The International System: In general, what liberals seek to achieve is a system of complex interdependence, which allows for greater cooperation and mitigates the possibility of conflict. The higher the level of interdependence, the more stable the system will be. 1. System is still anarchic, but international institutions can be created to regulate interactions between actors. These institutions change the prisoners’ dilemma in another important way: effective institutions can raise the cost of defection such that it is no longer in the state’s interest to seek to defect. This enforces cooperation between actors. Furthermore, since the shadow of the future is in play, reciprocity becomes an important concern. Actors will behave in the system based on what they expect from other actors and how they have been treated in the past. 2. Liberals are primarily interested in the systemic process level – the interactions that occur between actors at the system level. The emphasis on process leads to two
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