How to Increase Likelihood of International Cooperation

How to Increase Likelihood of International Cooperation

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How to Increase Likelihood of International Cooperation

Today, more nations are focusing on strengthening their international cooperation initiatives because of the many benefits that come with relating with other nations. According to Doyle (1986), engaging other nations and interacting at the global platform presents an opportunity to promote freedom, which ultimately foster peace. In his article, Doyle (1986) refers to a speech that President Reagan delivered before the British Parliament in 1982. The President stated that “governments based on respect for people’s liberty practice peaceful intentions and restraint in their foreign policies” (Doyle, 1986). Many other scholars share similar ideologies, and have identified ways for improving international cooperation. Hence, this analysis begins by describing what amounts to international relations before proceeding to illustrate the various strategies for increasing likelihood. The essay describes the values of enacting measures to avoid anarchy, promote engagement by avoiding sanction, and adhering to various theories of international relations, as possible ways of boosting cooperation among states. Some of the theories that nation-states need to understand, and which may boost their initiatives to cooperate at the international level, include liberalism, postmodernism, and realism that encourage exploration as a way of expanding ideologies and relations.

Understanding International Relations

International relations or cooperation is a case in point. It is an area of study focused with the interconnections among countries in an epoch in which countries, and most typically nation-states, are the main players of political power. International relations is concerned with the implications of peace and war, and thus has apparent practical significance (Cox, 1981). Changing practices, have nonetheless, caused confusion as to the nature of the players engaged (various forms of state and non-state players), broadened the range of stakes (high and low politics), presented an enhanced diversity of pursued goals, and generated a greater intricacy in the forms of interaction and the entities within which actions take place. One classical convention which influenced the description of international relations is the separation between civil and state society (Cox, 1981). The variation made evident sense in the 18th and early 19th centuries when it aligned to two additional or less different categories of human practices or activities; to an emergent group of people depending on contracts and relations in the markets, which came in place of a status-based society, on the one side, and a state with obligations retrained to upholding internal stability, defense against external threats, and the needed conditions for domestic and foreign markets, on the other hand. Classical international relations theory upholds the variations of the two areas, with foreign policies emerging as the sincere expression of state desires (Cox, 1981). Today, nonetheless, civil society and the state are highly interconnected that the ideas have become nearly entirely analytical, denoting to difficult-to-describe components of an intricate reality) and are just completely unclear and not a true indication of different categories of operations.

Fostering Relations

Overcoming Anarchy

Achieving international cooperation is not easy in global politics. Some of the factors that impact on this area include lack of a common state or government to oversee the implementation of rules, and by the measures of the local society, international institutions are not as strong as required. However, it is still possible to explore various approaches that may help to foster international relations considering that the phenomenon is increasingly becoming influential and appealing to many nations. A suitable approach is to work towards overcoming anarchy, which is a significant impediment to achieving the desired goals and objectives in fostering international relations. As used in the article by Axelrod and Keohane (1985), anarchy refers to the absence of common government in the world of politics, while acknowledging that an international society, although fragmented, is in place. In other words, it is possible to foster international cooperation by working to overcome anarchy by creating international frameworks and structures to guide the area. An international body should be in place to take charge of creating regulations and policies that influence international cooperation. However, Axelrod and Keohane (1985) argue that to state that global politics is anarchic does not suggest that it is completely void of organization. Associations among actors may be keenly organized in some areas even though they may appear loose in certain aspects. Hence, abiding by anarchic forms could derail the attempts to improve relations at the international level. Consequently, state representatives should meet quite often to facilitate the development of a central body or institutions that determine how states relate with each other with the common goal of improving international relations.

Avoiding Sanctions

The other way to encourage international relations is to encourage free trade because this strengthens how states collaborate at the global arena. Free trade pacts not only minimize and eradicate tariffs, they also serve crucial roles in overcoming behind-the-border obstacles that would otherwise tamper the flow of services and goods, foster investment, and elevate the rules impacting such issues as state procurement, intellectual property, and e-commerce (Axelrod & Keohane, 1985). Moreover, free trade is essential in ensuring that states relate on a common ground by eradicating monopoly, which is a significant impediment to international relations. Thus, states should enact mechanisms that help to avoid sanctions that restrict certain nations from trading freely with others. Axelrod and Keohane (1985) acknowledge that when sanctioning becomes more apparent, cooperation is likely to collapse. Consequently, one way to address the problem is to restructure the condition so that sanctioning does not become an impending factor. When states encourage sanctioning, they are also at risk of losing significant markets for their services and products and intensify the enmity between warring or conflicting parties. In the long run, the political and economic activities of the affected countries experience a major blow because of the lack of constant sharing of ideas and concepts (Axelrod & Keohane, 1985). Therefore, states should intervene quickly and address issues that could cause sanctioning of one or more nations and come up with solutions that encourage long-term benefits. Countries can learn from those that have placed sanctions on others or those that have become victims and note the many demerits that come with the restriction. The best way to go about it in this globalized world, therefore, is to regard sanctioning as being a key constraint to promoting international relations.               

Following Theories of International Relations   

Being conversant with the various international relations (IR) theory and taking measures to implement them increases the likelihood for strengthening international relations. A key concept to follow is the idea of liberalism, which implies that power politics is not the only potential effects of international relations. Instead, the theory of international relations implies that through liberal internationalism, it is also possible to achieve international progress, where the progress in this sense refers to movement towards escalating levels of harmonious engagement between societies and communities (Burchill et al., 2005). Embracing liberalism provides a chance for states to achieve economic interdependence, which is vital for any economy. Accepting and implementing liberalism, therefore, would facilitate how states form international relations (Doyle, 1986). The other theory of that may foster international cooperation is postmodernism, a model that has guided international relations studies since the start of the 1980s (Burchill et al., 2005). The theory implies that there is no objective truth in the world, and that everything that involve people is subjective. The argument suggests that things are bound to change depending with changes in time. A nation that embraces postmodernism are more open to embracing diversity and multiculturalism, and is also characterized by skepticism and relativism, which insinuates that the doctrine of morality, truth, and knowledge exist in accordance with historical factors, society, and culture (Burchill et al., 2005). Thus, it is essential for states to understand the provisions of the various theories of international relations because this presents a suitable chance to improve cooperation at the global level. Whereas abiding by one theoretical concept may provide needed guidance, exploring the various options increases the likelihood for achieving even more impressive results.

Further adherence to theories of international relations provides a better chance increase the likelihood for international cooperation. Realism, which is a model to the practice and study of international politics stresses the obligation of nation-state and makes an assumption that all nation-states are encouraged by national desires, or at best, national aspirations camouflaged as moral concerns.


Axelrod, R., & Keohane, R. (1985). Achieving cooperation under anarchy: Strategies and institutions. World Politics, 38(1), 226-254.

Burchill, S., Linklater, A., Devtak, R., Donnelly, J., Paterson, M., Reus-Smit, C., & True, J. (2005). Theories of international relations. New York, N.Y: Palgrave Macmillan.

Cox, R. (1981). Social forces, states and world orders: Beyond international relations theory. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 10(2), 126-155.

Doyle, M. (1986). Liberalism and world politics. American Political Science Review, 80(4), 1151-1169.

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