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Neo-liberalism IR2501 Theories of International Relations.

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Presentation on theme: "Neo-liberalism IR2501 Theories of International Relations."— Presentation transcript:

1 Neo-liberalism IR2501 Theories of International Relations

2 Dr. David Galbreath Lecturer in International Relations Office: F36 Edward Wright Building Hours: Friday 14-17

3 Neo-realism: A recap Five key points to remember about Neo-realism –States live in anarchy –States are the primary actors –States are unitary actors –States are rational actors –States are power-maximising Problem: If this the case, why do we not see more conflict?

4 Liberalism and institutions Post-1945 International Relations: –Rise of international institutions as collective actors Collective action problem –Rise of European integration –Rise of Pluralism in the US Pluralism focused on new actors (transnational corporations, non-governmental organizations) and new patterns of interaction (interdependence, integration).

5 Neo-liberalism Other liberalisms –Commercial –Republican –Sociological –Institutional liberalism

6 A new liberalism Neoliberalisms challenge to contemporary realism. –They explain the durability of institutions despite significant changes in context. Institutions exert a causal force on international relations, shaping state preferences and locking them in to cooperative arrangements. –Feedback loop Democratic peace liberalism and neoliberalism are the dominant strands in liberal thinking today.

7 Neo-liberalism Neo-liberal institutionalism is rooted in the functional integration theoretical work of the 1950s and 60s and the complex interdependence and transnational studies literature of the 1970s and 80s. –IR 2001 International Organisations in Europe Neo-liberal institutionalists see institutions as the mediator and the means to achieve co- operation in the international system.

8 Neo-liberalism Neo-liberal institutionalists recognize that co- operation may be harder to achieve in areas where leaders perceive they have no mutual interests. Neo-liberals believe that states co-operate to achieve absolute gains and the greatest obstacle to co-operation is cheating or non-compliance by other states. –This is were institutions come in.

9 The neo-neo debate The neo-neo debate is not a debate between two polar opposite worldviews. They share an epistemology (shared knowledge), focus on similar questions and they agree on a number of assumptions about international politics. This is an intra-paradigm debate.

10 The neo-neo debate Neo-liberal institutionalists and neo-realists study different worlds of international politics. –Neo-realists focus on security and military issues - the high politics issue area. –Neo-liberal institutionalists focus on political economy, environmental issues, and lately, human rights issues. These issues have been called the low politics issue agenda.

11 The neo-neo debate Neo-realists explain that all states must be concerned with the absolute and relative gains that result from international agreements and co- operative efforts. Neo-liberal institutionalists are less concerned about relative gains and consider that all will benefit from absolute gains. Neo-realists are more cautious about co- operation and remind us the world is still a competitive place where self-interest rules.

12 The neo-neo debate Neo-liberal institutionalists believe that states and other actors can be persuaded to co-operate if they are convinced that all states will comply with rules and co-operation will result in absolute gains. This debate does not discuss many important issues that challenge some of the core assumptions of each theory. –For example, neo-realism cannot explain foreign policy behavior that challenges the norm of national interest over human interests. –Neither theory addresses the impact of learning on the foreign policy behavior of states.

13 IR and Globalisation Globalisation has contributed to a shift in political activity away from the state. –Transnational social movements have forced states to address critical international issues and in several situations that have supported the establishment of institutions that promote further co-operation and, fundamentally challenge the power of states. How do theories of IR address globalisation?

14 Neo-liberals and neo-realists on globalization Neo-realists think that states are still the principle actors in international politics. –Globalization challenges some areas of state authority and control; but, politics is still inter- national. Neo-realists are concerned about new security challenges –These challenges result from uneven globalization, namely, inequality and conflict.

15 Neo-liberals and neo-realists on globalization Globalization provides opportunities and resources for transnational social movements that challenge the authority of states in various policy areas. –Neo-realists are not supportive of any movement that seeks to open critical security issues to public debate. –Free market neo-liberals believe globalization is a positive force. Eventually, all states will benefit from the economic growth promoted by the forces of globalization. (positive sum-game)

16 The promise of Neo-liberalism Many neo-liberals believe that states should intervene to promote capitalism with a human face or a market that is more sensitive to the needs and interests of all the people. New institutions can be created and older ones reformed to prevent the uneven flow of capital, promote environmental sustainability, and protect the rights of citizens.

17 Neo-liberalism: A recap Five key points to remember about Neoliberalism –States live with institutionalised cooperation –States are one of many actors –States are complex actors –States are still rational actors –States seek co-operation over conflict

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