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Why states act through formal international organizations

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Gloria Shkurti

on 13 March 2014

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Transcript of Why states act through formal international organizations

Participation in IO leads to less violence in international conflicts
Even the most powerful states often act through IO
IOs allow for centralization of collective activities through organizational structure--- which leads to efficiency
IO-s allows the independence of the MS - but at the same time MS can limit the power of IOs
There are two main characteristics that lead states to prefer the IO forms of institutionalization
Most of the IO perform a specific function or a unique combination of them...
The functions of IOs
Leads to efficiency
MS grant authority to IOs, but supervise them as well

IO have played a mayor role in many instances
The role of IO extends even further to include the development of norms and practices that help to define states themselves
The fact that IOs have not been abandoned by the states is a testimony to both their actual value and perhaps greater potential
Putting IOs into theory and theory into IOs
Main approach: Rationalist and institutionalist approach
Assumption: MS are principal actors and they use IOs to create social orderings

There are 5 main theories analysed in the article:

1. Regime Theory
2. Decentralized Cooperation Theory
3. Legal Scholarship
4. Realist theory
5. Constructivist Theory

Kenneth W. ABBOTT

Why states act through formal international organizations?
: a concrete organizational structure and administrative apparatus managing collective activities
: the authority to act with a degree of autonomy and often with neutrality
Functions may be:
Facilitation of negotiations
Implementation of agreements
Resolving disputes
Managing conflicts
Shaping international discourse.. etc

Rational states will use or create a formal IO when the value of these functions outweighs the costs.
Regime Theory:

deals with IO too generally
deals with institutional factors to analyze cooperation
reduce importance of IOs= institutions are passive ( see them as norms)
Decentralized Cooperation Theory
assumes anarchy
analyzes how states cooperate
cooperation is unlikely without institutional context
Legal Scholarship
analyzes the difference between institutional forms
emphasizes institutional details
Realist Theory
States never approach to IOs
IOs are of little interest
IOs only reflect national interest

(yet it does undermine role of IOs, also
powerful states like USA or Russia use IOs)
Constructivist Theory
focuses on beliefs, values, knowledge, understandings..
social constructions are important for cooperation in international politics
IOs are participants as well as reflections

Two main characteristics:

Support for state interactions
Managing substantive operations
Joint Production
Norm elaboration and coordination
Support for direct state interaction (IOs make states aware that they fail to comply)
Managing substantive operations ( IOs push negotiations forward
Negotiating forum
Allows for specialization about certain issues in cooperation
Strengthening of issue linkages (link one thing to another)
Protection of weaker states
Gives tasks to the countries
Provide research

Memeber states of IO uses institution as an agent (like World Bank)
Provides technical assistance, observes the market, etc…
Joint production
Reduce transaction costs by providing advantages
Provides technical assistance
Joint Production
Organized hierarchically
With supervision of MS
E.g. Airbus, NATO

Norm elaboration and coordination
Cooperation through agreements
Mutual recognition and agreements to facilitate determination of rights and duties

activities that are originally in state-to state form and were impossible, become possible when the form becomes institution- state
IO as neutral information provider
IO as trustee (neutral party)
IO as allocator (allocates scarce resources to avoid deadlock)
IO as arbiter (ICJ, ECJ, ECHR)
IO in facilitative intervention ( improve information about actors, transmits private offers to reduce transaction costs)
IO in binding intervention (IO issue binding decision with consent of all parties)
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