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UA POL 202 - Cooperation Between Actors

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POL 202 1st Edition Lecture 9Current LectureI. When Can Actors Cooperate?a. Individual interest may lead actors to “defect”i. Defecting is adopting an uncooperative strategy that undermines the collective goalb. A problem of coordination:i. Once actions are coordinate, there is no potential benefit from defecting c. The problem of collaborationi. Lies in actors having a unilateral incentive to defect1. Prisoner’s dilemma shows this (offered the same deal)II. A Collaboration Problema. Public goods are socially desirable products defined by two qualities:i. Non-excludable1. Once product is produced, anyone and everyone can consume itii. Non-rival in consumption b. Examples: national defense, clean air and water and environmental issues, national public radio III. Public Goodsa. Efforts to produce public goods are hindered by collective action problemsi. Each actor aims to benefit from the good without bearing the costs for it1. “Freerider”b. Each individual has an incentive to free ride:i. Failing to contribute to the collective good, which results in not having the collective good at all IV. CooperationThese notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor’s lecture. GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes, not as a substitute.a. Factors that facilitate cooperation:i. Number and relative size of actorsii. Iteration, linkage, and strategies of reciprocal punishmentiii. Informationiv. InstitutionsV. Number and Relative Size of Actorsa. It is easier for smaller number of actors to cooperatei. Easier to monitor each other’s behaviorii. Communicate more readilyb. The smaller the number of actors, the more likely they are to cooperatec. Large actors, create collective good largely on its own i. ‘Privileged groups’ii. Collective security provided by NATO during the Cold War VI. Iteration, Linkage, and Strategies of Reciprocal Punishment a. Cheating can be overcome if actors expect to be involved in multiple, repeated inactions i. Iteration: actors can prevent one another from cheating by threatening to withhold cooperation in the futureii. The threat of reciprocal punishment can help enforce cooperationVII. Informationa. The availability of information affects the likelihood of cooperationi. May be easy to observe whether a partner cooperates or defectsii. May be hard to observe or distinguishb. Cooperation may fail because of uncertainty and misconception VIII. Who Wins and Loses in Bargaining?a. A core concept in international politics…i. Power: the ability of Actor A to get Actor B do something that B would otherwise not dob. The more power an actor has, the more it can expect to win at bargainingc. Reversion outcome: the outcome that occurs when no bargain is reached…i. This influences power and the outcome of bargaining of any bargaining interactiond. Bargaining power belongs to actors most satisfied with, or most willing toendure, the reversion outcome IX. Coerciona. The threat or imposition of costs on others to reduce the value of the reversion outcome and thus change their behaviorb. Means of international coercion include:i. Military forceii. Economic sanctions X. Outside Optionsa. Actors are able to get better deals when they have outside optionsi. Alternatives to reaching a bargain with a particular partner that are more attractive that the status quob. It is the relative attractiveness of each actor’s outside options that matters XI. Agenda Settinga. A party that can act first to set the agenda transforms the choices available to othersb. Agenda-setting power: actions taken prior to or during bargaining that make reversion outcome more favorable for one party XII. Institutions: Do Rules Matter in World Politics?a. Institutions vary in their goals and rules, but they generally work towards cooperationXIII. How Do Institutions Affect Cooperation?a. Anarchy: the absence of formal governmentb. Institutions promote cooperation through enforcement c. Cooperation at international level has to be self-enforcingd. Make self-enforcement easier by:i. Setting standards of behavior1. Example: aviation using English as standard language to make air travel possible ii. Verifying complianceiii. Reducing the costs of joint decision-makingiv. Resolving disputesXIV. Setting Standards of Behaviora. Clear standards of behavior help reduce ambiguity and enhance cooperationXV. Verifying Compliancea. Institutions often provide ways to acquire information on compliancei. Self-reportingii. On-site inspectionsXVI. Resolving Disputesa. Provide mechanisms for resolving disputes byi. Increasing actors’ expectation that others will uphold their commitmentsii. Preventing retaliation from escalatingiii. Resolving ambiguities in agreementsiv. Allowing for mutually beneficial cooperation XVII. Benefits of Institutionsa. Product of cooperation and bargaining that created them and, consequently, rarely benefit everyone equallyi. Some examples: US electoral institutions, the International Monetary Fund, UN Security Councilb. Institutions are both the shapers of politics and products of political action XVIII. Why Follow the Rulesa. Actors comply with institutions for two reasonsi. Facilitate cooperationii. Maintaining an institution may be less costly than creating a new oneiii. Countries occasionally violate rules, but institutions do make international cooperation more


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