Absolute gain (international relations)
As a part of
liberal international relations theory, absolute gain is a term used to describe how (primarily) states will act in the international community. The theory says that international actors will look at the total effect of a decision on the state or organization and act accordingly. The international actor's interests not only include power ratios but also encompass the economic and cultural effects of an action as well. The theory is also interrelated with a non-zero-sum gamewhich proposes that through use of comparative advantage, all states who engage in peaceful relations and trade can expand wealth.
This differs from theories that employ relative gain, which seeks to describe the actions of states only in respect to power balances and without regard to other factors, such as economics. 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.
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