One World, Rival Theories and Conflict or Cooperation
Snyder (“One World, Rival Theories”) and Betts (“Conflict or Cooperation”) review the theoretical approaches that inform US foreign policy
Response Paper 1: Points of View
Snyder (“One World, Rival Theories”) and Betts (“Conflict or Cooperation”) review the theoretical approaches that inform US foreign policy. Each assess the strengths and weakness of these theories (or grand ideas) and each, as Betts puts it, argue that “simple visions, however powerful, do not hold up as reliable predictors of particular developments.” Because of this, Snyder contends that presidents (and other decision makers) are forced by circumstances to blend and bend their ideologies when confronting foreign policy challenges and that current international relations theories are only partially useful in guiding interpretation. Address the following questions using the assigned lectures and readings. What is the purpose of theory and how does theory clarify, confuse, and omit? In what ways can a commitment to a single perspective damaging? Why might decision makers have to “blend and bend.” Use a case drawn from current events to illustrate your argument.