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After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World by Robert O. Keohane

By Robert O. Keohane

This e-book is a complete examine of cooperation one of the complicated capitalist international locations. Can cooperation persist with no the dominance of a unmarried energy, comparable to the USA after international warfare II? to reply to this urgent query, Robert Keohane analyzes the associations, or "international regimes," by which cooperation has taken position on the earth political financial system and describes the evolution of those regimes as American hegemony has eroded. Refuting the concept that the decline of hegemony makes cooperation most unlikely, he perspectives overseas regimes now not as susceptible substitutes for global govt yet as units for facilitating decentralized cooperation between egoistic actors. within the preface the writer addresses the problem of cooperation after the top of the Soviet empire and with the renewed dominance of the U.S., in safety issues, in addition to contemporary scholarship on cooperation.

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Extra info for After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy

Sample text

The qualification Viner offers to his fourth point is important. In the short run, tradeoffs exist between the pursuit of power and the pursuit of wealth. One of the tasks of students of international political economy is to analyze these tradeoffs, without forgetting the long-run complementarity underlying them. The key tradeoffs for the United States in the 1980s, as for mercantilist statesmen in the seventeenth century and American leaders in the late 1940s, are not between power and wealth but between the long-term power/wealth interests of the state and the partial interests of individual merchants, workers, or manufacturers on the one hand or short-term interests of the society on the other.

But human activity at the international level also exerts significant effects. International regimes alter the information available to governments and the opportunities open to them; commitments made to support such institutions can only be broken at a cost to reputation. International regimes therefore change the calculations of advantage that governments make. To try to understand state behavior simply by combining the structural Realist theory based on distribution of power and wealth with the foreign policy analyst's stress on choice, without understanding international regimes, would be like trying to account for competition and collusion among oligopolistic business firms without bothering to ascertain whether their leaders met together regularly, whether they belonged to the same trade associations, or whether they had developed informal means of coordinating behavior without direct communication.

The final chapter reviews the argument as a whole, assesses the moral value of cooperation, and examines implications for policy. My discussion of ethics concludes that, despite some defects in their principles, contemporary international regimes are morally acceptable, at least conditionally. They are easy to justify on the basis of criteria that stress the importance of the autonomy of states, although evaluation is more difficult when cosmopolitan and egalitarian standards are employed. The policy implications of the book stem most directly from my emphasis on the value of information produced and distributed by international regimes.

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