Matthias Dembinski & Dirk Peters: Drifting Apart: Examining the Consequences of States’ Dissociation from International Cooperation – A Framework. [Abstract]
Dissociation from international institutions, i.e., states turning away from international cooperation and organizations, is a widespread phenomenon today. It often leads to significant tensions between the states that turn away and those that remain committed to an institution. This introduction to a forum on dissociation from international institutions reviews the state of the art and develops a framework for analyzing the impact of dissociation on relations between departing and remaining states. It centers on the hypothesis that dissociation leads to two types of conflicts between states, ideational and distributive, with ideational conflicts more likely to increase tensions between states. The article then reviews the five cases of dissociation examined in the other contributions to the forum and summarizes their main individual and comparative findings. Taken together, the five cases suggest that dissociation can exacerbate broader structural conflicts between states; that how parties perceive of conflict during the dissociation process matters for its effects on interstate relations and that an emphasis on ideational conflict leads to more confrontational relations; and that domestic politics matter greatly not only for whether dissociation occurs but also for its effects on interstate relations.
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