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T h e traditional approach is to regard the nation-State as virtually the only kind of actor. In recent years, however, more and more attention has been paid to other actors. For example, Singer describes the international scene as a global system with various subsystems. The subsystems are not only the national States, which he believes are usually assigned too prominent a role, but also intra-national and extra-national entities and inter-nation coalitions and organizations [25].

A n d Herbert J. Spiro argues that 'all national and other smaller political systems are component parts' of the global political system [26]. This new approach stresses the importance of 'transnational' relations, which are defined by Joseph S. N y e and Robert O. Keohane as 'contacts, coalitions, and interactions across state boundaries that are not controlled by the central foreign policy organs of governments'.

Their definition of a 'significant actor' is: 'any somewhat autonomous individual or organization that controls substantial resources and participates in political relationships with other actors across state lines' [27]. T h e two dimensions of substantive disagreement are conceptually distinct, but they are empirically and to a certain extent logically related. The traditional assumption of international anarchy logically implies that the actors are sovereign entities, that is, the nation-States.

O n the other hand, the Grotian view is logically compatible with both State-centred and transnational approaches. States m a y be regarded as the actors in international politics, not because they possess sovereignty, but because they are in practice the most active and powerful actors on the inter- national scene.

However , the Grotian view is of course more conducive to the transnational approach, because it does not m a k e an a priori distinction between national and non-national actors. The link between method and substance It has been argued so far, first, that the three methodological-epistemological debates are mutually related and, secondly, that the lines of cleavage in the two substantive debates also tend to coincide.

T h e next step in the argument is to point out that there is also a close relationship between the methodological and substan- tive debates. A major reason w h y so m a n y traditionalists feel that is is futile to analyse international relations in the modern social-scientific manner, is the uniquely anarchical nature of the subject-matter.

This makes the field qualitat- ively different from the other fields of political science and the social sciences in general. A n illustrative, although admittedly extreme, instance is Martin Wight's wiev. After noting 'a kind of recalcitrance of international politics to being18 Arend Lijphart theorized about', he explains that theorizing about domestic politics is possible because it falls 'within the realm of normal relationships and calculable results'. But, with the typical traditionalist emphasis on the fact of international anarchy, he continues: ' W h a t for [domestic] political theory is the extreme case as revol- ution, or civil war is for international theory the regular case.

Conversely, the Grotian image induces receptivity to the idea that international relations is one of the social sciences and can profitably borrow from their knowledge and methods. O n e of the scholarly observers of the discipline w h o has recently called attention to this important point is Chadwick F. H e points out that the 'removal of the intellectual shackles imposed by the image of uniqueness has freed international relations scholars to borrow from the full storehouse of social science knowledge' [29].

Because each of the five dimensions of disagreement can be dichotomized and because the dichotomies tend to coincide, w e can conclude that it is justified to regard the basic division in the second great debate as a dichotomous one between two opposing paradigms. International relations scholars w h o prefer traditional methods are likely to be guided by the model of international anarchy, to use the nation-State as their unit of analysis, to be policy-oriented, and to be pessimistic about the prospects of constructing a valid general theory of their subject.

Conversely, the more scientifically inclined scholars are likely to adhere to the Grotian view of international society, to use a transnational approach, to favour pure over applied science, and to be sanguine theory-builders. Knorr and Rosenau's claim of a basic dichotomous configuration of approaches in the field is therefore not only upheld, but also strengthened by the addition of substantive dimensions.

At this point, w e must in all fairness recall Russett's assertion, based on empirical evidence, that about a dozen distinct schools can be identified. Exceptions There are exceptions, of course. T h e most striking one concerns the two major protagonists in the great methodological debate, Bull and Kaplan.

They turn out to be deviant cases when their views on the substantive aspects of the great debate are examined. Five of Kaplan's well-known six international systems correspond to traditional models: three are different forms of balance-of-power systems, the 'hierarchical system' is a system of world government, and the 'unit veto system' is equivalent to a Hobbesian state of nature. In describing these systems, he explicitly relies on the sovereignty-anarchy contrast.

The hierarchicalInternational relations theory: great debates and lesser debates 19 system is distinguished from the unit veto system and the three balance of power systems by the fact that the national actors are 'territorial subdivisions of the international system rather than independent political systems' [31]. Bull, on the other hand, adopts the Grotian point of view and follows Deutsch's arguments w h e n he states: 'Formidable though the classic dangers are of a plurality of sovereign States, these have to be reckoned against those inherent in the attempt to contain disparate communities within the framework of a single government.

Most peace research scholars use behavioural methods and adhere to the Grotian substantive model. But they are explicitly and self-consciously policy-oriented. They tend to share Morgenthau's conviction that a theory must not just be a 'guide to understanding' but also an 'ideal for action'; it must be 'a m a p of the political scene not only in order to understand what the scene is like, but also in order to show the shortest and safest road to a given objective' [33].

A more serious exception is the post-behavioural movement. The post-behaviourists are strongly policy-oriented and extremely critical of behaviourist methods. In these respects, they are neo-traditionalists. But they do not object to the Grotian view of the international system.

In fact, the popularity of neo-Marxist theories of imperialism strengthens the Grotian outlook and militates against a return to the traditional view of international anarchy. Although these exceptions are by no means unimportant, w e can conclude that by and large the second great debate is multi-dimensional but nevertheless roughly dichotomous.

This conclusion has to be qualified only in the sense that every classification entails a degree of simplification. Relations between the great debates Finally, w e must examine the possible links between the two great debates. Knorr and Rosenau are right when they state that the second debate is not an outgrowth of the first, and that the foci of the two debates are quite different. But their assertion that by combining the two independent dichotomous divisions one arrives at four research approaches—'whether one.

Like the realists, the idealists were traditional in their methodology. Moreover, as far as the substantive disagreement between the two schools is concerned, it is rather misleading to contrast the idealists' optimism about and faith in legal institutions and moral norms with the hard-nosed power approach of the realists. T o the idealists the crucial legal institution to maintain the peace was the League of Nations or an alternative collective security organization.

Collective security does entail formal institutions and legal obligations, but it is20 Arend Lijphart nevertheless squarely based on considerations of power and deterrence. Moreover, as was pointed out above, both collective security theory and the theory of balance of power, which is favoured by realists, are predicated on the assumption of inter- national anarchy. It is significant that Morgenthau, the leading realist theorist, condemns collective security but that he accepts the anarchic model so consistently that he is forced to support the underlying logic of collective security theory: 'As an ideal, collective security is without flaws; it presents indeed the ideal solution of the problem of law enforcement in a community of sovereign nations.

Hence it was a less significant and fundamental debate than the truly great debate between the traditional and behaviourist paradigms. References 1. Parekh eds. Turner eds. Palmer ed. Irish ed. Science in International Relations, in: Knorr and Rosenau eds. Translated by B. Oxford, Clarendon Press, Power Politics, p. Farrell and Asa P. Smith eds. Rosenau ed. Conference Discussion on Methods, in: Palmer ed. Fox ed.

Knorr and Rosenau, op. A systems approach to international relations John W. Burton System In English 'system' has m a n y different meanings, and this has led to confusion in the field of international relations. Its translation into other languages carries through this confusion: unless a specific meaning is differentiated a notion such as system cannot reliably be translated.

By a 'system approach' is sometimes meant an orderly, logical or step-by-step approach, that is, 'systematic'. Sometimes a 'systems approach' implies no more than a w a y of doing things: ' m y system is to go about it this way'.

Thus, in the field of international relations different 'systems' or ways of going about things have been differentiated: balance of power, bi-polar, collective security and other 'systems'. Also different political 'systems' or forms of government, democracies and others, are distinguished. Yet another meaning, more familiar in industry, is the process or 'system' within an organization whose flows of movement and interactions can be examined with a view to improving efficiency.

These are all popular uses of the term. The notion of a 'system' properly connotes relationships between units. The units of a system are of the same 'set', that is they have features in c o m m o n that give rise to and m a k e possible the particular relationship. Relationships imply communications, transactions, exchanges or interdependence. A 'system' can be defined, therefore, as 'a set of objects together with relationships between the objects and between their attributes' [1].

States form a system of interaction, the State being the unit. But a State is not a system except in the popular sense of a particular form of government. It is a geographical area under the legal juris- diction of a central authority, and comprises a cluster of systems—political, econ- omic and social.

The distinction is important because some of these systems are John Wear Burton is reader in international relations, University College, London. The State, in systems terms, is not an autonomous entity. Organizations of students, scientists, tourists, religious groups, traders, form other systems of interaction. World society is comprised of all of these sets of relationships that are within and across State boundaries [2]. O n e feature that distinguishes contemporary world society from previous periods is the increased number and spread of relationships.

This is the one-world, or the complex interdependence that is the characteristic of our times. W h a t w e require is some means of taking apart this total world society in a way that enables us to analyse it, or parts of it, without eliminating interactions that are significant.

Traditionally this has been done by examining a region, or a group of States, or even a single State. This m a y have been a suitable process in past centuries when transactions were relatively few, and mainly concerned with defence and trade. In our more complex world an alternative means is to examine separately these networks of different but overlapping and interacting relationships. A study of any one, for example, a religious system, would deal with the whole of that system, including those parts outside any particular geographical area.

This is an approach that is in sharp contrast to a study of behaviour within a defined geographical area, for example, a nation or a region. T h e two different studies lead to different perspectives, observations, and conclusions. A study of the political significance of religion in South-East Asia could be confined to that area if it were just descrip- tive of what happens in that region; but it would be misleading as a basis for understanding the behaviour of governments and people.

For example, Indonesian policy towards the Dutch after the last war could be explained only by reference to linkages extending to the Middle East. A systems approach extends a particular study beyond regional boundaries to whatever influences are relevant.

In other words, a systems analysis of a complex situation enables the preservation of wholes, while a national or regional study tends to focus on the behaviour of only parts of systems. O n e of the implications of a systems approach is that the study of inter- national relations cannot reasonably be confined to the study of the inter-State system only.

The inter-State system operates within an environment, this environ- ment comprises m a n y other systems, and without examination it should not be assumed that the inter-State system, of recent origin, is the dominating and controlling element in the wider world society. It m a y be that State authorities are formal decision-makers and the recognized actors, but m a y in practice merely reflect or respond to decisions in non-State systems.

The potentialities of applying systems thinking to international relations are fully realized only once the subject- matter is defined as the study of world society, that is all interactions at all levels, and not just interactions within the one system comprising States. Burton General systems theory Another feature that distinguishes contemporary world society from previous periods is the altered quality of these increased relationships.

In the pre-war international society there were fifty or so States, some of which were major imperialist powers. T h e preservation of the State, of imperialisms, of the inter- State system, of alliance structures, of legal norms that reflected the practices of powerful States, was the first objective of policy.

In the present world society the majority of States are not in a position to play the power game , and stand to lose by the continuance of an inter-State system that reflects the interests of those that are militarily and industrially powerful. Their objectives relate to internal political stability, and to economic and social welfare.

The c o m m o n l y shared goals relate to effective participation in international decisions, and to equality of opportunities for economic development. The internal problems they face, especially racial and religious tensions, tend to spill over into the wider international society, as happened in Cyprus. Consequently, the type of problem that confronts the inter- national relations student has changed fundamentally. It is no longer merely national security and development in an inter-State system that is dominated by great powers.

It includes problems relating to the legitimization of authority, race and religious relations within States, and problems of social mobilization that were once regarded as being outside the scope of international relations. W h a t happens within States is n o w of world concern. Putting these two influences together, namely, increased transactions and the altered quality of these transactions, w e are forced to acknowledge that the study of international relations cannot be confined to the inter-State system.

Other systems of interaction are the environment of the inter-State system. Whereas once it was possible to dwell on national and international institutions and their preser- vation, n o w h u m a n values of all kinds c o m e to the fore, and sometimes confront existing institutions.

Behaviour at levels other than the State level thus become part of the study of international relations. Furthermore, progress in other disciplines has deepened the study of behaviour in world society. Even the study of traditional objectives of national security and the problems of international organization have begun to raise issues that would have once been regarded as not relevant to international relations.

Whether a collective security force could in practice or in theory deter is an example. Whether m a n or groups of m e n are inherently aggressive is not something that can be taken for granted any longer. In short, behaviour in world society is behaviour of all systems, and at 'lower' systems levels h u m a n factors, values motivations, responses to threat, reactions to authorities, are n o w subject to examination in depth.

The question arises, therefore, whether it is possible to take 'system' as the unit of analysis, whether it be the State or the individual, and apply some c o m m o nA systems approach to international relations 25 behavioural characteristics to all levels of behaviour.

Are there self-maintenance, adaptation and other properties that are c o m m o n to behaviour at all levels? Are there universal values pursued at every social level? If so, to what extent can a proposition tested at one level, for example, the small group, be applied to others, for example, the State? The notion of 'general systems theory' is that there are system properties, as for example, limitations on rates of adaptation beyond which attempts are m a d e to alter the environment.

A n analysis of integrative or conflictual behaviour at one level should tell something about such behaviour at others. A breakdown in family relationships creates conditions for socially deviant behaviour [3]. Does the alienation of a State from its normal relationships lead to similar attempts to defy the norms of world society?

Are there general propositions about behaviour that are applicable to all behavioural systems? Method relates to field M e t h o d relates to field. If world society, and not just inter-State relations, is the subject-matter, a systems approach seems to be necessary. A systems approach is not just a fashion or an excuse for a n e w jargon: it is the means by which complex circumstances can be analysed. It is possible to describe a form of government and to m a k e comparisons, and superficially to interpret events as press correspondents do day by day.

They have been characterized by the perception of the observer, reflecting varying cultural and philosophical positions. Institutional structures, 'power relations', 'accidental' and 'unique' events and personalities have been the bread and butter of political historians; and alliances, deterrence and aggressiveness have been the meat of political scientists. But these studies have been unrewarding: prediction and policy designed reliably to achieve stated objectives have not been helped by them.

W h e n one begins to ask questions about power, deterrence, aggression, authority, in order to analyse even a particular event more deeply, one is considering patterns of behaviour and responses that are c o m m o n at different levels of social interaction. Inevitably one is led to thinking about the behaviour of systems generally. T w o questions are being asked of all political scientists concerned with international relations, and both lead to systems notions.

The first is what is the reality w e are trying to observe and to analyse: a set of States interacting in a power framework, dominating all h u m a n behaviour, or sets of interactions of all kinds, trade, scientific, tourist, religious, ideological, fearful, sympathetic and ethnic, including interactions between States?

T h e second question follows: is there an inter-disciplinary area that can reasonably be differentiated as 'inter- national', or should one focus on some specific patterns of behaviour in specific problem areas, such as conflict, regardless of State boundaries?

Burton These questions are already being answered in the international relations literature—though this fact is not yet generally recognized in the teaching of the subject. In respect of the first question, Wolfers, as far back as , observed that the 'billiard ball' model of the multi-State system, in which each State represents a closed, impermeable and sovereign unit, is not an accurate portrait of the real world [4], Since this time the works of Modelski, Rosenau and others have drawn attention to the penetrated nature of the State, and the model of the world that approximates reality is one depicting cobwebs of transactions, m a n y cutting across State boundaries [5].

The second question is also answered in the literature. Teaching syllabuses n o w include writings such as those of Blau on differentiation of power through social exchange [6], the systems thinking of Easton [7], the sociology of Lipset [8], and even those whose declared field is international relations have been forced to dwell on the economics and sociology of social mobilization [9].

T h e subject-matter of international relations has, as a result of these two influences, the perception of a world society, and of a breakdown of disciplinary boundaries, shifted from defence matters, diplomatic history, power balances and State decision-making, to the study of those basic behavioural problems that underlie all relationships.

The contemporary literature endeavours to deal with conflict, conflict resolution, integration, social mobilization, the nature of legit- imized authority, role behaviour, sub-system dominance, consensus and other such topics. This has effectively eliminated the geographical boundaries between 'international' and domestic, and academic boundaries between 'international relations' and other behavioural studies.

In short, studies in greater depth of international relations have led to the examination of patterns of behaviour at all system levels, from small groups to the nation, they have involved all disciplines, and they have, in any event been required to take into account the increased level and altered character of contem- porary communications and transactions across national boundaries.

Method- ological problems are n o w faced that were not important w h e n the study was more descriptive and confined to inter-State relations. Furthermore, increased knowledge about methodology has re-inforced this trend toward a wider field of interest, and a wider definition of academic boundaries. Logically method extends the area of interest no matter what the personal preference. It is not possible to confine attention to segments merely to overcome problems of complexity.

A doctor examining a patient with a stiff arm necessarily must examine neck and back. Contemporary international relations studies are in a stage of transition. T h e field of interest is wider because the nature of world society has changed; but there is still an attempt to carve off segments for separate study. In the international relations literature the c o m m u n a l conflict in Northern Ireland is a domestic matter, but Cyprus is international.

The study c o m m o n to both is conflict—whether it be domestic or international. A systems approach to international relations 27 A systems approach, m a d e necessary by the extended field, implies deductive methods, that is the use of 'axiomatic' propositions or 'givens' derived at one level of analysis, as the basis for logical extensions to others. Traditional international relations studies have been descriptive, and any generalizations have been arrived at inductively.

Power theorists have taken a synoptic view of history and c o m e to the conclusion that relative power is the controlling influence. Deterrent theorists have observed past practices and have found evidence that deterrence deters. In such an approach there is little if any control on selective perception: events, such as failure of deterrence, that do not support theories are not observed or are re-interpreted so as not to d a m a g e the theory. This is the case in most, if not all, recent behavioural studies—economics, psychology and others.

T o s o m e extent the inductive method has been encouraged by the breaking up of the total field of h u m a n behaviour into separate disciplines based on sizes of social groups—psychology and social psychology—and aspects of behaviour—economics and politics. Within a defined area the source of data is the description of behaviour in that area. This particular differentiation of disciplines is not based on any reasoned plan: it is accidental and administratively convenient.

A logical plan would have been to create fields of interest on the basis of problem areas, conflict at all levels, coercion at all levels, authority at all levels, and others. In analysing a conflict situation at the inter-State level, propositions arrived at by inductive means at lower levels of behaviour would become the axiomatic propositions for deductive reasoning at a higher level. It follows that the relevant literature for aspects of international relations, such as conflict, institutional behaviour, decision-making and others, is the litera- ture concerning deviance and deterrence, management, politics, psychology and others to the extent that any of these studies has been able to produce hard data in the form of tested behavioural propositions.

Unit response to the environment is what all studies at all social levels have in c o m m o n ; and unit response at all levels has c o m m o n features. This is the essence of general systems theory. Obtaining and processing data at higher levels of interaction, for example data about inter-State wars, is an unrewarding and unproductive task if inductive approaches are adopted. W h a t does one look for: personality problems, power relations, scarcity?

N o general theory of war is likely, there being large numbers of variables that m a k e each appear to be unique. But the analysis of any particular situation deductively, that is on the basis of patterned responses discovered at various behavioural levels, is manageable. Furthermore, such an analysis gives rise to s o m e general behav- ioural theories applicable in all conflict situations, including theories on the handling of conflicts [10].

Burton The methodological problem in international relations T h e study of international relations has long been regarded as an art, where general knowledge, experience and judgement are the essential qualifications. T o be a science the following are required: a the availability of the totality of relevant data; b the total stability of relevant data; c the testing of provisional answers in the totality of a situation.

B y employing a systems approach these requirements can be met. The availability of the totality of relevant data implies that the whole of the subject- matter relevant to a question is available either as available empirical data, or as generalizations that substitute for data. In some simple mechanical systems all data can be available, and questions concerning function can be answered descriptively within the situation itself. W h y a key locks a door can be answered within that system.

There is a descriptive rather than a theoretical explanation. Mos t systems of interest require the input of knowledge from other systems, and this is by tested generalization derived from simpler systems. Generalizations about the effect of friction or gravity can substitute for relevant data where it is not possible or convenient to acquire data directly.

Calculations regarding the behaviour of air- craft are based on generalizations tested at other system levels. Tested component systems can be included in larger systems and the resultant behaviour predicted as was the case with the first atom b o m b.

In behavioural sciences data about h u m a n , social and institutional responses, for example, responses to coercion, deterrence and compliance that are not obtainable in complex situations, such as the N A T O - W a r s a w Pact relationship, can c o m e into assessments by w a y of generalizations tested at other systems levels.

T h e recent literature on social conforming behaviour, deviance and deterrence is of great importance to international relations. O n this basis no discipline, behavioural or physical, can be scientific in this sense, except at descriptive levels of interaction, that are contained wholly within the system level of the discipline.

For example, Piaget could scientifically hypoth- esize and test 'conservation theory'. H e could take a child of a given age and predict reliably his abilities to comprehend quantity and numbers in changing circumstances. This is scientific at a descriptive level. But he was not explaining. H e could offer an explanation as a hypothesis, but explanation lies outside his defined field of interests, perhaps in biology.

Similarly, psychologists and social psychologists can have something descriptive to say about patterns of response in some circumstances, but they cannot say anything conclusive about aggressive- ness because this involves cultural, physiological, biological and economic considerations. It follows that m u c h of all separate disciplines is an art, relying on experience and judgement, and not a science.

History must always be an art because only a selection of data are available; but so too must m u c h of psychology, socialA systems approach to international relations 29 psychology, economics, politics, diplomacy, and others. It would be unrealistic to assert that research should be confined to fields in which all data were available.

S o m e of the most important insights and knowledge are gained in conditions in which data are not available. Art has a role. However , from a methodological point of view it is reasonable to assert that a distinction should be m a d e between conditions in which data are not available, and conditions in which a selection is m a d e from available data on the grounds of availability within the particular discipline concerned. For example, there can reasonably be an intellectual interest in problems about which w e have as yet little knowledge, such as motivation and values, and speculation in the absence of data can contribute to working hypotheses about relationships that could be useful in practice.

But it is not reasonable to study subjects such as deterrence and aggression within the academic boundaries of inter-State relations as though knowledge about these phenomena were not available at other levels. There has been a persistent tendency within the fields of diplomatic history, comparative politics and strategic studies to generalize, to assert, to hypothesize about behavioural phenomena in ways little related to knowledge of these phenomena derived from studies at other levels of behaviour.

The total availability of data is not a notion that seeks to deplore the absence of knowledge, but one that draws attention to the need to search and re-search at all system levels. International relations scholars, especially those n o w designated as 'traditional', have been remarkably uninterested in discovery at other system levels.

International relations students typically are helped greatly by reading in literature outside their defined field. W o r k s on industrial relations, social case studies, analyses of deviant behaviour, present them with tested propositions that seem to have a bearing on their studies. These propositions become part of their 'data', with which they can describe and explain integration and conflict at c o m m u n a l and inter-State levels.

They find general behavioural propositions that appear to be applicable at all social levels of h u m a n interaction. The total stability of relevant data is the second requirement of a scientific analysis: the same predictions apply at different periods of time to the same sets of circum- stances. Historians frequently argue that events are unique, and if this is so history is description and not explanation.

Legal, social, and cultural norms change, and the study of law and of m a n y aspects of social sciences must remain an art for this reason. There can be a science of art, that is prediction and explanation in relation to art forms, but art cannot be scientific. In the behavioural sciences that which is scientific relates to repetitive patterns of behaviour, and, therefore, to fundamental and universal responses to the same conditions.

In their o w n fields psychology and social psychology are in the area of science when, within the field of their discipline, they can reliably predict on the basis of unchanging patterned responses. In international relations there is a degree of predictability w h e n the analysis is at the level of values and30 John W. Burton responses that appear to be universal in time and space. Ethnic identity, security, participation, status and role position are likely to form a basis of analysis m o r e reliable than power and personality.

System responses such as self-maintenance, self-regeneration, adaptation and environment alteration, are patterned responses c o m m o n at all social levels, in all societies and at all times. These, rather than comparative politics and diplomatic histories offer a basis for explanation and prediction at the inter-State level. There is here posed a type of level of analysis problem: if superficial description is what is sought, as is the case with most press reporting, personalities and historical events are sufficient.

This is an art. If, however, it is explanation that is sought, interest is in more fundamental and c o m m o n l y experienced behavioural patterns. T h e scope of study is in this case extended into the field of h u m a n behaviour generally.

A particular event is, in this perspective, described by refer- ence to those aspects of social behaviour that are c o m m o n at all levels: authority, role, coercion, deterrence, decision-making, and others. In this way every event, far from being unique, can be analysed as unit response to the environment, the unique features being very largely emergent or transitory features. T h e Northern Ireland situation can be analysed as a unique event, characterized by personalities, the particular factions and groupings, the historical background of the situation and the day-by-day decisions of authorities and responses to these.

Policy can be based on such descriptions, and on the assumptions which selective perception reinforce, for example, that the problem is the creation of a small minority for w h o m the majority have no sympathy. Alternatively it can be analysed more deeply in the context of repetitive patterns of violent protest in Cyprus, Viet-Nam and others, where polarization has been observed, where deterrence has failed to prevent violence. The particular analysis will in this case dwell upon levels of legitimacy of authority, participation, notions of law and order, the limitations of coercion and deterrence, the analysis of parties and issues, and matters of this kind.

These relate to constants, stable data, repetitive patterns of behaviour. This is the area of science, and clearly such an analysis rests on general systems theory as applicable to behavioural systems. The opportunity to test provisional answers in the totality of a situation implies that historical settings cannot provide a test of a hypothesis: it is the on-going situation, and predictions in relation to it that are required.

Political and social scientists, especially those labelled 'behavioural scientists', have been engaged in the numbers game: the belief is that if a large number of cases are taken and correlations found between variables, then something is discovered. This is a g a m e played with events in the absence of a hypothesis or theory, just to see what turns up. W a r s and the growth of international institutions m a y or m a y not correlate: whether they do or not m a y be of no significance.

Other factors could be influential. T h e numbers g a m e is one to which history lends itself: thereA systems approach to international relations 31 is a reservoir of events. At best it can c o m e up with a hypothesis: it is in itself not a test. Probability of occurrence is not explanation.

For explanation there must be a logical construction based on some self-evident observations. The combination of systems thinking, deductive reasoning and reality testing meets the requirements of scientific method. However, it needs to be emphasized that this implies a total transformation of international relations studies. The traditional historical studies, the typical P h. This means that students of world society will be required, in the future, to be aware of empirical and theoretical work in m a n y fields, and to draw the boundaries of their fields of interest, not on the basis of traditional disciplines, but by determining specifically the systems of interaction of interest to them.

Somewhat in parenthesis, it is relevant to observe that the United States school of 'behavioural scientists' operates within a traditional framework. It is a school which emphasizes quantification, and equates quantification with science. However, it is methodology, and not the technique of using mathematics, that determines whether an approach is scientific.

Indeed, it is probably that non- quantitative approaches are more 'scientific' in this sense than quantitative, because they can be less inductively committed, less limited in scope, and more influenced by deductive reasoning. The 'behavioural science' school is one that endeavours to m a k e the m a x i m u m use of hard data; but its fundamental assumptions and interpretations are not those associated with the wider conception of behaviour to which reference has been m a d e here.

Happily, there has already occurred in the United States the 'post-behavioural revolution' which draws more attention to values and 'behaviour' in its true sense. W e should n o w look at the relationship between values and systems. Values and systems So far w e have discussed two recent developments in the study of international relations: one, the definition of the subject area as world society, that is behavioural relationships at all levels that affect conflict and co-operation between nations and States, and two, the extension of the boundaries of the discipline to any knowledge relevant to defined problem areas.

Both favour a systems approach. There is a third recent development and, without care, systems thinking could inhibit it. This is an interest in h u m a n values. Perhaps the most significant difference between classical and traditional studies, and contemporary behavioural studies, is the shift in interest from insti- tutional values to h u m a n values.

Traditionally, the preservation of the State and32 John W. Burton its institutions has been the main preoccupation. Classical thinking, and more recent balance of power and collective security proposals, have had the aim of preserving States and the inter-State system. Thus Coser, following Simmel, entertains propositions that suggest that internal conflict and external threat are functional to societies, either as safety valves or as cohesive influences.

Whether they are functional for the members of society was not an issue [11]. In recent years attempts have been m a d e to differentiate between authorities that are legal, and those that are legitimized, meaning those which derive their power from those over w h o m they exercise authority [12].

This change implies that individual and h u m a n values are seen to be m o r e important than institutional ones. M a n y writers n o w dwell upon 'structural violence', which Galtung described as the gap between the actual and potential development of individuals and communities [13]. Systems thinking tends to concentrate on institutional values, because the concern is with system behaviour: self-maintenance, capabilities of adaptation to change, and others.

It is a tool or approach that tends to draw attention to self- preservation, rather than to change. However, this is more because of traditional Western attitudes than to systems analysis itself. Systems thinking is applicable at all levels of behaviour, and consequently patterns of unit response to the environment at the individual level, at which h u m a n values are most conspicuous, are within its scope.

A systems approach is, in this sense neutral: it does not specifically draw attention to h u m a n values, but equally it does not exclude them. This is as m u c h as can be asked of an analytical tool: the responsibility is on the scholar to ensure that it is used to best advantage. It is this third development, an interest in h u m a n values, that is the most significant aspect of contemporary thinking.

T h e interest has been promoted by independence movements, by internal revolution against unrepresentative auth- orities, by demands for participation, by struggles for ethnic identity which sometimes take the form of secession movements, by demands for equality of opportunity in industrial development, by religious and language riots, by chal- lenges to authority and law and order.

Scholars have had to take note of these post-war developments. It was difficult to fit them into the limited and traditional approach to international relations that dwelt on States as the unit of analysis; but if system is the unit of analysis, h u m a n values can feature in political analysis. Conclusion A systems approach in international relations is useful and rewarding only if the area of studies is defined as all behaviour at all systems levels that affect relation- ships between States, and it has the methodological consequence of making possible deductive reasoning.

This is the conflictual issue of our times: it is this, not quantification, that is the feature that separates 'traditional' from 'behavioural' international relations studies. From V o n Bertalanffy and Rappoport eds. A n n Arbor Mich. For a discussion of 'systems' see J. Rosenau and J. Burton, World Society, Cambridge, Eckstein and D. Apter eds. The authors of this article should at once declare their interest in the matter; they consider that attention to theory and the recurring pattern is a legitimate and enlightening approach to the subject; but that quantitative data, while perfectly admissible as evidence, should take their place alongside other types of evidence within an over-all framework defined by historical judgement of what is or is not relevant.

Quantification, in other words, should not determine the scope of research or the questions to be asked. There is n o reason to suppose that 'the scientific approach' demands the sole use of quantitative evidence,3 though it clearly requires certain standards of consist- ency, empirical verification and objectivity. Raymond Cohen is an instructor in the department of international relations at the Hebrew University, and preparing a doctoral dissertation on 'Threat Perception in International Polities'.

W h a t it did not do was to enable the emergence of a body of theory capable of explaining specific problems in international relations. Richardson did indeed attempt to construct a formal mathematical theory of arms races but based himself entirely on simple stimulus- response models which ignored the internal characteristics and processes of the actors involved. G a m e theory enables the resolution of the problem of rational choice in situations of bargaining and conflict to be presented in mathematical terms but again sacrifices descriptive or predictive accuracy to logical closure.

A s Oran Y o u n g argues: 'It is not difficult to construct logically workable models that have some bearing on international phenomena, but no one has yet constructed models of this type that yield predictive results which are at all impressive. Within this general orientation two central problems present themselves: W h a t sort of data is research to base itself on? A n d h o w are these data to be analysed?

Discussion of these problems provides the unifying theme of this article. Data used in contemporary research can be separated into four distinct areas: a data about the attributes of a particular decision-maker, State or system; b action data about different kinds of events and acts; c data drawn from the articulations of decision-makers; d public opinion data.

Research has proceeded in two principal directions: study of the causes of war and of the factors leading to political integration. In an ongoing study into the causes of war Singer directs his attention to twenty-four attributes at three different levels: those of the State, subsystem and international system, in the period So far the project has confined itself to bivariate analysis the relationship between the dependent variable—war—and any single independent variable.

A m o n g the independent variables are factors such as population, iron and steel production and military expenditure, all at the State level; and systemic attributes such as diplomatic representation and alliance configurations. Singer avoids testing any particular theory so as to avoid prejudicing the open-endedness of his research.

A m o n g his conclusions, so far, are: a that there is no clear point at which defeated States surrender in terms of casualties. In twenty-three out of fifty cases they surrendered with casualties at 0. The three central attributes in this theory are popu- lation, resources and technology. Factors in the different operational equations are combined additively. A m o n g their conclusions so far, are: a 80 per cent of the variance of the overlapping 'intersection' of major powers' spheres of interest could be accounted for by changes in defence budgets and prevailing levels of conflict; b in contrast to other European Powers, Sweden and the Scandinavian countries 'were inclined to rely upon trade rather than colonial expansion, for the satisfaction of demands'.

T h e technique enables large numbers of variables to be grouped in distinct, limited clusters or 'factor loadings' and has the advantage of reducing data to manageable proportions. Karl Deutsch has been foremost in relating the progress of integration, or lack of it, to patterns of communication such as tourism, economic transactions, student exchanges, mail flows etc.

Singer proceeds from the premise 'that research priority must be given to the ecological variables over the behavioural variables'. Given that very general factors such as geography, population and technology set long-term bounds on an actor's freedom of action, w e would argue that the determining factors in the international system are fundamentally political: that is, they relate to things like choice, motivation, perception and h u m a n interaction.

Ecological factors only play a role in so far as they enter into the political process; deprivation is only instrumental to the extent that it is recognized by decision- makers as such. N o account of the latter half of the nineteenth century can ignore the essentially political contribution to war and peace of a Bismarck. There is nothing automatic, as has long been apparent, about political integration; progress is crucially dependent on political decisions at the highest level.

Though Haas and the neo-functionalist school should be exempted from this charge, Singer, Deutsch, Russett and Choucri and North are representative of those w h o would treat war or integration as essentially natural phenomena subject to statistical regularities, just like heart disease or earthquakes. A s far as these writers are concerned, political interactions and deliberations are beside the point, just as the h u m a n interactions and patterns which precede heart-attacks or earthquakes are beside the point.

Unlike natural phenomena, however, war and political integration are, in the final analysis, still the outcome of h u m a n decision; nor can the individual decision be subsumed under the general trend, as the individual decision to have children is subsumed under population statistics.

Each political decision is of the essence. It is just as plausible to reverse the direction of causality here. Singer finds that some actors surrendered in war w h e n casualties reached 0. O n the other hand Israel was successful in the war though losing 1.

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