International Relations Discuss the Origins Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

This form of Wilsonian idealism has been somewhat tempered by a more contemporary reformulation of idealism, social constructivism. " While is has shed the normative mantle of idealism, social constructivism does emphasize that social actors act not only according to their selfish interest, as in realism…but also in response to shared values and norms. Social constructivism therefore stresses that the creation of international institutions in general and international organizations in particular, depends on whether there is a consensus over values and norms" such as a desire for peace or regional economic development (Blanke 2008). Social constructivists, more so than normative idealists or both schools of realists, stress the need for regional actors to have an influence on international events, as it is more likely they can achieve such a normative consensus of values.

Discuss the provisions of the War Powers Act of 1973. Why was the Act enacted? In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack and the ensuing invasion of Iraq, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the Act?

It may surprise many Americans to know that "the United States has not formally declared war since World War II" (Lithwick 2001). The War Powers Act of 1973 arose in response to the abuses of the American government during the Vietnam War, which was never specifically declared a war by Congress, as specified in the Constitution under Article I, Section 8. This Article reads that Congress has sole power "to declare war [and] grant letters of marque and reprisal" even though the President is officially 'Commander in Chief' of all branches of the military (Lithwick 2001).

"The War Powers Resolution (P.L. 93-148) was passed over the veto of President Nixon on November 7, 1973, to provide procedures for Congress and the President to participate in decisions to send U.S. Armed Forces into hostilities. Section 4(a) (1) requires the President to report to Congress any introduction of U.S. forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities. When such a report is submitted, or is required to be submitted, section 5(b) requires that the use of forces must be terminated within 60 to 90 days unless Congress authorizes such use or extends the time period. Section 3 requires that the President in every possible instance shall consult with Congress before introducing" U.S. Armed Forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities" (Grimmett 2004).

The intention of the Act was to restore the balance of powers intended by the Founding Fathers between Congress and the President, to ensure that Congress had an appropriate amount of control over American troops during times of war and peace. However, over the course of the events immediately preceding the invasion of Iraq, the White House's lawyers issued an opinion that President Bush could order a preemptive attack against Iraq without a vote of approval from Congress, as specified by the Act, first citing (unsurprisingly) the president's status as commander in chief under Article II, Sec. 2 of the Constitution, the 1991 Gulf War resolution which they said still remained in effect, and perhaps most precedent-shattering, that the terms of the Sept. 14, 2001 congressional resolution approving military action against terrorism also remained in effect. Given that terrorism as a continuing world threat is unlikely to ever completely vanish, this could mean that the Act becomes effectively null and void, as almost any wartime invasion could be justified as taking action against terrorism.

Works Cited

Blanke, Herman J. "Theories of international organization: The realist, institutionalist and idealist school." Working paper 02. International Organizations

Winter 2008/09. April 30, 2009.

http://www2.uni-erfurt.de/staatsrecht/Lehre/ws0809-download/intorg/wp02_theor_IO.pdf

"Does Bush Need Congressional Okay to Invade Iraq?" U.S. Government About.com.

April 30, 2009.

http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aa082702a.htm

Grimmett, Richard. "RL32267 -- The War Powers Resolution: After Thirty Years." March 11,

2004 April 30, 2009.

http://www.fas.org/man/crs/RL32267.html#_1_1

Halsall, Paul. "World System Theory." The Internet Modern History Sourcebook. 1997.

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/wallerstein.html

Lithwick, Dahlia. "What War Powers Does the President Have?

Slate. September 13, 2001. April 30, 2009.

http://www.slate.com/id/1008290

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Blanke, Herman J. "Theories of international organization: The realist, institutionalist and idealist school." Working paper 02. International Organizations

Winter 2008/09. April 30, 2009.

http://www2.uni-erfurt.de/staatsrecht/Lehre/ws0809-download/intorg/wp02_theor_IO.pdf

"Does Bush Need Congressional Okay to Invade Iraq?" U.S. Government About.com.

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