Non-State Actors on the World Stage

I. Introduction

A. Today we examine non-state actors = IGOs and INGOs

B. K&W (p173) hilight their growth:

  1. 1909 = 37 IGOs; 176 NGOs
  2. 1960 = 154 IGOs; 1,255 NGOs
  3. 2008 = 300 IGOs (Ingram, Robinsom and Busch 2008); 40,000 INGOs (Wikipedia)


C. As K&W, also explain, these non-state actors activities span a wide gamut of activities which are often overlapping:

  1. Trade (WTO—135 members))
  2. Defense (UN--189; NATO—I think 18)
  3. Disarmament (Intl Atomic Energy Agency--130)
  4. economic development (World Bank--181; Intl Fund for Agricul Dvlpmnt--161)
  5. human rights (UN)
  6. Health (world health org—191)
  7. interesting stat: 90+% of all non-state actors are NGOs, while less than 10% are IGOs—however, the 251 IGOs currently functioning are generally considered more impt b/c their members are states

II. Definitions

A. IGO (K&W, p173): “institutions created and joined by governments, which gives them authority to make collective decisions to manage particular problem(s) on the global agenda”

1. (e.g., United Nations, European Union)

B. NGO (K&W, p173): “transnational organizations of private citizens maintaining consultative status with the UN that work towards common interests”

C. IGO Membership

1. the key defining characteristic of IGOs that distinguishes them from other Ios is that IGOs have individual members as members

2. UN (189 members), IMF (182), World Bank (181) have members from all over the world—“universal memberships”—about 36 in all

3. Other IGOs have a more regional scope: EU, OAS, Org African Unity (OAU), Assn SE Asian Nations (ASEAN) are examples of “regional IGOs”

4. Many are based on common interests: example is OPEC—includes such oil producing and exporting states as Indonesia, Nigeria, S Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, and Venezuela

D. IGO Authority

1. Generally they have little independent authority = primarily vehicles for the diplomacy of the member-states

2. Countries of course try to build a coalition of countries w/n the particular IGO in order to garner enuf votes to have it pursue a particular policy

3. Iraq and USA have been vying w/n UN to loosen or retain the UN sanctions imposed on Iraq following the Gulf War

4. Some believe however, that the authority of IGOs is growing to the point that they are exercising authority in their own right

5. example1: WTO has ability to review the laws and policies of all member states to ensure they meet the standards agreed to in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which the WTO adminsters

6. the EU has evolved further than any other IGO toward “supranational authority” (= orgs whose authority supercedes sovereignty of individual members)

a. EU = hi degree of econ integration, including common currency (Euro)

b. EU created a quasi-govt w/limited decision-making authority

c. many Europeans even favor development of EU as a true federal European govt

d. Germany’s chancellor recently said: “we favor the pol unification of Europe”

III. Regional IGOs: Focus on the European Union

A. Prior to WWII, there were NO prominent regional IGOs--Now there are many, including the OAS, OAU, Arab Coop Council, ASEAN and many others

Let’s take a closer look

  1. Origins & Evolution of the European Union (EU)
  2. EU dates to 1951—Belgium, France, W Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and Netherlands created common market for coal, iron, and steel products, called European Coal & Steel Community (ECSC)
  3. Very successful—in 1957 those 6 states signed Treaties of Rome creating European Economic Community (EEC) in order to facilitate trade in many areas
  4. Interchange expanded rapidly—so the original 6 (Belgium, France, W Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and Netherlands) decided to coordinate their activities even further so in 1967 created the European Community (EC)
  5. Eventual Goal: to encompass ALL of Europe’s countries

    a. Former President of EU Commission (1995-99), Jacques Santer said it best a few months ago about the EU: “there will be no such thing as ‘in countries’ and ‘out countries’; rather there will be ‘ins’ and ‘pre-ins’”

    b. W/n 10-20 years, perhaps ALL of Europe may well be “ins”

  6. Economic Goals Achieved

    a. By 1968, ALL tariffs on manufactured goods were eliminated and a common external tariff was set

    b. EC also began to bargain w/other countries in trade negotiations

    c. EC funded thru a VAT (similar to a sales tax---EU gets a share of each member’s VAT) AND ALL customs duties collected on imports from non-European countries

  7. Political Integration

    a. over the last 30 years the integration process in Europe focused on economics. Since 1993, the focus has also been on politics

    b. In 1993, the Maastricht Treaty went into effect. There are economic AND political aspects to the treaty

  8. Economic Aspects: called for (1) monetary integration (Euro); and (2) coordination of social policies (ie labor conditions and benefits);
  9. Political Aspects: called for (1) Expansion of idea of European citizenship (can travel freely w/a European passport & citizens in any EU state can vote in local & European Parliament elections); (2) the eventual creation of common foreign and defense policy; and (3) eventual creation of common policy re: such issues as crime, terrorism, and immigration

IV. Global INGOs—The Basics

A. Definition

Facts about INGOs

  1. There are now 27,000 in existence (up from 176—1900—and 1,255 NGOs-1960)
  2. Tackle many problems—disarmament, women’s rights, environmental protection, and human development & human rights
  3. INGOs: Amnesty Intl (human rights), Intl Chamber of Commerce (business), Greenpeace (environment), the Intl Red Cross (emergency rescue and protection), World Wildlife Federation (animal rights), Global YouthConnect (supports young people who are the victims of human rights abuses)
  4. According to K&W (p203), what makes them more prominent now is they have successfully produced “a number of substantial changes in world politics”
  5. Thru the creation of regimes = new sets of rules that help to regulate many transnational problems (IMF, Law of Sea Treaty, WTO, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, etc)
  6. The place of INGOs on the world stage has become so established they have achieved a degree of formal recognition by the UN and almost all countries
  7. These INGO actions/pressures and creation of regimes has to some degree reduced states iron authority over IR and their own FP

International Terrorism

A. Definitions

B. Activities

Intl Organized Crime (IOC) is another interesting aspect of this topic—as K&W explain, ironically (one of the bad aspects of globalization) our “borderless”, globalized world makes it easier for intl organized criminal syndicates to use technology to expand their operations and their profits, much to the chagrin of many helpless politicians around the world

A. IOC is such a problem that former Un Sec General Boutras Boutras Ghali has described its growth as an “empire of criminals”

Multi-National Corporations (MNCs)

A. Definition: MNC (K&W, p226): “private businesses headquartered in one state that invest and operate extensively in other states”

B. Size and Scope

a. Nike, for ex employs about 9000 people on its core staff, but subcontracts about 75,000 more jobs in the developing areas (China and India esp)

b. Reality: Their size and scope gives them leverage and power.

c. MNCs make decisions over which ntl politicians have little control—they are after market share and profit usually regardless of the costs to the home country…allegiance is to the stockholders and board of directors, not necessarily to workers and politicians back home

d. Outsourcing has been an MNC reality for decades: that is, MNCs ship production (outsource) production from industrially advanced home countries to industrially backward countries b/c labor is cheap, environmental laws are nonexistent, and unions are weak or nonexistent

e. This often causes unemployment or a weakening of labor’s position back home, but so be it…the game is about market share and profit…