International Organizations: A Comparative Approach

By Werner J. Feld; Robert S. Jordan et al. | Go to book overview

international regimes, as the many sessions of the UN Conference on the Law-of-the-Sea (UNCLOS) clearly demonstrated.

While both IGOs and international regimes are designed to pursue goals in the international arena and both may be based on international accords that set up institutions, assign rights and obligations, and provide for particular procedures, the issue and issue areas addressed by regimes appear to be narrower and to lack the comprehensive nature of most IGO concerns. Regime structures also are more fluid and more subject to evolutionary developments than those of IGOs. As Keohane and Nye point out (correctly in our view), IGOs "in the broad sense of networks, norms, and institutions" may include the norms associated with specific international regimes, but they belong to a broader category than regimes because they encompass patterns of elite networks and (if relevant) a range of formal institutions. 39

There are also important voices that oppose the term international regime. For example, Susan Strange, formerly of the London School of Economics and Political Science, argued that the concept is pernicious because it obfuscates the interests and power relationships that are the cause of behavior in the international system. "All those international arrangements dignified by the label regime are only too easily upset when either the balance of bargaining power or the perception of national interest (or both together) change among those states who negotiate them." 40

We sympathize with Strange's arguments, and because of the vast literature on regimes, we feel it is appropriate to discuss and illustrate them in subsequent chapters, and especially in Chapter 7.


NOTES
1.
See Union of International Associations, Yearbook of International Organizations, vol. 1 ( Brussels: Union of International Associations, 1991-92), App. 5.
2.
Ibid.
3.
This is part of the conventional definition. Michael Wallace and J. David Singer argue that bilaterally created IGOs should not be excluded; otherwise, an organization such as the North American Defense Command (NORAD), which is composed of the U.S. and Canada, would be excluded. See their "Intergovernmental Organizations in the Global System, 1815-1964: A Quantitative Description," International Organization 24 (Spring 1970): 239-87.
4.
For an elaboration on this point, see Robert S. Jordan, "Law Relating to the International Civil Service," in The Role of the United Nations in the International Legal Order, ed. Christopher Joyner and Oscar Schachter ( Cambridge: Grotius Publications for the American Society of International Law, in press).
5.
Ibid.
6.
See Union of International Associations, Yearbook, vol. 1, App. 5, pp. 1647- 48.
7.
See also Ephraim Been-Baruch, "An Examination of Several Classificationsof Organizations,"

-35-

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