The anthropomorphic fallacy in international relations discourse is not innocuous, is not without consequences, and often has had mobilization effects and therefore, policy consequences and an impact upon the real world.
Theoretical flaws generated by the anthropomorphic fallacy
Indeed, the use of the term "dictatorial" to the intervention of one state in the way another state controls its citizens or subjects is one of the better examples of the anthropomorphic fallacy in contemporary international relations literature, insofar as it is a way of denying the essential social compact within each society.
If First World intellectuals fall into this mental trap vis-a-vis contexts that to them are foreign, it goes without saying that, within Third World societies, governments frequently make use of anthropomorphisms to mobilize the masses, and ordinary people (as well as intellectuals) are often deceived by the policy implications of the anthropomorphic fallacy.
Indeed, the history of the political philosophy on which liberal democracy hinges is the very opposite of the policy implications of both the statism of mainstream international relations theory and the policy implications of the anthropomorphic fallacy.
Cox, the anthropomorphic fallacy corresponds to a hegemonic structure of a world divided into states.
In other words, it has become more feasible to identify the contradictions incurred by ideologies whose function has been to legitimize the nation-state, and it has likewise become possible to identify linguistic traps and thinking-modes such as the anthropomorphic fallacy that (while functional to the legitimization of the nation-state as an unproblematic concept), are contradictory to foreign policies based on an honest and true (albeit bounded) citizen-centric rationality under contractarian assumptions.
Nonetheless, in the Third World, where states are indeed often weak, and specifically in Latin America, where states are often more artificial than in some other regions and where nationhood is more a myth than a reality, the anthropomorphic fallacy is still of great functionality to the ruling classes as an instrument for mobilizing loyalties.
Local "nationalisms" and the anthropomorphic fallacy in Spanish America
In this task, the anthropomorphic fallacy has been recurred to continuously.
Although progress with the contemporary projects of Latin American integration might eventually neutralize these long standing historical phenomena, the anthropomorphic fallacy continues to be used for these purposes in Spanish America, sometimes seriously distorting foreign and defense policies.
Furthermore, there are other associated and complementary uses to the anthropomorphic fallacy that have been hinted to in the previous section.
Moreover, the anthropomorphic fallacy can also be used to justify aggressive foreign policies.
These linguistically-activated emotions, that sometimes become embodied in foreign policy with disastrous and even criminal consequences, probably would not be avoided if international relations theorists were keenly aware of the anthropomorphic fallacy as a phenomenon that hinders our understanding of our subject matter and projects itself into policies.
The identification of the anthropomorphic fallacy is of normative, explicatory, and even epistemological value insofar as this fallacy: