NOTE: TAKES ATTENDANCE!!!!
Realism, Neoliberal and Rationalist Institutionalism
International organizations: are collective or corporate actors and can cover several issue areas of
international relations. They have multiple state members, created through formal intergovernmental
agreement. Some examples are: United Nations, IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organizations.
International regimes: Implicit or explicit principles, norms, rules and decision-making procedures
around which actors expectations converge in a given area of international relations. They are always
related to a specific issue-area, such as: development, finance, trade.
Global governance: Arrangements at the global level to set rules to regulate activities in different areas.
Organizes collective action (the collective pursuit of certain goals), to provide international public goods.
Open to Non Governmental Organizations and private actors, such as: big banks.
Views of IOs:
International regimes are shaped by interests of powerful states but can shape states’ actions.
International Organizations can promote cooperation after hegemony.
Benefits of regimes and IOs – reduce uncertainty, provide access to information, help punish
Why states cooperate.
Constructivism, Sociological/Organizational Institutionalism and Critical Theory
Focuses on roles of norms, rules, identities in shaping preferences and action of states and IOs.
Interpretive epistemology – looks for shared meanings among actors that help guide their
Focuses on international regimes which are sources of principles, norms, and rules.
Constructivist view of IOs
Norm entrepreneurs, teachers of norms, along with NGOs, advocacy networks, and epistemic
Institutional design of IOs reflects certain norms or social purposes. Ie: embedded liberalism –
reflected in capital controls.
International regimes are resilient to change. They don’t like change because they try to follow
strict rules and norms set by the founding values.
Not neo liberalism – they want to see minimal government intervention in the market. The
market will fix itself over time, instead of direct governmental interaction, such as the fed
increasing the money supply. Sociological and Organizational Institutionalism
Another strands of the new institutionalism – focuses on how institutions shape political actions
and preferences (same as the rationalist strand but pays more attention on rules, norms, and
identities, routines, as bases of action).
Focuses on the logic of appropriateness (as opposed to logic of expected consequences followed
by the rationalists).
Brings attention to bureaucratic authority, autonomy and culture
Uses concepts such as, institutionalization and path dependence, to explain continuity.
Sociological and Organizational Institutionalism View of IOs
Independent actors due to their bureaucratic authority and autonomy.
Ie: control of expertise, determine boundaries and meanings to certain activities, categorize new
actors, and promote new agendas.
Due to their lack of bureaucratic culture, IOs behaviour can lead to unexpected/undesirable
outcomes. Ie: when the means become the ends (the IFIs promotion of privatization regardless
of the circumstances). Belief that technical knowledge can be applied universally – a one size fits
ass policy. Insulation – bureaucratic culture that closes itself to outside feedback or criticism.
Collection of theories, such as Marxism, dependency theory, Gramscian analysis.
Seeks to uncover the power structures in the international system that favours powerful states
and non-state actors at the expense of the less powerful.
Provides alternative frameworks to understand the international system and how change to the
existing order can be promoted.
Gramscian analysis – another version of hegemonic stability theory. Sees hegemony as class
domination based on consent. Not based on the material power of just one superpower but is
supported by hegemonic ideology (in favour of capitalism)
IOs are tools for maintaining existing world order and the global political economy.
Strengths – bring attention to power, self-interest.
Weaknesses – Undermine the importance of international institutions and cooperation.
Strengths – Explain well cooperation.
Weaknesses – Undermine power relations, unequal distribution of benefits.
Rationalist Institutionalism Strengths – Gives importance to IOs as actors. Cross-fertilization.
Weaknesses – Can overemphasize rationality and interest-maximization as basis of action.
Strengths – Gives impor