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Barnett et al: International Organizations and the Diffusions of Power

Tags: papers, un and global governance lecture 1, political science

Two schools of thought when it comes to IO’s

  1. Do IO’s freeze existing configurations of power?
  2. Do IO’s pluralize power

IO’s are defenders and agents of reform, with the ability to provide compulsory powers and insitutional powers

Compulsory powers: taking direct action, such as un peacekeeping, naming and shaming, etc

Insitutional powers: setting the agenda, declaring people persona non-grata, classifiation

Modern IO’s are often designed by states and defend state interests, but have certain qualities which make them act in ways to improve conditions for people

Why do states create IO’s?

  1. Stabilize international and political agreements (“freezing” of power)
  2. To enhance coordination between states

The most powerful part of an IO is it’s legitimacy, and it’s ability to determine who gets a seat at the table

IO’s have the ability to classify and create taxonomies

IO’s hedge tot he rise of the beaurcratic ideal in the 19th century, they preserve the facade of de-politicization behind expert rule, but inherently makes them more authoritarian

Global order is relatively libera, IO’s are defined by the order, and often act to preserve it. IO’s are inherently conservative, but may be compassionate. The search for IO’s to find legitmacy outside the state tends to make them more liberal