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International Politics - Essay Example

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All countries can potentially benefit from free trade and a stable international monetary order, but in practical achieving this objective is very difficult. The main reason for this is international and state level politics, which aims at their own goods and absence of centralized authority or government…
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International Politics
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Download file to see previous pages Without an overarching ruler that can oversee and regulate the international structure, neither the security nor well-being of individual states assures. A state constantly strives to ensure its security and "self-help", through strategic behaviors, competition, and cooperation. Moreover, because international structure is formed by the "co-action of self-regarding units"2 each seeking goods for its own, a lot of assumption of the other units and its intention is made for strategic behavior. Waltz, as a realist political scientist, describes international politics as "the realm of power, of struggle, and of accommodation"3. Thus, uncertainty and coordination problems that take place sometimes make it difficult to achieve the potential benefit (the states are capable of) from free trade and international monetary order.
In general, states are an autonomous political unit motivated by self-interest and aimed at their own goods. In such "self-help" system, each unit put effort in providing itself with the means of protection against others. According to Mearsheimer, a realist, cooperation in the international system is unfeasible. ...
er, the uncertainty of each other's short-term and long-term intentions and actions, whether the gain will be mutual or lopsided, works against trouble-free cooperation.
Standard Trade Theory tells that free trade leads to aggregation of benefit and maximizes the welfare of most states. Now question arises, why then is this so hard to achieve' Nations want to take advantage of the free trade market, but "frequently unwilling to open their own economies"5, is a result of collective action problem. Collective action problem rises out of the self-interest of individual states that halts them from cooperating even if it is in their interest to do so. For example, through the "Endogenous Tariff Theory", Giplin explains, why and how domestic interest groups work to serve its nation's own goods as a barrier to import policies. A state will be willing to participate in the international free market system and export domestically produced goods to other nations for economic development. However, at the same time, it seeks to set up high trade barriers and impose tariffs on imports to hamper other countries' exported goods being brought into domestic economy. This will result in a situation, where every state seeks to export as much as it can, and import as little as possible. According to Goldstein, this action is "individually rational but collectively suboptimal for each nation to adhere to tariffs rather than to free trade"6. During the Great Depression period in United States, Americans were collectively running to the bank to withdraw their savings, which did no help to the economic downfall. As such, no state will think in other states' position or aim for the true, long-term benefits for the whole; but instead will act selfishly for short-term benefit and security ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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