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The Contemporary Theories of International Institutions


This article summarizes the main contemporary theoretical approaches to international institutions as well as significant theories of institutions, which
build upon those approaches. In line with the existing overviews, I focus on
realism, neoliberalism and constructivism. All three approaches differ in
regard to both the origin and impact of institutions. Whereas, the basic
realist perspective regards state interests and power to be the main source
of the institution's origin; the basic perspective of neoliberalism emphasizes
the structure of state interests and collective action problems, which result
from it. Many constructivists presume that so called general institutions
determine the origin of specific institutions. According to realists, the
impact of institutions is dependent on state interests and power;
institutions only regulate state behaviour in a limited way. The neoliberal
conception of institutions infers that: institutions significantly regulate state
behaviour since they help states resolve collective action problems.
According to constructivists: institutions even constitute state identities and


Theorie of international institutions, realism, neoliberalism, constructivism, liberalism, international institutions, theories od international relations

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