The Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations - Vol. 2

By Cathal J. Nolan | Go to book overview

Suggested Readings:
American Journal of International Law; British Yearbook of International Law; M. Cherif Bassiouni, ed., International Criminal Law, 3 vols., 2nd ed. (1999); David Bederman, International Law in Antiquity (2001); Antonio Cassese, International Law (2001); Valerie Epps, International Law, 2nd ed. (2001); Gerhard von Glahn, Law Among Nations, 6th ed. (1992); Hersh Lauterpacht, International Law and Human Rights (1968). A. Nussbaum, A Concise History of the Law of Nations (1953); Jordan J. Paust et al., International Criminal Law, 2nd ed. (2000); Malcolm N. Shaw, International Law, 4th ed. (1997).
International Law Commission. A commission (of limited membership) of the United Nations charged with development and codification of international law. This advisory body, set up in 1947, also provides legal advice, comments on draft conventions, and makes occasional recommendations to the United Nations General Assembly. It aided in drafting the Vienna Conventions in 1961 and the several UNCLOS conventions on the law of the sea.
international legislation. An alternative term for treaty law. This is somewhat misleading, as such law binds only those states party to a given treaty. See also consent.
International Maritime Organization (IMO). A specialized agency of the United Nations. Approved in 1948 it came into existence in 1958. It is concerned with safe navigation, maritime pollution, dumping, piracy, oil spills, and other environmental issues.
International Meteorological Organization.See World Meteorological Organization.
International Military Tribunals.See Nuremberg war crimes trials; Tokyo War crimes trials; war crimes.
international minimum standard. The minimum legal conduct required toward nationals of a foreign power, established in a bilateral treaty or by international customary law.
International Monetary Fund (IMF). An international public corporation associated with, but not under the direct authority of, the United Nations: it is one of the specialized agencies. It was founded at the Bretton Woods conference to supervise the system of fixed exchange rates also established there. Its immediate purpose was to aid the industrial nations in rapid recovery from the Great Depression and World War II by assisting resolution of their balance of payments and liquidity problems. Longer term, it is dedicated to promoting market economics, free trade, and high rates of growth. Its important role over-

seeing the fixed exchange rate system of the major trading nations ended with the Nixon shocks of August 15, 1971. Left without central purpose, it thereafter evolved as a global lending agency to developing countries. Even in this area, however, the growth of private capital markets from the 1980s diminished the IMF’s importance as a provider of liquidity. In 1963 it introduced a compensatory financing facility, which was expanded and liberalized in 1976. From the late 1960s, Third World states (G-77) pressured the IMF to become more directly concerned with issues of their development. Its involvement with poorer and smaller economies increased dramatically as it sought a new role after 1971, having fulfilled its original mandate. This engagement broadened with the onset of the debt crisis and the realization of OECD vulnerability that crisis brought home in major capitals. In the 1980s the IMF was pushed to become more concerned with poverty alleviation and environmental aspects of development. In the 1990s it took on another new role: assisting the transition of post-Communist societies to market economics. And in 1994 and 1995 it was intimately involved in the “bailout of Mexico” (which really was a bailout of private banks that had made loans Mexico could not repay); this may have encouraged the excessive lending and borrowing that underlay the Asian financial crisis in 1997. The IMF remains primarily an instrument of global economic management by and for the OECD nations. It uses weighted voting and lends based on acceptance of its management (conditionality) and free market principles. Its sometimes sinister reputation among radicals is almost certainly not deserved, but is not helped by the Fund’s historic secretiveness about its decisions and operations. It is also criticized from the monetarist right, for encouraging countries to pursue unsustainable borrowing and related policies. See alsoFirst Tranche; SDRs; stabilization program.


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The Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iv
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xxi
  • F 530
  • Suggested Reading: 534
  • Suggested Readings: 547
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  • G 601
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  • H 681
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  • I 752
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  • J 846
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  • L 927
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