International Relations Theory

Satisfactory Essays
Economic gain, the main concern of states proved to be a barrier to international cooperation. Game theory uses the Prisoners Dilemma game to illustrate, isolate and analyse the rational decision-making processes involved in co-operation to reduce the possibilities for cheating and free-riding. In 2009, the Obama administration announced that the misile defense system in Europe which Russia disapproved of will come to an end, this was viewed by many as a way to attract the Russian support for santions against the nuclear program in Iran (Goldstein & Pevehouse, 2007:87).

States cooperate to create international institutions with the goal of avoiding market failures and creating trust. The peaceful drive by self-interested economic behavior permeates international relations. The International Political Economy, stems from the neoliberal alternative of International Relations theory which emerged in the 1980’s through the writings of Keohane (1984) who emphasised the economic sphere and fused politics and economics in order to go beyond the limiting security obsession.

The first challenge neoliberals recognize to the design of institutions is bargaining and what role it plays in international negotiations. Institutions can facilitate cooperation by normalizing the rules and procedures which institutions will reflect as mutually accepted boundaries for behaviour and for the achievement of collective goals. As Mearsheimer (1994:5) stated, ‘great powers will have more influence over international negotiations and their outcome’, but neoliberals have an interset in developing the rational design of institutions. The bilateral agreements following the Second World War served as stepping stones for the European trade via regional...

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... the institutions have the ability to control to a certain extent the cheating and well as unequal gain (free riding) through regulation and cooperation.


Under neorealism it is concluded that the cause of state behaviour is due to the anarchic structure of the international system and not human nature (Alvarenga, 2007). The members of the South African National Defence force were sent to the Central African republic on the basis of a ‘government to government pact’ (bilateral) and not on a mandate from either the African Union or the United Nations as stated in the president’s message of condolence at the memorial service of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) member who died in the Central African Republic. South Africa was acting unilaterally and therefore had no ability to request support from these institutions.
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