World politics counts many actors: states, NGO’s, MNC, IO… Here I’ll focus on the state point of view. I’ll present International Collaboration as an establishment between states of a binding describing what are the legitimate actions they can take. The states bargain on the terms of the binding based on their knowledge of expected payoffs. Here we’ll investigate what advantages and disadvantages states might encounter when participating in such bindings.
The main disadvantage of international collaboration from the point of view of states is the surrender of part of their power. Power, according to one of the definitions from International Relation, is the ability to influence outcomes. By agreeing to cooperate, by agreeing to follow given rules, states restrict their set of actions to the one allowed by the agreement; they agree not to use actions that could allow them to influence outcomes; they give away some of their power.
Additionally, agreements usually last in time. States give away some of their ability and freedom to change their minds also in the future. As explained by Keohan and Nye, states’ agenda are not as fixed as Realist assume they are. Agreeing on rules today might cost more to states in the future once the agenda is evolving. In that case according to Complex Interdependence, the international Regime would need to be modified again to reflect the new sensitivity and vulnerability distribution. This lack of responsivity and the costs it engenders are a disadvantage of International Collaboration.
On the other hand, some times collaboration evidently benefits to all the parties. Cooperation allows exchange between actors, exchange that will leave all of them better off in the end. This is the basic idea of exchange market. No cooperation and consequently zero exchange of commodities between actors rarely achieves Pareto efficiency and so leaves room for improvement. The non-zero sum aspect of collaboration is one of its main...