International Organizations Since the End Term Paper

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International Organizations

Since the end of the Cold War, there have been serious debates concerning the reconsideration of the world order. The Cold War marked the unchanged situation in which the national state represented the most important actor of the international scene. Moreover, at the time of the bipolar system, the realist line of thought placed the focus on the possibility of the nations to shape and constantly change their politics without being able to change the system. Therefore, during the Cold War it can be said that although the system was made up of the nation states, there were other forces as well that influenced the way in which international politics was being developed. In the late 1970s, these forces argued the promoters of institutionalisms were the non-state actors, more precisely the NGOs and the international governmental organizations. By the end of the Cold War however, these structures assumed more and more a leading role in shaping the conduct of foreign policy. Nowadays, the United Nations tends to play a more important part than in the early 50s when it emerged on the international scene as the leading actor in peace operations. Even more, there are various organizations throughout the world such as the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund which through their actions influence the economic strategies of developing countries and try to create a worldwide financial discipline.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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However, there are also voices that point out the shortcomings of a system based on the power of institutions. More precisely, the historical evolution of events following the end of the Cold War has revealed a certain vulnerability of the system in which international institutions are considered to be the most important actors. In this sense, it is often argued that in fact international institutions have little power outside its member states (Slaughter, 1997). Therefore, the actions of the United Nations cannot be conducted and even agreed upon without the full consent of its members. Also, the activities of the IMF or the WB are explicit considerations of the way in which the members view and perceive the financial policy of the 21st century. Thus, there is no clear distinction between the way in which a state manifests on the international scene and the way in which it acts inside an institution.

With these concerns in mind, there have been many analysts that have tried to argue possible scenarios for the redefinition of the world order, a term considered in the first instance by former American president George Bush. One such opinion is the one presented by Anne Slaughter which argues that the "real new world order" is in fact a new set of principles that take into account the fragmentation of the structure of the state. More precisely she point out that the world will become a system in which the defining elements will be the transgovernamental relations and connections and not the interstate relations at the national level. However, there are particular issues which must be taken int account in order to assess the viability of her argument.

First and foremost, in her analysis Slaughter mentions the parallel between the institutional approach and the new medievalism theory which argued the lack of importance in the world of the national state (183). Indeed, the arguments proposed by the author of the new medievalism, Matthews consider the fact that the national state is no longer a strategic point in the conduct of international politics and the freedom of the institutions to associate rather than to create a hierarchical order. In this sense, "the result is a world order in which global governance network links Microsoft, the Roman Catholic Church, and Amnesty International to the European Union, the United Nations, and Catalonia" (Slaughter, 1997, 184). However, Slaughter, who tries to develop the idea of transgovernamentalism points out the weaknesses of the new medievalism theory. On the one hand, the power of the private sector cannot substitute the power of the national structure, and on the other hand, the relationship between the state and the transnational corporations is not a matter of a win-loss condition. In regard to the latter point, Slaughter argues that the gains of the corporations are strictly related to their relations with the national state. Indeed, from the point-of-view of the arguments presented by Slaughter, it must be pointed out that under no conditions have the states been powerless to stop an evolution of the international markets. This is largely due to the fact that, despite its global nature, the world markets are still dominated by the laws and regulations of the states in which corporations activate. The global market is in fact a virtual place; the physical place is still determined by national boundaries, by national legislation and by the rules of conduct which define the activities inside the country.

Secondly, in her Foreign Affairs article of 1997 where she discusses the issue of transgovernamentalism, Slaughter considers this notion to be suited for the direction in which the world is headed. Thus, she points out that "the state is not disappearing; it is disaggregating into its separate, functionally distinct parts. These parts- courts, regulatory agencies, executives, and even legislatures- are networking with their counterparts abroad, creating a dense web of relations that constitutes a new, transgovernamental order. Today's international problems- terrorism, organized crime, environmental degradation, money laundry, bank failure, and securities fraud- created and sustained these relations" (184).

The theory proposed by Slaughter tries to underline precisely the shortcomings of the theories stated before which have tried to define the new world order. On the one hand, she mentions the different parts of the national state which are now becoming more and more visible at the international level. In this sense, it is clear that the national institutions have come to develop their own individuality in the international context. As an example, she point out the fact that "national and international judges are networking, becoming increasingly aware of one another and of their stake in a common enterprise (...) the Israeli Supreme Court and the German and Canadian constitutional courts have long researched U.S. Supreme Court precedents in reaching their own conclusions on questions like the freedom of speech, privacy rights, and due process" (Slaughter, 1997, 186).

The European Court of Justice of the European Union is yet another relevant case in this sense. Although the European Union's structure and principles are slightly different from the ones promoted at the global level, taking into account its supranational structure, the Court uses the human resources of the national state. More precisely, the judges who decide on matters of Communitarian relevance are in fact directly appointed by the national states from the structures of their own ministries of Justice. Therefore, inside the Communitarian framework, the particular origin of the judges is felt. Despite their oath of impartiality, the actual process of nominalization is important. At the level of the European Union, the ministries of Justice interconnect outside the national borders, however, maintaining their adherence to the national system in each country.

Another relevant example for pointing out the viability of Slaughter's initial argument is that of the twinning processes which take place at the level of the European Union and the candidate countries. According to the accession process, the institutions from the candidate countries benefit from the experience and the technology of the Member States through the so called process of institutional twinning. Therefore, the national boundaries are no longer considered to be an impediment but at the same time the assistance targets only particular aspects of the national apparatus. In this sense, the ministry of Justice from a particular country establishes cooperation relations with other ministries from the member countries on particular issues. This strategy comes to point out precisely the elements supported by Slaughter that reveal the increased independence of the institutions from the national system, but still their compliance with the national framework. Therefore, it must be pointed out that unlike the new medievalism theory which argues a complete removal of the national authority of the state, the trasngovernamentalist theory considers the national boundaries as being needed precisely for the definition of the norms that in the end govern the different institutions of the state in their outside relations.

Secondly, Slaughter mentions in her early statement that the issue of transnational threats has created and maintains the need for an increased relation between different parts of the national governments. Indeed, taking into account the events that marked the early post Cold War history, the crimes against humanity in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and the Congo, there are increasing threats which cannot be dealt with at the national level, nor in the framework established by the international organizations and corporations with the total absence of the national states. The hunger that struck Somalia after the continuous fighting in the area determined a situation that was completely out of the control of the national authorities. However, the UN and other relief agencies tried to intervene in the region… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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