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Multilateral Diplomacy: Its Greatest Success - Essay Example

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In the essay “Multilateral Diplomacy: Its Greatest Success” the author evaluates the success of multilateral diplomacy, which requires a modicum of international cooperation and a commitment of willing states to take cooperative action. International cooperation, however, comes with many dilemmas…
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Multilateral Diplomacy: Its Greatest Success
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Download file to see previous pages However, since the 1970s, a school of thought (most commonly) known as neoliberal institutionalism has challenged this neorealist cynicism. The institutionalists perceive three principal challenges to international cooperation in conventional wisdom: the importance of states as the wielders of power in international politics, the structural constraints posed by anarchy in the international system and the unharmonious nature of cooperation in world politics (Keohane 1988: 87-89). Their response maintains that states are rational actors which persist in maximizing their potential (absolute) gains in the competitive anarchical environment through the vehicle of international cooperation (Lamy 2001: 213-214).
Thus, we find that the possibility of success in multilateral diplomacy is backed by a strong theoretical tradition in international relations. This becomes important given that, for all intent and purposes, the United Nations (henceforth, UN) – the highest body for international cooperation – remained hostage to superpower politics throughout the Cold War (Ryan 2000: 30-50). Many believe, thus, that the greatest successes of multilateral diplomacy have come in the post-Cold War era, especially with the renewed vigor showed by the UN in peacekeeping operations. Indeed, in spite of failures in Rwanda and Cyprus, there were also a number of triumphs like in Bosnia and East Timor (Doyle & Sambanis 2006: 197-256). However, it is the opinion of this essay that the greatest success for multilateral diplomacy came not after 1991, but during the Cold War itself: it was the establishment of the nuclear non-proliferation regime which has been the most resounding triumph of international cooperation till date. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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