To date we have been largely focused on the behavior of nation-states and their
interactions. However, an area of international relations that should not be
dismissed or discounted is the area of International Organizations. IOs provide
links not only between states but between the citizens of these states. An international
organization may be something as large as the United Nations, with focuses on
a number of different issue areas, or it may be as small as an organization
such as a professional organization. Obviously, our primary focus in the class
will be on the former types of organizations.
There are three main types of international organizations - International Governmental Organizations (IGOs), International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs), and Multinational Corporations (MNCs). We will spend this class discussing all three and also examining Mitrany’s theory of functionalism as an explanation for the formations of Ios.
Realists view I.O.s as simply being extensions of the states, at best peripheral entities in the struggle for power. Idealists on the other hand, take a more optimistic view, regarding these entities as being forces for integration and eventual precursors to supranational governments.
A. International Governmental Organizations
IGOs are organizations are entities created by two or more sovereign nations, which meet regularly and have a full time staff. The delegates to IGOs serve as representatives of their states, this is the principle feature separating IGOs from INGOs (though the distinction can be rather blurry - give the example of International Air Transport Association) . IGOs may be global, regional (mention that this is more common than global entities), or exist in any issue area where cooperation is deemed beneficial.
Three Common Features of IGOs
1. Membership is Voluntary - All members of IGOs are there by choice - of course they may have been strongly pressured to join by a superpower and the benefits of belonging to an IGO may make it more or less mandatory, but the final decision on whether or not to join and to retain membership rests with the State
-IGOs and sovereignty
2. The terms of Membership are Decided by Signing Formal Documents
- The membership is expected to live by the terms of the agreement. Yet, the powers of enforcement are usually rather limited.
- Ex. UN Charter
3. These Organizations will have a Formal Structure
- Executive - A director - public representative
- Secretariat - Responsible for Day to Day Operations
- Decision Making Forum - General Assembly, etc.
Purposes of IGOs
- As mentioned earlier, IGOs may exist in any area where a state would deem cooperation to be beneficial. They may serve a variety of purposes:
1. Vehicles of Contact
- Forums under which discussions may occur concerning common problems
- Regularize communication
- Winny - “Jaw Jaw Better than War War
- Provide Common International Standards
- Regulate Sensitive materials - IAEA
- Alliances - NATO, Warsaw Pact
- Peacekeeping - UN
4. Resource Allocation (Distributive)
- IMF, IBRD, UNICEF
5. Supranational Government
Formation of IGOs
- The first IGOs emerged in the 19th century as a result of the industrial revolution, two main factors
1. Increased Abilities of Communication
- Issues could now be discussed
2. Increases in Trade and Transport
- The steamship changed the nature of travel and shipping. Both people and goods were better able to move from one country to another. Increased contact created a need for bodies to develop common standards with respect to goods - so that they could more easily be traded between states. Also, creating common access for the transport of goods. Changes led to the creation of new bodies to deal with the potential conflicts that occur from increased interaction.
- First Modern IO - The Rhine River Commission (1815). France, Britain, the Low Countries, the German States. Create access to the Rhine River for the purpose of commercial travel. Book says IGO.
- Followed by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (1875) established to create common standard for weights and measures.
- Early Ios were established to facilitate trade and Commerce. None threatened the sovereignty of the state.
- Explosion of IGOs occurred in this century. Should be noted that the vast majority of these organizations were formed for commercial purposes. By 1914, 70% had commercial functions, 23% social or cultural; and only 6% were security oriented.
1914 - 50
1956 - 132
1976 - 252
1993 - 400+
- Formation of the League of Nations (1919) and UN (1946). Clear expansion
into the realm of security and the movement beyond economic goals as an purposes
of the unions.
Reasons For the Increase in International Organizations
1. Devastation of 2 World Wars.
2. Increased Ease of Travel, Transport and Communication
3. Humanitarianism - Creation of Watchdogs - esp. after WWII and Camps
4. Proliferation - the belief that as international organizations have dealt with existing problems, that more and more problems can be addressed by IOs. W. Wilson - “Legislation Begets Legislation”.
Mitrany and the Functionalist School
- Father of this school of thought was David Mitrany. Essentially what Mitrany said was that gradual integration in a functional manner (dealing with specific emerging problems) leads to the formation of IOs. That as states begin to interact through social contacts, this will spill over into economic contact (IOs the result of integration), which will lead to political integration, which will finally lead to security integration. Essentially, that contact at one level will cause the expansion of contact at other levels. Now, this model to date has only been applicable (to at least some degree) to the European case. Limited Applicability. Yet, it serves as an interesting explanation for the evolution from the ECSC to the present day EU.
1945 ECSC EC CFSP
Social ------Economic -----------Political ------------------Defense/Security
Example of an IGO - The United Nations
- As perhaps the most famous international governmental organization, a brief examination of the United Nations might prove to provide a glimpse into the workings of an IGO.The idea for the United Nations sprang from the failure of the League of Nations and was bandied about throughout the Second World War. The United Nations Congress in San Francisco in 1945 had representatives from 50 countries, this conference drew up both the Charter of the United Nations and the statutes of the International Court of Justice.
- The basic purpose of the United Nations was to maintain international peace and security and to provide a forum for contact to achieve international cooperation. Within the UN all members, as sovereign nations, were to be considered equal (problem - security council & permanent members).
- Six Basic Organs to the United Nations
1. The General Assembly - Consists of representative of all member states within the United Nations. As of 1993, there were 179 members in the UN. All have an equal vote in General Assembly meetings. The GA approves the budget of the UN (mention the problem there), acts along with the Security Council to select the General Secretary, also passes resolutions on a multitude of issues ranging from security to social and economic issues. However, these recommendations have little force other than moral. The GA may also discuss security issues not presently being discussed by the security council.
2. The Security Council - Consists of 5 permanent members (the US, China, France, UK, & Russia) and 10 other members elected by the GA for 2 year terms. Each of the 5 permanent members can veto any important action brought before the security council. Procedural votes need a majority, substantive measures need a majority, plus the assent of the permanent members. The reason for the veto was a lesson drawn from the League of Nations, that in order for an organization to be effective, the Great Powers must agree to support its actions. Paralysis through the Cold War - Show the chart of Vetos From p. 73 of Papp
- The Security Council has as its primary responsibility the maintenance of peace and security. It may investigate any situation they see as posing a threat to international peace. They then recommend a method to solve the problem. 3 Possibilities
i. Pass a non-binding Resolution
ii. Recommend that the international community use measure short of force (economic sanctions, cutting of contact,etc). May require parties in dispute to appear before and have their dispute adjudicated by the international Court of Justice.
iii. Use Force - Originally intended to be a UN army (did not occur), now based on ad hoc arrangements. Usually Nord, Canadians & 3rd Worlders for peacekeeping.
- The post cold war euphoria has declined a little bit, this did not guarantee the end of the vetoes, the other question of who should be the permanent members has also emerged.
3. The Secretariat - Responsible for the day to day operations of the United Nations. Headed by the Secretary General - Kofi Annan - personal symbol of the UN. Do a little bit on SG - see notes from 438 lecture. Secretariat has a staff of about 5,000 provides info about the UN and publishes its reports and statistics.
4. Economic and Social Council - 54 members, each elected for a 3 year term. Primary function is to bring economic and social issues to the attention of the UN. It sits in session all year, and is the body of the UN with the greatest connection to INGOs, they are often asked to appear at hearings, etc in a consultative role.
- Functional Commissions that deal with: human rights; population; social development; status of women; economic issues; narcotic drugs
5. International Court of Justice - 15 Judges elected to 9 year staggered terms. Elected by the GA and the Security Council. Similar to the SG, the security council offers a recommendation which is voted on by the general assembly. Ostensibly, its main role is to determine whether or not a state has contravened the charter of the UN. In actuality, it hears few cases and its decisions are usually rejected by the losing party.
- Ex. Iran and Hostages, US and Contras
6. Trusteeship Council - Established to prepare the territories of the losers of WWII for independence. Of the 11 states, the last was granted independence in 1994 - Palau. Which was in trust to the United States. This body is virtually moribund, and only meets “as occasion demands”.
2. Multinational corporations
- Powerful and often criticized actors in the world.
- Show table from p. 95 of Papp
- How can a country with the economy of a Zambia - GNP - $4.7 billion hope to exercise influence equal to that of GM?
- Serve as a lightning rod for criticism from the LDC's. Four principle criticisms are offered: (1) low wages, in comparison to the home country are paid to locals (of course this is the attraction); (2) Failure to reinvest profits in the LDC's; (3) Swamp local firms - not only with respect to production, but also in terms of attracting local investment; (4) Undervalue the contributions of locals to the final product.
- Also, there are the persistent fears of political meddling and the ties between the MNC's and the host governments. Experience of Chile and Allende. Disparity in power between huge mnc's and micro states. Investment in the developing world, as a whole decreased in the 1980s, MNC's fingers were burned by the events in Chile, Iran, etc. Trend has been reversed, but investment is still rather uneven.
- MNC's are useful in that they are a source of investment, which cannot be obtained locally, and jobs. However, they still create unease in countries with experience as colonies - the belief that foreign control continues to be exercised even after the country has achieved independence. There is an inherent suspicion that the MNC's do not have the interests of the LDC at heart.
- American fears of Japan
3. International Non-Governmental Organizations
- Organizations of private citizens, members are drawn from many countries, but they are not acting in the name of their government. Variety of purposes - range from Greenpeace to the IRA. Over 10,000 INGOs at the present time.
- Terrorist Groups
- Religious Groups
- Humanitarian - Red Cross, Red Crescent, Amnesty International
- Influence decision making of IOs . They are called to testify at hearings, etc.
- Primary tool of influence is moral suasion.
- Do IOs lead to a more international world? Challenges to traditional Views.