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Neorealists such as Kenneth Waltz (1979) and John Mearsheimer (1995) argue that cooperative regimes are aberrations in an international sphere that perpetuates continual conflict and power balancing between self-protective states. Neorealism understands states' identities and interests as 'given', largely determined by the material structure of anarchy (Wendt, 1999, p. 34). The distribution of material capabilities or power among states determines the rules and institutions that regulate interstate relations (Keohane, 1989, p.

313). In order to do this, developing countries have used the liberal regimes established by a benevolent hegemon to provide them with influence they would not otherwise have had in international relations. However, given that regimes must be created by a hegemon and can only be effective 32 A Social Theory or tile WTO whUe this hegemon supports the regime's norms, weak powers are limited in their ability to change the regime (Krasner, 1985, pp. 61-2, 301). As US hegemonic power declines, neorealism suggests that developing country pressure is likely to weaken liberal regimes in the long term.

Countries can expect different trading behavior from each other. For example, an imperialist trading regime is based on relationships between states that are constructed as 'imperial power' and 'colony'. This is based on preferential trading norms and mercantilist protection. Similarly, the GATT was a multilateral trading regime in which trade liberalization was limited by the demands of the welfare state. This regime, based on an 'embedded liberal' welfare compromise, established expectations of limited trade liberalization in industrial products.

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