POLI 243 Lecture Notes - Collective Security, Rationality, Hegemonic Stability Theory

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Institutionalism and Constructivism
Lecture 18/01/12 4/3/12 10:56 PM
Newer Paradigms in International Relations
International Political Economy Re-Emerges
The international economy appeared to function well in the 50’s and
60’s
The Bretton Woods Monetary Regime collapsed in the early 70’s.
The commitment to keep exchange rates stable fell apart ! Why
did we not see how power was used in the 60’s
OPEC oil embargo underscored the politicization of international
economy
International Regimes
Rules, norms, principles and procedures around which expectations
converge
o Ex. The World Trade Organizations, the Gold Standard
Where do they come from?
Why do some persist, while others evolve or even fail?
Explaining the Emerge and Evolution of Regimes
Realist create the hegemonic stability theory
o System was anarchic
o States all try to do the same thing
o Distribution of power (always changing)
The power of the us came from WW2 time
Concentration of power leads to outcome based upon what the
strongest power wants
Everything is determined by the distribution of power
If the strongest power begins to fall apart, other regimes will also !
as thought by realists
Realist theory works in the 70s but not in the 80s
o The world trade organizations was created as the US was
losing power, creating a much clearer regime! led to
institutionnalist theory
Explaining Regime Persistence
Regimes as institutions
Need to look at what regimes provide and how they work
Robert Keohane- complex interdependence
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o Said realist simplified too much (states were the only actors,
they only want power)
o Need to look at the other factors such as money, jobs, wealth
etc… and the other institutions that play a part in the
economy
Problem: opens up too many ideas but does not give specifics
Keohane tweaked Realism to create new theories
In After Hegemony, Keohane argues states may share interests and
regimes help them attain jointly desired ends
Institutionalism
1. Actors are self interested, rational utility maximizers
o using actors instead of states so this theory can be applied to
many things
o taking the realist approach and opening it up
2. International regimes can facilitate agreements and cooperation
o create rules and customs to help us create the outcomes we
want
3. Some of the actors goals are not zero sum
o Questions of power is a relative concept
o Wealth is an absolute concept
o Wealth is not zero sum, both countries can gain
Because actors are interested in self interest and their self interest
is not zero sum, international regimes are created
More Challenges to Realism
The failure to predict the end of the cold war
Alternative paradigms gain popularity
Liberalism is about the individual and to understand states
You must look at the individual and state relations
Alexander Wendt: varied responses to anarchy
o What we need to do is think about what states are after and
how they go about it
The realist described a self help out come, institutionalist describe
institutions as the way to help the outcome
Collective security is another possibility to determine the outcomes
Constructivism
1. Interest, preferences and identities are socially constructed
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