Hey Everyone, we decided to create a google doc with potential ID’s for midterm. Feel free to
put what you think is important for each ID. If you think of a potential ID that is not listed please
feel free to add it.
Concert of Europe
The Concert of Europe was established during the Congress of Vienna (November 1814- June
The Concert of Europe was a product of a Europe-wide process of unification and division
arising out of the Napoleonic Wars.
The Concert of Europe had a great impact on 19 century international relations and according
to most analyses it was remarkably positive (because of three factors):
1. After centuries of unending wars the Concert enabled Europe to enjoy a few decades of
2. On a conceptual level, the Concert helped to construct the idea of Europe and the European
3. The Concert of Europe profoundly changed the conduct of foreign policy by instituting a
multilateral framework based on conference diplomacy
The Concert of Europe only consisted of great powers; lesser states were only consulted when
their interests were involved.
Historical impact: The Concert of Europe helped to reconfigure the international system by
institutionalizing a hierarchy of states.
Readings: Vincent Pouliot and Jean-Philippe Therien discussed the Concert of Europe in their
UNSC= United Nations Security Council
● Created in 1946
● An Organ of the United Nations in charge of the maintenance of peace and security.
● The Charter specifies it’s role in establishing peacekeeping operations, international
sanctions and authorizing military Action
● Voeten talks about its ability to legitimize the use of force, and it provides a shortcut to
the public on what is likely to happen if a country were to go on a foreign adventure
● It’s tools to maintain peace and security are:
○ Diplomacy through mediation and arbitration
○ Economic sanctions
■ appreciated by the public because less costly than military operations ○ Military operations
○ Designed by the US. Soviet Union and Great Britain
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization that was founded after the Paris
Peace Conference that helped end World War 1. It was the first international organization that
was created to help maintain world peace.
If a dispute did occur, the League, under its Covenant, could do three things - these were known
as its sanctions:
-->It could call on the states in dispute to sit down and discuss the problem in an orderly and
-->If the states in dispute failed to listen to the Assembly’s decision, the League could introduce
economic sanctions. This would be arranged by the League’s Council. The purpose of this
sanction was to financially hit the aggressor nation so that it would have to do as the League
-->if this failed, the League could introduce physical sanctions. This meant that military force
would be used to put into place the League’s decision. However, the League did not have a
military force at its disposal and no member of the League had to provide one under the terms
of joining--unlike the UN.
Why the League failed:
1) Incomplete Membership (The USA refused to join)
2) There were differing views of the leagues purpose
3) Close association with WW1 settlements ( As Germany had started the war, according to the
Treaty of Versailles, one of her punishments was that she was not considered to be a member
of the international community and, therefore, she was not invited to join. This was a great blow
to Germany but it also meant that the League could not use whatever strength Germany had to
support its campaign against aggressor nations.
4) Insufficient attention to economic and social issues
5) Collective security without teeth
6) Rule of consensus
At a social level the League did have success and most of this is easily forgotten with its failure
at a political level. Many of the groups that work for the United Nations now, grew out of what
was established by the League.
- “The ratchet effect the commonly observed phenomenon that some processes cannot go backwards
once certain things have happened” in other words, once a precedent has been set within politics, it is
hard for future organizations to go back on it. This is demonstrated through the relations of the Concert of
Europe, The League of Nations and the UN. (see Pouliot-Thérien reading) Principal-Agent theory
- the relations between different agents involved
- the principal = State
- the agent = Organization
- are IOs really autonomous? are they responsible for their actions, that
- there is slippage while there is a line of delegation
Neilson Reading explains P-A theory
The principle (states) hire an agent (IOs) to perform some function.
The principles delegate functions to IOs because they are more efficient at doing that function
than they would be on their own
The principles do not pay the significant cost associated with micromanaging the agents, which
open the doors to the "agency slippage" = the agent (IO) takes advantage of the absence of the
state that may not conform to the idea the states had at the time of delegation
Theory of the Firm
Firms are created when the transaction costs of direct contracting are too high for efficient
● In this theory the IO represents the personnel within the firm that are granted authority.
The shareholders and board of directors represent the states.
Political Market Failure
This concept describes the situation when the allocation of good and services in a free market is
not efficient. It is often the cause for government intervention.
Some reasons for Political Market Failure may be
● Time inconsistent preferences
● information asymmetries
● principal-agent problems
● public goods
For neo liberals, Political Market Failure is the result of countries defecting instead of
cooperating in the prisoner's dilemma, and for liberals, IOs are created by governments to deal
with these failures. How?
● Increased number of transactions
States part of an IO will have more dealings over time, eventually benefits will come as this
creates a good reputation for eventual cooperation. Repetition of transaction over time also
allows defectors to be punished.
● Issue linkage IOs help link different issues together, so that if the first issue doesn’t seem to be good/doesn’t
provide anything interesting for the country at first, it will still cooperate to get the benefits from
that next issue that will be resolved.
● Increased information
The puzzle is cooperation, so more information makes non-compliance more difficult as
everyone knows who’s doing what. Cost of defecting much greater if everyone knows you’re
defecting. Fosters more cooperation.
● reduced transaction costs
Costs of doing business together/cooperating. States know that when they want to cooperate,
they know who they must go to - the IO! So it reduces the transaction costs of cooperating.
Paris Peace Conference
● the Paris Peace Conference was held in 1919, at the end of the First World War
● The Conference led to the creation of the League of Nations, the first first international
political organization with an international mandate
● The conference was dominated by the “Big Four” (USA, UK, France and Italy); however,
small states were given the unprecedented possibility to express their opinions
● The draft proposal for an eventual body of the League was drafted by the USA and UK;
however, small states were able to discuss it (partly exclusive deliberation and approval)
● ultimately, the Council of the League was formed by 9 members (with permanent seats
given to the great powers). This resolution affirmed the right of primacy of the great
When the agent doesn’t comply to the principal’s demand.
Principals can employ certain tools to rein in slacking agents: oversight, procedural check and
balances, threat to redraft contracts.
The San Francisco Conference
The great powers' monopoly on the design of the UN and SC had prompted many small/
middle powers to express criticism deeming it anti-democratic. Organizers of the San Francisco
conference were therefore faced with a formidable political challenge:
- The challenge (argued by Hurd) was met by a strategy of legitimation by the sponsoring states
that relied above all else on the legitimating power of procedural correctness.
The section on the SC, just like the rest of the Charter, was reviewed by a committee in which
any state could propose amendments and where decisions were made by a two-thirds majority.
Therefore the great powers were obliged to convince other states into accepting their schemes. Pouliot and Therien conclude that as argued by Hurd, the debate in San Francisco on the
Security Council was legitimation in action.
- It is clear that the structure of the Security Council ultimately coincided with the interests of
the great powers, but the process leading to the adoption of that structure reflected a
democratic principle of inclusion
Razali Plan - Pouliot Reading
- At the end of the Cold War, a consensus quickly grew amongst UN members that the existing
composition of the SC did not reflect the reality of world politics.
-For example: India argued that population should preside over expansion, while Nigeria
made reference to the opening sentence of the Charter- “We the peoples”-- to declare
that for the SC to be representative it must reflect the population distribution of the world
- Around the same time the “Coffee Club” came out against any expansion in the permanent
category, emphasizing the inherent inequality of that status (led by Italy).
- In order to solve the deadlock, in '97 GA President Ismail Razali presented a reform plan
proposing five new permanent seats and four new non-permanent seats
- The plan was defeated when the Coffee Club was able to secure