INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS THEORY. Zhou Qiujun Private email: email@example.com Public email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contents. INTRODUCTION METHODS FOR STUDYING INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS THEORY REALISM LIBERALISM CONSTRUCTIVISM THE ENGLISH SCHOOL CRITICAL THEORIES OF WORLD POLITICS
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INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS THEORY Zhou Qiujun Private email: email@example.com Public email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contents • INTRODUCTION • METHODS FOR STUDYING INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS THEORY • REALISM • LIBERALISM • CONSTRUCTIVISM • THE ENGLISH SCHOOL • CRITICAL THEORIES OF WORLD POLITICS • INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS THEORY AND GLOBALIZATION
Chapter 4: Liberalism • From Idealism to Liberalism • Neoliberal Institutionalism • Liberalist approach to international cooperation • Conclusion: strengths and weakness
Chapter 4: Liberalism • From Idealism to Liberalism During the 20 years’ crisis after the WWI, Idealism showed its inability and gave place to the Realism. However, since the late 1970s, several new features have emerged: the tense confrontation of the two great powers began to ease, world trade and economic exchanges became frequent, and some international institutions survived and sustained with vigor.
Neoliberal Institutionalism • Evolution of Neoliberal Institutionalism in IR
Chapter 4: Liberalism • Representative scholar-1: Joseph S. Nye (1937- ), Power and Interdependence: World Politics in Transition《权力与相互依赖：转变中的世界政治》(with Keohane, 1977). This book was considered as the manifesto of Neoliberalism. • Although being greatly impressed by Realism, Nye found that ideas, institutions and economic interdependence were all left out in the realist spectrum. With skepticism in mind and inspired by Ernst B. Haas (Neofunctionalism), he began exerting himself to discover the functions of these neglected elements. In 1968 both Nye and Keohane were included into the board of International Organization. Later Keohane became editor and Nye chair of the board, making the journal a real base of institutional studies.
Chapter 4: Liberalism • “soft power” 出处：Nye coined the term in 1990 when he published Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power and “soft power” in Foreign Policy. Since then, “soft power” has been widespread and become a popular term in the post-Cold War era. It was also elaborated in Nye’s Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (2004). 涵义：opposite to “hard power” that compels others to do what they are not willing to do, it uses its internal attractions such as cultures and values to persuade others to do something.
Chapter 4: Liberalism • Representative scholar-2: Robert O. Keohane (1941- ) • 背景：He was a Harvard graduate student under Stanley Hoffman, a great Realist who ever followed Arnold Wolfers and Raymond Aron, two masters of Realism. However Keohane did not simply swallow the Realist opinions, he tried hard to study the role of institutions in influencing the interstate relations. His Ph.D. dissertation in which a case study of the UN General Assembly was made can be regarded as the early fruit of his efforts, which awarded him the best Ph.D. dissertation in 1966. • President of the International Studies Association 1988-1989 • President of American Political Science Association 1999-2000
Chapter 4: Liberalism • 1970s —complex interdependence Transnational Relations and World Politics (with Nye, 1972) emphases the importance of transnational relations, showing Keohane’ special perspectives on IR studies. He paid much attention to IPE in writing Power and Interdependence (1977). This book puts forward the famous concept of “complex interdependence” and some other key elements of the institutional theory, which paved way for him to build his Institutionalist theory. Later, he read more economists including Charles P. Kindleberger, George Akerlof, Ronald Coase and Oliver Williamson. He devoted to bridge the theories of Economics in particular the Institutional Economics with those of the international relations, and he suddenly found that international regimes could be accounted for in ways that are parallel to the modern theory of the firm—that political market failures result from transaction costs and uncertainty, and that these failures could be corrected, with benefits for all participants, through international institutions.
Chapter 4: Liberalism • 1980s —institution, cooperation • “The Demand for International Regimes”(1982) refined his thoughts about institutions and cooperation. Another one is International Institutions and States Power: Essays in International Relations Theory (1989). • After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy《霸权之后：世界政治经济中的合作与纷争》(1984) questioned directly the explanatory power of Neorealism on the world governance without hegemony and examines the conditions under which cooperation can take place. [his Neoliberal institutionalism was established by this book] • 再版Power and Interdependence: 2nd edn (1989) responded to the critics since its publication. 3rd edn (2001) reconsidered the key concepts such as globalization, international institutions and interdependence in the 21st century.
Chapter 4: Liberalism In short, Keohane sets up a “loose paradigm” for the contemporary world politics. With accepting the core assumptions of Realism, he focuses his research agenda on the issues of institutions and cooperation.
Chapter 4: Liberalism • Assumptions • 关于Realism的假设 summarized by Keohane: • the state-centric assumption • the rationality assumption • the power assumption added by Waltz: • the international system is anarchic rather than hierarchic • it is characterized by interaction among units with similar functions • the system is defined by the distribution of “power” across the units
Chapter 4: Liberalism • Changes in the late 1960s The bipolar confrontation saw detente, with increasing contacts and cooperation between the two camps. From a wider context, movements of materials and goods between and within national boundaries occurred frequently, in which countries became more interrelated and interdependent than ever before. An information revolution furthered such trends. Meanwhile, the US hegemony was in decline while the other state and non-state actors (multinational companies, international organizations, international regimes, etc.) in rise. Under these circumstances, the “high politics” topics in international relations were gradually given way to the “low politics”, including the global problems such as 4P.
Chapter 4: Liberalism • Neoliberal institutionalism与Realism的假设之别(Keohane): • 差别之一：Neoliberal institutionalism agrees that the international system is anarchic, but it argues that “lack of a common government” does not necessarily imply “lack of organization”. An international society exists there. “Relationships among actors may be carefully structured in some issue-areas, even though they remain loose in others. Likewise, some issues may be closely linked through the operation of institutions while the boundaries of other issues, as well as the norms and principles to be followed, are subject to dispute. Thus, anarchy remains a constant; but the degree to which interactions are structured, and the means by which they are structured, vary.” As an analytical framework, anarchy is applicable for both military-security issues and political-economic ones.
Chapter 4: Liberalism • 差别之二：Neoliberal institutionalism agrees that states are the principal actors in world politics, but more attention should be paid to non-state actors, intergovernmental organizations, and transnational and transgovernmental relations. • 差别之三：Neoliberal institutionalism agrees that states are rational egoist actors. They make sensitive calculations to maximize their expected gains in a given set of consistently ordered objectives. However, some important variables such as perfect information, consideration of all possible alternatives, or unchanging actor preferences are omitted here. With these variables, state actors may alter their behaviors to reduce discord and produce cooperation.
Chapter 4: Liberalism • 差别之四：Neoliberal institutionalism agrees that states seek power, and calculate their interests in terms of power. However, this seems to simplify the function of power. In fact, under different systemic conditions states will define their self-interests differently. Over the long run, whether an environment is malign or benign can alter the standard operating procedures and sense of identity of the actors themselves.
Chapter 4: Liberalism Different from Realism, Neoliberal Institutionalism holds an optimistic attitude on the nature of interstate relationship. It argues that interstate cooperation can take place with “properly designed institutions”.Institutions—principles, norms, rules and procedures—are an independent variable causing cooperation. A well arranged institution can alter the states’ behaviors and “help egoists to cooperate even in the absence of a hegemonic power.” What Keohane intended to do is “to synthesize elements of Realism and Liberalism in an attempt to create the basis for such a theory, whose core is a concern with how institutions affect incentives facing self-interested states.”
Chapter 4: Liberalism • Liberalist approach to international cooperation • Power and complex interdependence • Power is the ability to do something or the influence over patterns of outcomes. Given the imbalance in the distribution of resources among states, asymmetry exists in interdependence, which provides actors with different influence in their dealings with one anther. In this case, interdependence itself can be conceived as a source of power.
Chapter 4: Liberalism • Sensitivity & Vulnerability • Sensitivity involves degrees of responsiveness within a policy framework, that is, how quickly do changes in one country bring costly changes in another, and how great are the costly effects? • Vulnerability reveals the relative availability and costliness of the alternatives that various actors face, that is, what would be the costs of adjusting to the outside change? • 区别：Sensitivity shows the impact of costly effects to a country imposed by the outside changes; vulnerability shows the ability of this country to suffer costs by altering policies accordingly. (eg. two countries, each importing 35% of their petroleum needs, may seem equally sensitive to price rises; but if one can shift to domestic sources at moderate cost, and the other has no alternatives, the second is more vulnerable than the first.)
Chapter 4: Liberalism • Views on interdependence and power (interdependence should be seen as): an alternative to power relationssensitivity a form of power relationsvulnerability • For those who focus on the sensitivity: international politics has turned from a “billiard-ball” model—states crash against one another, and their final trajectory determined by the force behind each actor’s movement—to a “cobweb” model where interests are intertwined and state actions depend on the coordination with the others rather than showing their state power. (John Burton) • For those who focus on the vulnerability: interdependence is in essence dependence which implies the lack of power. If one state is more capable than the other to cope with the outside changes, it pays less cost than the other, which consequently enables it to translate the asymmetry into “political pressure and leverage.” (Baldwin, Hirschman and Nye)
Chapter 4: Liberalism • The “complex interdependence” has three scenarios different from the Realist model: • the existence of multiple channels of contact among societies in interstate, trans-governmental and transnational relations • the absence of a clear or consistent hierarchy in state policies • military force takes a minor role in the interactions of governments
Chapter 4: Liberalism • Constraints to cooperation • Game theory demonstrates that although there is an outcome of Pareto-optimal resulting from mutual cooperation, such outcome is seldom occurred. Individualistic self-interested calculation always leads actors to undesirable or suboptimal outcomes, which means cooperation does not happen. • On the contrary, Axelrod and Keohane outlined three situational dimensions that affect the propensity of actors to cooperate: mutuality of interest, the shadow of the future, and the number of actors.
Chapter 4: Liberalism • D-1: the payoff structure affects the level of cooperation. The greater the conflict of interest between the actors, the more they are likely to defect. (PD model: fear, actors’ perception of interests…) • D-2: success or failure of cooperation depends on the actors’ perception of the future. When the players have an indefinite number of interactions, things may be different. Players in an iterated PD have to think over their decisions on each move because what they behave today not only determine the outcome of this move, but also influence that of the next move and even more in the future. By this means, the future casts a shadow upon the present and hence affects the current strategic situation.
Chapter 4: Liberalism TIT FOR TAT Strategy Axelrod finds through computer tournaments that TIT FOR TAT is an ideal model to put the future into the consideration of current interactions. It follows the reciprocal logic that begins with a cooperative move and then does whatever the other player has done on the previous move. It works under three rules: • “niceness”, which means never be the first to defect; • “provocability”, which means always be ready to defect immediately after an uncalled for defection by the opposite; • “forgiveness”, which requires the player to turn back to cooperation after having responded to a provocation of his opposite.
Chapter 4: Liberalism • D-3: cooperation is affected by the number of players in the game and the way they structure their relations. It is recognized that reciprocity is an effective strategy to elicit cooperation in international relations, but this is right only when it meets three conditions: • players can identify defectors; • they are able to focus retaliation on defectors; • they have sufficient long-run incentives to punish defectors. When the number rises, all these conditions will be uncertain. It may be impossible to identify defection and much less to punish it; even if it is possible, punishment will be difficult to implement since all the players prefer to act as a free-rider on the willingness of others to enforce the rules. This is what Axelrod and Keohane called “sanctioning problem”, or what Kenneth A. Oye called “feasibility of sanctioning”.
Chapter 4: Liberalism • International institutions (国际制度) & cooperation • Definition: International institutions arethe persistent and connected sets of rules (formal and informal) that prescribe behavioral roles, constrain activity, and shape expectations.
Main forms: • Formal intergovernmental or cross-national nongovernmental organizations. They consist of bureaucratic organs, staffs and explicit rules to run the organizations. (UN, WTO, NATO, EU) • International regimes (国际机制). Such institutions are usually made of international treaties agreed upon by governments; they provide a platform for their participants to make decisions in front of the same world settings or common crisis. (the Bretton Woods, 1944) • Conventions. They are informal institutions with implicit rules and understandings that shape the expectations of actors. They enable actors to understand one another to coordinate their behavior and limit actors’ incentives to go to the opposite. They provide “spontaneous orders” to facilitate intergovernmental negotiations. In the process of interaction, states will spontaneously engage themselves to the conventional principles such as reciprocity and sovereignty. Anyone anticipates an easier negotiation with others if abiding such underlying rules and a high cost if violating them.
Chapter 4: Liberalism • International regimes are the means of coadjustment of cooperation. Lisa Martin divides cooperation into three forms: • coincidence, where common interests naturally lead to cooperation; • coercion, where divergent interests require the leading sender to use threats and promises to alter the preferences of others; • coadjustment, where the mix of convergent and divergent interest requires coordination. (Neoliberalism’s focus) • Functions of international regimes: • Once established, they act as “quasi-agreements”. They have no power to enforce actors to conform, but they can help organize their relations in mutually beneficial ways. They can also help establish stable mutual expectations about each other’s patterns of behavior and develop working relationship that allows the actors to adapt their practices to new situations. Those who obey the regulations of international regimes will acquire good reputation, which helps them make agreements more easily.
Chapter 4: Liberalism • The prisoners in the PD game do not cooperate because they have no idea of the decision that will be taken by the other prisoner. This is a typical case of the lack of symmetrical information. It is also notable in intergovernmental negotiations. To get a better negotiation, one government needs not only information about the other’s resources and formal negotiating positions, but also accurate knowledge of their future positions, so that all sides can understand one another. International regimes help reduce the risks and facilitate the outcomes in making agreements by providing reliable information in accordance with these two demands.
Chapter 4: Liberalism • International regimes also reduce transaction costs of legitimate bargains and increase them for illegitimate one. Through various forms of regimes, they not only prescribe what is legitimate and what is illegitimate, but also construct linkages between issues. Anyone who tries to violate a certain rule will have to accept a potential punishment with much wider impact. On the other side, international regimes offer governments a convenient ground to negotiate agreements. They provide at the outset principles and rules for a variety of particular issues, so actors do not need to renegotiate them each time a specific question arises. By such an approach, actors lower their transaction costs including negotiation costs as well as bureaucratic costs. Reversely, those who disregard the principles and rules will pay a high price on this. (eg. WTO’s “rounds” and it DSM.)
Chapter 4: Liberalism • Besides, international regimes are easier to maintain than to create. Once created, they become an independent variable. They may be maintained and continue to foster cooperation, even under conditions that would not be sufficiently benign to bring about their creation. (This is why the decline of hegemony does not necessarily lead symmetrically to the decay of international regimes created by it.)
Chapter 4: Liberalism • Conclusion: strengths and weakness “Now we are entering a new era. Old international patterns are crumbling; old slogans are uninstructive; old solutions are unavailing. The world has become interdependent in economics, in communications, in human aspirations.” Henry A. Kissinger , “A New National Partnership,” speech, Jan. 24, 1975.
Chapter 4: Liberalism I believe that international institutions are worth studying because they are pervasive and important in world politics and because their operation and evolution are difficult to understand. […] International institutions have the potential to facilitate cooperation, and without international cooperation, I believe that the prospects for our species would be very poor indeed. Cooperation is not always benign; but without cooperation, we will be lost. Without institutions there will be little cooperation. And without a knowledge of how institutions work—and what makes them work well—there are likely to be fewer, and worse, institutions than if such knowledge is widespread. Keohane, “International Institutions: Two Approaches,” International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 4 (Dec. 1988).
Chapter 4: Liberalism • Realism has more explanatory power in the issue areas such as military security, ideology and territorial rivalry (high politics); Neoliberalism pales before them but talks more about the issues of low politics. • Q: Why has NATO existed after the Cold War? • Neoliberalism: an institution becomes an independent variable once created. With its own functioning mechanism including headquarters and staffs, NATO can survive itself for a period of time even the hegemon who created it did no longer existed. • Realism: NATO is first of all a treaty made by states. It is the member states rather than international bureaucracy that determine the fate of this organization; international institutions are subordinated to national purposes. NATO in the post-Cold War era is mainly a means of the US to maintain and expand its own power on the security order in Europe.
“The ability of the United States to extend the life of a moribund institution nicely illustrates how international institutions are created and maintained by stronger states to serve their perceived or misperceived interests.” The post-Cold War time witnessed this institution’s military operations under the leadership of the US. In Oct. 1992, NATO decided to establish its first Rapid Reaction Force. From June 1993 to Oct. 1996, NATO carried out its first military operation in the former Yugoslavia. In 1999 the US-led NATO adopted a 78-day bombing to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia without the authorization of the UN Security Council, in which a building of Chinese embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was also blown down. By those operations in the European continent where EU performed poorly in uniting its own military forces, the US played a role of safe guarder and world police. Since 1999, NATO has stepped out for its enlargement while still “remains open to all European democracies, regardless of geography, willing and able to meet the responsibilities of membership, and whose wider inclusion would enhance overall security and stability in Europe.” Those newcomers will be required to improve their military infrastructure and to buy modern weapons, and the American arms industry with ambition to hold a large share in this business has lobbies heavily in favor of NATO’s expansion. All these seem to illustrate NATO’s subordination to satisfy the interests of the hegemonic powers.
Keohane: even in some security issues, states can realize their substantial mutual interests only through institutionalized cooperation. Taking international alliances for instance, Neorealism regards them as the outcomes of major antagonism resulting from the system structure. Keohane challenges this by several questions: • Are formal alliances more durable or stronger than alignments based on informal agreements? • How much difference do executive heads of alliance organizations, and their bureaucracies, make in terms of the durability or strength of alliances? • To what extent do alliances provide information to their members that facilitates cooperation, therefore contributing to alliance durability or strength? • Do alliances ever develop norms that are not subject to calculations of interest, and that are therefore genuine normative commitments for participants? If so, under what conditions (domestic as well as international) do such commitments emerge? • Do open democratic governments find it easier to maintain alliance ties than closed authoritarian regimes?
Chapter 4: Liberalism • Justice of institutions: “whose institutions” & “institutions for whom”. The US is the creator or one of the creators for many institutions in the world today; it has thus the most influences to the participants of those institutions. The developing countries or emerging market counties have little voice. (eg. US has 16.77% the total voting weight at it; Germany 5.88%. Britain and France 4.86% each; Italy 3.19%, Netherlands 2.34%; Belgium 2.09%; as to China, it has only 3.66% and India 1.89%.)
参考书目： • 秦亚青编：《西方国际关系理论经典导读》第二编“自由主义”部分。 • Keohane, Neorealism and its Critics, New York: Columbia University Press, 1986. • Keohane, “International Institutions: Two Approaches,”International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 4 (December 1988) • John A. Kroll, “The Complexity of Interdependence,”International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 3 (September 1993) • David A. Baldwin (ed.), Neorealism and Neoliberalism: The Contemporary Debate, New York: Columbia University Press, 1993. • Robert Jervis, “Realism, Neoliberalism, and Cooperation: Understanding the Debate,”International Security, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Summer 1999) • Keohane and Nye, Power and Interdependence: World Politics in Transition (3rd Edition), New York: Longman, 2001. • Keohane, After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2005), 也可参阅苏长和的译本（上海人民出版社，2006年）。 • David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.