Saturday, September 28, 2013

A reading list on the history of U.S. foreign relations

Matt Fay shares his comps reading list here.

Quote of the day

From a poem by Patrice de La Tour du Pin (entry in French Wiki here; there is no English Wiki entry), as quoted by S. Hoffmann, Decline or Renewal? France Since the 1930s (1974), p.280, at the conclusion of a piece on DeGaulle's last memoirs:

Comprends-moi: j'ai soif de la gloire
Avec la gorge amère des adolescents
Quand ils prennent leur grand vol doré sur l'histoire

D'un seul claquement de coeur!

[Understand me: I thirst for glory
With the bitter throat of adolescents
When they take their bold golden flight over history

With a single flapping of their hearts!]

Nice metaphor: "with a single flapping of their wings" would be obvious, but "with a single flapping of their hearts" is striking.

Speaking of sexism...

...I quoted this (from Cyril Connolly) here a few years ago. The punchline: " more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall."

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Canon to the right of them, canon to the left of them

I picked the wrong time to complain, as I did not too long ago, that things had gotten dull at Crooked Timber.

All hell has broken loose there over questions of literature. Well, sort of. Actually relatively few people want to have the discussion about what makes a great novel great that George Scialabba (geo) wants to have. The majority prefer, well, I'm not sure what to call it. But mcmanus is quoting Hardt & Negri (their bearing on the questions at hand being less than blindingly and immediately obvious) and Hector St Clare is trumpeting on about "the basic and eternal truths of human nature," one of which is (supposedly) that women are Meek Souls in search of the Strong Manly etc Because Evolution etc, so some things in the threads are par for the course.

This might be a good time (actually probably not, but who cares) to let Jean-Jacques have another guest appearance:
Let us begin by distinguishing the moral from the physical in the sentiment of love. The physical is that general desire which leads one sex to unite with the other; the moral is what gives rise to this desire and fixes it exclusively upon a single object, or at least gives it a greater degree of energy for this preferred object. Now, it is easy to see that the moral aspect of love is an artificial sentiment, born of social custom and celebrated by women with much care and cleverness to establish their ascendancy and to make dominant the sex that should obey [sic]. This sentiment, being founded on certain notions of merit or beauty that a savage is not in a position to have, and upon comparisons that he is not in a position to make, must mean almost nothing to him, for, just as his mind cannot form abstract ideas of regularity and proportion, so his heart is not susceptible to the sentiments of admiration and love, which, even without being perceived, arise from the application of these ideas; he listens solely to the temperament he has received from nature and not to the taste he has not been able to acquire, and any woman is good for him.
(Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, Norton ed., p. 30)

The point being, as he goes on to say, that because sex is purely physical in the state of nature it is not accompanied by those "ardors" that muck everything up once they appear.

Note that R. says women "should obey" -- of course he's writing in the mid-18th century. People writing in the mid-20th century have less of an excuse. (But if you want that argument in full, see B. Waring's CT posts.)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What Snowden was given to read

Back in late July, when Snowden was stuck in the Moscow airport, his lawyer gave him books by Dostoevsky, Chekhov, and Karamzin, the last being "the court historian to Tsar Alexander I."

Maybe Ted Cruz should have read Karamzin on the Senate floor instead of Dr. Seuss.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A system in crisis

It's well known that higher education in the U.S. is facing a number of problems (so is K-12 education of course, but we'll put that aside for now). To mention a few, in no special order: First, the adjunct-ification of the faculty (which can lead to rather horrible stories, see e.g. here). Second, continually rising costs and resulting debt burdens on students. Third, budget constraints facing institutions that are partly or largely dependent on state funding. Fourth, there is the question of how much students are actually learning in U.S. colleges and universities, with some recent studies suggesting that the answer is: on average, not very much (sorry, don't have links for this). J. Quiggin at Crooked Timber also has hammered on the point that there has been relatively little expansion in recent decades in the top rungs of the system, in terms of number of student places. It has also been pointed out that economic inequality contributes to rising tuition, as the wealthy and well-to-do bid up the price of the most prestigious institutions. Universities in turn try to compensate by expanding financial aid, but sometimes, as at UVA recently, such programs themselves come under budget pressure.

Although these issues are systemic, the anger they have generated is often focused on the institutions at the top of the prestige/cost hierarchy. Some may doubt that these institutions are actually much concerned about education, as opposed to the perpetuation of their exalted positions and the passing of the advantages of their "brand" on to their graduates. A commenter at the LGM blog expressed this view recently when he wrote (in a comment thread attached to this post):
Harvard’s chief concern has not been education for a very long time. It’s about producing powerful people. Yale, too.
This remark is confused. To be sure, in an inegalitarian society one of the functions of elite education is, at least to some extent, the reproduction of privilege. But "one of the functions" does not mean "chief concern" or "primary purpose."

It is reasonable to ask whether a handful of institutions should be relatively well off while others scape by. But it is not credible to suppose that Harvard wants to raise 6.5 billion dollars -- the target amount of its just-launched campaign -- simply so that it can more effectively, in the words of the LGM commenter, "produc[e] powerful people." It doesn't take billions of dollars to do that. The number of "powerful" slots is limited: there are only nine Supreme Court justices, only so many CEOs, etc. If Harvard's main or overriding concern were insuring that its graduates continue to have a disproportionate share of such positions, 6.5 billion would seem an excessive requirement. But expensive labs, libraries, other buildings, and personnel costs do mount up and they might well have some connection to education, the thing that the LGM commenter is convinced is not "the chief concern." My interest here is not to defend wealthy, elite universities which sit on multi-billion-dollar endowments but rather simply to observe that heaping all the blame for the system's problems on a few institutions will not solve those problems.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

"An almost invisible brake"

I'm reading Leo Damrosch's Tocqueville's Discovery of America (pb, 2011), which has lots of well-chosen quotations from Tocqueville's and Beaumont's letters, Tocqueville's American notebooks, and Democracy in America itself. Damrosch did his homework with, among other things, the historiography of the 1830s, and his book not only conveys the travelers' insights but also occasionally notes their blind spots (and they had a few: for instance Tocqueville was not very interested in the nitty-gritty of practical politics, e.g. the early Tammany Hall). Among their blind spots was definitely not the opposite sex: the young Frenchmen had an eye for women but were stymied sexually during the trip since they were unwilling to have intercourse with prostitutes, while 'proper' young women, although flirtatious, were not available for physical dalliances.    

At one point (p.60) Damrosch quotes the passage in Democracy (Vol.1, Pt.2, ch.8) in which Tocqueville sets forth his view of the social role of American lawyers. I decided to compare Damrosch's translation of this passage to the version on my shelf, which is the George Lawrence translation. (Other translations have appeared in recent years, e.g. Arthur Goldhammer's.) 

Here's Lawrence's version of the passage (I've added the word in brackets):
When the American people let themselves get intoxicated by their passions or carried away by their ideas, the lawyers apply an almost invisible brake which slows them down and halts them. Their aristocratic inclinations are secretly opposed to the [people's] instincts of democracy, their superstitious respect for all that is old to its love of novelty, their narrow views to its grandiose designs, their taste for formalities to its scorn of regulations, and their habit of advancing slowly to its impetuosity.
Here's Damrosch's version:  
To the democratic instincts of the people, they secretly oppose their aristocratic inclinations; to the people's love of novelty, their superstitious respect for the old; to the vastness of the people's designs, their narrow views; to the people's contempt for rules, their love of forms; and to the people's hotheadedness, their habit of moving slowly.
As can be seen, the biggest difference is that the first is mostly in the passive voice ("their...inclinations are secretly opposed") whereas the second is in the active ("they secretly oppose").

What I should do now is look up the French original and make my own call. But that feels like work and this blog is all about fun. (No, not really. I jest. But it was worth a try...)

Added later: If the (or a) basic theme of Democracy in America, as Damrosch says somewhere, is that habits and mores are firmer safeguards of liberty than laws (I'm paraphrasing), then T. might have been ambivalent about what he saw as the role of lawyers. On the one hand, they counter the "hotheadedness" and possible tyranny of the majority (a good thing to do, in T's view) but on the other hand lawyers' necessary preoccupation with law means that they are somewhat peripheral to the 'deep' foundations of democracy. Neither T. nor anyone else can be read as a kind of timeless oracle, and the fact that a lot has changed in the U.S. since the early 19th cent. must be taken into account. On the other hand, some things have not changed much, e.g. the formal constitutional architecture -- which, btw, seems to be working pretty badly right now.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


-- Juan Cole on Syria and Iraq (h/t).

-- Speaking of grand theory (see a couple of previous posts), Charles Cogan reviews Thierry de Montbrial's Action and Reaction in the World System at H-Diplo's (and ISA's) International Security Studies Forum (the whole site is definitely worth a look).

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cultures of blogging

The blog LGM (Lawyers Guns and Money) has political scientists among its bloggers but it has a more freewheeling -- for lack of a better word -- view of its role than most academic political science blogs (see Robert Farley's piece "Complicating the Political Scientist as Blogger" which appeared a while ago in the journal PS).

That freewheeling character extends to LGM's comment threads, where name-calling is pretty standard (someone called me a "pious schmuck" there recently in connection with remarks on the op-ed referred to in the previous post). Contrast this with, e.g., The Monkey Cage, where chances of one's being called something nasty are considerably lower (though not zero). However, The Monkey Cage is moving to The Washington Post (with a three-year contract, apparently) and what will happen to its comment sections after the move is anyone's guess. I read the comments on WaPo articles only infrequently, but their general tenor seems to be occasioning some prospective worry on this score among The Monkey Cage's regular readers. (I don't read TMC every day or even every week but I was there not too long ago, quickly catching up on a few weeks' worth of posts.)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Progress, pleasure, and poverty

An NYT op-ed by Manu Joseph (via E. Loomis at LGM) insists that the poor, in this case in India, want to have fun and that they should be given Internet connectivity via cellphones and should decide the uses to which it is put (as opposed to a government official telling them). Because, Joseph intones: "It is not always true that entertainment is the collateral consequence of progress; progress, often, is the collateral benefit of the pursuit of pleasure."

I'm happy to agree with Joseph that fun is "a profound human need" and I'm for autonomy and all that, but I'm not sure about the notion that progress is often a collateral benefit of the pursuit of pleasure (sometimes it may be, sometimes not). Anyway, it's beside the point, which is, as I pointed out in a comment at LGM, that extreme poverty remains a serious problem in India, despite its considerable economic progress in recent years. Whether a parent whose child has died of a preventable poverty-related cause will be consoled by watching serials on TV or online seems to me an open question, to put it mildly.

(This reminds me that I've had a related post sitting in draft for a while. Will try to post it fairly soon.)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

More on Afghanistan

Rachel Maddow, reviewing Andrew Bacevich's new book (via), writes: "When the drawdown is done and the Afghanistan war hits its scheduled end-date next December, the plan is for the Army to still be larger by 10,000 soldiers than it was on 9/11."

That's a very bad sentence. The reason it's a bad sentence is that the Afghanistan war will not end when ISAF forces end their active role at the close of December 2014. Rather, as Stephen Biddle points out in the Foreign Affairs piece I mentioned in the previous post (here; paywalled), the war will continue, likely in a stalemated mode, between the Afghan army and the Taliban. 

Biddle argues that the U.S. Congress is likely to tire of funding the Afghan military sooner than the Taliban is likely to tire of fighting. Accordingly he urges the Obama admin to pressure Karzai to reach a meaningful negotiated settlement with the Taliban, one that would involve giving them a role in the government (albeit not a controlling role). Failing that, the U.S./ISAF should withdraw sooner, he maintains. Biddle contends there is no point in dragging things out on the present path, at the cost of more soldiers' lives, only to have the war's original objectives go up in smoke when Congress stops funding the Afghan security forces and the Taliban proceed to win. A settlement is possible, he suggests, but the Obama admin is not doing enough to achieve one.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


-- Corey Robin's beautifully written appreciation of Marshall Berman compares Berman's All That is Solid Melts Into Air (which I've read some of) to Rousseau's Second Discourse and Said's Orientalism in being "intensely, almost unbearably, intimate." Having recently read the Second Discourse, I can't say it struck me quite that way, but chopping it up into tiny bits was probably not the best method of approach.

-- Two pieces on Afghanistan in the current Foreign Affairs: by S. Biddle (which I more or less read; it's sort of depressing) and K. Eikenberry (haven't read).

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bringing North-South relations back in

Duck of Minerva is currently running a symposium on "The end of IR theory?" special issue of European Journal of International Relations. In his article in that issue, "The Poverty of Grand Theory," Chris Brown (of LSE) calls for "critical problem-solving theory," i.e. theory which addresses real-world problems from the perspective of the powerless (or the underdog, to use the word in his abstract). I commented on Brown's DofM post (summarizing his article), and Nicholas Lees has a post on Brown's article here.

I think Brown is pretty much right that poststructuralist IR has not been sufficiently engaged with the real world and that both realist and liberal IR theory, while often quite engaged with the world, aren't concerned enough (or at all) with issues of global poverty and inequality. As Nicholas and I both point out, IR theorists could draw on resources in the literatures of international political economy, development, and applied ethics if they were to decide to make more concerted efforts to fill the gap(s) Brown identifies. 

One might ask why it matters who is working on a subject (in this case, global inequality and related issues) as long as it is being addressed by someone. I would suggest it's important that more IR academics focus on these issues partly because they do connect to the discipline's main concerns, in addition to being highly important in their own right. The other side of the equation, as Nicholas suggests, is that there need to be 'addressees,' people who are willing to consider the scholarship that's produced and who are or might be in a position to try to act on whatever is actionable.

Writing this post has led me to take a quick look at a piece I have long been intending to read: Giovanni Arrighi and Lu Zhang, "Beyond the Washington Consensus: A New Bandung?" (It was published in an edited volume [link] a couple of years ago but I have it in a separate pdf.) From a glance, Arrighi and Zhang contend that the economic rise of China may create the conditions for the formation of a new Southern bloc, held together as much or more by economic interest as by political/ideological solidarity. China, India, Brazil, and South Africa, the key countries in this scenario, are consciously promoting intra-South economic cooperation and activity. The focus on the possibility of 'a new Bandung' draws attention to issues that used to have a more central place in IR, including questions about how the interests of states and governments connect (or don't) to those of struggling individuals. If one wants to make a start on the tall order of 'critical problem-solving' theory ('grand' or otherwise), perhaps bringing North-South relations back to the field's center stage would be a good first step.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Quote of the day

"When the ability to have movement across social class becomes virtually impossible, I think it is the beginning of the end of a country...  if we don't figure out a way to create greater mobility across social class, I do think it will be the beginning of the end."

-- Shirley Tilghman, former president of Princeton, on the NewsHour recently [link]

Friday, September 6, 2013

Note on norm enforcement

In the conclusion of their article "The Political Economy of Imperialism, Decolonization and Development" (British Journal of Political Science, July 2011), E. Gartzke and D. Rohner refer to "American enforcement of a norm of territorial integrity,...[which] could decay if the United States weakens or developing states become more capable of conquest."

I don't think this statement, especially the first part of it, is very convincing. The territorial integrity norm is quite deeply internalized by most states, making its enforcement largely unnecessary. In other words, its effectiveness is not generally dependent on enforcement by a powerful state. That situation conceivably could change but there are few indications that it's going to change any time soon.

From linkage at DofM I see that Richard Price (who wrote a book on the chemical weapons taboo) is making a rather similar point about the norm against chemical weapons use: it will continue to be generally observed, even if the U.S. does not enforce it by taking military action against Assad. (I haven't read Price's piece yet, however.) It might be interesting to compare the number of times these two different norms (territorial integrity and chemical weapons) have been violated in recent decades, by whom, and with what consequences.

[Note: post edited slightly after initial posting]

Confusion about 'humanitarian intervention'

Reading/skimming Alan Gilbert's latest post, one finds this:
Obama right now relies on Bush's illegal "preemption," that is aggression in Iraq, for his precedent for going it alone in "humanitarian intervention"....
This is confused, but the confusion is perhaps somewhat understandable because the Obama admin's statements on Syria have suggested several different, albeit related, rationales for a strike against Assad: (1) norm enforcement, (2) punishment/deterrence, (3) protection of the Syrian population from further chemical weapons attacks, and (4) prevention of chemical weapons possibly getting into 'the wrong hands' and being used against the U.S. or its allies. Only #4, which has not been emphasized that much, has any connection to Bush's 'preemption' doctrine (which was actually a prevention, not a preemption, doctrine). #3 is the humanitarian intervention rationale, which also brings in elements of #1 and #2.

The notion of humanitarian intervention has a very long, albeit controversial, history/pedigree in international law and practice, a fact that is apparently not widely understood. (It long predates Bush's preemption/prevention doctrine, which has nothing to do with humanitarian intervention.)

In her 2003 book The Purpose of Intervention: Changing Beliefs About the Use of Force, Martha Finnemore pointed out that "[b]efore the twentieth century virtually all instances of military intervention to protect people other than the intervenor's own nationals involved protection of Christians from the Ottoman Turks." (p.58) Over the course of the twentieth century the notion of who is 'human' and thus worthy of protection expanded to include non-Christians and non-whites. To quote Finnemore again: the late twentieth century all human beings were treated as equally deserving in the international normative discourse. In fact, states are very sensitive to charges that they are "normatively backward" and still privately harbor distinctions. When Boutros-Ghali, shortly after becoming [UN] Secretary-General, charged that powerful states were attending to disasters in white, European Bosnia at the expense of non-white, African Somalia, the United States and other states became defensive, refocused attention, and ultimately launched a full-scale intervention in Somalia before acting in Bosnia. (p.83)
Whether what the Obama admin is proposing to do w/r/t Syria is a good idea is debatable. But it's wrong to suggest, as a Democratic congressman did on the NewsHour last night, that the admin is seeking to create a "new category" of "humanitarian war."

P.s. (added later): Whether the notion of humanitarian intervention would have supported or required earlier, more forceful action by the admin w/r/t Syria is a legitimate question but in a sense irrelevant to the main point of this post.  

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Comment on Braumoeller (first installment)

I've just taken a quick look through B. Braumoeller's paper arguing that interstate war is not in decline.

This post comments on a passage that appears early in the paper. I will have more to say about the paper as a whole, or other aspects of it, later on.

In discussing the two world wars of the 20th century, Braumoeller writes on p. 3 that:
World War II may have been begun by Hitler, but the ground was made fertile for him by the punitive peace of World War I and the crushing terms of German reparations. The Allies took these steps knowing full well that there was a risk of substantial backlash: although no one could have foreseen Hitler, some hypernationalist response leading to a Great Power war was hardly out of the question.
In fact, there is, at a minimum, serious historiographical debate about whether the terms of the Versailles treaty were indeed 'punitive'. I discovered this a while ago in the course of reading the roughly 350 comments attached to a post of last May 7 at Crooked Timber. Eric Rauchway's post "Sympathy and the Sources of Keynes's Critique of the Peace" sparked a long comment thread that contained contributions from an historian (writing pseudonymously) who maintained that the Versailles settlement was not punitive. This commenter wrote (among other things):
Nobody tried to squeeze “the German lemon” dry. Go read Sally Marks. The reparations imposed on Germany were below what Keynes thought doable. Sally Marks established this over forty years ago.
The peace was not punitive....  The peace was largely a form of restorative justice intended to repair the enormous damage done to Belgium and northern France (much of it as Germany retreated). The only element that can be considered punitive was Jan Smuts' insertion of the war pensions into the reparations....

Now obviously this is one viewpoint, but it became clear in the course of the thread that there is serious historiographical debate on this issue. By failing to acknowledge that and simply repeating what many of us were taught in high school -- namely, the peace was punitive and the reparations "crushing" -- Braumoeller gets his paper off to a somewhat rickety start.

This is a minor point but not completely negligible. I will have something to say about more central parts of Braumoeller's argument later.

P.s. (added later): Does it matter to the point Braumoeller is making here, namely that Hitler  shouldn't be seen as the indispensable (i.e. necessary) prerequisite of WW2? It does somewhat, because if the peace in fact was not all that punitive but was inclined to be seen as punitive by large segments of the German public, then Hitler's demagogic skills were arguably quite vital to helping shape and reinforce a distorted view of the treaty in the public's mind. (And this of course was connected to other parts of the German right wing's perspective on WW1, such as the "stab in the back" thesis.)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bull, Waltz, and the variety of grand theory

There was some interest in this earlier post, to which this post is a sort of follow-up. Its focus is two 'big' books, published around the same time, which are considered the touchstone works of, respectively, structural realism and the English School: Kenneth Waltz's Theory of International Politics [TIP] (1979) and Hedley Bull's The Anarchical Society [AS] (1977). A large amount has been written about both books and I won't try to canvass that literature. (I will mention, however, that the E-IR site has a downloadable collection of essays System, Society & the World: Exploring the English School [here].) I should note that this post says nothing new or startling and almost its entire contents would/should have been covered in a decent Intro to IR Theory course.     


First, are TIP and AS even about the same subject? The question may seem odd; surely they are both about international politics (or world politics)? Bull writes at the outset that "this book is an inquiry into the nature of order in world politics" (AS, p.xi); Waltz writes that his aim is "to construct a theory of international politics that remedies the defects of present theories" (TIP, p.1). So Bull's focus, at first glance, might seem narrower: he says he is concerned "not with the whole of world politics but with one element in it: order" (AS, p.xi). However, the notion of 'order' he uses is general enough to undergird a discussion that, in its own way, is as sweeping as Waltz's. Both books are big-picture "grand theory," albeit very different examples of the genre. Waltz is self-consciously constructing a parsimonious theory that he claims meets "philosophy-of-science standards" (TIP, p.1), whereas Bull is not interested in constructing a theory of that kind (or, arguably, of any kind). Waltz's theory is a 'systems theory' in that it gives special importance to (one particular definition of) the structure of the international system as distinct from the 'units'; Bull's approach, while focusing on system-wide institutions that the 'units' themselves have created and through which they regulate their relations, is not a 'systems theory,' at least not in the Waltzian sense.

The past and continuing preoccupation of many IR theorists with the notions of 'system' and 'structure' has sparked a reaction by some (e.g., R. Jackson, The Global Covenant, p.31: "There is no international 'system' or 'structure' that exists and functions outside human decision, responsibility and control"), but the allure of 'structure' -- now often reformulated as 'networks' -- remains quite strong. (I won't address networks here, nor will I discuss the "practice turn" in IR theory, which perhaps has some connections to the English School.)

Waltz and "structure"

Structural realism is structural because it holds that the most important thing to know about international politics is the distribution of power across (or among) states, and this distribution is considered a  "structural" rather than a "unit-level" property. Thus, according to this way of thinking, the fact that the U.S. is the most militarily powerful country in the world is not considered a fact about, or a property of, the U.S.; rather, it is viewed as an aspect of the current system's structure. As Waltz put it: "How units stand in relation to one another, the way they are arranged or positioned, is not a property of the units. The arrangement of units is a property of the system." (TIP, p.80) "The distribution of capabilities is not a unit attribute, but rather a system-wide concept." (p.98)

Like many of his realist predecessors, Waltz stresses that the "ordering principle" of "anarchy," i.e., an absence of central authority or world government, means that states (the 'units') ultimately can look only to themselves to protect against (real or perceived) threats and to ensure their survival. The result, in his view, is a strong tendency for balances of power to form over and over, as states find it necessary to prevent the most powerful state in the system from becoming so powerful as to threaten their respective existences as independent entities. 

Thus two main "expectations" of Waltz's theory are that "balances of power recurrently form, and states tend to emulate the successful policies of others." (p.124)  A problem with the first of these expectations or predictions is that it doesn't seem to match up very well with fairly large swaths of history. Waltz tries, to some extent, to anticipate this objection by stressing the difficulty of testing theories, especially those which yield general rather than specific expectations, and by noting that "[b]ecause only a loosely defined and inconstant condition of balance is predicted [by the theory], it is difficult to say that any given distribution of power falsifies the theory." (p.124) He cautions in the opening chapter that "the rigor and complication of tests must be geared to the precision or to the generality of the expectations inferred from the theory." (p.16) He never says explicitly 'don't subject this theory to overly rigorous tests because its expectations are general not precise,' but he comes very close to saying that.

Another main point readers usually take away from Theory has to do with "the stability of a bipolar world," to quote the title of Waltz's 1964 article on that subject. Partly in the interest of keeping this post to a reasonable length, I won't address that aspect of the book here.   

Note (1): The degree to which the entire 'realist tradition' is 'structural' in its emphases is a debatable question. For one perspective on the issue, see J. Parent & J. Baron, "Elder Abuse: How the Moderns Mistreat Classical Realism" (International Studies Review, June 2011).

Note (2): Waltz's definition of 'structure' is obviously not the only one possible. Contrast, for example, the view that "international structure consists fundamentally in shared knowledge...." (A. Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics [STIP], p.31)

Bull and the "element of society"

Unlike Waltz, Bull doesn't have to worry, at least not explicitly, about theory construction and testing because he doesn't see himself as doing science (see the so-called 'second great debate'). So whereas Waltz begins with a chapter about what a theory is, Bull doesn't need one. A separate point is that Bull rejects the idea of "value-free" social inquiry (see AS, p.xv), but he doesn't elaborate much on this, at least not in meta-theoretical terms, in the book.

As is well known, Bull distinguishes between an international system, in which states interact enough that "the behaviour of each [is] a necessary element in the calculations of the other" (p.10), and an international society, in which states, "recognising certain common interests and perhaps some common values,...regard themselves as bound by certain rules in their dealings with one another...." (p.13) As is also well known, he aligns himself with what he labels (aptly or not) "the Grotian tradition," which emphasizes the "element of co-operation and regulated intercourse among states." (p.41) It coexists, in different degrees at different times, with 'Hobbesian' and 'Kantian' elements (respectively, "state of war" and "transnational solidarity and conflict"). (pp.41,51)

The heart of The Anarchical Society is Part 2, where five institutions -- the balance of power, international law, diplomacy, war, and the special role of the great powers -- are assessed in terms of their contributions to 'international order'. This is preceded by a chapter on "Order versus Justice." Quoting a passage from that chapter (p.97) will give a taste of Bull's style and also show how normative considerations are woven into his analysis:
...not only is order in world politics valuable, there is also a sense in which it is prior to other goals, such as that of justice. It is does not follow from this, however, that order is to be preferred to justice in any given case. In fact ideas of both order and justice enter into the value systems, the justificatory or rhetorical stock-in-trade of all actors in world politics. The advocate of revolutionary justice looks forward to a time when a new order will consolidate the gains of the revolution. The proponent of order takes up his position partly because the existing order is, from his point of view, morally satisfactory, or not so unsatisfactory as to warrant its disturbance. The question of order versus justice will always be considered by the parties concerned in relation to the merits of a particular case.
For Waltz, the international system is a case of "order without an orderer and of organizational effects where formal organization is lacking." (TIP, p.89) To elucidate these characteristics Waltz looks to "microeconomic theory" (ibid.), in which actors' normative beliefs or commitments are basically irrelevant. For Bull, by contrast, actors' values influence how they behave, which in turn influences system-level outcomes. 

It's sometimes overlooked that Bull in AS sees international society as only one element of international politics. If you're a grad student writing a comprehensive exam, the statement that the English School "treat[s] the international system as a society governed by shared norms" (to quote Wendt, STIP, p.31) will get you through. However, in a brief section called "The Limitations of International Society" Bull writes that the element of international society "is always in competition with the elements of a state of war and of transnational solidarity or conflict" and thus "it is always erroneous to interpret international events as if international society were the sole or the dominant element." (p.51) The word "always" here seems too strong; why foreclose the possibility that there may be periods in which the element of international society is "dominant"? Whether that is the case today is a question best left for another occasion.