Anarchy In International Relations Theory

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Anarchy in international relations is described as the absence of some predominant power in the international system. An anarchical world is one in which there are no pre-set laws or rules to help oversee and dictate state and non-state behavior (FM, 2016). The idea of anarchy is central to international relations. The idea of anarchy is seen differently depending on which international relations theory one advocates to. In fact, the topic of anarchy is among the central points of debate in the international relations theory community (FM, 2016). For example, in the case of political realism, an anarchical society hints states to defend for themselves. According to Roy, this sort of world one in which there is not an overarching authority to…show more content…
For the realists, anarchy leads to an of distrust. This can best be captured by the prisoner's dilemma, in which actors, without an overarching authority to punish behavior, will look out for their best interests, even if at the expense of everyone else (Milner, 1991). As Milner writes: "According to classical realists, "structural anarchy," or the absence of a central authority to settle disputes, is the essential feature of the contemporary system, and it gives rise to the "security dilemma": in a self-help system one nation's search for security often leaves its current and potential adversaries insecure, any nation that strives for absolute security leaves all others in the system absolutely insecure, and it can provide a powerful incentive for arms races and other types of hostile interactions" (Milner, 1991). Liberalists, like realists, distinguish the role of anarchy in international…show more content…
Through joint collaboration, world actors can work together on a sequence of issues, and because of this, they can all rise their own absolute power. Milner mentioned that for the liberalist, anarchy is not something that will lead to violence and distrust, but rather, it is merely a condition that those in the world system can overcome by cooperation and joint venture. So, scholars of liberalism/pluralism in international relations examine the different ways that cooperation comes out of this anarchical system (in Milner, 1991). Again, the main differences between realists and liberalists regarding anarchy are the implications that arise in terms of how actors will behave in this anarchical system (Slaughter, 2011). To add-on, for liberalists, they do not worry about relative power, but rather than argue for absolute power as long as both sides are gaining from cooperation, this will be good for both parties involved since they do not need to worry about relative power with one

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