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Power, Interdependence, and Nonstate Actors in World Politics

Power, Interdependence, and Nonstate Actors in World Politics

Helen V. Milner
Andrew Moravcsik
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    Power, Interdependence, and Nonstate Actors in World Politics
    Book Description:

    Since they were pioneered in the 1970s by Robert Keohane and others, the broad range of neoliberal institutionalist theories of international relations have grown in importance. In an increasingly globalized world, the realist and neorealist focus on states, military power, conflict, and anarchy has more and more given way to a recognition of the importance of nonstate actors, nonmilitary forms of power, interdependence, international institutions, and cooperation. Drawing together a group of leading international relations theorists, this book explores the frontiers of new research on the role of such forces in world politics.

    The topics explored in these chapters include the uneven role of peacekeepers in civil wars, the success of human rights treaties in promoting women's rights, the disproportionate power of developing countries in international environmental policy negotiations, and the prospects for Asian regional cooperation. While all of the chapters demonstrate the empirical and theoretical vitality of liberal and institutionalist theories, they also highlight weaknesses that should drive future research and influence the reform of foreign policy and international organizations.

    In addition to the editors, the contributors are Vinod Aggarawal, Jonathan Aronson, Elizabeth DeSombre, Page Fortna, Michael Gilligan, Lisa Martin, Timothy McKeown, Ronald Mitchell, Layna Mosley, Beth Simmons, Randall Stone, and Ann Tickner.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-3078-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Figures and Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Contributors
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    The Authors
  6. Introduction

    • CHAPTER 1 Power, Interdependence, and Nonstate Actors in World Politics: RESEARCH FRONTIERS
      (pp. 3-28)
      Helen V. Milner

      In the mid-1970s a new paradigm emerged in international relations. While many of the ideas in this new paradigm had been discussed previously, Keohane and Nye put these pieces together in a new and fruitful way to erect a competitor to realism and its later formulation, neorealism.¹ First elaborated inPower and Interdependence, this paradigm is now usually referred to asneoliberal institutionalism. In the thirty years sincePower and Interdependence, this new paradigm has developed substantially and has become the main alternative to realism for understanding international relations. Keohane’s seminal work,After Hegemony, which is a centerstone of the...

  7. Institutions and Power

    • CHAPTER 2 Institutions, Power, and Interdependence
      (pp. 31-49)
      Randall W. Stone

      The two and a half decades since the appearance of Keohane and Nye’sPower and Interdependencehave witnessed a profound institutionalization of international relations. International institutions have proliferated, expanded, and deepened. The number of intergovernmental organizations has increased, and their memberships have expanded: The United Nations has 192 members, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank currently have 185 members, and the World Trade Organization grew from 128 members in 1994 to 153 a decade later, with 30 more countries at various stages in the application process. The European Union expanded to fifteen member countries in 1995, to twenty-five in...

    • CHAPTER 3 The Transaction Costs Approach to International Institutions
      (pp. 50-65)
      Michael J. Gilligan

      In a well-known edited volume ofInternational OrganizationRobert Keohane asked:

      Why should it be worthwhile to construct regimes (themselves requiring agreement) in order to make specific agreements within the regime frameworks? Why is it not more efficient simply to avoid the regime stage and make agreements on an ad hoc basis? In short why is there any demand for international regimes apart from a demand for international agreements on particular questions?¹

      Keohane’s answer to these thought-provoking questions, which employed insights from the work of Coase, Williamson, and others,² pointed to the importance of transaction costs as an independent variable...

      (pp. 66-84)
      Ronald B. Mitchell

      Identifying the influence of international institutions requires taking into account how problem structure influences institutional design. Three claims are central to the relationships among international institutions, state interests, and state behaviors. First, states act to further their goals; second, states use international institutions to advance those goals and “design institutions accordingly”; and third, states “fight over institutional design because it affects outcomes.”¹ Yet if states behave in ways that reflect their goals and interests but also push for designs of international institutions that reflect those goals and interests, how can those institutions be said to “affect outcomes” in the sense...

  8. The Role of Institutions across Issue Areas

      (pp. 87-107)
      V. Page Fortna and Lisa L. Martin

      Peacekeeping—the deployment of international troops and monitors to war-torn areas—is an international institution intended to help recent belligerents maintain peace. The literature on peacekeeping has exploded in the last fifteen years,¹ but analyses of it as an institution promoting cooperation have been hampered by several methodological handicaps. One is a matter of case selection—the majority of studies examine only cases where peacekeepers are involved, with no comparison to cases of nonpeacekeeping.² The second is an endogeneity issue—peacekeepers are not deployed to conflicts at random, so analysis of their effects must begin with an examination of where...

      (pp. 108-125)
      Beth A. Simmons

      Do international institutions have an important impact on the behavior of governments and other actors? This is a question that international relations research is now beginning to address. Decades have been spent understanding why governments join international institutions. Rational theorists underline the reduction of transaction costs, the routinization of reciprocity, and the expectation of future material benefits.¹ Sociological theories emphasize the less rational influence of world culture on the tendency for governments to join or adopt particular institutions,² while constructivist theorists in political science underscore the internalization of norms that joining international institutions represents.³

      Skepticism of the power of international...

      (pp. 126-146)
      Layna Mosley

      In 1971, Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye called for greater attention to the role of transnational actors. Scholars of international relations should, they argued, examine the effects of these actors on intergovernmental institutions (and on global governance more generally), as well as on the global distribution of wealth and power. As Helen Milner notes in chapter 1 in this volume, the ensuing decades have witnessed numerous analyses of the roles of nonstate actors, not only in economic realms, but also in human rights, the environment, and military operations. Many posit, following Keohane and his collaborators, that transnational actors represent a...

    • CHAPTER 8 Power, Interdependence, and Domestic Politics in International Environmental Cooperation
      (pp. 147-163)
      Elizabeth R. DeSombre

      Robert O. Keohane’s work has been central to understanding international cooperation on environmental issues. The most obvious aspect of this contribution can be seen in the formulation of neoliberal institutionalist theory, which explains both the incentives for and process of cooperation. It indicates both why international environmental cooperation is a rational endeavor and how we might expect the types of cooperation to play out. Similarly, the concept of complex interdependence indicates the types of power dynamics that can underpin cooperation, suggesting that even in situations where everyone gains from cooperation, there will be some actors who have a greater ability...

    • CHAPTER 9 The Dynamics of Trade Liberalization
      (pp. 164-182)
      Vinod K. Aggarwal

      In 1999, World Trade Organization (WTO) participants in Seattle unsuccessfully attempted to launch a new trade round. Many commentators saw this as the swan song of the global approach to negotiations and began to call for alternative paths to liberalize trade. Suggestions for coping with the perceived complexity of the WTO included negotiating among a more restricted set of actors or limiting the set of issues discussed.¹ But the success of the November 2001 Doha meeting of the WTO in setting a timetable for negotiations seemed to once again restore faith in the global approach. Yet the seesaw continued. First...

  9. Power and Interdependence in a Globalized World

    • CHAPTER 10 International Intellectual Property Rights in a Networked World
      (pp. 185-203)
      Jonathan D. Aronson

      Globalization and its governance evolve in fits and starts. The central themes of international relations are invented and reinvented, but the issues of power and the management of global relations remain constant. In parallel, research on fundamental concepts such as transnational relations, complex interdependence, regimes, institutions, transgovernmental relations, and globalization continues to grow more subtle and sophisticated. The use of intellectual property rights (IPR) to shape globalization and as a tool for governing it also is of growing importance.

      This chapter situates the ongoing debate concerning intellectual property rights and international intellectual property (IIP) management in a framework related to...

      (pp. 204-222)
      Timothy J. McKeown

      Robert Keohane’s treatment of transgovernmental relations between the United States and its allies¹ was an early challenge to the dominance of the unitary model of the state. Keohane argued for “the big influence of small allies”—they had far more influence on U.S. policy than one might expect. Some reasons for this are consistent with a unitary conception of the state—asymmetries of motivation and attention favoring the small country, the occasional American lack of appropriate instruments of influence, and the high value that the U.S. government placed on keeping friendly governments in power. What made his argument remarkable was...

    • CHAPTER 12 On Taking Religious Worldviews Seriously
      (pp. 223-240)
      J. Ann Tickner

      Written in the immediate aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, the final chapter of Robert Keohane’sPower and Governance in a Partially Globalized Worldchallenges scholars of international relations (IR) to reflect on whether their theories of world politics are adequate for explaining such acts of what he calls “informal violence.”⁴ Claiming that we face a moral imperative to understand world politics better, he suggests that 9/11 could best be understood through synthesizing insights from institutionalism, classical realism, and constructivism.⁵ Given the increasing urgency to make sense of world politics in light of this catastrophic event, Keohane claims...

  10. Afterword

    • CHAPTER 13 Robert Keohane: Political Theorist
      (pp. 243-264)
      Andrew Moravcsik

      This volume closes with a backward look. The fifteen years from 1970 to 1985 witnessed the emergence of the new subdiscipline of international relations now widely known as “international political economy” (IPE). No one contributed more to this process than Robert Keohane.¹ Working in part with Joseph Nye, he laid the theoretical foundation for IPE in three books—Transnational Relations and World Politics,Power and Interdependence, andAfter Hegemony—and many related essays.² Among his numerous contributions to international relations, these are the most essential.

      This chapter has two aims. The first is to summarize the basic contribution of this...

  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 265-290)
  12. Index
    (pp. 291-299)