Pols 396 week 2 Reading Notes Part 1 (Grieco article)
According to realists international anarchy creates competition and conflict between states
which makes them less willing to cooperate even when they have common interests.
o As such realists argue that international institutions aren’t able to lessen anarchy’s
constraining effects on cooperation between states.
o Main challenger to realism
o Appeared in different forms 3 times in history
1) Functionalist integration theory in 1940s and 1950s
2) neofunctionalist regional integration theory in 1950s and 1960s
3) interdependence theory in 1970s
All three argued that international institutions can help states
o Accepts some realist ideas such as the fact that anarchy inhibits international
o Main liberal arguments that realism paces too much emphasis on conflict and
underestimates the abilities of international institutions to promote cooperation remain
o Rejects the realist notion of the primacy of the state
Functionalist argue that the key new actor in international politics are
specialized international agencies and their technical experts( eg. Labour unions,
political parties, trade association)
o Attacked the realist view that that states are unitary and rational actors.
Functionalists argued that authority was already decentralized within modern
states and that internationally a similar process was happening.
o Argued that states were becoming less concerned about power and security
This is because increased economic ties have made countries more
interdependent for success full employment and price stability.
Also because of the fact that the emergence of industrialization has created
advanced democracies that are becoming welfare states that are less oriented
towards power and prestige ad more focused on economic growth and social
o Rejected the idea that states are fundamentally disinclined to cooperate
o Rejected realisms pessimism about international institutions.
Functionalists argue specialized agencies like the International Labour
Organization promotes cooperation because they perform valuable tasks
without challenging state sovereignty.
The paper is arguing that the neoliberal institutionalism understanding of realisms ideas about
international anarchy is wrong and therefore misunderstands the realist analysi