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Rationality and intervention in an anarchic society

Title
Rationality and intervention in an anarchic society
Authors
Howe, B
Ewha Authors
Brendan M. Howe
SCOPUS Author ID
Brendan M. Howescopus
Issue Date
2006
Journal Title
KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEFENSE ANALYSIS
ISSN
1016-3271JCR Link
Citation
vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 161 - 185
Publisher
KOREAN INST DEFENSE ANALYSES
Indexed
SSCI; SCOPUS; KCI WOS
Abstract
For realists, in the absence of effective collective security sanctions against transgressors, except what individual states themselves mete out, the "rational" policy is to pursue national interest without care to the costs that might be incurred by others, and to maximize one's chances of achieving ends in the face of opposition through the pursuit of power. Collective production of goods (such as security) is therefore unlikely, and states must rely on "self-help" rather than allies or international organizations to define and defend their national interests. This would appear to be the underlying rationality of the supposed unilateralism of current U.S. foreign policy, and the foundation of the threat of renewed war on the Korean peninsula. However, the past hundred years have seen increasing levels of inter-governmental cooperation and collective action. States do not consistently seek to destroy or subdue each other, but rather most of them, most of the time, including even the most powerful and independent actors, demonstrate a rationality indicative of international societal constraints, and are conspicuously law-abiding. Thus, even in the context of a wider "War on Terror," U.S. decision-making regarding North Korea is still likely to reflect the concerns of allies, enemies, and internal and external constituencies, rather than purely being the product of a rational cost-benefit analysis of a hierarchy of preferred outcomes. This paper will explain why, in realist terms, states and their leaders appear to be acting so irrationally.
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국제대학원 > 국제학과 > Journal papers
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