Treaty-Making and International Relations - Professor Jack Spence OBE | Summary and Q&A

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August 1, 2013
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Gresham College
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Treaty-Making and International Relations - Professor Jack Spence OBE

TL;DR

Treaties play a crucial role in maintaining order and stability in international relations, despite the anarchic nature of the international system.

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Key Insights

  • 💦 Treaties and diplomacy provide a means for states to collaborate and work together despite the anarchic nature of the international system.
  • 🌍 The Treaty of Utrecht and the Treaty of Westphalia established precedents for state interaction and the resolution of international problems through negotiation.
  • ✊ Treaties contribute to the erosion of hierarchical power structures and the recognition of state sovereignty as a fundamental principle in international law.
  • 🖐️ Diplomacy plays a critical role in treaty-making by identifying overlapping interests and persuading states to reach agreements.
  • ✌️ Realism and liberalism intersect in treaty-making, with a focus on both power and national interest as well as aspirations for peace, justice, and cooperation.
  • 🌍 The balance of power, international law, diplomacy, and functional organizations are institutions that contribute to the maintenance of international order and cooperation.

Questions & Answers

Q: What role do treaties play in international relations?

Treaties play a crucial role in maintaining order and stability in international relations by providing a framework for cooperation and resolving disputes between states.

Q: How did the Treaty of Utrecht contribute to international relations?

The Treaty of Utrecht, signed in 1713, ended the War of the Spanish Succession and established the principle of a balance of power as a means to maintain general peace and the tranquility of Europe.

Q: How do treaties and diplomacy contribute to the international society of states?

Treaties and diplomacy act as a binding force that brings states together and helps establish a system of rules and norms that facilitate peaceful interaction and cooperation between states.

Q: How does treaty-making intersect with realism and liberalism in international relations?

Treaty-making involves a combination of realist concerns for power and national interest and liberal aspirations for peace, justice, and cooperation. Treaties are a product of both realist calculations and the belief in the value of international cooperation.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Treaties and diplomacy act as a cement or glue that binds states together in the international society.

  • The Treaty of Utrecht, signed in 1713, played a significant role in rearranging the map of Europe and established the concept of a balance of power.

  • Treaties and diplomacy are part of the "constitution" of the international society of states, providing a framework for resolving international problems through negotiation.

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