POLI 243 Lecture Notes - Hegemonic Stability Theory, Public Choice

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18 Mar 2014
Summary of Keohane’s, “Demand for Regimes” Pages 1-10
Article attempts to improve our understanding of intl order and intl cooperation,
through interpreting intl regime-formation that relies heavily on rational-choice
analysis in the utilitarian social contract.
- Keohane explores why self-interested actors in world politics should seek,
under certain circumstances, to establish intl regimes through mutual agreement.
- Also explains how to account for fluctuations over time in #, extent & strength of
intl regimes on basis of rational calculations.
Hegemonic theory fails to explain lags between changes in power structures and
changes in intl regimes and avoids answering why intl regimes seem so much
more extensive now in world politics
- Argument of article seeks to correct fault of hegemonic stability theory by
incorporating a supply-demand approach from microeconomic theory.
Article focuses principally on demand for intl regimes in order to provide basis for
more comprehensive & balanced interpretation.
- Focus on strength & extent of intl regimes, NOT content or effects.
- Article will contribute to understanding why intl regimes wax and wane.
- No claim is made that rational-choice analysis is only valid way to understand
intl regimes.
Major arguments are grouped into 5 sections:
1. Systemic constraint-choice analysis: virtues and limitations
2. The context and functions of intl regimes
3. Elements of a theory of the demand for intl regimes.
4. Information, openness and communication in intl regimes.
5. Coping with uncertainties: insurance regimes.
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