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International Relations I

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Presentation on theme: "International Relations I"— Presentation transcript:

1 International Relations I
Session 3 Theories of IR

2 Last Session Recap-I Why study theories?
To understand political situations To predict future trends To solve historical puzzles

3 Last Session Recap-II Major theories discusses Liberalism
The belief that human nature is altruistic, and thus morals and ethical values influence decision making which makes cooperation easier and peace inevitable. ALSO, international organizations play a major role in maintenance of peace. Rise (post WW1) Critical Juncture (onset of WW2)

4 Last Session Recap-III
Realism Believes human nature is essentially selfish. States are major actors in international politics which act in national interest. Power has primary importance and gaining and retaining power are the primary goals of states. International organizations are defunct and irrelevant. Cooperation is not possible due to mistrust of other states. Rise (post WW2) Critical Juncture (Cold War)

5 Today’s Session Revisions to Realism Revisions to Liberalism
Neo-realism and Neo-traditional Realism Revisions to Liberalism Neo-liberalism Other Important theories Complex Interdependence International Regimes Theory

6 Revisions to Realism Neo-realism
States behavior is determined by their relative power instead of other factors such as values, types of government, or domestic scenarios. Exclusive focus on the global level of analysis. Important neo-realists are Waltz and Ruggie.

7 Neo-realism-I Anarchy is the most important and most enduring feature of the international system. States are the primary actors in world affairs. Balances of power form automatically whether or not states consciously aim to establish it.

8 Neo-realism-II Power is very important- however, power is not the end but the means to survival. Means are of two kinds Internal efforts- moves to increase military strength, economic capability, and develop cleverer strategies. External efforts- moves to strengthen and enlarge ones own alliances, and weaken and shrink opposing alliances.

9 Neo-realism-III Domestic politics does have some bearing on how states act but this is insignificant when compared to the structural constraints on shaping the behavior of states. Cooperation between states is difficult to sustain. Relative gains are more important than absolute gains. While economic prosperity is deemed to be important more emphasis is placed on security.

10 Neo-realism-IV Believe that international institutions like the United Nations are arenas where states carry out their traditional competition and political rivalry for increased influence.

11 Neo-traditional Realism
Foreign behaviors of states depends on leader’s perceptions of national interests and capabilities instead of constraints imposed by the global structure.

12 Neo-traditional Realism
Thus looks at statesmen and not the global anarchic conditions to theorize about/predict state behavior Does not abandon Waltzian insights about the global structure but adds domestic politics to the analysis to better understand foreign policy making.

13 Differences b/w Neo-Realism and Neo-traditional Realism
States behavior is determined by their relative power instead of other factors such as values, types of government, or domestic scenarios. Exclusive focus on the global level of analysis Neo-traditional Realism Foreign behaviors of states depends on leader’s perceptions of national interests and capabilities instead of constraints imposed by the global structure.

14 Neo-liberalism Reasons for the rise of Neo-liberalism.
The failure of realism and neo-realism to provide theoretical grounding for the peaceful end of the Cold War. The failure of realist theories to provide explanations for the growing economic interdependence in the world.

15 Neo-liberalism A perspective that accounts for the way international institutions promote global change, cooperation, peace, and prosperity through collective action.

16 Neo-liberalism Focuses in particular on ways in which influences such as democratic governance, public opinion, mass education, free trade, collective security, multilateral diplomacy, etc. can improve the quality of life on earth.

17 Neo-liberalism Neoliberals believe that anarchy in the global system can be solved through international institutions. Neoliberals believe that since cooperation has high dividends for those cooperating, cooperation can be expected between political entities. Neoliberals believe that absolute gains are important and not relative gains.

18 Neo-liberalism Neoliberals believe the state places greater importance on economic prosperity as opposed to military strength. Have deep rooted faith in the ability of international institutions to maintain order, stability and promote cooperation and peace.

19 Neo-liberalism This perspective has become very important as a result of endorsement by big players in the political arena such as Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Kofi Anan. Neo-liberalism’s prescriptions for the real world are: Privatization Deregulation Free trade

20 Coherence?? Neo-realism and neo-liberalism do not represent a coherent school of thought. Both perspectives have different groups operating on different assumptions. Examples: Some neoliberals give more importance to international organizations and their role in fostering cooperation, while some give more importance to processes that make cooperation. Some neorealists concentrate on the kinds of domestic sub units existing while some focus on the statesmen.

21 Complex Interdependence
Basis for neoliberalism Rose up in the 1970s to critique the realist assumption of the primacy of states as actors in international relations. Clarification: CI does not altogether reject realism but tries to see which assumptions of realism need to be re-evaluated (and supplemented with newer assumptions) and which still stand.

22 Complex Interdependence
Presents a holistic conception of the world as a sum of its interacting parts. It emphasizes on the importance of non state actors (MNCs, IOs, NGOs) and highlights the multiple channels through which both state and non state actors engage in transnational interaction. Complex Interdependence also questions the centrality of issues of national security in realist thought. In the face of increasing diversity in states’ foreign policy agendas (such as trade, environment, etc.) CI aims to better understand foreign policy imperatives of states

23 Complex Interdependence
Predicted the impending importance of globalization. Has great relevance in today’s globalized world- to interpret cooperative agreements b/w states.

24 International Regimes
Perspective that explains the benefits of actors supporting particular set of rules which regulate a specific international activity, such as monetary rules. These rules help bring order and contain anarchy. Players subscribing to these rules play according to these rules, thus prospects for cooperation are increased.

25 International Regimes
A regime is an institutionalized or regularized pattern of cooperation in a given issue area governed by international rules. Such as WTO regime, HR regime. More in the arena of low politics* * global issues related to the economic, social, demographic and environmental aspects of interactions b/w government and people.

26 International Regimes
Regime creation has been fostered through globalization as more rules are required for a greater number of issue areas.

27 Summing Up Basis of Comparison Neo-liberalism Neo-realism
Complex Interdependence International Regimes Meaning of Anarchy No central agency is available to enforce promises Core interest of state To advance cooperation because it is conducive to prosperity for all To enhance prospects for survival States not important- regimes try to bring about some order to the anarchy Basic Character of State Rational Egoist Defensively positional Linked transnationally Not important, regimes are linked and rational

28 Basis of Comparison Neo-liberalism Neo-realism CI International Regimes Basic goal of state Greatest possible gain Greatest gain + smallest gain for others Greatest gain for members of regime Range of uncertainties associated with cooperation Partner’s compliance Compliance + relative gains + benefits to others Partners compliance Displacement of regime + partners compliance Risks associated with cooperating To be cheated and receive a lower pay-off Cheating and decrease in relative power vis others gain To be cheated and receive lower pay-off Cheating destabilizing the integrity of the regime Barriers to compliance Concern about partners compliance Partner’s compliance and partners relative gains - Enforcement problems in the regime

29 Conclusions Again, theories are perspectives. No right theories
Incoherence within perspectives Any takers on acceptable theories?

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