The security dilemma can be used explain and predict ethnic conflict within a given state. Posen’s argument is supported by the belief that the basic tenets of realism provide a clear view of the security dilemma and its relationship with ethnic conflict. I believe the security dilemma in general is largely based in realist theory, and therefore fails to view international relations fairly. I believe that liberalism offers important insight into dealing with conflict that Posen fails to address.
Realist theory believes that one states military improvements are undistinguishable as offensive or defensive, and are seen as threats to another state. This, in turn, requires the opposing state to improve its…show more content…
Cooperation can occur between groups, if they can see the security it will provide. Mutual agreements can be reached by ethnic groups to cooperate prior to conflict, which can secure their self interest.
Posen feels agreements are often reached after conflicts have already began with cease-fires. He also contends a cease-fire only occurs when one side feels successful and the opposing side fears the result of continued conflict. Posen argues that a cease-fire does not mean peace, and often comes too far along in the conflict, proving international organizations are unable to diminish the security dilemma. This idea further presupposes the ideas of realist. Realist are traditionally skeptical of the ability of international organizations to act as planned. Realist feel that states will not place their self interest the hands of other countries.
I contend that international organizations can play a major role in ameliorating conflict between ethnic groups. If an international organization, acting as a mediating third party, can take steps to clear misperceptions between competing groups, conflict can be avoided. Also international organizations provide other countries the opportunity to take collective action.
Posen argues that strong group identity and military power are viewed always as threats by