POL 208 Transnational Actors and International Organizations notes

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Department
Politics and Public Administration
Course
POL 208
Professor
Abbas Gnamo
Semester
Winter

Description
Transnational Actors and international Organizations in World Politics Key Points Textbook notes Pg. 330 The concept of the ‘state’ has three very different meanings: a legal person, a political community, and a government. The countries and governments around the world may be equal in law, but have few political similarities. Many governments control fewer resources than many transnational actors. It cannot be assumed that all country-based political systems are more coherent than global systems, particularly as national loyalties do not match country boundaries By abandoning the language of ‘states’ and ‘non-state’ actors, we can admit the possibility of theorizing about many types of actor in global politics. By distinguishing government from society and nation from country, we can ask whether private groups, companies, and national minorities in each country engage in transnational relations. Pg. 332 The ability of TNCs to change transfer process, means that they can evade taxation or government controls on their international financial transaction The ability of TNCs to use triangulation means that individual governments cannot control their country’s international trade The ability of TNCs to move production form one country to another means that individual governemnts are constrained in regulating and taxing companies The structure of authority over TNCs generates the potential for intense conflict between governments, when the legal authority of one government has extraterritorial impact on the sovereignty of another government In some area of economic policy, governments have lost sovereignty and regulation now has to be exercised at the global level rather than by governments acting independently Pg. 334 Effective action against transnational criminals by individual governments is difficult for the same reasons as control of TNCs is difficult Groups using violence to achieve political goals generally do not achieve legitimacy, but in exceptional circumstances they may be recognized as national liberation movements and take part in diplomacy The transnational activities of criminals and guerrillas shift problems of the domestic policy of countries into the realm of global politics Terrorism may be particular to individual countries, have transnational aspects, or be carried out by groups in a transnational network, but it is not a single political force. Governments cannot act as independent sovereign actors in response to terrorism, nor using violence themselves. Pg. 336 Most transnational actors can expect to gain recognition as NGOs by the UN, provided that they are not individual companies, criminals, or violent groups and they do not exist solely to oppose an individual government The ECOSOC statue provides an authoritative statement that NGOs have legitimate place in governmental diplomacy The Creation of global economy leads to the globalization of unions, commercial bodies, the professions, and scientists in international NGOs NGOs made the internet a public global communications system Governments can no longer control the flow of information across the borders of their country NGOs from each country may combine in four ways: as international NGOs; as advocacy networks; as caucuses; and as governance networks Pg. 337 International organizations are structures for political communication. They are systems that constrain the behaviour of their members. Governments form intergovernmental organizations and transnational actors form international non-governmental organizations. In Addition, governments and transnational actors accord each other equal status by jointly creating hybrid international organizations. International organizations are more than collective will of their members. They have distinct impact upon other global actors Pg. 340 The high/low politics distinction is used to marginalize transnational actors. It is invalid because politics does not reduce to these 2 categories A simple concept of power will not explain outcomes. Military economic resources are not the only capabilities communication facilities; information, authority, and status are also important political assets Different policy domains contain different actors, depending upon the salience of the issues being debated TNCs gain influence through the control of economic resources. The NGOs gain influence through possessing information gaining high status, and communicating effectively. TNCs and NGOs have been the main source of economic and political change in global politics Lecture Notes Problems with state centric approaches • Three meanings of concept of the ‘state’: o A Legal person o A political community o A government Core Ideas in liberal IR • Post –1945 increase in international institutions catalyzed integration theory in Europe and pluralism in US • Early 1970s: Pluralism as significant challenge to realism o New actors (Transnational corporations, NGOs) o New patterns of interaction (interdependence, integration) • Dominant Strands of Liberal IR today o Democratic peace liberalism o Neo-liberalism • Neo-liberalism: more sophisticated theoretical challenge to contemporary realism o Explains durability of institutions despite changes in context o Institutions shape state preferences and lock them into cooperative arrangements Globalization Sceptics • Globalization, according to them, is an illusion because the state still exists • Because enterprises still belong to one particular state in the sense that their headquarters are located in the territory of the state from which they sprang • Problems with state –centric approaches • State-centric approach reduces international relations to less than 200 states, and ignores the roles of non-state actors • Often governments control less resources than transnational actors o Not all national political systems are coherent o Distinguish government from society and nation from country • Theorizing about different actors o How do private groups, companies, and national minorities engage in transnational relations? Actors in Global Politics • Nearly 200 governments, including 192 members of UN • 82,100 major transnational companies Basic Concepts 1) Transnational actor- Any governmental actor from one country that has relations with any other from another country or with international organization 2) Nation state- would exist if nearly all the members of a single nation were org
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