Presentation on theme: "July 1: What is the role of international organizations and do they really matter? Abbot, Kenneth and Duncan Snidal. 1998. Why States Act through Formal."— Presentation transcript:
1 July 1: What is the role of international organizations and do they really matter? Abbot, Kenneth and Duncan Snidal Why States Act through Formal Organizations. Journal of Conflict Resolution 42:3-32.
2 Last class take-home point Analytical tool:Time inconsistent preference problemA.K.A. (also known as):Commitment problemPresent bias
4 Dramatic actionUnited Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions on LibyaInternational Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors in North KoreaUnited Nations (UN) peacekeepers in the Middle EastNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in BosniaThe Uruguay Round the World Trade Organization (WTO) & the dispute settlement mechanism
5 Ongoing action: Global health policy (the WHO) Development (the World Bank)Monetary policy (the International Monetary Fund)Participation reduces the chances of war among membersParticipation increases the chances of democracy
6 Various sizes: From: To: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) - $2 million budget (pays for their annual meeting?)To:European Union (EU) - verging on a sovereign stateWorld Bank - >10,000 employees from 160 countries (2/3 in Washington)IMF (Aug. 2008: $341 billion)
8 Finding research on IOs: Google Scholar!!!ISI Web of Science
9 IOs allow for: CENTRALIZATION INDEPENDENCE A concrete and stable organizational structure and an administrative apparatus managing collective activitiesMay allow for immediate action (UN Security Council)Or for specialization (OECD has >200 working groups)May have flexible design (IMF voting structure) or be rigid (UN Security Council)INDEPENDENCEThe ability/authority to act with a degree of autonomy within defined spheres
10 Rational choice perspective: LEADERS found/use IOs when benefits of cooperation outweigh (sovereignty) costsIOs produce collective goods in PD settings & solve coordination problemsCoordination problems?E.g., Battle of the sexes game
12 Prisoner's Dilemma:A non-cooperative, non-zero-sum game. (Mixed game of cooperation and conflict.)Individual rationality brings about collective irrationality.
13 Example…You're reading Tchaikovsky's music on a train back in the USSR.KGB agents suspect it's secret code.They arrest you & a "friend" they claim is Tchaikovsky."You better tell us everything. We caught Tchaikovsky, and he's already talking…"
14 You know that this is ridiculous – they have no case. But they may be able to build a case using your testimony and "Tchaikovsky's."If you "rat" out your "friend" – they will reduce your sentence.If not, they will throw the book at you.
16 The same situation can occur whenever "collective action" is required. The collective action problem is also called the "n-person prisoner's dilemma."Also called the "free rider problem.""Tragedy of the commons."All have similar logics and a similar result:Individually rational action leads to collectively suboptimal results.
17 Is cooperation ever possible in Prisoner's Dilemma? Yes In repeated settingsAxelrod, Robert M The Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Basic Books.
18 So, IOs facilitate cooperation by coordinating states on superior equilibria/outcomes And lower the transaction costs of doing so
19 Alternatives to the rational-institutionalist perspective
20 Realist theoryStates do not cede to supranational institutions the strong enforcement capacities necessary to overcome international anarchyThus, IOs and similar institutions are of little interestThey merely reflect national interests and power and do not constrain powerful statesDoes realism = rational choice?Realism focuses on state interests - ignores microfoundations (leader incentives, domestic politics)
21 Constructivist theory Where to ideas and preferences come from?Focus on norms, beliefs, knowledge, and (shared) understandingsIOs are the result of international ideas, and in turn contribute towards shaping the evolution of international ideasVital for the understanding of major concepts such as legitimacy and norms
22 Abbot & Snidal: States use IOs to… Reduce transaction costs; Create information, ideas, norms, and expectations;Carry out and encourage specific activities;Legitimate or delegitimate particular ideas and practices;Enhance their capacities and power
23 Principal-Agent framework IOs are thus "agents"Their (biggest) members are the "principals"Agency slack? "bureaucratic" perspective
24 The principal-agent problem The agent works for the principalThe agent has private informationThe principal only observes an outcomeMust decide to reelect/pay/rehire/keep the agentIf standards are too low, the agent “shirks”If standards are too high, the agent gives upWe need a Goldilocks solution – set standards “just right.”We may have to accept some an “information rent”Either pay extra or accept agency slack (corruption?)
26 If reelection criteria are too high, the government will not supply effort when exogenous conditions are bad.If reelection criteria are too low, the government will not supply effort when conditions are good.What should you do?Intuition: It depends on the probability of good/bad conditions & on the difference in outcomes when conditions are good/bad…
28 Public choice/Bureaucratic theory IOs are like any bureaucracyAllow governments to reward people with cushy jobsThe bureaucracy is essentially unaccountableSeek to maximize their budgetsLook for things to do
30 What do IOs do for their members? Pooling resources (IMF/World Bank, World Health Organization) - share costs, economies of scaleDirect joint action - e.g., military (NATO), financial (IMF), dispute resolution (WTO)
31 LAUNDERINGAllow states to take (collective) action without taking direct responsibility (or take responsibility with IO support)Examples:The IMF does the dirty workUN Security Council resolutions - a form of laundering?When an IO legitimates retaliation, states are not vigilantes but upholders of community norms, values, and institutionsKorean War - The United States cast essentially unilateral action as more legitimate *collective* action by getting UN Security Council approval
32 Neutrality Providing information Collecting information Example Really?Collecting informationReally!ExampleBlue helmets:
33 Community representative LegitimacyArticulate norms? 2.pdfUniversal Jurisdiction (more than a norm - a legal standard) – The CATHonduras and the OAS??
34 Enforcement? The problem of endogeneity 100% Compliance may mean the IO is doing *nothing*Be careful what conclusions we draw from observationsCompliance is meaningful only if the state takes action it would not take in the absence of the IOIMF/World Bank CONDITIONALITY
35 Answers to today's question: IO's reduce transaction costs - costs of doing business & coordinate on superior equilibriaEnabling members to have:LAUNDERINGNeutralityCommunity representativeEnforcementLegitimacy - shared beliefs that coordinate actors regarding what actions should be accepted, tolerated, resisted, or stoppedTo these ends IOs are created centralized & independent
36 Analytical toolsTime inconsistent preference problem / Commitment problem / Present biasResearch networkingPrisoner’s dilemmaPrincipal-Agent frameworkRealist theoryConstructivist theoryPublic choice/Bureaucratic theory