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Comparison of Neoliberalism and Structural Realism - Essay Example

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The paper "Comparison of Neoliberalism and Structural Realism" explains that neoliberalists and structural realists are the same because they believe that anarchy is an organizing principle in international relations, but neoliberalists believe that international cooperation is possible…
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Comparison of Neoliberalism and Structural Realism
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Neoliberalism and Structural Realism: Commonalities and Differences Neoliberalists insist that the ability of s to obtain information about each other is one of the important features of international institutions, and this is important because it fosters cooperation that creates mutual dependence and decreases anarchy. Neoliberalists and structural realists are the same because they believe that anarchy is an organizing principle in international relations, while they differ because neoliberalists believe that international cooperation is possible, especially when states value economic power, not only military power, while structural realists think that international cooperation is difficult to achieve.
Sharing information is important to neoliberalism because it is one of their assumptions that states avoid the temptation to cheat by sharing quality information, which has positive political effects. If states can trust each other to provide quality information, they do not need to spy on each other and to fear one another. In addition, international organizations reduce anarchy because sharing information results to coordination of actions across states.
Besides the role of sharing information, neoliberalism and structural realism have their similarity in belief in anarchy and differences on perceptions of international cooperation and the driving forces behind it. Both think that anarchy influences how states behave toward each other. They are different because neoliberalists believe that international cooperation is possible because states value economic interests too, not only military power, while structural realists think that this is difficult to achieve. Mearsheimer explained that realists believe that the state is the principal actor in international politics and states are concerned of balance of power. State activities are connected to their position in the balance of power, specifically use of military power (University of California Television, 2008). Structural realists do not think it is possible to have successful international cooperation in this context of desire for hegemony through military power. Neoliberalism disagrees because international regimes can make this attainable, especially when economic interests through international cooperation are also essential for states.
Neoliberalism assumes that states want to attain international cooperation primarily because of economic interests, while structural realism disagrees because world governmental authority cannot effectively enforce agreements among states. Neoliberalism believes that states want to share quality information through international organizations because mutual dependence supports their economic interests. Structural realism insists that states innately pose some offensive military capability that makes international cooperation very difficult.
Reference
University of California Television (UCTV). (2008). Conversations with History: John Mearsheimer. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKFamUu6dGw Read More
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