Robert O. Kehoane and Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
“Power and Interdependence”
In this text, Keohane and Nye try to shape and define a new concept of power applied on international relations based on the notion of interdependence, which is a concept broadly used and misunderstood in the discipline. Interdependence is getting more and more important in defining international affairs, inter-state relationships and worldwide behaviors; for a good understanding of the issue, we should now define the cornerstone, the backbone of the whole topic. Interdependence means, in Keohane and Nye's words, the situation of “mutual dependence [...] characterized by reciprocal effects among countries or among actors in different countries”. Although it is certain…show more content… These three features will be, moreover, compared to some realistic assumptions, in order to evaluate their potential adherence to the present situation.
Multiple channels: informal meetings or discussion that work as “trasmission belts” among governments and, more in general, societies; they take place at three different levels. We must notice that bureaucrats from different countries deal directly with one another at meetings and on the telephone as well as in writing ,moreover, it is a date of reality that multinational firms and banks affect both domestic and interstate relations.
Absence of hierarchies among issues: Whereas “the Cold War period was so dominated by the issue of military security that other important issues were almost neglected.
Minor role of military force: As military resources are getting more and more costly, and as particularly among industrialized, pluralist countries the perceived margin of safety has widened.
These three features can be put in comparison with three main assumptions of the realist tradition, namely the “state-as-sole-actor” model, a hierarchy of issues in which security is the primary task and finally the consideration of force as the most effective instruments. Looking at the world today, we may think that these three realistic assumption may seem fairly demode; however,