Interdependence Theory

1968 Words 8 Pages
The international arena is full of rapid change, challenges, and uncertainty. Scholar use theoretical tools to further understand global politics. The most prominent theory driven tools used today are Realism and Liberalism. These two theories vary in definition and people ascribe to them as ways of viewing the world, predicting the future of events and furthering their understanding of state behavior. Two great books that exemplify such theories are “The Tragedy of Great Powers” by John J. Mearsheimer and “Power and Interdependence” by Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye Jr. These books explain theoretical tools by showcasing how such tools explain state behavior. As the world continues to evolve scholars and theorist attempt to change and …show more content…
It was written, to guide readers through learning theoretical tools that will guide individuals to understand the world more accurately. The theoretical tool they used to base their argument was the Liberalist theory, however, the focused one of the theories major points, which is interdependence. Even though, the authors tried to explain interdependence as a theory on its own, one cannot deny this theory has deep seeded origins from the Liberalist theory. They clearly state that neither the traditionalist vision nor the modernist vision is nowadays adequate to interpret our world, due to the fact that there is an “ever- growing and multidimensional interdependence”. Another interesting feature of this book is that the authors compare two ideal types: realism and one that they constructed, complex interdependence. None of these ideal types reflects reality exactly, but they help to understand what happens, because most situations fall between these two extremes. In contrast to that, the ideal type of complex interdependence has rather different assumptions. To begin with, the state is not the only important unit, and there are many channels that connect societies (not only interstate channels, but also trans governmental and transnational ones). Also, there isn 't a hierarchy among issues, and it is more difficult to distinguish between …show more content…
The authors try to explain how our world is changing and highlight many times throughout the pages of this book that they believe that different frameworks are needed for different situations, and that old contributions are as worthy as new ones (Keohane & Nye, 1977). It is essential, however, to know when to use each one, and when we must combine them, in order to grasp the various situations. The book "Power and Interdependence" tried and succeeds in attacking the conventional wisdom in the game that if realism were the leading theory international cooperation would not be institutionalized (Keohane & Nye, 1977).

A major challenge between both schools of thought is to assume rationality. Given the current election in the United States it is difficult to address realism and liberalism as rationality. The president-elect Donald Trump is not expected to be a rational actor in the international arena.
He claimed to dismantle NATO, improve relations with Russia and dismantle a lot of the international treaties in place. This will be immense difference from past United States actions. This new occurrence will likely change many state relations and

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