Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy

From P2P Foundation
Jump to navigation Jump to search

* Book: After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy. by Robert O. Keohane



"This book is a comprehensive study of cooperation among the advanced capitalist countries. Can cooperation persist without the dominance of a single power, such as the United States after World War II? To answer this pressing question, Robert Keohane analyzes the institutions, or "international regimes," through which cooperation has taken place in the world political economy and describes the evolution of these regimes as American hegemony has eroded. Refuting the idea that the decline of hegemony makes cooperation impossible, he views international regimes not as weak substitutes for world government but as devices for facilitating decentralized cooperation among egoistic actors. In the preface the author addresses the issue of cooperation after the end of the Soviet empire and with the renewed dominance of the United States, in security matters, as well as recent scholarship on cooperation." (


Lara Reyes:

"This paper seeks to examine the two set-ups Keohane highlights in his book: hegemonic cooperation and the context of the decline of a hegemonic state or what is being referred to as “after hegemony”. This paper further analyzes the author’s two main theses surrounding the both set -ups. I agree with his first argument that cooperation often fails despite countries having common interests. This portion is where the hegemonic cooperation comes in. However Keohane’s explanation of hegemonic cooperation needs to be further studied since he asserts that economic and political institutions are gradually overtaking military forces and power in terms of significance today, one notion I disagree with. Citing three cases from ‘What We say Goes’, a book written by Noam Chomsky about the world dominance of the United States today, I would form a counterargument on Keohane’s depiction of hegemonic cooperation using actual events in international politics.

His second thesis argues that once the dominant country is in decline, the international regimes it established to originally preserve its power over other states would be autonomous and would function on its own. I find myself to be in disagreement with this position since these regimes are not only formulated to further one’s political agenda in the arena but also to prevent others from penetrating the formed system. Therefore, if another superpower emerges and the previous one is in decline, the former would inevitably form its own regimes and institutions so as to fortify its status as the new hegemonic state in the world and to prevent the previous dominant power from returning to reclaim its throne and to prevent other states from usurping this position in the international system. This paper cites the case of the British Empire and the dissolution of its institutions after its fall in order to provide a counterclaim to the author’s explanation in the book." (