keohane and nye power and interdependence pdf

Keohane and nye power and interdependence pdf

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Power and Interdependence in the Information Age

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Throughout the twentieth century, modernists have been proclaiming that technology would transform world politics. In Norman Angell declared that economic interdependence rendered wars irrational and looked forward to the day when they would become obsolete. Modernists in the s saw telecommunications and jet travel as creating a global village, and believed that the territorial state, which has dominated world politics since the feudal age, was being eclipsed by nonterritorial actors such as multinational corporations, transnational social movements, and international organizations.

Likewise, prophets such as Peter Drucker, Alvin and Heidi Toweirder, and Esther Dyson argue that today's information revolution is ending hierarchical bureaucracies and leading to a new electronic feudalism with overlapping communities and jurisdictions laying claim to multiple layers of citizens' identities and loyalties.

The modernists of past generations were partly right. Angell's understanding of the impact of war on interdependence was insightful: World War I wrought unprecedented destruction, not only on the battlefield but also on the social and political systems that had thrived during the relatively peaceful years since As the modernists of the s predicted, multinational corporations, nongovernmental organizations NGOs , and global financial markets have become immensely more significant.

But the state has been more resilient than modernists anticipated. States continue to command the loyalties of the vast majority of the world's people, and their control over material resources in most wealthy countries has stayed at a third to half of GDP.

The modernists of and the s were right about the direction of change but simplistic about its consequences. Like pundits on the information revolution, they moved too directly from technology to political consequences without sufficiently considering the continuity of beliefs, the persistence of institutions, or the strategic options available to statesmen. They failed to analyze how holders of power could wield that power to shape or distort patterns of interdependence that cut across national boundaries.

Twenty years ago, in our book Power and Interdependence , we analyzed the politics of such transnational issues as trade, monetary relations, and oceans policy, writing that "modernists point correctly to the fundamental changes now taking place, but they often assume without sufficient analysis that advances in technology and increases in social and economic transactions will lead to a new world in which states, and their control of force, will no longer be important.

Traditionalists are adept at showing flaws in the modernist vision by pointing out how military interdependence continues, but find it very difficult accurately to interpret today's multidimensional economic, social, and ecological interdependence. Prophets of a new cyberworld, like modernists before them, often overlook how much the new world overlaps and rests on the traditional world in which power depends on geographically based institutions.

In , million people use the Internet. Even if this number reaches a billion in , as some experts predict, a large portion of the world's people will not participate. Moreover, globalization is far from universal. Three-quarters of the world's population does not own a telephone, much less a modem and computer.

Rules will be necessary to govern cyberspace, not only protecting lawful users from criminals but ensuring intellectual property rights.

Rules require authority, whether in the form of public government or private or community governance. Classic issues of politics -- who governs and on what terms -- are as relevant to cyberspace as to the real world. Interdependence among societies is not new. What is new is the virtual erasing of costs of communicating over distance as a result of the information revolution.

The actual transmission costs have become negligible; hence the amount of information that can be transmitted is effectively infinite. Computing power has doubled every 18 months for the last 30 years. It now costs less than one percent of what it did in the early s.

Similarly, growth of the Internet and the World Wide Web has been exponential. Internet traffic doubles every days. Communications bandwidths are expanding rapidly, and communications costs continue to fall. As late as , phone calls over copper wire could carry one page of information per second; today a thin strand of optical fiber can transmit 90, volumes in a second.

As with steam at the end of the eighteenth century and electricity at the end of the nineteenth, productivity growth has lagged as society learns to utilize the new technologies. Although many industries and firms have undergone rapid structural changes since the s, the economic transformation is far from complete. We are still in the early stages of the information revolution.

That revolution has dramatically changed one feature of what we described in Power and Interdependence as "complex interdependence" -- a world in which security and force matter less and countries are connected by multiple social and political relationships. Now anyone with a computer can be a desktop publisher, and anyone with a modem can communicate with distant parts of the globe at a trivial cost. Earlier transnational flows were heavily controlled by large bureaucracies like multinational corporations or the Catholic Church.

Such organizations remain important, but the dramatic cheapening of information transmission has opened the field to loosely structured network organizations and even individuals.

These NGOs and networks are particularly effective in penetrating states without regard to borders and using domestic constituencies to force political leaders to focus on their preferred agendas.

The information revolution has vastly increased the number of channels of contact between societies, one of our three dimensions of complex interdependence. However, the information revolution has not made dramatic changes in the two other conditions of complex interdependence. Military force still plays a significant role in relations between states, and in a crunch, security still outranks other issues in foreign policy.

One reason that the information revolution has not transformed world politics to a new politics of complete complex interdepence is that information does not flow in a vacuum but in political space that is already occupied. Another is that outside the democractic zone of peace, the world of states is not a world of complex interdependence.

In many areas, realist assumptions about the dominance of military force and security issues remain valid. For the last four centuries states have established the political structure within which information flows across borders. Indeed, the information revolution itself can be understood only within the context of the globalization of the world economy, which itself was deliberately fostered by U. In the late s the United States sought to create an open international economy to forestall another depression and contain communism.

The resulting international institutions, formed on the basis of multilateral principles, put a premium on markets and information and deemphasized military rivalry. It has become increasingly costly for states to turn away from these patterns of interdependence. The quantity of information available in cyberspace means little by itself.

The quality of information and distinctions between types of information are probably more important. Information does not just exist; it is created. When one considers the incentives to create information, three different types of information that are sources of power become apparent. Free information is information that actors are willing to create and distribute without financial compensation. The sender benefits from the receiver believing the information and hence has incentives to produce it.

Motives may vary. Scientific information is a public good, but persuasive messages, such as political ones, are more self-serving. Marketing, broadcasting, and propaganda are all examples of free information. The explosion in the quantity of free information is perhaps the most dramatic effect of the information revolution. Commercial information is information that people are willing to create and send at a price.

Senders neither gain nor lose by others believing the information, apart from the compensation they receive. For such information to be available on the Internet, issues of property rights must be resolved so that producers of information can be compensated by users. Creating commercial information before one's competitors can -- assuming that intellectual property rights can be enforced -- generates enormous profits, especially for pioneers, as the history of Microsoft demonstrates.

The rapid growth of electronic commerce and the increase in global competition will be other important effects of the information revolution. Strategic information, as old as espionage, confers great advantage on actors only if their competitors do not possess it.

The quantity of such information is often not particularly important. For example, the strategic information available to the United States about the nuclear weapons programs of North Korea, Pakistan, or Iraq depends more on having reliable satellites or spies than on vast flows of electronic mail.

The information revolution alters patterns of complex interdependence by exponentially increasing the number of channels of communication in world politics -- between individuals in networks, not just individuals within bureaucracies. But it exists in the context of an existing political structure, and its effects on the flows of different types of information vary vastly.

Free information will flow faster without regulation. Strategic information will be protected as much as possible -- for example, by encryption technologies. The flow of commercial information will depend on whether property rights are established in cyberspace. Politics will shape the information revolution as much as vice versa.

Knowledge is power, but what is power? A basic distinction can be drawn between behavioral power -- the ability to obtain outcomes you want -- and resource power -- the possession of resources that are usually associated with the ability to reach outcomes you want. Behavioral power, in turn, can be divided into hard and soft power. Hard power is the ability to get others to do what they otherwise would not do through threats or rewards.

Whether by economic carrots or military sticks, the ability to coax or coerce has long been the central element of power. As we pointed out two decades ago, the ability of the less vulnerable to manipulate or escape the constraints of an interdependent relationship at low cost is an important source of power. For example, in the United States halted the convertibility of dollars into gold and increased its influence over the international monetary system.

In , Arab states temporarily gained power from an oil embargo. Soft power, on the other hand, is the ability to get desired outcomes because others want what you want. It is the ability to achieve goals through attraction rather than coercion. It works by convincing others to follow or getting them to agree to norms and institutions that produce the desired behavior. Soft power can rest on the appeal of one's ideas or culture or the ability to set the agenda through standards and institutions that shape the preferences of others.

It depends largely on the persuasiveness of the free information that an actor seeks to transmit. If a state can make its power legitimate in the eyes of others and establish international institutions that encourage others to define their interests in compatible ways, it may not need to expend as many costly traditional economic or military resources.

Hard and soft power are related, but they are not the same. The political scientist Samuel P. Huntington is correct when he says that material success makes a culture and ideology attractive, and that economic and military failure lead to self-doubt and crises of identity. He is wrong, however, when he argues that soft power rests solely on a foundation of hard power. The soft power of the Vatican did not wane because the size of the papal states diminished.

Canada, Sweden, and the Netherlands have more influence than some other states with equivalent economic or military capabilities.

The Soviet Union had considerable soft power in Europe after World War II but squandered it by invading Hungary and Czechoslovakia even when Soviet economic and military power continued to grow. Soft power varies over time and different domains. America's popular culture, with its libertarian and egalitarian currents, dominates film, television, and electronic communications. Not all aspects of that culture are attractive to everyone, for example conservative Muslims.

Nonetheless, the spread of information and American popular culture has generally increased global awareness of and openness to American ideas and values.

A Comment on "Power and Interdependence"

The system can't perform the operation now. Try again later. Citations per year. Duplicate citations. The following articles are merged in Scholar. Their combined citations are counted only for the first article. Merged citations.

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Throughout the twentieth century, modernists have been proclaiming that technology would transform world politics. In Norman Angell declared that economic interdependence rendered wars irrational and looked forward to the day when they would become obsolete. Modernists in the s saw telecommunications and jet travel as creating a global village, and believed that the territorial state, which has dominated world politics since the feudal age, was being eclipsed by nonterritorial actors such as multinational corporations, transnational social movements, and international organizations. Likewise, prophets such as Peter Drucker, Alvin and Heidi Toweirder, and Esther Dyson argue that today's information revolution is ending hierarchical bureaucracies and leading to a new electronic feudalism with overlapping communities and jurisdictions laying claim to multiple layers of citizens' identities and loyalties.

The system can't perform the operation now. Try again later. Citations per year. Duplicate citations. The following articles are merged in Scholar.

Direitos Autorais. NrSeqExt and mconteudot Veja mais. The dissertation intends to rethink the inequality in International Relations based on the book Power and Interdependence, published in by Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye. It is argued that, contrary to what the authors say, the new political processes that characterize international politics since the beginning of the twentieth century did not resulted necessarily in the decrease of international hierarchy.

Power and interdependence : world politics in transition

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Power and Interdependence in the Information Age

Complex interdependence in international relations is the idea put forth by Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye that states and their fortunes are inextricably tied together. The term "complex interdependence" was claimed by Raymond Leslie Buell in to describe the new ordering among economies, cultures, and races. Cooper

To find out more about E-IR essay awards, click here. Liberalism dominated the International Relations discipline since its foundation and until the post-war years, when Realism emerged. Later, in response to the domination of Neorealism in the late s, a distinctive school of thought was created: Neoliberalism. It shares some common assumptions with Neorealism, such as the existence of anarchy and the difficulty of cooperation, whilst being close in many aspects to Liberalism — as it mainly studies the importance of international institutions.

Power and interdependence : world politics in transition

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Ideas and Foreign Policy

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