Kenneth Waltz's Man, The State, And War

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Kenneth Waltz in his book Man, the State, and War distinguishes three levels of causation of war, which he calls “images”: the individual; the state; and the international system. In order to determine which things happen in the world of politics, one has to first determine the reasons why people such as leaders make the decisions they do by assessing what happens in the state and the interactions between actors. This essay will firstly discuss Waltz’s three images or levels of analysis. Secondly this essay will apply these images to a 20th century conflict namely World War II. In conclusion this essay will discuss whether or not these images can be combined.
2.1 The Individual Level
According to Waltz (2001:16) the first image of importance in causing of war in International Relations is found in human nature or human behaviour. He argues that wars are the result of misdirected aggressive impulses from stupidity and selfishness of man and that other causes are secondary thus have to be interpreted in light of these factors (Waltz 2001:16). Waltz argues
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On an individual level of analysis the events leading to World War 2 may applied when attempting to explain the cause of the war. Adolf Hitler after becoming the German Chancellor in 1933 began secretly building Germany’s army and weapons as well as creating and building warships and the air-force (Smart
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