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Anarchy and the limits of cooperation: A realist critique of the newest liberal institutionalism – Joseph M. Grieco

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  1. Introduction
  2. Anarchy and the limits of cooperation
  3. A realist critique of the newest liberal institutionalism - Joseph M. Grieco
  4. Analysis
  5. Conclusion

In this research article, the author, Joseph M. Grieco, tries to critic the institutionalist theory through the realist prism. First, he describes the main statements of those two doctrines, emphasizing the differences between them. This compared approach is very interesting, as we can easily understand the points of conflict between those two international relations' theories. Grieco clearly stands for the realist theory, and demonstrates that the neoliberal claim to incorporate the realist core can be proved wrong. He focuses on the expectations of the states from the cooperation among them, showing that the predictable outcome of cooperative living amongst states depends from the aim of the above mentioned states; the maximization of either absolute or relative gains.

However, if we look at empiric data, the specialized international organizations that are so disparaged by the realists, as unable to enforce states to respect their commitments, seems erroneous. The WTO, the UN, or the IMF, can sometimes be way more powerful than states (especially for the first and last one). In the case of the IMF, as an example, the last European sovereign debt crisis, and especially the Greek case, showed its power, as it could enforce Greece to pay its debts to its creditors.

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