Notes on Chapter Two. Paul Bacon SILS IR201. Definitions 1. System – a set of inter-related units International system – the pattern of relationships among states. The structure of a system refers to its distribution of power.
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According to Nye, there are three main strands to liberal thought, economic, social and political.
The economic strand focuses mainly on trade. Trade is important not because it prevents states from going to war, but because it may lead states to define their interests in a way that makes war less important to them.
Japan is an interesting example of a country which has become more successful through trade than through war.
Liberals would argue that Japan has become non-militarist, and that there is no incentive to challenge US hegemony. The benefits of trade have created a social structure that is less inclined to war in Japan.