International Organizations: A Comparative Approach

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

7 INCIPIENT REGIMES AND MULTILATERALISM: A MIDDLE WAY BETWEEN UNIVERSALISM AND NATIONALISM?

The concept of international regimes was discussed briefly in Chapter 1, where we suggested that this could be a useful in gaining an understanding of the manifold interactions that are found in the international arena. We also pointed out that, while IGOs and regimes can pursue common goals through various cooperation management arrangements, those addressed by regimes typically are more narrow, often dealing only with one important single issue. Furthermore, regime structures are less formal and more fluid than those of IGOs, and they are more likely to adjust to new or changing conditions.

In a world characterized by growing interdependence, international regimes may become increasingly useful for governments that want to solve common problems and pursue complementary purposes without subordinating themselves to hierarchical systems of control. 1

IGOs can provide the legal setting for international regimes. For example, the ICAO (an IGO), in cooperation with an INGO, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has established regimes for international flights. A regional IGO, the Andean Common Market (discussed in Chapter 4), set up an international investment regime through the well-known Decision 24. More significant, within the Law-of-the-Sea Treaty, which is now still undergoing ratification, a regime called the Enterprise was proposed to ensure the access of the developing countries to the benefits of deep-seabed exploitation. In the post-Cold War new international world "dis-order," regimes are increasingly being utilized to deal with large-scale and dangerous concentrations of armaments of all kinds.

At times IGOs may attempt to establish regimes or regimes may be established through treaties containing provisions for self-enforcement, or

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