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Neo-realism & Neo-liberalism


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This slide are about theories in international relations field which is neo-realism and neo-liberalism.

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Neo-realism & Neo-liberalism

  1. 1. Baylis, Smith & Owens: The Globalization of World Politics 5e Chapter 7 Contemporary mainstream approaches: neo-realism and neo-liberalism
  2. 2. Introduction • Dominant debate in IR for last 20 years • More than just theories: conceptual frameworks – Form people’s views of world – Shape research priorities – Influence policy debates • Integrate rational choice and game theory to be more rigorous
  3. 3. Introduction • Both status-quo-oriented, problem- solving theories • Share many assumptions about actors, values, issues and power arrangements • Study different worlds (mostly) – Neo-realists: issues of security, power, survival – Neo-liberals: political economy, institutions, co-operation
  4. 4. Neo-realism • Kenneth Waltz’s structural realism – Structure of the international system is the key factor shaping state behaviour – Minimize importance of national attributes: all states are functionally similar units constrained by anarchy – Accept traditional assumptions • Force is important and effective • Balance of power is central mechanism for order
  5. 5. Neo-realism • Two versions: – Offensive neo-realists: states seek power • Expansionism should be feared • Relative power is all-important – Defensive realists: often confused with neo-liberal institutionalists • Recognize the costs of war • Assume that it usually results from irrational forces in a society • Co-operation is possible but with friendly states
  6. 6. Neo-liberalism • Academically: refers most often to neo- liberal institutionalism • Policy-wise: identified with capitalism and Western democratic values and institutions • Shaped by commercial, republican, sociological, & institutional liberalism – Free trade and democracy promotion • Other roots: – Functional integration theory from 1950-60s – Complex interdependence literature of 1970-80s
  7. 7. Neo-liberalism • Neo-liberal institutionalists – Institutions can achieve co-operation; multilateralism can promote national interest – Regimes and institutions help govern a competitive and anarchic international system – States cooperate to achieve absolute gains – Greatest obstacle to cooperation is cheating, not lack of mutual interest
  8. 8. Neo-neo debate • Intra-paradigm debate: not polar opposites – Share epistemology, some assumptions, some questions – Neither can address certain challenges
  9. 9. Neo-neo debate • Study different worlds – Neo-realists: “high politics” - security and military – Neo-liberal institutionalists: “low politics” - political economy, environmental issues, and human rights • Absolute vs. relative gains – Neo-realists more cautious about cooperation; neo-realists believe states can be persuaded not to cheat to make absolute gains
  10. 10. Neo-neo debate • Globalization challenges state power – Neo-realists: states are still principal actors • Concern is new security issues from uneven globalization – Neo-liberals: most believe globalization is positive force • All states benefit from economic growth • Some believe states should promote institutions to manage consequences of globalization to create positive consequences
  11. 11. Case Study ‘The underbelly of globalization’: toxic waste dumping in the global South