The paper examines what neoliberal institutionalism means, and how it explains the essential role of institutions in the realization of international cooperation and interdependence using realist premises (structural) to attain liberal-idealist conclusions and to highlight the liberal perspective’s optimal outcomes. But in this paper, I also raise the question about the validity of that claim. The theory emerged as a complementary theory to neorealism that initially sought to explain the important role that institutions would play after the presumed decline of hegemony in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Proponents of the theory also attempted to develop a somewhat merger of realist and liberal claims yet does not really embrace both. It recognizes the fact, drawn from the realist perspective, that states are self-interested and rational egoistic actors in the anarchic global setting; but rejects the idea that states would remain so because they naturally are. Institutionalists veer away from the pessimistic standpoint as they choose to lean closer to the optimistic perspective which sees hope and cooperation among actors despite tendencies of clinging to rational choices alone. This combination of neorealism (structural realism) and neoliberalism (complex interdependence, institutions, and cooperation) results to another variant of the liberal school: neoliberal institutionalism.
For full text of the paper, please email me.