Cooperation Theory Term Paper

Pages: 6 (1879 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Government

cooperation theory would like to start with a discussion on international trade nowadays and what arguments in favor of cooperation we may have here. Historically speaking, we are in a period where international and bilateral trade has been constantly on the rise. Indeed, many of the countries today, especially smaller countries, such as Ireland or Switzerland, have a large proportion of their GDP in the form of imports and exports, and this trend is expected to continue, given the international division of labor and the fact that specialization tends to become a rule.

Seeing these characteristics of international trade nowadays, we may ask whether we should be in a conflict or a cooperative situation, with the plus and minuses of each solution in part. A conflict situation would be identifiable in the case of international trade with protectionism, high import taxes, export subsidies, tax retaliation, etc.

Let us analyze a brief conflict situation imposed by protectionism. Country a decides to raise import taxes for products, goods and services, from country B. In return, the latter proceeds to increase export subsidies, so that the national producers will not be affected by this import tax increase and would be able to remain competitive on country a's market. However, it is more than likely that the respective products will be sold at a higher price and the customers from country a will have to lose from the entire conflictive situation.

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Additionally, retaliation measures from country B. are quite likely to happen (even today, in an institutionalized environment when most trade conflicts are sold within the World Trade Organization panels, this may sometimes happen), with the negative aspects included here. Protectionism was the key strategy in the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.

Term Paper on Cooperation Theory Assignment

Let's see what happens in the case of a cooperative strategy in international trade, as we have nowadays. First of all, trade conflicts are solved within the WTO panels. This is extremely important, because the WTO members have entrusted an organization with the right and power to regulate trade differences and, additionally, they recognized the decisions taken there.

Further more, the WTO has created a significant set of rules and regulations, respected by every member and to which every member abides. These include the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT), the General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS), the TRIPS and TRIMS. This set of rules that was negotiated and voted on means that the signatory members have agreed to create a cooperative environment for international trade and one with peaceful way of solving of problems and a set of rules to respect.

Additionally, a cooperative environment and cooperative means in international trade nowadays may be associated with increased liberalization and free trade. Countries nowadays find more and more reasons to give up import taxes or at least reduce them to a minimum. These reasons include the fact that reciprocally reducing trade restrictions is mutually beneficial for all participants in international trade, because it will allow for a larger volume of trade and better business for internal producers and exporters.

Cooperation in international trade may be also assimilated nowadays with several regional integration forms. Of course, the European Union is the best example in this sense, however, we have several other free trade and cooperation areas, such as NAFTA, ASEAN or MERCOSUR. Argumentation for the creation of these areas of increased economical cooperation is in close connection with integration theory and with the general perception that one country has more to gain from free trade than from a protectionist environment.

From economics we turn to politics. Here, the argumentation is slightly different, because a war between countries will tend to have more troublesome consequences than an economic war may have. If we look at a definition of the realism concept in international relations, according to which "world politics is a self-help system involves a struggle for power between states in the pursuit of their national interests. Diplomacy is one instrument for gaining a state's objectives, but ultimately the key instrument is military force," we may understand the reverse of this medal in the form of cooperation. In my opinion, we should be discussing here two different organizations, the United Nations and the European Union, one applying cooperation at a global level, the other at a regional level, and discuss the idea of collective security, as applied by NATO and the UN.

The end of the Cold War was equivalent with several strategic modifications on the global political scene. First of all, there is only one superpower left, the United State, and several regional centers of power, here including Russia, the Soviet Union, India or Japan. Theories from the Cold War, such as the containment theory or the mutual effect theory can no longer find viable roles in today's environment, because threat no longer comes from one of the two superpowers, but from terrorist factions, from rogue states or other forms of threats that are hard to identify.

As such, we find ourselves in a situation where everybody is in a potential danger not from an identifiable source or enemy, as it has previously been in the bipolar strategic environment, but from unaccountable for and unidentifiable enemy. Notice, for example, how many of the terrorist attacks we are facing nowadays, in Israel, Indonesia or elsewhere, are not claimed immediately or are claimed by more than one terrorist faction.

In this sense, it becomes quite obvious that one of the best arguments in favor of the cooperation theory is the fact that the number of enemies to Western civilization has become more diversified and cooperation may be the only solution by which a "theory of containment" for the 21st century and for these current enemies may actually work. We still have in mind the picture with the three leaders of the United States, Russia and China on the aftermath of the attacks on the 11th of September, holding hands in a meeting in Beijing. Only a decade ago, this would have been unimaginable, but nowadays they have understood the logic and necessity of cooperating in front of a powerful and often ruthless enemy: terror.

So, the concept of collective security may be somewhat associated with that of cooperation. Previous to the fall of Communism in the Soviet Union, we were using the idea of collective defense, stipulated in the 5th article of NATO, according to which an attack on one country is an attack on all countries in the organization. The concept of collective defense has been modified nowadays into that of collective security. It is simple to reason out why. As I have already mentioned previously, the collective defense was viable in front of a single enemy, the Soviet Union. However, nowadays even a remote area of conflict or an unstable political regime may be a cause for concern.

In this sense, the concept of collective security is functioning to ensure that the countries cooperate to create an area of global stability. An excellent example in this sense would be North Korea and the way Russia, China, the United States, as well as some of the countries in the area (Japan and South Korea) have collaborated to solve the nuclear crisis there.

Indeed, North Korea was not an immediate threat to any of the three countries, in the sense that no one of the three was entitled to believe an attack from the North Koreans was to be expected. However, the fact that the North Koreans were aiming to produce uranium derivates and become a nuclear power was a factor that had to be taken into consideration.

Instead of unilateral action (we will be discussing below the case in Iraq, when unilateral action was taken), the three powers, together with regional powers and North Korea negotiated a mutual agreement. As we will see from the comparison between this conflict and the conflict in Iraq, a strong argument for cooperation would be that practice has shown that cooperation is generally much more efficient.

The case of Iraq is clear in this sense. We are not interested here in the reasons that took the United States there. They are numerous, most of them well-known and they have no connection with our discussion and argumentation. However, we must agree that this was an unilateral action, as the United States intervened without the consent of the Council of Security within the United Nations. Further more, post-intervention reconstruction and pacification of the country after the fall of Saddam Hussein is also done without UN presence.

The results have not taken long to show themselves here. Indeed, the United States are having troubles pacifying the different Islamic groups, the Sunnites and the Shiites, and the number victims among the American soldiers are constantly increasing. Further more, the security of the area is highly at risk, with a growing number of foreign citizens being taken hostages and executed by the Islamic terrorist groups. We may assume that had cooperation been used, the country's pacification would have had… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Cooperation Theory" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Cooperation Theory.  (2004, October 24).  Retrieved September 23, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Cooperation Theory."  24 October 2004.  Web.  23 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Cooperation Theory."  October 24, 2004.  Accessed September 23, 2020.