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Department
Political Science
Course
POLI 345
Professor
Warren Allmand
Semester
Fall

Description
 What's the point of theory? o Facts never speak for themselves. We can't look at a problem without assumption. We learn them through education, etc. So part of theory is to become aware of those lenses. o Depending on one's theoretical assumptions, IOS can be:  Actors  Forums- IOS can be social environments where a bunch of social environments can happen.  Resources or tools for states- rationalist idea. o So theory helps us organise our thinking and realise our biases. Then once we realise this, we can ask better questions.  Today's question: Why do states create and act through IOS? o Realism: states are reluctant to create IOS because of the twin problems of relative gains and cheating o Liberalism: states create IOS to deal with political market failure and provide collective gods o Principle- agent theory: states delegate certain functions to IOS.  In all of these views, IOS are instruments. Rational choice perspective. Actors make cost-benefit calculations in order to make decisions. What it would cost to go through IOS and if those costs exceed the benefits.  Neo-realism o Assumption of anarchy, no ultimate authority above states. No world government to turn to so they must rely on themselves. Self-help. o Maximise power to ensure security. o So international organisations don't really matter- can't bind them- that could run counter to logic of self-help. Realists suggest that they exist because they're the tools of great powers. The distribution of material capabilities is key: IOS created to foster great power's own interests. o So why are they unwilling to create IOS? Especially states who aren't great powers.  Relative gains: states worry about the distribution of gains from cooperation. In contrast to absolute gains. The amount of money you get compared to the amount others get. In a self help system states are trying to maximise, so if you start to cooperate but others gain more, then you're losing, even if you're still making money.  Cheating: states worry others will defect from the organisation. o Prisoner's Dilemma o Political Market failure  States create IOS to combat political market failure-  Increased number of transactions between members. And with that comes benefits- helps to build familiarity between members. Creates opportunity to punish those who defect.  Issue linkage  A big forum like the IO provides chance for states to cooperate where normally they wouldn't- do it out of a will to get cooperation in an area important to them.  Increased information  Liberals suggest that more information makes it harder to non-comply. IO can monitor compliance by member states. Provides info to all the partners.  Reducing transaction cost  Cost of doing business together.  Abbot and Snidal: IOS have 2 characteristics that help perform these functions o Centralisation: the idea o
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