What can make it work? Rory O’Riordan

Cooperation between a brother and sister is very difficult to obtain, but cooperation among states on the international scale is a whole different game. Though finding ways in how cooperation can be achieved on the international scale is difficult, the subject is a constant puzzle that continues to be analyzed.

            David Banks and Michael Schroeder co-wrote an article in which they looked at how major powers cooperate when there is a major crisis on the international scale. Their take on it is interesting because they base their argument on how the world and its “great powers” are established. They say that being a great power is not exactly what is should be, in the sense that some groups such as the G-8 do not include India or Brazil. Without going too much into the summary of it, they then go on to say that these power clubs are more based on the older countries who have been around for prominent years, and do not include current influential players.

            The important thing to analyze is that these two gentlemen reflect this issue of great powers on the current situation in Ukraine. Though I do agree that something needs to be done by strong nations, their argument appears to be conflicted. They say early on that the countries like China, Brazil and India have said very little on the subject and yet later they call those countries “regional powers”. It is not in the sense that I disagree with them, or am trying to contradict, but it appears that this moment is a crucial moment for these kinds of countries based on what the authors are saying. It is time to take action on the situation in the Ukraine for these nations. Though I do not know what kind of action is best, it would seem that should these countries should step up. It would answer then Mr. Banks and Mr. Schroeder’s question of “where have all the great powers gone”.

            Extending of the topic of the situation in the Ukraine raised by Banks and Schroeder, it becomes clear that a solution to that problem will come through a cooperative effort by multiple nations. This is difficult to achieve as John Mearsheimer points out when he analyzes international cooperation. He claims that institutions do not help promote peace. He discusses this through evaluating three theories while looking through four questions: “what are institutions? How do they work to cause peace? (Mearsheimer)” While the other two simply ask where the evidence comes from. After building up his definition of institution and his nay-sayers position, he stakes his argument in two subjects which he says prohibit cooperation which are “relative gains consideration and cheating”. Though I agree that this seems like a logical argument, the relative gains and cheating points fall under the same branch of ideas. In this sense, what are some players getting out what others may not? Though for me these two points seem very similar, the argument is solid because how can cooperation work peacefully, when the players are too concerned about what others are getting? http://mearsheimer.uchicago.edu/pdfs/A0021.pdf




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