The False Promise of Regional Organizations?
In 1994, in his landmark article ‘The False Promise of International Institutions’, John Mearsheimer reviewed liberal institutionalism, collective security and critical theory to evaluate whether the claim that institutions cause peace is convincing. He concludes that it is not – ‘institutions have minimal influence on state behaviour, and thus hold little promise for promoting stability in the post-Cold War world’ (1994/1995: 7). Realism reigned supreme. Although I will not attempt to engage with Mearsheimer’s theory, I am nonetheless sympathetic to his attempt to critically review standard canons in international relations.