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Less Filling, Tastes Great: The Realist-Neoliberal Debate

Niou, Emerson M. S. and Ordeshook, Peter C. (1992) Less Filling, Tastes Great: The Realist-Neoliberal Debate. Social Science Working Paper, 815. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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This essay examines and reformulates the realist-neoliberal debate. Focusing initially on the issue of the attribution of goals to states, we argue that not only are goals merely the epiphenomena of other things but also that their specification constitutes but a re-description of strategic environments. That is, although an attribution of goals may contribute to our characterization of outcomes, a discussion of them is not central to the development of a theory that explains and predicts the outbreak of conflict and the patterns of cooperation. Instead we argue that the realist-neoliberal debate should be recast so that our central research agenda is the development of substantively specific models that allow us to ascertain how the equilibrium to a game in which states structure international affairs influences the types of issue-specific subgames states play, how countries coordinate to equilibria of different types, how we can characterize the coordination problems associated with different equilibria, how states can enhance the attractiveness of an equilibrium, and how states can signal commitments to the strategies that are part of that equilibrium.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
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Additional Information:This research was supported in part by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Peace. We also wish to acknowledge the helpful comments and criticism of Tom Schwartz, Peter Lange and Joseph Grieco. Published as Niou, Emerson MS, and Peter C. Ordeshook. "“Less Filling, Tastes Great”: The Realist-Neoliberal Debate." World Politics 46, no. 2 (1994): 209-234.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Funding AgencyGrant Number
US Institute of PeaceUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Coordinate systems, International politics, Game theory, Economic liberalism, Political debate, International cooperation, Political power, Military strategy, Hegemony, Prisoners
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:815
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170828-153031000
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:80871
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:28 Aug 2017 23:01
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:35

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