Hurd- Chapter 2.doc

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University of British Columbia
Political Science
POLI 364
Katharina Coleman

• Chapter 2-Aguide to the study of international organizations ◦ shape politics & controversies among countries ◦ e.g. - international court deciding a state has violated its legal obligations, UN sending peacekeepers to intervene in a conflict ◦ centers of diplomacy & negotiation- World Trade Organization, UN GeneralAssembly ◦ provide tools/resources to advance countries’interests in world politics ◦ diverse & sophisticated entities w/ overlapping & conflicting social, legal & political dimensions, varying in areas of authority, internal structures, and political salience ◦ Three views on ontology: actor, forum, resource ◦ Three views on methodology: contracts, regimes, constructivism • IOs as actors ◦ constituted by international law as independent entities, legally independent of the states that make them up as founders & members ◦ have “international legal personality” with certain rights & obligations, can sue & be sued ◦ must be recognized by international community as actors whose decisions have impact ◦ IOs are composed of units of units which are themselves independent actors ◦ International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrant for Sudanese president based on war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur ◦ • IOs as fora • also places in space & time- buildings, conferences, schedules of meetings • IO often has no role other than as a focal point or physical location with support staff • 19th century European practice of holding ad hoc government conferences > Geneva Conventions > institutionalized in UN after 1945 with major UN-sponsored conferences on environment & development (Rio 1993), human rights (Vienna 1994), status of women (Mexico City 1975, Beijing 1995) • most IOs include plenary body representing all members (exception = International Court of Justice (ICJ)- ICC hasAssembly of States Parties, WTO has General Council, ILO has International Labor Conference • UN General assembly can make recommendations but has little legally binding power • However, WTO’s Dispute Settlement Board can take important decisions such as overturning Dispute Settlement Panel decisions, but only when all members agree • transaction costs for diplomacy are reduced, even if its just for blowing off steam • IOs as resources • political resources states use to pursue domestic & international goals • states use statements, decisions & other outputs of IOs to support their own positions • states fight over what IOs should say/do & over what IO statements mean- e.g UNSC Resolution 242 requires Israel withdraw from Palestinian territory seized in 1957 war • competing interpretations allow parties to maintain Council supports their policies and the other side is violating its obligations • international organizations have little control over how their names, decisions, and outputs are used by states- e.g. governments blame International Monetary Fund (IMF) for forcing them to make unpopular policy changes despite IMF’s lack of authority • states often seek to have ICJ hear their disputes even if they doubt that the other party will respect the outcome to use the other state’s non- compliance as a political tool • IOs are often marginalized by powerful actors- e.g. 1980s UN SecGen diplomatic solution to contested govern
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