NEO-REALISM AND NEO-LIBERALISM THEORIES This presentation aims at: Analysing Neo-realism and Neo-liberalism. Looking at the relationship between Neo-neo theories to Realism and Liberalism Unpacking the Neo-neo debates Neo-realism Neo realism is one of the most influential contemporary approaches to international relations Neo-realism emerged from the North American discipline of E.H Carr, Hans Morgenthau and Reinhold Niebuhr Neo-realism is divided into offensive and defensive neo-realism . Offensive realists in security studies emphasises on the importance of relative power and not absolute power
They argue that states should pursue security policies that weaken their potential enemies and increase their power relative to all others (Waltz, 1979). Defensive neo-realists on the other hand argues that the cost of war outweighs the benefits. But unlike neo-liberalists they do not see institutions as the most effective ways to prevent all wars. They also believe that wars are unavoidable in some instances. Neo-realists think that states are still the principal actors in international relations as much as realists in the olden ages did, but globalisation challenges some areas of state authority and control, although politics is still international NEO-REALISM Neo-realism is a theory that attempt to explain international relations in scientific terms by making reference to the unequal capabilities of states and the anarchical nature of the international system. It focusses on the great powers whose relations determine the most important outcome of the international politics.
Neo-Realism can also be seen as a theory of scientific nature in IR that expects states to behave in certain predictable ways. KEY ASSUMPTIONS States are the only actors in the international system They argues that states exist and operate in the system of international anarchy. They assume that the structure of the system is a major determinant of actor behaviour. States are self-interest-oriented, and an anarchic and competitive system pushes them to favour selfhelp and survival over cooperative behaviour. States are rational actors, selecting strategies to maximise benefits and minimise losses. The most critical problem presented by anarchy is survival
States sees other states as potential enemies and threats to their national security. This distrust and fear creates a security dilemma, and this serves as a motivation of policies of most states. (Jackson and Sorenson, 2010) Neo-liberalism Neoliberalism is a revival of liberalism Neo-liberalism is a response to Neo-realism, not denying the anarchic nature of the international system Key scholars includes Fredrick Hayek, Milton Friedman, David Baldwin and Thomas Friedman just to name but a few Neo-liberals believe that state cooperation's to achieve absolute gains, and the greatest obstacle to cooperation is cheating or non compliance by other states Contemporary neo-liberalism has been shaped by the assumptions of commercial, republican, sociological, and institutional liberalism (Baylis 2011).
Commercial liberalism argues that free trade, private property rights, and free market systems will lead to a richer, more innovative, and more tolerant world. Republican liberalism states that democratic states are more inclined to respect the rights of their citizens and are less likely to go to was with their democratic neighbours. Sociological liberalism talks about the importance of interdependence (Nye, 1997). Liberal institutionalism or neo-liberal institutionalism argues that the way towards peace and prosperity is to have independent states pool their resources and even surrender some of their sovereignty to create integrated communities to promote economic growth or respond to a regional problem (Keohane, 1995. Neo-liberalism continues Neo-liberal argument is focused on the Neo-realist underestimation of the varieties of cooperative behaviour possible within a decentralised system Key assumptions of neo-liberalism States The are the main actors in international politics.
international system is characterized by interdependence States are mainly concerned with economic gain. States cooperate to create international institutions with the goal of avoiding market failures and creating trust. International behavior relations are peacefully driven by self-interested, economic REALISM Stressed in seeing the world as it is rather than on how it should be . Real world as seen by realists is not a pleasant place ; human beings are at best selfish and probably much worse. This is no different to state behaviour in the international system LIBERALISM Is full of the thoughts of the ideal world (perfect world) how the world ought to be and tied to assist events to turn out that way.
There are also debates between Idealism and liberalism as continued to the present day. The debates have lengthened until to reach the neo-neo debates of the theories. Neo-Realism and Liberalism Both perspectives agree that states are the main actors in international relations. They also agree that states act in rational self-interest. Both theories are of the view that states are faced with anarchy as an obstacle to cooperation. Important to note is the fact that neo-realists view anarchy as a threat to survival. On the other hand neoliberals view anarchy as a threat to cooperation. Neo-liberals believe that institutions help states to overcome impediments to cooperation
as states have an incentive to cooperate (public goods) or learn how to work together (reciprocity) (Schmitz, 2008). CONFLICT>>>>> Cooperation>>> is the dominant theme of realism and neorealism is the dominant theme in liberalism and neoliberalism THE NEO-NEO DEBATE They both agree that the international system is anarchic. Neo realism argues that anarchy put more constrains on foreign policy, they also argue that neo-liberalists undermines the importance of survival as the goal of each state. The neoliberalists on the other hand claim that the neo-realists undermines the importance of interdependence, globalisation and the regimes created to manage these interactions. Neo-realist argues that international cooperation will not happen unless states make it happen. They feel that international cooperation is hard to achieve, difficult to maintain, and depend on state power. Whereas neo-liberalists feels that cooperation is easy to achieve in areas where states have mutual interests. Neo-realist put emphases on the capabilities (power) of state over the intentions and interest of
state. For neo-realists capabilities are essential for security and independence. They claim that uncertainty about the intentions of other states forces states to focus on their capabilities. However, neo-liberalists emphasise intentions and preferences. Debate continues Neo-liberalists think that actors with common interests try to maximise absolute gains. On the other hand neo-realists claim that neo-liberals overlook the importance of relative gains. Neo-liberals wants to maximise the total amount of gains for all parties involved, whereas neo-realists believe that the fundamental goal of states in cooperative relationships is to prevent others from gaining more. Neo-realists believe that anarchy requires states t be preoccupied with relative power, security and survival in a competitive international system. contrary to the neo-realist, neoliberals are more concerned with economic welfare or international political economy issues and other non-military issue areas such as international environmental concerns. Neo-liberalist see international institutions and regimes as important forces in international relations. Neo-realists state that neo-liberals exaggerate the impact of regimes and institutions on state behaviour. Neo-liberals, however, claim that they facilitate cooperation, and neo-realists say that they do not mitigate the constraining effects of anarchy on cooperation Baylis 2011).
conclusion In a nutshell let me take you back to the key points discusses in this presentation today: Both neo-realism and neo-liberalism are theories that are believed to be shaping the current international relations They both agree on that the world is anarchic, but they differ on how states or actors should respond to this nature. Neo-liberalism promotes democracy, free trade, private property rights, free market system, international institutions and interdependence just to name but a few On the other hand neo-realist promote both absolute and relative gains, selfishness. They argue that cooperation is difficult to achieve, expensive to maintain and it requires state power and resources
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