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January 9 - Lecture Notes - International Organizations.docx
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Department
Political Science
Course
POLS 2940
Professor
Sandra Withworth
Semester
Winter

Description
January 9, 2013 International Institutions/Organizations  This week and next we’re looking at international organizations, international law and human rights  Still using theoretical categories from first term for this week and next week  Realists and critical theorists: skeptical about prospects for international institutions for different reasons o Liberal pluralists: are very optimistic about the possibilities for international institutions  This makes sense: think about emergence of international relations about a debate between realists and idealists  They are debating about in part, the failure of an early international organization that was focused on security (The League of Nations) o Realism emerges as in a way a critique to international organizations and their possibilities  Realists: International organizations do exist but states will abide by them only when it is in their interests to do so  Less powerful may more commonly have an interest to abide by whatever an international institution tells them they should do, but for realists, that’s only true if it’s in their interests to do so  Powerful states rarely have to abide by anything an international organization attempts to tell them to do  International institutions temporarily have to be dealt with by states, but they don’t think they add much in terms of international politics o Critical Theory: also skeptical about the contribution that international organizations make to global politics but for different reasons  Their reasons are: international institutions, especially the ones we deal with today are products of the norms of western powerful states sought to enact globally  They act on the interests of the most powerful states – not just the most militarily powerful  Critical theorists aren’t just interested the power associated with economic wealth and power too  They’d say international intuitions have created conditions for a form of world order, but they’d ask in whose interests does that order serve.  Largely they’d look at interests of west or north  They’d say yes they’ve involved in embedding norms but it’s certain types of norms that benefit the west/north  Would talk about international organization both as something we look at when we examine specific organizations, they’ll also use the term as a term about the process of organizing internationally  That’s tied into their argument that process is one that is driven by particular dominant interests (dominant state interest, dominant class interests)  You don’t tend to see gender argument that way – they usually look at gender effects  Post-colonial race argument o Liberals: by contrast, are optimistic  Liberals were looking for ways to create institutions that would harness our collective humanity – allow us to escape irrationality of war  They think it’s possible to do this through international institutions  They’d argue that even if powerful states do not always abide by what international institutions tell it to do, states are regularly, even powerful states are modifying their behavior in reaction to international organizations  Liberals, these are an example of effective cooperation between states  You don’t get an international organization, especially environmental governmental organization without state cooperation  Additionally, they create space for further cooperation – once exist, they create possibilities  Term clarifications: o International Organization – general term o U.N. is an international government organization(IGO) – membership constituted by states o Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) o International non-governmental organization (INGOs)  Emergence of international organizations will be discussed and history of U.N.  Prior to WWI, not a great deal of international organization activity happening globally  There are some commissions, some organizations that are aimed at accomplishing very specific ends or providing oversight of specific areas o International postal union (sometime in 1800s) o International fisheries commission- oversee and try to create fisheries  some early attempts to organize states about some specific issues  first truly international security organization was the League of Nations o was created post WWII, 1919 o created in an effort to avoid the irrationality of large-scale and particularly European- wide wars o WWI is considered a war that is entered into absolutely irrationally – had leaders taken the time to communicate with each other, they may have avoided this catastrophic war o League of nations was part of peace settlement, an attempt to create and institution that will allow states to avoid the resort to war o Will give them a form to discuss issues that will assert a pause as tensions rise between states to help them avoid war o Was based on principle of collective security = all members had to respect and preserve against external aggression on territorial integrity or existing political independence of all members of the league  Were supposed to assist one another if anyone else’s territorial integrity or existing political independence was challenged  Notice language: existing political independence, avoided addressing issue of colonialism – if political independence were to arise in your country after the fact they were in no way obliged to assist you with that o Membership in beginning was 41 states o Approximately 20 more members joined but other members left o Never had more than 55 members at any given point o Number of features of the league that signal to us what would then happen with the UN later  First off, executive council in which a small member of states sit and an assembly for all members of league of nation  One of the things about league was that every member of league had a veto  Anything league might attempt to do, any member could veto it (could stop it) –  Unique to league: U.S. president’s Wilson articulated this idea of finding ways to create democratic spaces to allow states to avoid the recourse to war  His senate wouldn’t ratify this agreement even though this was a huge proponent to league of nations, US was never a member  Another significant element at least in terms of troubles it quickly encountered: it’s very much a product of the peace agreements that comes out of WWI  Comes out of treaty of Versailles, Associated with peace settlement  Later as European states begin to resist or become angry at terms of peace settlement, they focused on the terms of the peace settlement and the league is one of them (institution arising out of terms of peace settlement) o League is really a relatively unique accomplished for that time o It’s directly focusing on security – avoiding war  It’s largely a complete and utter failure – it’s unable to stop Japan’s attacks on China and Nigeria in 1931, can’t do anything when Italy and Germany intervene in Spain in 1936, doesn’t stop Japan’s attacks against Shanghai in 1937, and of course cannot stop Hitler's .... of Austria in 1938, of Czechoslovakia in 1938- 1939, nor is it able to stop the coming of WWII o so an institution entirely aimed at avoiding war/large-scale European war is unsuccessful in doing so  WWI = about 35,000,000 causalities dead and injured  WWII 78,000,000 dead, not even including injured o This event is partly what promotes realist criticisms of idealism  They see the principles of idealism embodied in this institution – supposed to secure our common humanity and avoid recourse to war, then we have another even more catastrophic war occur about 20 yrs. after the first o Not just a failure, if you’re a realist it isn’t just a failure its dangerous  It was thinking that maybe it could work that probably even preanticipated WWII  Dangerous because state leaders probably didn’t act as quickly as they should have to recognize the aggression of the other members states of the league  League members if wanted to invade or attack other states would either veto the league’s resolutions that attempted to stop them or they’d just quit the league  Those are the two ways of avoiding any sanction or attempt to control them within the league  Japan opted left, rejoined for a while, then joined again – other states have too  Even though league is a failure, as we approached end of WWII, there’s discussion among western allies of need to create new institution o So it’s a failure but there’s still some hope that an international institution might work o Washington Declaration = UN term started to be used = 26 nations pledged to fight Germany, japan, Italy – where soviet union and US formalized their alliance o A year later, China, Soviet Union and US issued statement saying they had plans to create new internationally organization when the war they were in comes to an end o This was done for 2 reasons  1) they understand when this war is over they’re going to be very busy – if they don’t start talking about it before end of war, it’s unlikely that as states transition into post-war operating,  2) don’t want this new organization to be seen as associated with a peace settlement as the league had been – want organization to emerge somewhat independent of an actual peace settlement in terms of whatever treaties might be adopted  Not sure why they thought this was possible, they’re talking about this in context of WWII o UN charter is signed in June, 1945 – created UN very quickly after end of WWI  Singed by 50 states, Poland singed a day or two later – (accounts for difference in members listed some places) o Goals:  1) to save future generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind  2) to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights  3) to establish conditions under which justice and respect for international law could be maintained  4) to promote social progress, better living standards, and larger freedom o So there’s a number of elements to it, it’s not just a security organization: human rights, security, social justice, and economic development – even signals importance of social progress and better living standards o There’s 193 member states of UN, numerous other non-member organizations have a right to observe what’s going on in the UN o Currently 2 non member states  Rome is one of them because pope has sovereignty over that area  Enormously complex organization  Showed us organizational chart for the UN today  Number of features of it that are related to the League of Nations, attempted to get some of those problems with it o One element of UN is the general assembly: all member states sit o Nonmember states can sit there but have limited impact with discussions  This is where a lot of the debate and discussion goes on in UN  We mostly think of large room when we think of general assembly  For anything to pass, they need a 2/3 vote – not simple majority voting  Technically, general assembly has a number of approval functions: must approve new US senatary generals, approve new member states/non-member states of UN, none of their resolutions in a strict legal sense are binding  Ex. If they wanted to hold gov’t of Syria responsible for what’s going on, they can say that but it isn’t binding on member states – no legal obligation for member states to respond to that  All members have one vote, 1 member = 1 vote  There’s something called the 5 committee, that’s the budget, this is legal, a binding resolution, they make an exception for that  Usually resolutions have to do with the sentiment of member states o This is in contrast with the security council  On this sites the 5 permanent members and 5 non-permanent members  Permanent members are U.S., Russia, China, France and Great Britain  There are 10 non-permanent, rotating members  They rotate in and out every year, 5 new ones go in per year, next year another 5… 5 in at a time for 2 year terms  This is a coveted spot – states always trying to get into one of those non- permanent member spots  Canada still is highest repeater country for non-permanent memb
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