This paper suggests how basic concepts of complexity theory can be applied to international relations and—as a test case—to analyze security and development issues in the Baltic states and Russia. Complexity theory suggests ways to assess the fitness of states—defined as the capacity to cope with complex challenges. Fitness depends not just on material strength relative to changing conditons but also on a capacity for self-organization. Societies that are too rigid or too chaotic lack this capacity. Complexity theory's emphasis on coevolution reminds us to analyze actors in relation to each other and to their common environment.
This paper presents and institutional-choice model that addresses the problem of political corruption, the abuse of public office for private gain. The institutional-choice model first employs a rational-choice game, and then through a constructivist analyses links the game solutions to a surrounding institutional structure that influences agent decisions. This paper models political corruption as a coordination game among a state's ruling elite and citizen groups—a game with multiple solutions that reveal the range of corruption expected among states. A constructivist theory of rules is then used to build the causal mechanisms explaining the domestic and international causes of political corruption. The paper highlights the need to build self-enforcing mechanisms to police the conduct of public officials.This paper presents and institutional-choice model that addresses the problem of political corruption, the abuse of public office for private gain. The institutional-choice model first employs a rational-choice game, and then through a constructivist analyses links the game solutions to a surrounding institutional structure that influences agent decisions. This paper models political corruption as a coordination game among a state's ruling elite and citizen groups—a game with multiple solutions that reveal the range of corruption expected among states. A constructivist theory of rules is then used to build the causal mechanisms explaining the domestic and international causes of political corruption. The paper highlights the need to build self-enforcing mechanisms to police the conduct of public officials.
Very rough preliminary and incomplete draft The modern state-centric international system is generally thought to have its origins in the Treaty of Westphalia. From that perspective, the modern sovereign state owes its origins to the resolution of the Thirty Years War. Prior to 1648, international politics are thought to have been less territorially focused, with feudal ties taking precedence over considerations of state. Here I set out a modest theory of competition between the Catholic church and European kings, especially the Holy Roman Emperor and the kings of France and England, during the years from 1122 onward. That theory suggests that the modern territorial state has its origins in the Concordat of Worms, 500 years earlier than is generally thought. It also suggests that the development of important institutions of the modern sovereign state are an endogenous product of strategic maneuvering between the Catholic Church and European kings over political control within their domains. Naturally, other factors, including competition between kings and barons, and aristocrats and merchants also play an important part in the evolution of political institutions. Those other considerations, however, are not examined here so that what I propose is a partial, incomplete account of the early developments that culminated in the modern territorial, sovereign state. Specifically, the theory maintains that the development of “modern” political institutions and the history of economic growth in Europe are to a significant degree the consequence of competition between monarchs and the Catholic church. This views stands in contrast to the general accounts of economic growth or of institution building found in the sociological literature beginning with Weber or in the historical and much of the political economy literature.
Knowledge progresses through a dynamic process. Arguments are made for the plausibility of hypotheses. The logic of such arguments is scrutinized and the evidence for and against the inferences drawn from the arguments is evaluated. Progress is made by reducing the set of logically and empirically plausible explanations of the phenomena of interest. Such reduction takes place on at least two levels. Some seemingly plausible explanations are eliminated for want of logical coherence. Others, passing the test of logical coherence, are superceded by alternatives that account for a broader array of empirical phenomena and/or a broader set of facts. In this essay I suggest that on both grounds, the neorealist research program is no longer a plausible explanation of the central phenomena in international relations with which it is concerned.
Occasionally, terminological problems reflect underlying conceptual confusions that can seriously impede the advancement of discourse and understanding. This paper argues that two such problems currently exist in much of international relations scholarship, focused around the concept “interests.”
In January 1963, Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, stood in the dry bed of the Mereb River in northern Ethiopia and in front of the world's cameras cut a ribbon over the border separating Ethiopia and Eritrea to symbolize the recent “unification” of the two states. More than 36 years later, any idea of amity, let alone unity, between Ethiopia and Eritrea lies in shreds along the border, scene of a seven-month military standoff between the two states. As mediators from President Clinton to Mohamar Ghaddafi rush to find a solution to the escalating conflict, both armies are on the precipice of an all-out war.
Over the last few years a new concept has taken on heightened emphasis in the public rhetoric of American policymakers: that is, the “rogue state” and the related “pariah” and “outlaw state” designations. In American post-Cold War thinking, these states have emerged as one of the major, if not the most preeminent, of America's security concerns. As fears of a nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union recede into memory, “rogue states” tend to be joined with such international evils, and perceived threats to U.S. interests, as terrorism (commonly associated with rogues), drug syndicates, and organized crime.
An assertive and effective state is seen as instrumental in Asian development. This study, focusing on the post-Cold War Taiwan, investigates the changed nature of the polity and, at the same time, the persistent manipulation of market forces by the government, and explains why the state is still a preferred and capable institution in an environment of democratic politics and market economy and even more so in Taiwan; and how the new state activism should be understood in relation to its earlier form in the controlled politics and corporatist society of the Cold War and what it says abut the emergent political economy in East Asia.
This paper is circulated for discussion and comment only and should not be quoted without permission of the author. Linked to American efforts to achieve trade liberalization through trade negotiations has been the recognition of the need not only to improve American trade policymaking processes, but also to analyze more effectively other countries' trade policymaking processes. In order to address these needs, this paper, which is a summary of my Columbia University Political Science dissertation, develops a contextual two-level game approach that can be used to analyze trade policymaking.
International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, and Politics
United States, Japan, America, East Asia, and Colombia
The paper presents a theoretical cross-national study of energy taxation, concentrating on the heavy fuel oil tax. It theoretically investigates the effects that public opinion, institutional corporatism and left-wing ideology may have on the cross-national variance in manufacturing energy taxes, controlling for the plausible influence of budget deficits, energy import-dependency and deindustrialization. It is hypothesized that in more corporatist nations public opinion supportive of energy conservation, in combination with the Left-wing ideology of governing legislative coalition, will lead to higher energy taxes. Deindustrialization, proxied by the declining employment and output value in/of energy-intensive industries is believed to be responsible for a certain share of energy tax variance in the OECD countries. Finally, it is argued that energy import-dependency brings affects national manufacturing energy taxes.
Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, and Politics