International Organizations and Environmental Policy

By Robert V. Bartlett; Priya A. Kurian et al. | Go to book overview

coordination; they may be the primary means of discourse and, on occasion, problem solution. 15

The study of the relationship between IEP and IOs, even in this aggregate form, can be pursued in a number of additional directions. One issue that requires further exploration is the relationship between IEL participation and 10 prescription. Are there some identifiable combinations of countries or issue areas wherein IOs are more or less likely to be used? If so, what are the characteristics of these countries or issue areas?

A related issue is that of the apparent move toward specific policy focus organizations. Are primarily environmental or primarily nonenviromnental organizations preponderant? Does the issue area, region, or availability of IOs play a role?

Finally, the relationship between high- and low-politics issue areas and the prescription of IOs requires closer attention. The traditional functionalist hypothesis that low politics areas may be more likely to be subject to international organizational arrangements may require modification. IOs, once in place and under certain conditions, may strengthen the probability of their own use, even in high-politics issue areas.


NOTES

We thank Georgia Carvalho and Mary Van Buren for their assistance.

1.
A number of authors distinguish between institutions and organizations (Young, 1989b). We have no objections to the validity of such a distinction. We consider, however, that the combination of international law and organizations is strong evidence of institutionalization.
2.
"Low politics" refers to issue areas that are not very salient and controversial; on the other hand, "high politics" denotes issues that are salient and controversial. Traditionally, international welfare issues have been considered low politics whereas security issues have been considered high politics. Economic issues have been considered somewhere in the middle ( Snidal, 1990:330).
3.
Protocols usually specify the operational requirements of framework treaties and may require the utilization of IOs not clarified in the treaty itself. Amendments, on the other hand, are intended to bring up to date existing arrangements. In that sense, protocols may be thought of as auxiliary treaties.
4.
The instruments of formation of primarily nonenviromnental organizations who were later assigned environmental responsibilities, such as the United Nations or UNESCO, were not counted. Those of primarily environmental organizations, such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature or the Rhine Commission, were counted.
5.
On occasion, existing IOs set up a program or service that they also administer (i.e., the program or service reflects an extension of their functions). In other instances, one or more IOs will set up a program with some operative independence. UNEP is a

-137-

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