The United States and Multilateral Institutions: Patterns of Changing Instrumentality and Influence

The United States and Multilateral Institutions: Patterns of Changing Instrumentality and Influence

The United States and Multilateral Institutions: Patterns of Changing Instrumentality and Influence

The United States and Multilateral Institutions: Patterns of Changing Instrumentality and Influence

Synopsis

World politics in the post-Cold War world has become increasingly institutionalized. However, the role of international organizations has been overlooked in much of the literature on international regimes. Now in paperback, The United States and Multilateral Institutions examines United States policy in areas ranging from international trade to human rights, and in institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), GATT and the World Health Organization.

Excerpt

Margaret P. Karns

Karen A. Mingst

The period since the end of World War II has been marked by the proliferation of multilateral institutions, including international governmental organizations (IGOs) and international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs), to facilitate and promote international order and cooperation. Explanation of the bases and patterns of international interactions requires understanding both of why states find it in their interest to cooperate with one another and of the reasons they choose different means to achieve a measure of order and collaboration in an otherwise anarchic environment.

In recent years scholars have adopted the term regime to encompass the variety of formal and informal multilateral arrangements. Yet few attempts have been made to specify the role of formal international governmental organizations within regimes or to link system-level theories of regimes and cooperation with national-level processes and behavior. If regimes and IGOs matter, there must be a two-way flow of influence—a dynamic relationship between them and member state policymaking processes and behavior.

This volume focuses on the United States and multilateral institutions, particularly on U.S.-IGO relationships, based on the hypothesis that institutions make a difference in international interactions because they are utilized by and have influence on even the most powerful states. IGOs in particular have often played key roles in the creation and maintenance of regimes, and it is the organizations within regimes to which governments belong, around whose work bureaucracies are often themselves organized . . .

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