In their work, both authors have differently explained international relations from different aspects. While Krasner is more formal in his article, Enloe has a more casual approach to his style and elucidation of the topic details. Krasner uses different theories and social approaches to explain international relations, in relation to internal politics and economic interests of a state. He forms his argument based on history spanning from 1950s when international relations were mainly based on wars and alliances to win economic and territorial control. He draws the relationship between international and domestic political environment of a nation through the concept of liberalism and realism. Throughout his work, he shows how inseparable politics and economic relations are, drawing examples of the formation of bodies such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, which he argues were as a result of international politics. One of the ways to control the political influence of a state was and still remains through the limitation of nations' trade and consequently economic capability. He shows how the west intimate other countries by imposing foreign policies that require the other countries to alter their foreign policies, which leaves the west in control of global economy and politics.
On the other hand, Enloe argues that political success is based on power or how close one can be to its apex. She asserts that political prevalence is pyramid like and the silent and least heard are at the base, and suffer the most. According to the author, this setting starts from the basic social settings to international relations where the powerful nations are at the apex of political power, while others like most African and South American nations remain at the bottom of the pyramid. She shows how international relations is created by a few nations who control the others, making less powerful nations susceptible to neo-colonialism and have no significant outcome in making decisions for themselves in the global stage. The two authors view the term political differently and with different philosophies.
The authors' differences in definition of "Political"
Krasner views political influence as a very fundamental result of economic ability. Those endowed with resources are more likely to control politics as the develop policies that favor them and ensure that they exploit those with less control. Historically, there have been many cases of sanctions, for example, during the Cold War era where nations who were threatening the Western political reign were intimidated through sanctions, which weakened their economic muscle. Krasner is very categorical about the means to rise to international political influence, which is majorly through alliances and effective national foreign policies. The theories of realism and liberalism play a big part in the formation of the international relations web. Liberalism involves firms and corporations as well as individuals who strive to ensure they achieve certain goals whenever they get into any alliance between themselves, their country and the rest of the countries in any international relationship. Each of them wants to maximize the outcome of the relationship, since international relations should be formed on the basis where everyone gets what they want or strike a balance favorable to all. Realism, on the other hand, follows the setting that a state is absolute and all organizations must enter into international negotiations through their state. The state consolidates power and its political influence based on the strength of its agencies, corporations and any other alliance it forms. This translates to another setting where the state has to ensure they have adequate internal systems where they govern their agencies and corporations with international interests, both economically and politically.
On the other hand, Enloe is more concerned with the structure of the power hierarchy. She argues that every institution or alliance of institutions has its levels of power and the closer one is to the apex, the more control they have, and the reverse is true. She however remains obscure regarding the path through which individuals or nations lead to get closer to power. While Krasner gives a full account of economic ability of a nation or individual and their relationship with power, Enloe fails to express the differentiation process. Her explanation about voices "being heard" is rather hazy. She uses a story about rising to power as a game of wits and political scheming in a society. This small setting move up the ladder and those who emerge at the top can move up, as the political game gets more and more sophisticated. Those who start at their societal level and move upwards with the bigger picture of global aspects are often successful, while those who set their eyes locally remain local and rarely progress to sow their influence in international levels. She looks at political world from a basic view starting from the bottom moving upwards.
The two authors differ in their fundamental argument regarding the political power as exercised between states and within states. While Krasner sees the global politics shaping the international politics, Enloe sees it from the other side where local politics translate to global politics. In this case, there are different methods of research and study of political environments. According to Krasner, understanding politics would take an understanding of the global working mechanism, incorporating more than the political and social relations, but also putting together resource wealth and the economic, both macro and microeconomics of each of the states involved. It further includes the roles played by different organizations and associations, including NGOs, multinational corporations among others, who all have international interests. This is because every nation must gain maximally from any international policy they subscribe to. This approach to research and study is very broad and extensive.
Enloe's view is different and simplistic, where the research and study would require an understanding of the internal performance of a state. This would be a little simplistic with a basic understanding of the working between organizations within a state. This understanding in return shapes the international relation, as Enloe's approach starts from the basic level upwards. This form of study is less complex as compared to Krasner's approach, but is more intensive. To complete the international political relations, it would require that one carry out a study in different countries and how they have developed their internal political structures before they decide on how to relate with other nations.
These two authors have different views to politics. Both are viable and practical, yet have almost directly opposite approaches. This begs the question on how easy or otherwise it is to understand politics objectively or otherwise. It is hard to understand political phenomenon, especially when observed on international scale. This is because there are many nations fronting their goals and objectives, some of which are fronted by small local organizations and even individual interests. There is also the issue of intimidation and coercion by more powerful states, who impose policies to weaker states. Therefore, it would be very hard to effectively and objectively understand politics from whichever angle they would be raised. Eventually, the issues forming a global political scene are intensively convoluted to an extent that it is hard to understand the overall scene. It is easier to understand the small pieces, but once they are pieced together, they form mire that is hard to comprehend.