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449). Constructivism concentrates on how, by acting in particular ways, states shape expectations about how they will behave in the future. Identities are predominantly formed through cultural selection. This implies complex learning of new roles, as well as imitation of successful practices. They are also formed by natural selection (through the failure of poorly adapted agents to reproduce) in particular circumstances (Wendt, 1999, chapter 7). In the process of complex learning, actors come to see themselves as reflections of how they think others see them.

As I will explain in Chapter 3, neorealists suggested that the rise of American unilateralism during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s was a sign that its power was dissipating. For hegemonic stability theorists, America's growing recourse to unilateralism was a warning that the hegemon was not successfully adapting to the international system and could no longer manage crises in the liberal order (Gilpin, ] 987, p. 345). While the liberal international order remained in an ad hoc form, the regime was considered fragile and likely to collapse (Gilpin, 1987, pp.

Consequently, regimes are extremely fragile. States fear military consequences of a differential in gains and they are also concerned about becoming dependent on other states (Grieco, 1993, pp. 118, 353). Grieco claims: States worry that today's friend may be tomorrow's enemy in war, and fear that achievements of joint gains that advantage a friend in the present might produce a more dangerous potential foe in the future. As a result, states must give serious attention to the gains of partners.

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