Alters the prisoners’ dilemma in several important ways:
The game is played more than once – actors have the expectation that they will interact with
one another in the future, and continue to do so.
This introduces what is known as the shadow of
Liberals argue that actors will be less likely to defect and try to burn the other player
if they know they will have to deal with them in the future.
If actors expect to meet one another
in future games, the shadow of the future holds – if, however, actors believe they will not play
again, they revert to the classical version of the dilemma, known as the last move.
For liberals, it
is critical to avoid this situation.
Creation of common goals.
Since actors face the shadow of the future, this allows them to
create mutually beneficial goals.
In the game, this is known as “frustrate the warden” – each
actor seeks to deny a third party gains, and so they cooperate in order to do so.
If the cost of cooperation can be reduced, and the cost of defection
increased, this will alter the way the players order their preferences.
Under these changes,
defection is no longer a dominant strategy.
Defection becomes the least desirable outcome.
the real world, liberals will argue that technological change can lead to changing payoffs –
nuclear weapons, for example, increase the cost of defection.
Communications tech, for
example, will reduce the cost of cooperation.
The development of international institutions can
also play a large role in changing payoffs.
Liberalism has its philosophical roots in the Enlightenment (politically and economically, with
the rise of capitalism) the work of Immanuel Kant, and the idealism of Woodrow Wilson.
Again, we can differentiate between a more classical view and modern views of liberalism such
as neoliberal institutionalism.
However, liberalism remains a more diverse perspective – not
dominated by neoliberal institutionalism as realism is by neorealism.
A more optimistic view of human nature.
Human beings are capable of cooperation and learning
Kant: recognizes the centrality of conflict in human relations.
However, unlike the realists,
conflict is not an inescapable fact.
It is possible for conflict to be averted.
Kant proposes that:
Conflict can be abated if all states adopt republican forms of government.
relying on elected representatives, are not likely to go to war.
Cooperation through a league of nations with the intention of preventing war
Kant argues that perpetual peace can emerge through social evolution.
The Federation of Peace
would begin small, encompassing the small number of republican states – however, Kant
believed that republicanism, a superior form of government, would eventually spread – as it
spread, these states would join with the existing ones to resolve not to go to war – basically an
evolutionary learning process.
Kant’s work is illustrated by one of the liberal alterations to the prisoners dilemma – the fact that