Achieving cooperation is difficult in world politics? How does the State achieve cooperation?
According to Axelrod and Keohane, achieving cooperation is one of the hardest things in the world of politics. So it becomes an issue of interest to determine whether states can achieve it and what strategies can be applied. This is because there are almost no governments that have the same way of enforcing rules and the standards set globally. There is so much deception and endemicity in certain nations that getting them to work together is very hard. It has been proved that cooperation can be gained by some nations despite there being no harmony between states and war. It however varies depending on the issues that affect the states involved (Axelrod & Keohane 1993, 227). Several factors promote cooperation under anarchy and first the key terms in this discussion will be cooperation and anarchy, which will be focused on.
Cooperation can be taken to mean the same as harmony which requires a complete identification of interests. Cooperation can only occur in circumstances where conflicts have arisen as well as complementary interests. The actors involved have to change their attitudes and behaviors to accept those of others that they are dealing with. Anarchy in this text will be used to define lack of a government that is common in the world. This is in circumstances where an international society is fragmented to do whatever it deems right without being answerable to anybody else. There are many international relationships that continue for a long time and the actors in the relationships have to behave in a desirable manner even in the political situations (Said, Orientalismo & das Letras 1994, 15). These relationships are many a time structured and the issues are resolved according to their priorities. There are these issues that are closely related and they have to be resolved by applying cooperation as a strategy in addition to the principles and norms of the parties involved. The lack of governance might remain constant to a point that the interactions have to be restructured and the means they are have to be discussed. The issues that involve the military are the ones that mainly lead to anarchy than the political and the economic circumstances.
There is a necessity in challenging the outline of the comments on international cooperation since it constructs a harmonious world. It also promotes interactions between the civil societies and the governments, at a national as well as international level so that human rights can be advanced. However, international cooperation cannot be analyzed appropriately even with the two renowned thinkers on issues of international relations. These two however deserve a reader’s full attention of on cooperation since it is a topic that is nowadays being focused on by many governments. The two thinkers assume that ‘Realists’ would claim that States are self-interested and rational actors in search for power internationally.
The decision makers however have to change their perception when they are making policies that will affect foreign states so that cooperation can be attained and also to attain trust of those states that are in a political relation. Through this trust, cooperation can be sustained for a very long time. It is however not an easy task as global politics have many factors playing into it. It shows that harmony and cooperation are two different things since cooperation is a process in which conflicting and complementary interests can be found.
There are several reasons that might lead to cooperation being forged in some cases and to fail in others. Strategies can be applied in a way that they favor emergence of cooperation in anarchic condition. Some of these strategies are created or adapted to confront the issues that might be affecting the relationships existing between states. There are several proximate explanations that describe longer term strategies that can promote cooperation as well as payoff structure, number of players and shadow of the future as defined by Axelrod (Axelrod & Keohane 1993, 226).
Payoff structures affects cooperation and how it is achieved since the policy makers are conscious of the decisions they make and they are aware of the strategies that alter the prospects of attaining cooperation. This can apply to the various classes of games that expect cooperation to have a great role to play so that mutual interests can be realized. In the same way, there are suggestions that are proposed to analyze the cooperation after deadlock and harmony have been ruled out (Axelrod & Keohane 1993, 226). In deadlock, unilateral strategies have to deal with the assumption that security is an adversary to the primary motive and if the defensive weapons can be taken to be viable options. Tacit bargaining is likely to work in the strategy for tit-for tat that was proposed by Axelrod in the assumption of prospect of iteration. When negotiations get through issue-linkage the arms of races de-escalates.
Pay off is determined by willful modification through multilateral, bilateral and unilateral strategies for instance where the united states has troops as hostages to reduce payoff from defection from certain strategy or chosen offensive weapons to procure a strategy or cooperation. Unilateral strategies cave at pressures of uncertainties that are raised by the parties involved especially when the interpretations are based on defensive weapon system, and not on offensive system. Unilateral actions, negotiation and tacit bargaining are determined by the conditions available to work in. This is an issue that has been researched in the 19th and the 20th century when arm races ended with cooperation being achieved by adaptation of some strategies. Arms race is a continuous mutual defection by involved parties which are related to deadlock. Another instance is when United States told the Soviets about MAD during SALT. This led to internalization of new norms and socialization by the States.
Strategies can also be used in order to increase the ‘shadow of the future and increase recognition capacity. One needs to recognize when states have defected or cooperated in resolving given issues. Moreover, the strategies applied can increase the future interactions between states and cooperation prospects as well as controlling the ability to shift or be flexible when it comes to tit-for-tat. Control problems leads to arm races going on if there is a lack of cooperation since the governments has to know how to prevent defection and promote cooperation with the states that they have a relationship with. There are those states that have bureaucracies that kill policy changes by leaking information to the press explaining the actions of some leaders in summits so that stages of negotiations can be sustained.
Axelrod and Keohane compare the integrated political economy where the number of players and shadow of the future are described together with mutuality of interest. The importance of the perceptions of the actors and interpretations being shifted is made so that the changes of the payoff structure can be realized. There are several problems that affect interpretation of message that is passed across and it can have the same effect as poor communication (Axelrod & Keohane 1993, 230). The decision makers have to therefore cooperate in order to understand each other and to ask for clarification where communication has a rough patch.
They clearly state (Axelrod & Keohane 1993, 231) that the integrated politics and economies can be analyzed by use of a framework that can do the same in analyzing the security. They agree that this is false when it comes to ‘shadow of future’. IPE exhibits iteration and offers a chance for success retaliation for more potential cooperation and defection. Military interactions include possibility for ability to change the game being played by a certain group or pre-emptive war. There can be sanctioning problems in the context of IPE and security explained better by the conditions present for instance where defection can be prevented by centralizing retaliation.
The governments involved have to learn how to reward certain targets focus on retaliation or provide incentives to members in a group to prevent defection (Axelrod & Keohane 1993, 236). They conclude that the broader international interactions’ contexts can be focused on such as the multi-level games, role of international institutions, reciprocity in complex situation and issue linkages. This is necessary to understand the adoption of strategies in alteration of payoff structures, breakdown of the games and lengthening the shadow of the future. All these promote cooperation and the state knows these are very crucial in minimizing defection from relationships between governments.
Axelrod, R, & Keohane, R., 1993. Achieving Cooperation Under Anarchy: strategies and institutions, in Baldwin, D.A. (ed.), Neorealism and Neoliberalism – The Contemporary Debate, Columbia University Press, New York.
Said, E., Orientalismo. S. P. & das Letras, C., 1994. Representations of the intellectual. New York, Vindagebo Books.
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