The False Promise of International Institutions | Study Guide

John J. Mearsheimer

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Course Hero, "The False Promise of International Institutions Study Guide," September 29, 2020, accessed September 20, 2021, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-False-Promise-of-International-Institutions/.

The False Promise of International Institutions | Glossary

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absolute gains: (n) the value of economic, military, or other benefits or advantages one state may receive as a result of the policies or strategies of a competing state, judged exclusively on the value received by one state without comparing the corresponding value of the advantages and benefits received by the competing state

aggressor: (n) a state that initiates hostile action against another state without reasonable cause

anarchy: (n) a system of international relations in which each major political power is independently governed but also in which the major political powers are not themselves collectively ruled or governed by any centralized, universal law enforcement or military authority

balance-of-power politics: (n) a political concept in the theory of international relations that states that any nation or group of nations will try to match military, political, and economic imbalances with other nations or groups of nations by increasing their own power in these areas, thereby maintaining the equilibrium of the international system

causal logic: (n) a logical argument that explains how one thing must necessarily follow from another

collective security: (n) a theory of international political relations concerned with using international institutions to compel states to maintain peaceful relationships with one another

concert: (n) an agreement among great political powers that are not otherwise considering hostile military action against one another to establish a sphere of political and military influence that includes minor powers

critical theory: (n) a theory of international political relations whose main concern is to eradicate the effects of realism and balance-of-power politics from the international system and replace them with a globalized society in which all countries operate according to mutual trust, sharing, and transparency

empirical: (adj) relying on or originating in direct observation or experience, often without regard to theoretical arguments

international institution: (n) rules established to govern how states should interact with one another in areas of both cooperation and competition

international relations: (n) an area of study and practice concerned with the relations among independent nation-states across their national boundaries that encompasses a wide range of concerns, including economics, intercultural relations, national and ethnic identities, foreign policy analysis, the environment, international security, and diplomacy

liberal institutionalism: (n) a theory of international political relations whose main concern is to explain how states can cooperate when those states already share a substantial mutual interest in doing so

peace: (n) a state of international relations characterized by mutual universal agreement and an absence of hostility, security competition, mistrust, or suspicion

peacekeeping: (n) the practice of intervention by third parties in the civil or international disputes of minor powers to prevent or end wars

realism: (n) a theory of international political relations in which states operate in a system without any central governing authority in an atmosphere of fear and mistrust motivated primarily by the self-interested goals of maximizing power and maintaining independence

relative gains: (n) the value of economic, military, or other benefits or advantages one state may receive as a result of the policies or strategies of a competing state, judged exclusively on the basis of how those benefits or advantages compare to the advantages and benefits received by the competing state

security: (n) the actions and policies of states and international institutions in pursuit of mutual survival and safety

sovereignty: (n) the state of being self-governed and autonomous

stability: (n) the probability or likelihood of the international system retaining its essential characteristics, avoiding domination by any single nation, enabling the survival of the majority of member nations, and avoiding major military conflict

victim: (n) a state that is subjected to hostile actions initiated by another state without reasonable cause

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