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Lecture 23

POL208Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 23: Robert Keohane, John Ruggie, International Criminal Tribunal For The Former Yugoslavia


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL208Y1
Professor
Lilach Gilady
Lecture
23

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INTERNATIONAL REGIMES AND THE ENVIRONMENT
02.26.14
International Regime and the Environment
Types of International Institutions:
- International Organizations (IO’s): IGO’s; NGO’s
- International Regimes: a set of formal/informal rules, norms of behaviour,
and at times, organizations set around a specific issue area in international
politics.
oRegimes are often, but not always, codified in international treaties
and managed by international organizations (governance without
government)
- IO’s are institutions; not all international institutions are IO’s
- All International regimes are institutions; not all institutions are
international regimes
- (check slide)
Tragedy of the Commons
- Hardin: “ Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing
his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the
commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.”
- Common (public good): jointness of supply and non-exclusiveness
- Problem: Free riders
- Possible solutions: privatization, division to smaller numbers, selective
incentives, institutions
Transnational Issues
- Not all environmental issues stem from the ‘commons’ problem
- National borders do not match ‘natural’ boundaries: rivers, migrating species
Externalities:
Some ‘private goods’ have far reaching externalities: rain forests; mineral reserves;
fishing etc
- Externality: a term coined by economists. An externality occurs when a
decision imposes costs or provides benefits to individuals other than the
person making the decision; it can also refer to unintended consequences of
an activity.
- Driving a car  pollution
- Economic solution: internationalize the externalities
The Club of Rome
-Limits to Growth, 1972
- The perils of exponential growth – the water lily
- Problems grow exponentially becomes to big before you realize
- The boiling frog syndrome
oSuggestion that if you boiled a frog it will simply sit there, the heat
only increases gradually, by the time it realizes it’s being boiled it is
too late
- Pollution; population; consumption
- Conclusions: there are limits to growth – and we are approaching them
quickly – resource depletion
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INTERNATIONAL REGIMES AND THE ENVIRONMENT
02.26.14
Limits to Growth
- We need to look at the interaction between five factors; population, food,
industrial production, non-renewable natural resources, pollution
- If growth continues at the 1970 pace, it will last 100 years more before
collapsing
- Doubling time:
o1650  0.5 billion  0.3% annually  250 years
o1970  3.6 billion  2.1% annually  33 years
- The rich get richer and the poor have children
- Minerals – even if we assume that the global reserves of minerals are five
times larger than current estimates they will start running in 100 years
o1950-70 Mercury Price increase of %500
Neo-Malthusianism
- The problem of exponential growth: Neo-Malthusianism?
Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834)
- First political economic
-An Essay on the Principle of Population, 1798
- The population is growing exponentially; food is growing geometrically  an
inevitable disaster
- Solution: a moral restraint for the lower classes
- A real concern or conservative policies in disguise (north vs. south)?
- Was Malthus wrong?
- Is the problem population or consumption?
- An economic approach to environmental issues
oPreservationists: environment has a value on its own
oConservationists: conservation of the environment because we need it
 conserve it for our own enjoyment of life
The Club of Rome – Critique
- Alarmist
- Many of the predictions were wrong
- Social limits to growth (Hirsch, 1976)
- The Ultimate Resource
oIngenuity
oHuman invention
oAlways going to be a solution
The False Promise of International Institutions – John. J. Mearsheimer
- Western policymakers claim that the institutions that “served the West well”
before the Soviet Union collapsed must be reshaped to encompass Eastern
Europe as well.
- Robert Keohane, for example, declares that, “avoiding military conflict in
Europe after the Cold War depends greatyly on whether the next decade is
characterized by a continuous pattern of institutionalized cooperation”.
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INTERNATIONAL REGIMES AND THE ENVIRONMENT
02.26.14
- John Ruggie maintains that “there seems little doubt that multilateral norms
and institutions have helped stabilize their international consequences.
Indeed, such norms and institutions appear to be playing a significant role in
the management of a broad array of regional and global changes in the world
system today.”
- “Institutionalist” theories are largely a response to realism, and each directly
challenges realism’s underlying logic.
- Realists maintain that institutions are basically a reflection of the
distribution of power in the world.
- Institutionalists directly challenge this view of institutions, arguing instead
that institutions can alter state preferences and therefore change state
behaviour. Institutions can discourage states from calculating self-interest on
the basis of how every move affects their relative power positions.
What Are Institutions?
- … defining institutions are “recognized patterns of behaviour or practice
around which expectations converge” allows the concept to cover almost
every regularized pattern of activity between states.
- I define institutions as a set of rules that stipulate the ways in which states
should cooperate and compete with each other. They prescribe acceptable
forms of state behaviour, and proscribe unacceptable kinds of behaviour.
- It is not the organization per se that compels states to obey the rules
- Institutions, in short, call for the “decentralized cooperation of individual
sovereign states, without any effective mechanism of command”
Realism
- The pessimistic view of how the world works can be derives from realism’s
five assumptions about the international system. The first is that that
international system is anarchic.
- However, “anarchy” as employed by realists has nothing to do with conflict;
rather it is an ordering principle, which says that the system comprises
independent political units (states) that have no central authority above
them
- The second assumption is that states inherently possess some offensive
military capability, which gives them the wherewithal to hurt and possibly to
destroy each other. States are potentially dangerous to each other.
- The fourth assumption is that the most basic motive driving states is survival.
State want to maintain their sovereignty.
- The fifth assumption is that states think strategically about how to survive in
the international system. States are instrumentally rational.
Cooperation in a Realist World
- Because states in a realist world are concerned about the balance of power,
they must be motivated primarily by relative gains concerns when
considering cooperation.
Institutions in a Realist World
- Realists also recognize that states sometimes operate through institutions.
However, they believe that those rules reflect state calculations of self-
interest based primarily on the international distribution of power.
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