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Realism versus neoliberalism: A formulation

Niou, Emerson M. S. and Ordeshook, Peter C. (1991) Realism versus neoliberalism: A formulation. American Journal of Political Science, 35 (2). pp. 481-511. ISSN 0092-5853.

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Although the debate between realism and neoliberalism offers deep insights and raises fundamental questions into the nature of international systems, it also offers the confusion that accompanies imprecisely formulated concepts and an imperfect application of subsidiary ideas. Using a noncooperative extensive-form game to model anarchic international systems, this essay seeks to resolve that debate by restating it in a more explicit and deductive context. Arguing that collective security corresponds to the system envisioned by neoliberals, we begin by differentiating between balance of power and collective security in terms of the strategies that characterize the foreign policies of countries. Next, we establish that both balance of power and collective security can correspond to equilibria in our game. Arguments about goals and institutions are then recast in terms of the different properties of these equilibria. In particular, a balance of power equilibrium does not guarantee every country's security, so in it countries must be vigilant about their relative share of resources. A collective security equilibrium, on the other hand, ensures everyone's sovereignty and thereby allows absolute resource maximization. Unlike a balance of power equilibrium, however, a collective security equilibrium is not always strong, and it is not necessarily perfect, so the institutional structures that facilitate the realization of mutual gains from the variety of cooperative "subgames" that characterize the world economy play a critical role in establishing the stability of that equilibrium.

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Additional Information:© 1991 by the University of Texas Press. This research was partially supported by National Science Foundation grants SES-8822308 and SES-8922262. Formerly SSWP 709.
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Subject Keywords:Economic liberalism, Balance of power, International cooperation, International politics, Political science
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171109-134133849
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83108
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:16 Nov 2017 23:54
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 19:02

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