Intro to International Relations
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free riders can form alliances with more powerful countries, like the United States. When they run into trouble, they rely mostly on the United States to bail them out or if there is war, then they expect the U.S to be there to put the fight to an end.
Nope. Think about balances of power.
free rider problems and alliances can lead to have other parties pay the cost of containing the rising hegemon and when the hegemon is contained, you won’t have to pay any price like soldiers or resources. The free rider will come in after the prices are paid by other states and will enjoy the benefits with them. An example is WWII, with European countries like Britain and France trying to contain Nazi Germany
A smaller, weaker country part of an alliance, benefits from the strength and power of the larger countries in their alliance. If one of the more powerful countries in the alliance fights a mutual enemy, then the weaker country benefits, but did not have to use its energy or resources to protect itself.
Simpler: when facing a potential hegemon, balancing alliances may sometimes fail because of free-rider problems; all states may want the hegemon to be contained, but they also want the “other” states to pay the cost of doing so. If all states think in the same way, free-rider problems can inhibit the formation of alliances against the hegemon.
For example during WWII, British and French allied to fight against Germans but their lack of cooperation due to free-rider problems resulted in an alliance failure.
Does this example explain free-rider problem?
When an impending security crisis occurs free-rider states may attempt to reap the benefits of containing a hegemon while not contributing to the effort. This can result in a failure of alliances due to everyone wanting to exert the least amount of effort to obtain the same amount of benefits as well as a lack of resolution to the hegemon issue.
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