March 16, 2005

Institutional lies  

Agreeing entirely with Matthew Yglesias about the nature of international institutions, let me just add one more clarifying wrinkle. The reason there aren't many examples of international institutions constraining "the action of a state in contravention of its vital interests and outside the bounds of power considerations" is that the institutions actually create an environment where those vital interests are in line with the collective interest. That's exactly what international institutions are supposed to do!

One might also think of this in terms of the very "power considerations" Justin Logan implies somehow aren't successful constraints on state action: international institutions are designed specifically to place those power considerations within a transparent structure, so that the rules (and the moves) are plain for all to see. If this means that we're still thinking about power considerations when we decide whether or not to act in an international context, so be it -- but that shouldn't disqualify that influence from being considered a success on the part of the relevant international institution.

Von Benson  {November 12, 2008}


Post a comment

Remember personal