoapbox.com...
ben2974
Posts: 767
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6/11/2015 1:12:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/11/2015 11:51:47 AM, kasmic wrote:
At 6/11/2015 11:45:49 AM, ben2974 wrote:
At 6/9/2015 12:01:00 PM, kasmic wrote:

Should a nation that benefits from collective action prioritize collective interest over national interest?

Is this a reasonable yes or no question?

Should it be determined case by case?

If a country is benefiting from collective action, then couldn't they somewhat substitute collective action over national interest, as collective action is necessarily working to help the national interest?

So in the situation listed above. Surely Israel has an interest in counter terror. But the interest is less urgent as other nations are addressing ISIS, as well as ISIS is keeping Syria weak. It seems that the collective interest here is at odds with the national interest. So what should Israel do and why?

If ISIS does succeed (which means they secure all of Iraq and Syria and Iran, since they are at odds) they'll eventually come knocking on Israel's door, i'd assume. By this point, though, they would be a pretty powerful regime that likely amassed nuclear energy (from Iran, for example). On this point, I'd suggest that Israel join in on the anti-ISIS raids, because it'll simply help clear one potential mess from the table. Also, ISIS are dirtbags. They have absolutely no regard for humanity and the history of human civilization. Aside from the rampant massacring and savagery that they commit on a daily basis, they take the liberty to destroy ancient museums of art and history, signaling a complete failure to recognize, let alone respect, humanity's past, it's triumphs, etc. They really are vermin. At the end of the day, due to the nature and reality that is ISIS, I find that Israel has a moral duty to destroy ISIS. Syria and Iran may be ideologically opposed to Israel, but ISIS is, for lack of a better term, against humanity itself.

But from what I know, it looks like the only ones who are taking action against ISIS are those directly affected by ISIS (Iraq and Syria, as well as countries whose citizens were victims of beheadings/executions, like Jordan, and then the world police - aka the USA). I still think that there is a moral duty on the part of the civilized world to take part in helping to destroy ISIS. And I say civilized because that could be a commonality that enemy states can share in the defense of humanity.

Perhaps, for a moment, enemies may hold hands together. Excuse my naivety :D

But maybe the governments have accurately assessed the true threat of ISIS and have since decided that it isn't necessary to intervene. They might also think that because the Middle East is so ideologically fragmented that clearing ISIS off the table won't have any effect on the trajectory of peace processes among the nations (and thus isn't worth the cost).
kasmic
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6/11/2015 3:54:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
If ISIS does succeed (which means they secure all of Iraq and Syria and Iran, since they are at odds) they'll eventually come knocking on Israel's door, i'd assume. By this point, though, they would be a pretty powerful regime that likely amassed nuclear energy (from Iran, for example). On this point, I'd suggest that Israel join in on the anti-ISIS raids, because it'll simply help clear one potential mess from the table. Also, ISIS are dirtbags. They have absolutely no regard for humanity and the history of human civilization. Aside from the rampant massacring and savagery that they commit on a daily basis, they take the liberty to destroy ancient museums of art and history, signaling a complete failure to recognize, let alone respect, humanity's past, it's triumphs, etc. They really are vermin. At the end of the day, due to the nature and reality that is ISIS, I find that Israel has a moral duty to destroy ISIS. Syria and Iran may be ideologically opposed to Israel, but ISIS is, for lack of a better term, against humanity itself.

So what if it is assumed ISIS will fail regardless of Israel's inaction?

Perhaps, for a moment, enemies may hold hands together. Excuse my naivety :D

That is a very common way that the nations have interacted in the international community. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"

But maybe the governments have accurately assessed the true threat of ISIS and have since decided that it isn't necessary to intervene. They might also think that because the Middle East is so ideologically fragmented that clearing ISIS off the table won't have any effect on the trajectory of peace processes among the nations (and thus isn't worth the cost).

So if peace is unattainable in the Middle East it would be moral to allow ISIS to exist?
"Liberalism Defined" http://www.debate.org...
"The Social Contract" http://www.debate.org...
"Intro to IR An Open Discussion" http://www.debate.org...

Check out my website, the Sensible Soapbox http://www.sensiblesoapbox.com...
My latest article: http://www.sensiblesoapbox.com...
Saint_of_Me
Posts: 2,402
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6/11/2015 4:00:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/9/2015 12:01:00 PM, kasmic wrote:
International Relations (IR)

The Collective Goods Problem:

IR revolves around this key problem: How can a group-such as two or more nations-serve its collective interests when doing so requires its members to forgo their individual interests?

Recently I participated in a debate with BSH1. The topic was "When in conflict, international actions to counter terrorism ought to be prioritized over the national interest." (Of course BSH1 destroyed me in this debate) The resolution of this debate is a perfect example of the collective goods problem. In very broad terms it is reasonable to assume that the nations of the world have a collective interest to oppose terrorism. However, there are cases where contributing to the collective interest would come at the expense of a national interest.

Current issues in the Middle-East serve as a great example. ISIS is a growing problem in the world, especially in the Middle-East. However, Israel may not want to get involved because the U.S. and other nations are already addressing the problem. This is called Free Riding. In addition ISIS in some ways helps Israel maintain some interests like keeping Syria weak. This is called a mixed interest game.

Should a nation that benefits from collective action prioritize collective interest over national interest?

Is this a reasonable yes or no question?

Should it be determined case by case?

Do you agree or disagree with the resolution that "When in conflict, international actions to counter terrorism ought to be prioritized over the national interest."

If so, why? If not, why?

Forgive me if this question is rudimentary or just plain dumb, as this is not my field of expertise, but doesn't John Nash's "Game Theory" or "Nash Equilibrium" solve this question on IR?
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.
kasmic
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6/11/2015 4:06:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Forgive me if this question is rudimentary or just plain dumb, as this is not my field of expertise, but doesn't John Nash's "Game Theory" or "Nash Equilibrium" solve this question on IR?

I feel sheepish... I had never heard of "Nash Equilibrium." I am reading up on it now.
"Liberalism Defined" http://www.debate.org...
"The Social Contract" http://www.debate.org...
"Intro to IR An Open Discussion" http://www.debate.org...

Check out my website, the Sensible Soapbox http://www.sensiblesoapbox.com...
My latest article: http://www.sensiblesoapbox.com...
kasmic
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6/11/2015 4:07:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/11/2015 4:06:52 PM, kasmic wrote:
Forgive me if this question is rudimentary or just plain dumb, as this is not my field of expertise, but doesn't John Nash's "Game Theory" or "Nash Equilibrium" solve this question on IR?

I feel sheepish... I had never heard of "Nash Equilibrium." I am reading up on it now.

"Stated simply, Amy and Will are in Nash equilibrium if Amy is making the best decision she can, taking into account Will's decision while Will's decision remains unchanged, and Will is making the best decision he can, taking into account Amy's decision while Amy's decision remains unchanged. Likewise, a group of players are in Nash equilibrium if each one is making the best decision possible, taking into account the decisions of the others in the game as long the other party's decision remains unchanged."

http://en.wikipedia.org...
"Liberalism Defined" http://www.debate.org...
"The Social Contract" http://www.debate.org...
"Intro to IR An Open Discussion" http://www.debate.org...

Check out my website, the Sensible Soapbox http://www.sensiblesoapbox.com...
My latest article: http://www.sensiblesoapbox.com...
Saint_of_Me
Posts: 2,402
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6/11/2015 4:10:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Oh sorry, I forgot to give you my answer to this question you posed..........

(BTW>.MODS: please!! How about an "edit" feature for an hour or so after posts? So people like me who forget to add stuff don't have to create new posts??)

Anyway......back yo your question I forgot to answer..........

"Do you agree or disagree with the resolution that "When in conflict, international actions to counter terrorism ought to be prioritized over the national interest."

If so, why? If not, why?


OK--I am going to sound like a politician here, but my answer has to be, as a veteran:

"Hmm..That would depend on the level of the terrorism and the chance that it would effect American lives. Or those of our friends. And how much of a "priority" are you speaking of? One that would surely come at the expense of domestic well being? Or just something much simpler and financially costly, like unleashing a couple SEAL Teams on 'em?"

I guess I would need a good old hypothetical scenario in order to offer a more concrete answer.
Science Flies Us to the Moon. Religion Flies us Into Skyscrapers.
ben2974
Posts: 767
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6/11/2015 4:29:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/11/2015 3:54:29 PM, kasmic wrote:
If ISIS does succeed (which means they secure all of Iraq and Syria and Iran, since they are at odds) they'll eventually come knocking on Israel's door, i'd assume. By this point, though, they would be a pretty powerful regime that likely amassed nuclear energy (from Iran, for example). On this point, I'd suggest that Israel join in on the anti-ISIS raids, because it'll simply help clear one potential mess from the table. Also, ISIS are dirtbags. They have absolutely no regard for humanity and the history of human civilization. Aside from the rampant massacring and savagery that they commit on a daily basis, they take the liberty to destroy ancient museums of art and history, signaling a complete failure to recognize, let alone respect, humanity's past, it's triumphs, etc. They really are vermin. At the end of the day, due to the nature and reality that is ISIS, I find that Israel has a moral duty to destroy ISIS. Syria and Iran may be ideologically opposed to Israel, but ISIS is, for lack of a better term, against humanity itself.

So what if it is assumed ISIS will fail regardless of Israel's inaction?


I still think they should help out in ending them quicker as part of a moral duty. But, as I forgot to mention, Israel doesn't have the resources to commit to "policing," and taking care of other countries problems like the US can. So, to a point, it is understandable that Israel decide not to entangle themselves. I'm actually pretty confident this is their justified, underlying reasoning for not engaging - at least a big one.

Perhaps, for a moment, enemies may hold hands together. Excuse my naivety :D

That is a very common way that the nations have interacted in the international community. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"

But maybe the governments have accurately assessed the true threat of ISIS and have since decided that it isn't necessary to intervene. They might also think that because the Middle East is so ideologically fragmented that clearing ISIS off the table won't have any effect on the trajectory of peace processes among the nations (and thus isn't worth the cost).

So if peace is unattainable in the Middle East it would be moral to allow ISIS to exist?

Let me get back to you on this. I have a ride to catch.
ben2974
Posts: 767
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6/11/2015 7:14:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/11/2015 4:29:26 PM, ben2974 wrote:
At 6/11/2015 3:54:29 PM, kasmic wrote:
If ISIS does succeed (which means they secure all of Iraq and Syria and Iran, since they are at odds) they'll eventually come knocking on Israel's door, i'd assume. By this point, though, they would be a pretty powerful regime that likely amassed nuclear energy (from Iran, for example). On this point, I'd suggest that Israel join in on the anti-ISIS raids, because it'll simply help clear one potential mess from the table. Also, ISIS are dirtbags. They have absolutely no regard for humanity and the history of human civilization. Aside from the rampant massacring and savagery that they commit on a daily basis, they take the liberty to destroy ancient museums of art and history, signaling a complete failure to recognize, let alone respect, humanity's past, it's triumphs, etc. They really are vermin. At the end of the day, due to the nature and reality that is ISIS, I find that Israel has a moral duty to destroy ISIS. Syria and Iran may be ideologically opposed to Israel, but ISIS is, for lack of a better term, against humanity itself.

So what if it is assumed ISIS will fail regardless of Israel's inaction?


I still think they should help out in ending them quicker as part of a moral duty. But, as I forgot to mention, Israel doesn't have the resources to commit to "policing," and taking care of other countries problems like the US can. So, to a point, it is understandable that Israel decide not to entangle themselves. I'm actually pretty confident this is their justified, underlying reasoning for not engaging - at least a big one.

Perhaps, for a moment, enemies may hold hands together. Excuse my naivety :D

That is a very common way that the nations have interacted in the international community. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"

But maybe the governments have accurately assessed the true threat of ISIS and have since decided that it isn't necessary to intervene. They might also think that because the Middle East is so ideologically fragmented that clearing ISIS off the table won't have any effect on the trajectory of peace processes among the nations (and thus isn't worth the cost).

So if peace is unattainable in the Middle East it would be moral to allow ISIS to exist?

Let me get back to you on this. I have a ride to catch.
Theoretically, actually, if it was certain that there would never come a time where peace could settle, then I see no logical reason to actually do anything. But of course we believe in peace, however far away we may be from it. I'm just saying that given the required resources, and the fact that there are other problems than ISIS, some cannot afford to combat ISIS. I think ISIS could be as resilient as the Vietcong were during the Vietnam War (since they are ideologically driven) where we spent hundreds of thousands of lives and a lot of financial resources for almost nothing. This is why I personally think that there should be a coalition force of several nations from all sides to work together so that the burden is spread and the job is done quicker. There should be universal condemnation of the actions of ISIS, and a coalition force would do well to reflect this.