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International Co-operation - Essay Example

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The very fact that a new world order has emerged following the collapse of Soviet Union in particular and the Communist Bloc in general demands a shift in our focus of attention while analysing the interactions of the states. The very nature of nation-states itself has profoundly changed. The mutations on sovereignty of nation-states, which are caused by neoliberal globalisation, are unprecedented and apparently irreversible. New institutions have emerged at the international level and they exert greater influence over the policy formulations even by the nation-states that are marginally integrated to the world market.
Tradionally, the international system has been indeed seen as a world of sovereign states. States have the monopoly of power within a given territory and claim to represent the interests of the subjects of its rule. A state is primary unit at the international level. Constitutional independence is a defining character of a legitimate state. All states are considered equal in front of the international law. As opposed to the theoretical situation, we can see that the interactions between and among the states at the international level do involves relations of power. ...
The very conception of political is different for realism and liberalism. The political is conceived as the means to certain ideals in liberal theory such as democracy and liberty. Antagonistically, realism sees politics as characterised by conflict. Realism is also known as political realism. Classical realism, neorealism and neoclassical realism are the major varieties of realist thinking. On the other hand, liberal internationalism traces its roots to Aristotelian conception of politics as fundamentally a co-operative activity where accepted ideals of a political community have primacy over the immediate self-interests of the individuals and all could share the benefits. Aristotle saw that 'political activity involves collective choices, forms of co-operation where the outcome is binding on all' (Bromley et al., 2004, p.100). Realists but hold a pessimistic view of politics that we are not consciously choosing our set of actions in response to a given condition, rather acting in a realm of fate since our actions are necessitated by the intrinsic peculiarities of a situation.
Certainly, realists are banking upon the premise of Thomas Hobbes in their critique of liberal internationalism. For Hobbes, the creation of political authority itself is a form of co-ordination. Co-ordination implies that everyone is able to pursue independent choices on a situation that is favourable for the benefits of all. It denotes that people could have convergent interests and one's well-being is not a threat to another. What Hobbes conviction was that '[t]he establishment of a sovereign power would bring peace and security to social life by creating a ...Show more


As we live in an increasingly globalized world, the debates over the prospects of co-operation between and among the states have intensified in an unprecedented way. Within the theoretical framework of international relations, such debates are nurtured by both liberal and realist perspectives…
Author : bernhardart
International Co-operation
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