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Relative gain (international relations)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Relative gain, in international relations, is the actions of states only in respect to power balances and without regard to other factors, such as economics. In international relations, cooperation may be necessary to balance power, but concern for relative gains will limit that cooperation due to the low quality of information about other states' behavior and interests. Relative gain is related to zero-sum game, which states that wealth cannot be expanded and the only way a state can become richer is to take wealth from another state.[1]

Relative gains differ from absolute gain, which is the total effect of a decision on the state or organization, regardless of gains made by others.

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  • ✪ International Relations 101 (#31): The Relative Gains Problem
  • ✪ Relative vs. Absolute Gain
  • ✪ International Relations 101 (#21): Information Problems and Incentives to Misrepresent



  1. ^ Waltz, Kenneth (1979). Theory of International Politics. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-554852-6.

This page was last edited on 17 November 2019, at 11:24
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