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International Regimes


Both Robert Keohane and Robert Gilpin acknowledge the significance of economic interests in the creation and functioning of international regimes, as well as employ aspects of economic theory in the analysis of regimes. Gilpin, however, generally addresses the question of regimes in broader terms than does Keohane. Keohane stated that "the liberal international arrangements for trade and international finance" could be interpreted "as responses to the need for policy coordination created by the fact of interdependence. These arrangements, which we will call 'international regimes,' contained rules, norms, principles and decision making procedures.1

Keohane's analysis was concerned primarily with the period stretching from the end of the Second World War to the mid1980s. Although he recognized the broad character of international relations during this period, he attributes the motivations of the central international actors during this period primarily to their competing economic interests. In this context, he stated that one "can view international political economy as the intersection of the substantive area studied by economics . . . with the process by which power is exercised that is central to politics. Whenever, in the economy, actors exert power over one another, the economy is political. This area of intersection can be contrasted with 'pure economics," in which no actor has any

1Robert O. Keohane, After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1984), 8.

control over the others," or with "a situation . . . in which noneconomic resources were used solely in pursuit of values that could not be exchanged on a market, such as status, or power itself. Such a situation would be 'pure politics.'"2 Keohane went on to add that "attempts to separate a sphere of rea...

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International Regimes. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 10:10, February 26, 2017, from