The Pros And Cons Of Interdependence

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The phenomenon of "interdependence", defined as a situation in which two or more nations each depend on the other, whether symmetrically or not, by virtue of trade and investment patterns, population flows, or even cultural and other social exchanges, can be analyzed from either a Realist or a Liberal perspective. Realists focus only on the impact of interdependence on the power differential between the nations concerned, whereas Liberals analyze it as an international social phenomenon. Realists look for concentrations of state power, Liberals focus on the ways in which interdependence encourages and allows individuals and groups to exert different pressures on national governments. Before discussing in what ways does a consideration of interdependence challenge the realist analysis of the prospects for international co-operation in pursuit of absolute gains, let us briefly elaborate Realism and the Realist arguments about international co-operation. Realists have many factions; all generally share the similar assumptions about international relations. First, they believe that states are the primary actors in the international system. Second, they assume that the organizing principle of the international system is anarchy, which cannot be mediated by international institutions. Without a central authority, power determines the outcomes of state interactions. Third, states can be treated as if their dominant preference were for power. States seek to maximize their

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