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Page108

IhaveestablishedthatthegapinfavoroftheUnitedStatesisunprecedented
andthatthethresholdlevelofcapabilitiesitneedstosustainunipolarityismuch
lessthanthe50percentthatanalystsoftenassume.Socialsciencelacksa
theorythatcanpredicttherateoftheriseandfallofgreatpowers.Itispossible
thattheUnitedStateswilldeclinesuddenlyanddramaticallywhilesomeother
greatpowerrises.Ifratesofgrowthtendtoconvergeaseconomiesapproach
U.S.levelsofpercapitaGDP,thenthespeedatwhichotherrichstatescan
closethegapwillbelimited.Germanymaybeoutoftherunningentirely.Japan
maytakeadecadetoregaintherelativepositionitoccupiedin1990.Afterthat,
ifallgoeswell,sustainedhighergrowthcouldplaceitinpolarpositioninanother
decadeortwo.ThisleavesChinaasthefocusofcurrentexpectationsforthe
demiseofunipolarity.Thefactthatthetwomaincontenderstopolarstatusare
closeAsianneighborsandfacetightregionalconstraintsfurtherreinforces
unipolarity.ThethresholdatwhichJapanorChinawillpossessthecapabilities
tofacetheotherandtheUnitedStatesisveryhigh.Untilthen,theyarebetter
offinaunipolarorder.
Asapoorcountry,Chinahasamuchgreaterchanceofmaintainingsustained
highgrowthrates.Withitslargepopulationmakingforlargegrosseconomic
output,projectionsbasedonextrapolating8percentyearlygrowthinGDP
haveChinapassingtheUnitedStatesearlyinthetwentyfirstcentury.Butthese
numbersmustbeusedwithcare.Afterall,Chinashugepopulationprobably
gaveitalargereconomythanBritaininthenineteenthcentury.Thecurrentbelief
inaloomingpowertransitionbetweentheUnitedStatesandChinaresembles
preWorldWarIbeliefsaboutrisingRussianpower.Itassumesthatpopulation
andrapidgrowthcompensatefortechnologicalbackwardness.Chinas
economicandmilitarymodernizationhasamuchlongerroadtotravelthanits
grosseconomicoutputsuggests.Andmanagingthepoliticalandsocial
challengespresentedbyrapidgrowthinanoverpopulatedcountrygovernedby
anauthoritarianregimeisaformidabletask.Byanymeasure,thepolitical
challengesthatlieathwartBeijingspathtopolarstatusaremuchmore
substantialthanthosethatmayblockWashingtonseffortstomaintainits
position.Threedecadesisprobablyabetterbetthanone.
Thebalanceofpowerisnotwhatstatesmakeofit
Forsomeanalysts,multipolarityseemsjustaroundthecornerbecause
intellectualsandpoliticiansinsomeotherstateswantittobe.SamuelHuntington
notesthatpoliticalandintellectualleadersinmostcountriesstronglyresistthe
prospectofaunipolarworldandfavortheemergenceoftruemultipolarity.
3

Noarticleoncontemporaryworldaffairsiscompletewithoutobligatory
citationsfromdiplomatsandscholarscomplainingofU.S.arrogance.The
problemisthatpolicymakers(andscholars)cannotalwayshavethebalanceof
powertheywant.Iftheycould,neitherbipolaritynorunipolaritywouldhave
occurredinthefirstplace.Washington,Moscow,London,andPariswanteda
swiftreturntomultipolarityafterWorldWarII.Andpolicymakersinallfour
capitalsappearedtopreferbipolaritytounipolarityin199091.Likeits
structuralpredecessor,unipolaritymightpersistdespitepolicymakerswishes.
Mostofthecounterbalancingthathasoccurredsince1991hasbeenrhetorical.
Notablyabsentisanywillingnessonthepartoftheothergreatpowersto
acceptanysignificantpoliticaloreconomiccostsincounteringU.S.power.
MostoftheworldspowersarebusytryingtoclimbaboardtheAmerican
bandwagonevenastheycurtailtheirmilitaryoutlays.Militaryspendingbyallthe
othergreatpowersiseitherdecliningorholdingsteadyinrealterms.While
Washingtonpreparesforincreaseddefenseoutlays,currentplanningin
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:42 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page108
IhaveestablishedthatthegapinfavoroftheUnitedStatesisunprecedented
andthatthethresholdlevelofcapabilitiesitneedstosustainunipolarityismuch
lessthanthe50percentthatanalystsoftenassume.Socialsciencelacksa
theorythatcanpredicttherateoftheriseandfallofgreatpowers.Itispossible
thattheUnitedStateswilldeclinesuddenlyanddramaticallywhilesomeother
greatpowerrises.Ifratesofgrowthtendtoconvergeaseconomiesapproach
U.S.levelsofpercapitaGDP,thenthespeedatwhichotherrichstatescan
closethegapwillbelimited.Germanymaybeoutoftherunningentirely.Japan
maytakeadecadetoregaintherelativepositionitoccupiedin1990.Afterthat,
ifallgoeswell,sustainedhighergrowthcouldplaceitinpolarpositioninanother
decadeortwo.ThisleavesChinaasthefocusofcurrentexpectationsforthe
demiseofunipolarity.Thefactthatthetwomaincontenderstopolarstatusare
closeAsianneighborsandfacetightregionalconstraintsfurtherreinforces
unipolarity.ThethresholdatwhichJapanorChinawillpossessthecapabilities
tofacetheotherandtheUnitedStatesisveryhigh.Untilthen,theyarebetter
offinaunipolarorder.
Asapoorcountry,Chinahasamuchgreaterchanceofmaintainingsustained
highgrowthrates.Withitslargepopulationmakingforlargegrosseconomic
output,projectionsbasedonextrapolating8percentyearlygrowthinGDP
haveChinapassingtheUnitedStatesearlyinthetwentyfirstcentury.Butthese
numbersmustbeusedwithcare.Afterall,Chinashugepopulationprobably
gaveitalargereconomythanBritaininthenineteenthcentury.Thecurrentbelief
inaloomingpowertransitionbetweentheUnitedStatesandChinaresembles
preWorldWarIbeliefsaboutrisingRussianpower.Itassumesthatpopulation
andrapidgrowthcompensatefortechnologicalbackwardness.Chinas
economicandmilitarymodernizationhasamuchlongerroadtotravelthanits
grosseconomicoutputsuggests.Andmanagingthepoliticalandsocial
challengespresentedbyrapidgrowthinanoverpopulatedcountrygovernedby
anauthoritarianregimeisaformidabletask.Byanymeasure,thepolitical
challengesthatlieathwartBeijingspathtopolarstatusaremuchmore
substantialthanthosethatmayblockWashingtonseffortstomaintainits
position.Threedecadesisprobablyabetterbetthanone.
Thebalanceofpowerisnotwhatstatesmakeofit
Forsomeanalysts,multipolarityseemsjustaroundthecornerbecause
intellectualsandpoliticiansinsomeotherstateswantittobe.SamuelHuntington
notesthatpoliticalandintellectualleadersinmostcountriesstronglyresistthe
prospectofaunipolarworldandfavortheemergenceoftruemultipolarity.
3

Noarticleoncontemporaryworldaffairsiscompletewithoutobligatory
citationsfromdiplomatsandscholarscomplainingofU.S.arrogance.The
problemisthatpolicymakers(andscholars)cannotalwayshavethebalanceof
powertheywant.Iftheycould,neitherbipolaritynorunipolaritywouldhave
occurredinthefirstplace.Washington,Moscow,London,andPariswanteda
swiftreturntomultipolarityafterWorldWarII.Andpolicymakersinallfour
capitalsappearedtopreferbipolaritytounipolarityin199091.Likeits
structuralpredecessor,unipolaritymightpersistdespitepolicymakerswishes.
Mostofthecounterbalancingthathasoccurredsince1991hasbeenrhetorical.
Notablyabsentisanywillingnessonthepartoftheothergreatpowersto
acceptanysignificantpoliticaloreconomiccostsincounteringU.S.power.
MostoftheworldspowersarebusytryingtoclimbaboardtheAmerican
bandwagonevenastheycurtailtheirmilitaryoutlays.Militaryspendingbyallthe
othergreatpowersiseitherdecliningorholdingsteadyinrealterms.While
Washingtonpreparesforincreaseddefenseoutlays,currentplanningin
Page109
Europe,Japan,andChinadoesnotsuggestrealincreasesintheoffing,and
Russiasspendingwillinevitablydeclinefurther.Thisresponseonthepartofthe
othermajorpowersisunderstandable,becausetherawdistributionofpower
leavesthemwithnorealistichopeofcounterbalancingtheUnitedStates,while
U.S.managedsecuritysystemsinEuropeandAsiamoderatethedemandfor
moremilitarycapabilities.
NeithertheBeijingMoscowstrategicpartnershipnortheEuropeantroika
ofRussia,Germany,andFranceentailedanycostlycommitmentsorserious
risksofconfrontationwithWashington.Formanystates,theoptimalpolicyis
ambiguity:toworkcloselywiththeUnitedStatesontheissuesmostimportant
toWashingtonwhiletalkingaboutcreatingacounterpoise.Suchpolicies
generateapapertrailsuggestingstrongdissatisfactionwiththeU.S.ledworld
orderandalegacyofactualbehaviorthatamountstobandwagoning.These
statesareseekingthebestbargainsforthemselvesgiventhedistributionof
power.Thatprocessnecessitatesadegreeofpolitickingthatmayremind
peoplefaintlyofthepowerpoliticsofbygoneeras.Butuntilthedistributionof
powerchangessubstantially,thisbargainingwillresemblerealpolitikinformbut
notcontent.
Conclusion:challengesforscholarshipandstrategy
Ifunipolarityissorobust,whydosomanywritershastentodeclareitsdemise?
Theanswermaylieinthecommonhumantendencytoconflatepowertrends
withexistingrelationships.Therushtoproclaimthereturnofmultipolarityinthe
1960sand1970s,topronouncetheUnitedStatesdeclineinthe1980s,to
heraldtheriseofJapanorChinaassuperpowersinthe1980sand1990s,and
finallytobidunipolarityadieuaftertheColdWarareallexamples.Ineachcase,
analystschangedreferencepointstominimizeU.S.power.Inthebipolarity
debate,thereferencepointbecametheextremelytightallianceofthe1950s,so
anydisagreementbetweentheUnitedStatesandEuropewasseenasa
harbingerofmultipolarity.[]
Todayssdistributionofpowerisunprecedented,however,andpowercentric
theoriesnaturallyexpectpoliticsamongnationstobedifferentthaninpast
systems.Incontrasttothepast,theexistingdistributionofcapabilitiesgenerates
incentivesforcooperation.Theabsenceofhegemonicrivalry,security
competition,andbalancingisnotnecessarilytheresultofideationalor
institutionalchange.Thisisnottoassertthatrealismprovidesthebest
explanationfortheabsenceofsecurityandprestigecompetition.Rather,the
conclusionisthatitoffersanexplanationthatmaycompetewithorcompliment
thoseofothertheoreticaltraditions.Asaresult,evaluatingthemeritsof
contendingtheoriesforunderstandingtheinternationalpoliticsofunipolarity
presentsgreaterempiricalchallengesthanmantscholarshaveacknowledged.
Becausethebaselineexpectationsofallpowercentrictheoriesarenovel,so
aretheirimplicationsforgrandstrategy.Scholarsmainmessageto
policymakershasbeentoprepareformultipolarity.Certainly,weshouldthink
abouthowtomanagethetransitiontoanewstructure.Yettimeandenergyare
limited.Constantpreparationforthereturnofmultipolaritymeansnotgearingup
intellectuallyandmateriallyforunipolarity.Giventhatunipolarityisproneto
peaceandtheprobabilitythatitwilllastseveralmoredecadesatleast,we
shouldfocusonitandgetitright.
ThefirststepistostopcallingthisthepostColdWarrecord.[]Callingthe
currentperiodthetruePaxAmericanamayoffendsome,butitreflectsreality
andfocusesattentiononthestakesinvolvedinU.S.grandstrategy.
[]BecausethecurrentconcentrationofpowerintheUnitedStatesis
unprecedentedly
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:42 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page109
Europe,Japan,andChinadoesnotsuggestrealincreasesintheoffing,and
Russiasspendingwillinevitablydeclinefurther.Thisresponseonthepartofthe
othermajorpowersisunderstandable,becausetherawdistributionofpower
leavesthemwithnorealistichopeofcounterbalancingtheUnitedStates,while
U.S.managedsecuritysystemsinEuropeandAsiamoderatethedemandfor
moremilitarycapabilities.
NeithertheBeijingMoscowstrategicpartnershipnortheEuropeantroika
ofRussia,Germany,andFranceentailedanycostlycommitmentsorserious
risksofconfrontationwithWashington.Formanystates,theoptimalpolicyis
ambiguity:toworkcloselywiththeUnitedStatesontheissuesmostimportant
toWashingtonwhiletalkingaboutcreatingacounterpoise.Suchpolicies
generateapapertrailsuggestingstrongdissatisfactionwiththeU.S.ledworld
orderandalegacyofactualbehaviorthatamountstobandwagoning.These
statesareseekingthebestbargainsforthemselvesgiventhedistributionof
power.Thatprocessnecessitatesadegreeofpolitickingthatmayremind
peoplefaintlyofthepowerpoliticsofbygoneeras.Butuntilthedistributionof
powerchangessubstantially,thisbargainingwillresemblerealpolitikinformbut
notcontent.
Conclusion:challengesforscholarshipandstrategy
Ifunipolarityissorobust,whydosomanywritershastentodeclareitsdemise?
Theanswermaylieinthecommonhumantendencytoconflatepowertrends
withexistingrelationships.Therushtoproclaimthereturnofmultipolarityinthe
1960sand1970s,topronouncetheUnitedStatesdeclineinthe1980s,to
heraldtheriseofJapanorChinaassuperpowersinthe1980sand1990s,and
finallytobidunipolarityadieuaftertheColdWarareallexamples.Ineachcase,
analystschangedreferencepointstominimizeU.S.power.Inthebipolarity
debate,thereferencepointbecametheextremelytightallianceofthe1950s,so
anydisagreementbetweentheUnitedStatesandEuropewasseenasa
harbingerofmultipolarity.[]
Todayssdistributionofpowerisunprecedented,however,andpowercentric
theoriesnaturallyexpectpoliticsamongnationstobedifferentthaninpast
systems.Incontrasttothepast,theexistingdistributionofcapabilitiesgenerates
incentivesforcooperation.Theabsenceofhegemonicrivalry,security
competition,andbalancingisnotnecessarilytheresultofideationalor
institutionalchange.Thisisnottoassertthatrealismprovidesthebest
explanationfortheabsenceofsecurityandprestigecompetition.Rather,the
conclusionisthatitoffersanexplanationthatmaycompetewithorcompliment
thoseofothertheoreticaltraditions.Asaresult,evaluatingthemeritsof
contendingtheoriesforunderstandingtheinternationalpoliticsofunipolarity
presentsgreaterempiricalchallengesthanmantscholarshaveacknowledged.
Becausethebaselineexpectationsofallpowercentrictheoriesarenovel,so
aretheirimplicationsforgrandstrategy.Scholarsmainmessageto
policymakershasbeentoprepareformultipolarity.Certainly,weshouldthink
abouthowtomanagethetransitiontoanewstructure.Yettimeandenergyare
limited.Constantpreparationforthereturnofmultipolaritymeansnotgearingup
intellectuallyandmateriallyforunipolarity.Giventhatunipolarityisproneto
peaceandtheprobabilitythatitwilllastseveralmoredecadesatleast,we
shouldfocusonitandgetitright.
ThefirststepistostopcallingthisthepostColdWarrecord.[]Callingthe
currentperiodthetruePaxAmericanamayoffendsome,butitreflectsreality
andfocusesattentiononthestakesinvolvedinU.S.grandstrategy.
[]BecausethecurrentconcentrationofpowerintheUnitedStatesis
unprecedentedly
Page110
clearandcomprehensive,statesarelikelytosharetheexpectationthat
counterbalancingwouldbeacostlyandprobablydoomedventure.Asaresult,
theyfaceincentivestokeeptheirmilitarybudgetsundercontroluntilthey
observefundamentalchangesinthecapabilityoftheUnitedStatestofulfillits
role.Thewholesystemcanthusberunatcomparativelylowcoststoboththe
solepoleandtheothermajorpowers.Unipolaritycanbemadetoseem
expensiveanddangerousifitisequatedwithaglobalempiredemandingU.S.
involvementinallissueseverywhere.Inreality,unipolarityisadistributionof
capabilitiesamongtheworldsgreatpowers.Itdoesnotsolvealltheworlds
problems.Rather,itminimizestwomajorproblemssecurityandprestige
competitionthatconfrontedthegreatpowersofthepast.Maintaining
unipolaritydoesnotrequirelimitlesscommitments.Itinvolvesmanagingthe
centralsecurityregimesinEuropeandAsia,andmaintainingtheexpectationon
thepartofotherstatesthatanygeopoliticalchallengetotheUnitedStatesis
futile.Aslongasthatistheexpectation,stateswilllikelyrefrainfromtrying,and
thesystemcanbemaintainedatlittleextracost.
ThemaincriticismofthePaxAmericana,however,isnotthatWashingtonistoo
interventionist.Astatecannotbeblamedforrespondingtosystemicincentives.
TheproblemisU.S.reluctancetopayup.Constrainedbyadomesticwelfare
roleandconsumerculturethattheweakerBritishhegemonneverfaced,
Washingtontendstoshrinkfromacceptingthefinancial,military,andespecially
thedomesticpoliticalburdensofsolepolestatus.Atthesametime,itcannot
escapethedemandforinvolvement.Theresultiscruisemissilehegemony,the
searchforpolarstatusonthecheap,andagrandglobalbrokerofdealsfor
whichotherspay.TheUnitedStateshasrespondedtostructuralincentivesby
assumingtheroleofglobalsecuritymanagerandindispensablenationinall
mattersofimportance.ButtoooftenthesolutionsWashingtonengineersare
weakenedbyAmericanreluctancetotakeanydomesticpoliticalrisks.
TheproblemisthatstructuralpressuresontheUnitedStatesareweak.
Powerfulstatesmaynotrespondtotheinternationalenvironmentbecausetheir
powermakesthemimmunetoitsthreat.Thesmallerthenumberofactors,the
greaterthepotentialimpactofinternalprocessesoninternationalpolitics.The
solepoleisstrongandsecureenoughthatpayingupfrontcostsforsystem
maintenanceishardtoselltoaparsimoniouspublic.AsKennethWaltzargued,
Strongstates[]canaffordnottolearn.
4
Ifthatwastrueofthegreat
powersinmultiorbipolarsystems,itiseventrueroftodaysunipolarpower.
Theimplicationisthatinsteadofdwellingonthedangersofoverinvolvement
andtheneedtoprepareforanimpendingmultipolarity,scholarsand
policymakersshoulddomoretoadvertisetheattractionsofunipolarity.
Notes
1KennethN.Waltz,TheoryofInternationalPolitics(AddisonWesley,
Reading,Mass,1979),p.131.
2KennethN.Waltz,EvaluatingTheories,AmericanPoliticalScience
Reviewvol.91,no.4,December1997,915916,p.915.
3SamuelP.Huntington,TheLonelySuperpower,ForeignAffairs,vol.78,
no.2(March/April),1999,p.42.
4KennethN.Waltz,TheoryofInternationalPolitics(AddisonWesley,
Reading,Mass,1979),p.195.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:42 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page110
clearandcomprehensive,statesarelikelytosharetheexpectationthat
counterbalancingwouldbeacostlyandprobablydoomedventure.Asaresult,
theyfaceincentivestokeeptheirmilitarybudgetsundercontroluntilthey
observefundamentalchangesinthecapabilityoftheUnitedStatestofulfillits
role.Thewholesystemcanthusberunatcomparativelylowcoststoboththe
solepoleandtheothermajorpowers.Unipolaritycanbemadetoseem
expensiveanddangerousifitisequatedwithaglobalempiredemandingU.S.
involvementinallissueseverywhere.Inreality,unipolarityisadistributionof
capabilitiesamongtheworldsgreatpowers.Itdoesnotsolvealltheworlds
problems.Rather,itminimizestwomajorproblemssecurityandprestige
competitionthatconfrontedthegreatpowersofthepast.Maintaining
unipolaritydoesnotrequirelimitlesscommitments.Itinvolvesmanagingthe
centralsecurityregimesinEuropeandAsia,andmaintainingtheexpectationon
thepartofotherstatesthatanygeopoliticalchallengetotheUnitedStatesis
futile.Aslongasthatistheexpectation,stateswilllikelyrefrainfromtrying,and
thesystemcanbemaintainedatlittleextracost.
ThemaincriticismofthePaxAmericana,however,isnotthatWashingtonistoo
interventionist.Astatecannotbeblamedforrespondingtosystemicincentives.
TheproblemisU.S.reluctancetopayup.Constrainedbyadomesticwelfare
roleandconsumerculturethattheweakerBritishhegemonneverfaced,
Washingtontendstoshrinkfromacceptingthefinancial,military,andespecially
thedomesticpoliticalburdensofsolepolestatus.Atthesametime,itcannot
escapethedemandforinvolvement.Theresultiscruisemissilehegemony,the
searchforpolarstatusonthecheap,andagrandglobalbrokerofdealsfor
whichotherspay.TheUnitedStateshasrespondedtostructuralincentivesby
assumingtheroleofglobalsecuritymanagerandindispensablenationinall
mattersofimportance.ButtoooftenthesolutionsWashingtonengineersare
weakenedbyAmericanreluctancetotakeanydomesticpoliticalrisks.
TheproblemisthatstructuralpressuresontheUnitedStatesareweak.
Powerfulstatesmaynotrespondtotheinternationalenvironmentbecausetheir
powermakesthemimmunetoitsthreat.Thesmallerthenumberofactors,the
greaterthepotentialimpactofinternalprocessesoninternationalpolitics.The
solepoleisstrongandsecureenoughthatpayingupfrontcostsforsystem
maintenanceishardtoselltoaparsimoniouspublic.AsKennethWaltzargued,
Strongstates[]canaffordnottolearn.
4
Ifthatwastrueofthegreat
powersinmultiorbipolarsystems,itiseventrueroftodaysunipolarpower.
Theimplicationisthatinsteadofdwellingonthedangersofoverinvolvement
andtheneedtoprepareforanimpendingmultipolarity,scholarsand
policymakersshoulddomoretoadvertisetheattractionsofunipolarity.
Notes
1KennethN.Waltz,TheoryofInternationalPolitics(AddisonWesley,
Reading,Mass,1979),p.131.
2KennethN.Waltz,EvaluatingTheories,AmericanPoliticalScience
Reviewvol.91,no.4,December1997,915916,p.915.
3SamuelP.Huntington,TheLonelySuperpower,ForeignAffairs,vol.78,
no.2(March/April),1999,p.42.
4KennethN.Waltz,TheoryofInternationalPolitics(AddisonWesley,
Reading,Mass,1979),p.195.
Page111
1.11
Law,strategyandhistory
PhilipBobbitt
Source:TheShieldofAchilles:War,PeaceandtheCourseofHistory
(PenguinBooks,London,2002),pp.517.
Bobbittarguesthatthestrategiccalculusthatoperatedduringwhathe
callsthelongwarthatlastedfrom1914to1989isnowredundant
becausestatesnolongerfaceidentifiablestatecentredthreatsthathave
underminedtheirsecurityinthepast.Thebasicobjectivesofthestrategic
calculususedinthepastdeterrence,compellance,andreassurance
needtobereconfigured.Inthecontemporaryworld,statesmustincludein
thecalculusofforcetheneedtomaintainworldorder.
TheStateexistsbyvirtueofitspurposes,andamongtheseareadrivefor
survivalandfreedomofaction,whichisstrategyforauthorityandlegitimacy,
whichislawforidentity,whichishistory.Toputitdifferently,thereisnostate
withoutstrategy,law,andhistory,and,tocomplicatematters,thesethreeare
notmerelyinterrelatedelements,theyareelementseachcomposedatleast
partlyoftheothers.Theprecisenatureofthiscompositiondefinesaparticular
stateandistheresultofmanychoices.Statesmaybemilitaristic,legalistic,and
traditionaltovaryingdegrees,buteverystateissomecombinationofthese
elementsandcanbecontrastedwitheveryotherstateandwithitsown
predecessorsintheseways.
Thelegalandstrategicchoicesasocietyconfrontsareoftenonly
recombinationsofchoicesconfrontedandresolvedinthepast,nowremadeina
presentconditionofnecessityanduncertainty.Lawcannotcomeintobeinguntil
thestateachievesamonopolyonthelegitimateuseofviolence.Similarly,a
societymusthaveasinglelegitimategovernmentforitsstrategicdesignstobe
laidotherwise,thedistinctionbetweenwarandcivilwarcollapses,andstrategy
degeneratesintobanditry.Untilthegoverninginstitutionsofasocietycanclaim
forthemselvesthesolerighttodeterminethelegitimateuseofforceathomeand
abroad,therecanbenostate.Withoutlaw,strategycannotclaimtobea
legitimateactofstate.Onlyiflawprevailscanitconferlegitimacyonstrategic
choicesandgivethemapurpose.Yetthelegitimacynecessaryforlawandfor
strategyderivesfromhistory,theunderstandingofpastpracticesthat
characterizesaparticularsociety.
Today,allmajorstatesconfronttheapparentlybewilderingtaskofdetermining
anewsetofrulesfortheuseofmilitaryforce.Commentatorsinmanypartsof
theworldhaveobservedacuriousvacillationandfecklessnessonthepartof
thegreatpowersattheverytimethosepowersoughttobemostunitedintheir
goals,fortheLongWarthatdividedthemhasnowended.Orperhapsitisthe
endoftheLongWarthataccountsforsuchwidespreadconfusion.Becausethe
ideologicalconfrontationthatonceclearlyidentifiedthethreatstothestatesof
eithercamphasevaporated,ithasleftthesestatesuncertainastohowto
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:42 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page111
1.11
Law,strategyandhistory
PhilipBobbitt
Source:TheShieldofAchilles:War,PeaceandtheCourseofHistory
(PenguinBooks,London,2002),pp.517.
Bobbittarguesthatthestrategiccalculusthatoperatedduringwhathe
callsthelongwarthatlastedfrom1914to1989isnowredundant
becausestatesnolongerfaceidentifiablestatecentredthreatsthathave
underminedtheirsecurityinthepast.Thebasicobjectivesofthestrategic
calculususedinthepastdeterrence,compellance,andreassurance
needtobereconfigured.Inthecontemporaryworld,statesmustincludein
thecalculusofforcetheneedtomaintainworldorder.
TheStateexistsbyvirtueofitspurposes,andamongtheseareadrivefor
survivalandfreedomofaction,whichisstrategyforauthorityandlegitimacy,
whichislawforidentity,whichishistory.Toputitdifferently,thereisnostate
withoutstrategy,law,andhistory,and,tocomplicatematters,thesethreeare
notmerelyinterrelatedelements,theyareelementseachcomposedatleast
partlyoftheothers.Theprecisenatureofthiscompositiondefinesaparticular
stateandistheresultofmanychoices.Statesmaybemilitaristic,legalistic,and
traditionaltovaryingdegrees,buteverystateissomecombinationofthese
elementsandcanbecontrastedwitheveryotherstateandwithitsown
predecessorsintheseways.
Thelegalandstrategicchoicesasocietyconfrontsareoftenonly
recombinationsofchoicesconfrontedandresolvedinthepast,nowremadeina
presentconditionofnecessityanduncertainty.Lawcannotcomeintobeinguntil
thestateachievesamonopolyonthelegitimateuseofviolence.Similarly,a
societymusthaveasinglelegitimategovernmentforitsstrategicdesignstobe
laidotherwise,thedistinctionbetweenwarandcivilwarcollapses,andstrategy
degeneratesintobanditry.Untilthegoverninginstitutionsofasocietycanclaim
forthemselvesthesolerighttodeterminethelegitimateuseofforceathomeand
abroad,therecanbenostate.Withoutlaw,strategycannotclaimtobea
legitimateactofstate.Onlyiflawprevailscanitconferlegitimacyonstrategic
choicesandgivethemapurpose.Yetthelegitimacynecessaryforlawandfor
strategyderivesfromhistory,theunderstandingofpastpracticesthat
characterizesaparticularsociety.
Today,allmajorstatesconfronttheapparentlybewilderingtaskofdetermining
anewsetofrulesfortheuseofmilitaryforce.Commentatorsinmanypartsof
theworldhaveobservedacuriousvacillationandfecklessnessonthepartof
thegreatpowersattheverytimethosepowersoughttobemostunitedintheir
goals,fortheLongWarthatdividedthemhasnowended.Orperhapsitisthe
endoftheLongWarthataccountsforsuchwidespreadconfusion.Becausethe
ideologicalconfrontationthatonceclearlyidentifiedthethreatstothestatesof
eithercamphasevaporated,ithasleftthesestatesuncertainastohowto
Page112
configure,muchlessdeploy,theirarmedforces.Whatseemstocharacterizethe
presentperiodisaconfusionabouthowtocountthecostsandbenefitsof
intervention,preparedness,andalliance.Whatdoesthecalculusfortheuseof
forceyielduswhenwehavedoneoursums?Onlyanunconvincingresultthat
cannotsilencetheinsistentquestion:Whatareourforcesfor?Becauseno
calculuscantellusthat.Weareatamomentwhenourunderstandingofthe
verypurposesoftheStateisundergoinghistoricchange.Neitherstrategynor
lawwillbeunaffected.Untilthischangeisappreciated,wewillcontinuethe
ditheringandtheadhockery,theaffectationsofcynicismandtheplaciddeceit
thatsotypifiestheinternationalbehaviorofthegreatpowersinthisperiod,a
periodthatoughttobethehourofourgreatestcoherenceandconviction.Itis
notthattheUnitedStatesdidordidnotdecidetogointoSomaliaorBosnia
itsthattheUnitedStateshasmadenumerousdecisions,oneaftertheother,in
bothdirections.Andthesamethingmaybesaidofthepronouncementsofthe
othergreatpowersregardingNorthKorea,Iraq,andRwanda.Adhoc
strategiesisalmostacontradictioninterms,becausethemorestatesrespond
tothevariationsofthehour,thelesstheybenefitfromstrategicplanning.
Thereasonthetraditionalstrategiccalculusnolongerfunctionsisthatitdepends
oncertainassumptionsabouttherelationshipbetweentheStateandits
objectivesthattheendofthislongconflicthascastindoubt.Thatcalculuswas
neverintendedtoenableastatetochoosebetweencompetingobjectives:
rather,thatcalculusdependsupontheaxiomaticrequirementoftheStateto
survivebyputtingitssecurityobjectivesfirst.Wearenowenteringaperiod,
however,inwhichthesurvivaloftheStateisparadoxicallyimperiledbysuch
threatbasedassumptionsbecausethemostpowerfulstatesdonotface
identifiablestatecenteredthreatsthatinfactimperiltheirsecurity.Having
vanquisheditsideologicalcompetitors,thedemocratic,capitalist,parliamentary
statenolongerfacesgreatpowerthreats,threatsthatwouldenableitto
configureitsforcesbyprovidingatemplateinferredfromthecapabilitiesofthe
adversarystate.Instead,theparliamentarystatemanifestsvulnerabilitiesthat
arisefromaweakeningofitsownlegitimacy.Thisconstitutionaldoubtisonly
exacerbatedbythestrategicconfusionabroadforwhichitischieflyresponsible.
Sotheallianceofparliamentarygreatpowers,
1
havingwontheirhistoric
triumph,findthemselvesweakerthanever,constantlyunderminingtheirown
authorityathomebytheirinabilitytousetheirinfluenceeffectivelyabroad.With
alooseninggripontheirdomesticorders,thesepowersareeverlessinclinedto
devotethemselvestomaintainingaworldorder.Thestrategicthinkingofstates
accustomedtowardoesnotfitthemforpeace,whichrequiresharmonyand
trust,norcansuchthinkingyetbeabandonedwithoutriskingacollapseof
legitimacyaltogetherbecausetheStatesroleinguaranteeingsecurityistheone
responsibilitythatisnotbeingchallengeddomesticallyandthustheonetowhich
itclings.Wehaveenteredaperiodinwhich,however,statesmustincludeinthe
calculusofforcetheneedtomaintainworldorder.Thisisnotthefirstsuch
periodindeed,thelastepochofthiskindwasendedbytheeruptionofthe
conflictthathasjustclosed,leavingussodisoriented.Accordingly,thereis
muchtolearnfromthestudyofthatconflict,andalsofromearliererasthatwere
markedbychangesintheconstitutionalformandstrategicpracticesofthe
State.
Preliminarily,thereareafewwidespreadpreconceptionsthatmustbeputto
oneside.Incontrasttotheprevalentviewthatwaristheresultofadecision
madebyanaggressor,Iwillassumethat,asageneralmatter,ittakestwostates
togotowar.ThecommonpicturemanyAmericansandEuropeanshaveof
statesatwaristhattheycameintohostilitiesasaresultoftheaggressionofone
party.Itislikeaclassbullyinaschoolyardwhoprovokesafistfightinorderto
terrorizehisclassmates.ButthemovetowarisanactoftheStateandnotof
boys.Statesthatwishtoaggrandizethemselves,ortodepredateothers,may
employaggression,
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:42 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page112
configure,muchlessdeploy,theirarmedforces.Whatseemstocharacterizethe
presentperiodisaconfusionabouthowtocountthecostsandbenefitsof
intervention,preparedness,andalliance.Whatdoesthecalculusfortheuseof
forceyielduswhenwehavedoneoursums?Onlyanunconvincingresultthat
cannotsilencetheinsistentquestion:Whatareourforcesfor?Becauseno
calculuscantellusthat.Weareatamomentwhenourunderstandingofthe
verypurposesoftheStateisundergoinghistoricchange.Neitherstrategynor
lawwillbeunaffected.Untilthischangeisappreciated,wewillcontinuethe
ditheringandtheadhockery,theaffectationsofcynicismandtheplaciddeceit
thatsotypifiestheinternationalbehaviorofthegreatpowersinthisperiod,a
periodthatoughttobethehourofourgreatestcoherenceandconviction.Itis
notthattheUnitedStatesdidordidnotdecidetogointoSomaliaorBosnia
itsthattheUnitedStateshasmadenumerousdecisions,oneaftertheother,in
bothdirections.Andthesamethingmaybesaidofthepronouncementsofthe
othergreatpowersregardingNorthKorea,Iraq,andRwanda.Adhoc
strategiesisalmostacontradictioninterms,becausethemorestatesrespond
tothevariationsofthehour,thelesstheybenefitfromstrategicplanning.
Thereasonthetraditionalstrategiccalculusnolongerfunctionsisthatitdepends
oncertainassumptionsabouttherelationshipbetweentheStateandits
objectivesthattheendofthislongconflicthascastindoubt.Thatcalculuswas
neverintendedtoenableastatetochoosebetweencompetingobjectives:
rather,thatcalculusdependsupontheaxiomaticrequirementoftheStateto
survivebyputtingitssecurityobjectivesfirst.Wearenowenteringaperiod,
however,inwhichthesurvivaloftheStateisparadoxicallyimperiledbysuch
threatbasedassumptionsbecausethemostpowerfulstatesdonotface
identifiablestatecenteredthreatsthatinfactimperiltheirsecurity.Having
vanquisheditsideologicalcompetitors,thedemocratic,capitalist,parliamentary
statenolongerfacesgreatpowerthreats,threatsthatwouldenableitto
configureitsforcesbyprovidingatemplateinferredfromthecapabilitiesofthe
adversarystate.Instead,theparliamentarystatemanifestsvulnerabilitiesthat
arisefromaweakeningofitsownlegitimacy.Thisconstitutionaldoubtisonly
exacerbatedbythestrategicconfusionabroadforwhichitischieflyresponsible.
Sotheallianceofparliamentarygreatpowers,
1
havingwontheirhistoric
triumph,findthemselvesweakerthanever,constantlyunderminingtheirown
authorityathomebytheirinabilitytousetheirinfluenceeffectivelyabroad.With
alooseninggripontheirdomesticorders,thesepowersareeverlessinclinedto
devotethemselvestomaintainingaworldorder.Thestrategicthinkingofstates
accustomedtowardoesnotfitthemforpeace,whichrequiresharmonyand
trust,norcansuchthinkingyetbeabandonedwithoutriskingacollapseof
legitimacyaltogetherbecausetheStatesroleinguaranteeingsecurityistheone
responsibilitythatisnotbeingchallengeddomesticallyandthustheonetowhich
itclings.Wehaveenteredaperiodinwhich,however,statesmustincludeinthe
calculusofforcetheneedtomaintainworldorder.Thisisnotthefirstsuch
periodindeed,thelastepochofthiskindwasendedbytheeruptionofthe
conflictthathasjustclosed,leavingussodisoriented.Accordingly,thereis
muchtolearnfromthestudyofthatconflict,andalsofromearliererasthatwere
markedbychangesintheconstitutionalformandstrategicpracticesofthe
State.
Preliminarily,thereareafewwidespreadpreconceptionsthatmustbeputto
oneside.Incontrasttotheprevalentviewthatwaristheresultofadecision
madebyanaggressor,Iwillassumethat,asageneralmatter,ittakestwostates
togotowar.ThecommonpicturemanyAmericansandEuropeanshaveof
statesatwaristhattheycameintohostilitiesasaresultoftheaggressionofone
party.Itislikeaclassbullyinaschoolyardwhoprovokesafistfightinorderto
terrorizehisclassmates.ButthemovetowarisanactoftheStateandnotof
boys.Statesthatwishtoaggrandizethemselves,ortodepredateothers,may
employaggression,
Page113
buttheydonotseekwar.Ratheritisthestateagainstwhomtheaggressionhas
beenmounted,typically,thatmakesthemovetowar,whichisalegaland
strategicact,whenthatstatedeterminesitcannotacquiesceinthelegaland
strategicdemandsoftheaggressor.SoitwaswithGermany,Britain,and
Francein1939.SoitwaswithAthensandSpartain431B.C.Acorollaryto
thisideaistheperhapscounterintuitivenotionthatsometimesastatewillmake
themovetowarevenwhenitjudgesitwilllosethewarthatensues.Astatethat
decidesitcannolongeracquiesceinadeterioratingpositionmustaskitself
whether,ifitchoosestoresist,itwillneverthelessbebetteroff,evenifitcannot
ultimatelyprevailintheeventualconflict.
ManypersonsintheWestbelievethatwaroccursonlybecauseof
miscalculationsometimesthisopinioniscombinedwiththeviewthatonly
aggressorsmakewar.Personsholdingthesetwoviewswouldhaveahardtime
justifyingthewisdomofAllianceresistancetoCommunismthelastfiftyyears
becauseitwasusuallytheU.S.andheralliesandnottheSovietswhoresolutely
andstudiedlyescalatedmatterstocrisesthreateningwar.Besidestheobvious
casesinvolvingBerlinin1952,orCubain1962,wemightaddthedecisionsto
makethemovetowarinSouthKoreaandinSouthVietNam,thenatureand
motivationsofwhichdecisionsareunderscoredbythepersistentrefusalsofthe
AmericansandtheiralliestobombChinaorinvadeNorthVietNam.Thatis,in
bothcasesthealliedforcesfoughttostopaggressionbygoingtowarand
declinedtoemploydecisivecounteraggression.
Thosepersonswhoconcedethesefactsandconcludethatthesedecisionswere
wrong,andyetwhoapplaudthevictoryofthedemocraciesintheColdWar,
areperhapsobligedtoreconsidertheirviews.Foritwasthispeculiar
combinationofawillingnesstomakethemovetowarcoupledwithabenign
nonaggression,evenprotectiveness,towardtheothergreatpowersthat
ultimatelygavetheAlliancevictory.Sometimesthismatterisconfusedinthe
debateoverpreciselyhowthisvictorywasachieved.WastheColdWarwon
becauseU.S.ledforcesmilitarilydeniedCommunistforcesthosestrategic
successesthatwouldhavesustainedaworldrevolution?Orwasitwonbecause
northerntiermarketswereabletobuildaninternationalcapitalistsystemthat
vastlyoutperformedthesocialistsystem(andaninternationalcommunications
networkthatinformedtheworldofthisachievement)?Suchadebatemissesthe
point,perhapsbecauseitissuffusedwiththeassumptionsaboutwarand
miscalculationtowhichIhavereferred.Neithermilitarynoreconomicsuccess
alonecouldhaveendedtheColdWar,becauseneitheralonecoulddeliver
legitimacytothewinningstate,ordenyittotheloser.Moreover,neithermilitary
noreconomicsuccesswaspossiblewithouttheother:canoneimaginea
EuropeanUnionhavingdevelopedwithoutGermany,orwithaGermany
strategicallydetachedfromtheWest?EventheillfatedAmericanmissionin
VietNamcontributedtotheultimateAlliancevictory:acollapseofmilitary
resistanceinIndochinain1964wouldhavehadpoliticaleffectsonthevery
statesoftheregionwhoseeconomieshavesincebecomesodynamic
(analogoustothoseeffectsthatwouldhavebeenfeltinJapanfollowinga
collapseofresistanceinKoreain1950).Thepoliticalandeconomic,farfrom
beingdecisivecausalfactorsontheirown,arereallytwofacesofthesame
phenomenon.Onlythecoherentunionofaconstitutionalorderandastrategic
visioncouldachievethekindofresultsthatended,ratherthanmerely
interrupted,suchanepochalwar.Weshallhavetobearthisinmindwithregard
tomaintainingeithersuccess,politicaloreconomic,inthefuture.
Contemporaryimagination,however,likesomanyaspectsofcontemporarylife,
issuffusedwithpresentism.Thisisoftencommentedonbythosewholament
thecurrentlackofinterestinthepast,butitisequallymanifest,ironically,inour
projectionsaboutthefuture.Thisleadsustothethirdpreconceptionthatmust
bedismissed:namely,thatfuturestatesof
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:42 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page113
buttheydonotseekwar.Ratheritisthestateagainstwhomtheaggressionhas
beenmounted,typically,thatmakesthemovetowar,whichisalegaland
strategicact,whenthatstatedeterminesitcannotacquiesceinthelegaland
strategicdemandsoftheaggressor.SoitwaswithGermany,Britain,and
Francein1939.SoitwaswithAthensandSpartain431B.C.Acorollaryto
thisideaistheperhapscounterintuitivenotionthatsometimesastatewillmake
themovetowarevenwhenitjudgesitwilllosethewarthatensues.Astatethat
decidesitcannolongeracquiesceinadeterioratingpositionmustaskitself
whether,ifitchoosestoresist,itwillneverthelessbebetteroff,evenifitcannot
ultimatelyprevailintheeventualconflict.
ManypersonsintheWestbelievethatwaroccursonlybecauseof
miscalculationsometimesthisopinioniscombinedwiththeviewthatonly
aggressorsmakewar.Personsholdingthesetwoviewswouldhaveahardtime
justifyingthewisdomofAllianceresistancetoCommunismthelastfiftyyears
becauseitwasusuallytheU.S.andheralliesandnottheSovietswhoresolutely
andstudiedlyescalatedmatterstocrisesthreateningwar.Besidestheobvious
casesinvolvingBerlinin1952,orCubain1962,wemightaddthedecisionsto
makethemovetowarinSouthKoreaandinSouthVietNam,thenatureand
motivationsofwhichdecisionsareunderscoredbythepersistentrefusalsofthe
AmericansandtheiralliestobombChinaorinvadeNorthVietNam.Thatis,in
bothcasesthealliedforcesfoughttostopaggressionbygoingtowarand
declinedtoemploydecisivecounteraggression.
Thosepersonswhoconcedethesefactsandconcludethatthesedecisionswere
wrong,andyetwhoapplaudthevictoryofthedemocraciesintheColdWar,
areperhapsobligedtoreconsidertheirviews.Foritwasthispeculiar
combinationofawillingnesstomakethemovetowarcoupledwithabenign
nonaggression,evenprotectiveness,towardtheothergreatpowersthat
ultimatelygavetheAlliancevictory.Sometimesthismatterisconfusedinthe
debateoverpreciselyhowthisvictorywasachieved.WastheColdWarwon
becauseU.S.ledforcesmilitarilydeniedCommunistforcesthosestrategic
successesthatwouldhavesustainedaworldrevolution?Orwasitwonbecause
northerntiermarketswereabletobuildaninternationalcapitalistsystemthat
vastlyoutperformedthesocialistsystem(andaninternationalcommunications
networkthatinformedtheworldofthisachievement)?Suchadebatemissesthe
point,perhapsbecauseitissuffusedwiththeassumptionsaboutwarand
miscalculationtowhichIhavereferred.Neithermilitarynoreconomicsuccess
alonecouldhaveendedtheColdWar,becauseneitheralonecoulddeliver
legitimacytothewinningstate,ordenyittotheloser.Moreover,neithermilitary
noreconomicsuccesswaspossiblewithouttheother:canoneimaginea
EuropeanUnionhavingdevelopedwithoutGermany,orwithaGermany
strategicallydetachedfromtheWest?EventheillfatedAmericanmissionin
VietNamcontributedtotheultimateAlliancevictory:acollapseofmilitary
resistanceinIndochinain1964wouldhavehadpoliticaleffectsonthevery
statesoftheregionwhoseeconomieshavesincebecomesodynamic
(analogoustothoseeffectsthatwouldhavebeenfeltinJapanfollowinga
collapseofresistanceinKoreain1950).Thepoliticalandeconomic,farfrom
beingdecisivecausalfactorsontheirown,arereallytwofacesofthesame
phenomenon.Onlythecoherentunionofaconstitutionalorderandastrategic
visioncouldachievethekindofresultsthatended,ratherthanmerely
interrupted,suchanepochalwar.Weshallhavetobearthisinmindwithregard
tomaintainingeithersuccess,politicaloreconomic,inthefuture.
Contemporaryimagination,however,likesomanyaspectsofcontemporarylife,
issuffusedwithpresentism.Thisisoftencommentedonbythosewholament
thecurrentlackofinterestinthepast,butitisequallymanifest,ironically,inour
projectionsaboutthefuture.Thisleadsustothethirdpreconceptionthatmust
bedismissed:namely,thatfuturestatesof
Page114
affairsmustbeevaluatedincomparisonwiththepresent,ratherthanwiththe
unknowablefuture.Oneencountersthisoftenindailylife,intheadolescents
decisiontoquitschoolsoIcanmakemoremoney(becausegoingtoschool
payslessthanworkinginafastfoodshop)orthecolumnistsclaimthatifwe
balancedthebudget,interestrateswoulddropandgrowthwould
increase(becausethegovernmentwouldnotbeaddingtothedemandfor
borrowedmoney).Inthosecasesthespeakerismakingthemistakeof
comparingafuturestateofaffairswiththepresent,andomittingtoimaginewhat
analternativefuturestateofaffairsmightbelike(ifhestayedinschooland
qualifiedforabetterjobifthegovernmentsteeplyincreasedtaxesinorderto
balancethebudget),whichwouldprovidethepropercomparison.[]
Thecalculusemployedbyastateinordertodeterminewhenitisappropriateto
makethemovetowaris,similarly,futureoriented.Itasks:willthestatebe
betterorworseoff,inthefuture,ifinthepresentthestateresortstoforcetoget
itsway?Forhalfamillennium,theStatehasbeenanattractiveinstitutionfor
makingpoliticaldecisionspreciselybecauseitispotentiallyimperishable.The
State,beinghighlyfutureoriented,canchannelresourcesintothefutureand
harnesspresentenergyfordeferredgains.Butthisqualityoffuturismisalsoits
vulnerability:theStateisaclumsyinstrumentforpersuadingpeopletomake
sacrificeswhenobjectivesareindoubt,ortoparrysubtlelongtermthreats,
becausetheinterestsofthepeoplecaneasilybeseveredfromthoseoftheState
whenlongtermobjectivesandgoalsareatissue.Inthelongterm,asKeynes
remarked,wearealldead.Inperiodsinwhichtheobjectivestobepursuedby
theStateareunclear,itsveryhabitsoforientationtowardthefuturedonothelp
tomarshalthepopularwill,andthustheStateisapttobedisabledfrom
carryingoutcommitmentsthatmaybenecessaryforitsultimatesecurityandthe
welfareoffuturegenerationstowhichitis,fautedemieux,committed.Threats
suchasthedestructionoftheecology,theerosionofthecapitalbase,potential
threatstoitscriticalinfrastructure,andespeciallydemographicdevelopmentsall
playonthisvulnerability,foreachsuchthreatcancallonavocaldomestic
constituencythat,outofreasonablemotivesbutapresentmindedorientation,
canparalyzerationalaction.And,itshouldbenoted,militarypowercanquickly
erodeifastatedoesnotaccuratelyconceptualizethethreatsitactuallyfaces,
andthusneglectstoadoptastrategythatmeetsthosethreats.
ItisinterestingtoaskjustwhattheUnitedStates,forexample,attheendofthe
twentiethcenturytooktobetheobjectivesofitsstrategiccalculus.According
toaPentagonWhitePaperatthetime,therewerethreesuchobjectives:
deterrence,compellance,andreassurance.
2
Itcanbeeasilyshown,however,
thatthesethreeobjectiveswerehangoversfromtheerajustpast,indeedthat
theywereborrowedfromtheoriesabouttheobjectivesofnuclearstrategy.
Whatislessobviousisthat,attheendofthewartheAlliancehadjustwon,
objectivessuchasthesewereworsethanuselessbecausetheytendedto
obscurethetasksthattheUnitedStateshadtoundertakeinordertoredefine
thegoalsofitsnationalsecuritypolicy.Letuslookateachofthethree
purportedobjectives.
Deterrenceisanextraordinarilylimitedtheorythatreliesonareasonablebut
extraordinarilybroadassumption.ThatassumptionisthattheStatewillmake
decisionsasaresultofbalancingthebenefitstobeachievedbyacourseof
actionagainstthecostsincurredinpursuingthosebenefitsbytheparticular
meansproposed.Thisassumption,inturn,dependsonthecommonsense
observationthathumanbeingscanimaginepaingreaterthanthattheynow
endure,thattheycanimaginehappinessgreaterthanthatinwhichtheynow
delight,andthattheywillevaluatepossiblefuturesintermsoftheirmixturesof
thesetwoimaginarystates.Forinstance,deterrenceisacommonmeansin
criminallaw,intheclassroom,eveninthefamily.Donteventhinkofparking
herereadsafamiliarsignthatreflectsthisapproach.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:42 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page114
affairsmustbeevaluatedincomparisonwiththepresent,ratherthanwiththe
unknowablefuture.Oneencountersthisoftenindailylife,intheadolescents
decisiontoquitschoolsoIcanmakemoremoney(becausegoingtoschool
payslessthanworkinginafastfoodshop)orthecolumnistsclaimthatifwe
balancedthebudget,interestrateswoulddropandgrowthwould
increase(becausethegovernmentwouldnotbeaddingtothedemandfor
borrowedmoney).Inthosecasesthespeakerismakingthemistakeof
comparingafuturestateofaffairswiththepresent,andomittingtoimaginewhat
analternativefuturestateofaffairsmightbelike(ifhestayedinschooland
qualifiedforabetterjobifthegovernmentsteeplyincreasedtaxesinorderto
balancethebudget),whichwouldprovidethepropercomparison.[]
Thecalculusemployedbyastateinordertodeterminewhenitisappropriateto
makethemovetowaris,similarly,futureoriented.Itasks:willthestatebe
betterorworseoff,inthefuture,ifinthepresentthestateresortstoforcetoget
itsway?Forhalfamillennium,theStatehasbeenanattractiveinstitutionfor
makingpoliticaldecisionspreciselybecauseitispotentiallyimperishable.The
State,beinghighlyfutureoriented,canchannelresourcesintothefutureand
harnesspresentenergyfordeferredgains.Butthisqualityoffuturismisalsoits
vulnerability:theStateisaclumsyinstrumentforpersuadingpeopletomake
sacrificeswhenobjectivesareindoubt,ortoparrysubtlelongtermthreats,
becausetheinterestsofthepeoplecaneasilybeseveredfromthoseoftheState
whenlongtermobjectivesandgoalsareatissue.Inthelongterm,asKeynes
remarked,wearealldead.Inperiodsinwhichtheobjectivestobepursuedby
theStateareunclear,itsveryhabitsoforientationtowardthefuturedonothelp
tomarshalthepopularwill,andthustheStateisapttobedisabledfrom
carryingoutcommitmentsthatmaybenecessaryforitsultimatesecurityandthe
welfareoffuturegenerationstowhichitis,fautedemieux,committed.Threats
suchasthedestructionoftheecology,theerosionofthecapitalbase,potential
threatstoitscriticalinfrastructure,andespeciallydemographicdevelopmentsall
playonthisvulnerability,foreachsuchthreatcancallonavocaldomestic
constituencythat,outofreasonablemotivesbutapresentmindedorientation,
canparalyzerationalaction.And,itshouldbenoted,militarypowercanquickly
erodeifastatedoesnotaccuratelyconceptualizethethreatsitactuallyfaces,
andthusneglectstoadoptastrategythatmeetsthosethreats.
ItisinterestingtoaskjustwhattheUnitedStates,forexample,attheendofthe
twentiethcenturytooktobetheobjectivesofitsstrategiccalculus.According
toaPentagonWhitePaperatthetime,therewerethreesuchobjectives:
deterrence,compellance,andreassurance.
2
Itcanbeeasilyshown,however,
thatthesethreeobjectiveswerehangoversfromtheerajustpast,indeedthat
theywereborrowedfromtheoriesabouttheobjectivesofnuclearstrategy.
Whatislessobviousisthat,attheendofthewartheAlliancehadjustwon,
objectivessuchasthesewereworsethanuselessbecausetheytendedto
obscurethetasksthattheUnitedStateshadtoundertakeinordertoredefine
thegoalsofitsnationalsecuritypolicy.Letuslookateachofthethree
purportedobjectives.
Deterrenceisanextraordinarilylimitedtheorythatreliesonareasonablebut
extraordinarilybroadassumption.ThatassumptionisthattheStatewillmake
decisionsasaresultofbalancingthebenefitstobeachievedbyacourseof
actionagainstthecostsincurredinpursuingthosebenefitsbytheparticular
meansproposed.Thisassumption,inturn,dependsonthecommonsense
observationthathumanbeingscanimaginepaingreaterthanthattheynow
endure,thattheycanimaginehappinessgreaterthanthatinwhichtheynow
delight,andthattheywillevaluatepossiblefuturesintermsoftheirmixturesof
thesetwoimaginarystates.Forinstance,deterrenceisacommonmeansin
criminallaw,intheclassroom,eveninthefamily.Donteventhinkofparking
herereadsafamiliarsignthatreflectsthisapproach.
Page115
Asastrategy,deterrencemakesmostsenseintheextremecaseofnuclear
deterrence,wheretheinterestofthestateinsimplesurvivalintersectstheclarity
ofthedangerofannihilation.Deterrenceismoreproblematic,however,when
thecalculationsonwhichitreliesbecomemorecomplex,orwhenthese
calculationsarecloudedbyculturaldifferencesandvaryingattitudestoward
risk,orwhenthefactsonwhichsuchcalculationsdependareuncertainor
coloredbywishfulthinking.Inotherwords,theideaofdeterrenceisitselfso
muchapartofhumannaturethatitcanbeappliedonlyasitisaffectedbythe
variousfallaciesandshortcomingstowhichhumannatureisprey.Moreover,
thestrategictheoryofdeterrenceisofaverylimitedapplication.Itisscarcely
deterrence,muchlessnucleardeterrence,thatpreventstheUnitedStatesfrom
invadingCanada(ortheotherwayaround).Ourpoliticalrelationswith
Canadaanamalgamofourmutualhistory(includingpastwarsagainsteach
other),oursharedinstitutions,ourintertwinedeconomies,ouralliancesare
whatrendertheideaofanattackbyoneontheotherabsurdenoughtohave
beenthebasisforapopularsatiriccomedy.Rather,militarydeterrenceisa
conceptthatisusefulwithinwarortheapproachtowar,oncepoliticalrelations
havebecomesostrainedthathostilitiesonlyawaitopportunity.Itisonly
becausewehavelivedforsolongatwarthatweareinclinedtomissthispoint,
andthatwehavecometothinkofdeterrenceasaprominentfeatureofthe
internationalrelationsofapeacetimeregime.
DrawingonworkbytheeconomistJacobViner,BernardBrodieintroduced
intoAmericanstrategicthinkingtheremarkableideaofnucleardeterrence.To
seehowrevolutionaryaninnovationthiswas,weneedonlyrecallBrodies
famousconclusion.Hewrote,Thusfarthechiefpurposeofourmilitary
establishmenthasbeentowinwars.Fromnowonitschiefpurposemustbeto
avertthem.Itcanhavealmostnootherusefulpurpose.
3
Thismakesagreat
dealofsensewhendealingwithnuclearweapons.Thedestructivenessofsuch
weaponsandtheirpossessionbyouradversariesrequiredarevolutionin
thinkingaboutthepurposesofourmilitaryforces.Themilitarymanagersand
politiciansofthe1950swhowereinclinedtotreatnuclearweaponsasthough
theyweresimplybiggerbombshadtolearnanew,eerieformofstrategic
calculation.Deterrence,asageneralmatter,however,isapoormission
statementforastatesarmedforces.Nostate,evenoneaswealthyasthe
UnitedStates,canaffordtomaintaintheforcesthatwouldsuccessfullydeterall
otherstatesactingindependentlyorincombination.Onecanseefromthe
PentagonWhitePaperthatthisideaofBrodiesinthenuclearcontexttheuse
ofarmedforcestoavertwarhasnowinfiltratedtheconventional,thatis,the
nonnuclearmissionstatement.NotonlyisitunrealistictoassertthattheUnited
Statesmustmaintainforcessovastastobeamatterofgeneral,conventional
deterrence.ItalsobegstheoneimportantquestionattheendoftheColdWar:
whomarewesupposedtodeter?Onlywhenthisquestionisansweredcanwe
soconfigureourforcesastorealizesuchapolicy.Deterrencedoesnotcome
withitsownspecifications.Ifittakestwotowar,thentheideaofdeterringwars
withoutaspecifiedadversaryorthreatisnonsense.Thesimpleintuitiveappeal
ofbeingsostrongmilitarilythatnoonedaresthreatenyouisanabsurdideafor
astate.Indeed,suchanidea,howeverappealing,canactuallyweakenthestate
becausethediversionofitsresourcesintoanundirecteddefenseestablishment
underminestheeconomicandpoliticalstrengththestatewillrequireshouldit
finditselfinadangerousconfrontation.
Advancesinweaponstechnologymakeitpossiblefortheleadingstatesofthe
developedworldtoproduceweaponsofmassdestructionthataresodeadly
relativetotheirsizeandcostthattheycanbypasseventhemostsophisticated
attemptsatdefensebyattrition.Acorollarytothisfactisthattheseweapons
canbedeployedclandestinely,sothatthepossibilityofretaliationcanbedefied,
andthusthestrategyofdeterrencerenderedinoperable.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:42 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page115
Asastrategy,deterrencemakesmostsenseintheextremecaseofnuclear
deterrence,wheretheinterestofthestateinsimplesurvivalintersectstheclarity
ofthedangerofannihilation.Deterrenceismoreproblematic,however,when
thecalculationsonwhichitreliesbecomemorecomplex,orwhenthese
calculationsarecloudedbyculturaldifferencesandvaryingattitudestoward
risk,orwhenthefactsonwhichsuchcalculationsdependareuncertainor
coloredbywishfulthinking.Inotherwords,theideaofdeterrenceisitselfso
muchapartofhumannaturethatitcanbeappliedonlyasitisaffectedbythe
variousfallaciesandshortcomingstowhichhumannatureisprey.Moreover,
thestrategictheoryofdeterrenceisofaverylimitedapplication.Itisscarcely
deterrence,muchlessnucleardeterrence,thatpreventstheUnitedStatesfrom
invadingCanada(ortheotherwayaround).Ourpoliticalrelationswith
Canadaanamalgamofourmutualhistory(includingpastwarsagainsteach
other),oursharedinstitutions,ourintertwinedeconomies,ouralliancesare
whatrendertheideaofanattackbyoneontheotherabsurdenoughtohave
beenthebasisforapopularsatiriccomedy.Rather,militarydeterrenceisa
conceptthatisusefulwithinwarortheapproachtowar,oncepoliticalrelations
havebecomesostrainedthathostilitiesonlyawaitopportunity.Itisonly
becausewehavelivedforsolongatwarthatweareinclinedtomissthispoint,
andthatwehavecometothinkofdeterrenceasaprominentfeatureofthe
internationalrelationsofapeacetimeregime.
DrawingonworkbytheeconomistJacobViner,BernardBrodieintroduced
intoAmericanstrategicthinkingtheremarkableideaofnucleardeterrence.To
seehowrevolutionaryaninnovationthiswas,weneedonlyrecallBrodies
famousconclusion.Hewrote,Thusfarthechiefpurposeofourmilitary
establishmenthasbeentowinwars.Fromnowonitschiefpurposemustbeto
avertthem.Itcanhavealmostnootherusefulpurpose.
3
Thismakesagreat
dealofsensewhendealingwithnuclearweapons.Thedestructivenessofsuch
weaponsandtheirpossessionbyouradversariesrequiredarevolutionin
thinkingaboutthepurposesofourmilitaryforces.Themilitarymanagersand
politiciansofthe1950swhowereinclinedtotreatnuclearweaponsasthough
theyweresimplybiggerbombshadtolearnanew,eerieformofstrategic
calculation.Deterrence,asageneralmatter,however,isapoormission
statementforastatesarmedforces.Nostate,evenoneaswealthyasthe
UnitedStates,canaffordtomaintaintheforcesthatwouldsuccessfullydeterall
otherstatesactingindependentlyorincombination.Onecanseefromthe
PentagonWhitePaperthatthisideaofBrodiesinthenuclearcontexttheuse
ofarmedforcestoavertwarhasnowinfiltratedtheconventional,thatis,the
nonnuclearmissionstatement.NotonlyisitunrealistictoassertthattheUnited
Statesmustmaintainforcessovastastobeamatterofgeneral,conventional
deterrence.ItalsobegstheoneimportantquestionattheendoftheColdWar:
whomarewesupposedtodeter?Onlywhenthisquestionisansweredcanwe
soconfigureourforcesastorealizesuchapolicy.Deterrencedoesnotcome
withitsownspecifications.Ifittakestwotowar,thentheideaofdeterringwars
withoutaspecifiedadversaryorthreatisnonsense.Thesimpleintuitiveappeal
ofbeingsostrongmilitarilythatnoonedaresthreatenyouisanabsurdideafor
astate.Indeed,suchanidea,howeverappealing,canactuallyweakenthestate
becausethediversionofitsresourcesintoanundirecteddefenseestablishment
underminestheeconomicandpoliticalstrengththestatewillrequireshouldit
finditselfinadangerousconfrontation.
Advancesinweaponstechnologymakeitpossiblefortheleadingstatesofthe
developedworldtoproduceweaponsofmassdestructionthataresodeadly
relativetotheirsizeandcostthattheycanbypasseventhemostsophisticated
attemptsatdefensebyattrition.Acorollarytothisfactisthattheseweapons
canbedeployedclandestinely,sothatthepossibilityofretaliationcanbedefied,
andthusthestrategyofdeterrencerenderedinoperable.
Page116
Compellance,too,isanideathatoriginatedinthestrategyofnuclearweapons
andhasbeenimportedbytheWhitePaperintotheworldofconventional
forces.Thereissomeconsiderableironyinthis.ThomasSchellingintroduced
theneologismcompellanceasacomplementtodeterrencebecausethis
ancientconceptoftheuseofforcehadbecomelostinthebizarrenewworldof
nuclearstrategy.
4
Schellingusedcompellancetodescribethecoerciveuseof
nuclearweapons.Thisoccurswhenthethreatoftheuseofsuchweaponsseeks
tocompelanadversarystatetoactuallydosomethingitwouldotherwisenot
do,ratherthanmerelyrefrainfromdoingsomethingitwouldliketodo(whichis
thepurposeofdeterrence).Compellancehasbeenapurposeforarmedforce
or,indeed,violencegenerallythroughoutthelifeofmankind.Yetittoois
inappropriateasamissionstatementforAmericanforces.Onlyifwehavea
clearpoliticalobjectivecanwedeterminewhatformofcompellanceis
appropriatestrategically.Tosaythemissionofourforcesiscompellanceis
verylikesayingthemissionofourmindsisthought.Itisbothatrueandan
emptysentence.
Compellancehashadagoodrunlately.ItwascompellancethatforcedSaddam
HusseintoevacuateKuwait,oncehehadoccupiedandannexedit.Itwas
compellancethatforcedSlobodanMilosevictoabandonKosovo,aprovince
hehithertocontrolledutterly.Thesewereworthyobjectives,evenifour
executionofourwarplanswasnotfaultless.Itwouldbegoodtohavehada
BushDoctrineoraClintonDoctrine,spellingoutpreciselyforwhatreasonand
inwhatcontextstheUnitedStateswillcompelotherstatesbyforce,notonly
becausethepublicinademocracyhasarighttosuchanarticulationofpurpose,
butalsobecausewithoutsuchlimitingguidelines,compellancehasawayof
bringingforthcountervailingforce.Whenhewasaskedwhatthelessonofthe
GulfWarwas,theIndianchiefofstaffisreportedtohavesaid,Neverfightthe
UnitedStateswithoutnuclearweapons.
Interestingly,thethirdideasaidtomakeupthemissionofU.S.forcestodayis
anideaalsodrawnfromnuclearstrategy.SirMichaelHowardisthefatherof
thenotionofreassuranceinnuclearstrategy.
5
Inaseriesofessaysand
lectureshestressedreassuranceasthekeyelementinAmericannuclear
strategyanelementnotdirectedatouradversaries,buttowardourallies.
Muchstrongerforcesarerequired,heconcluded,toreassureanervousally
whoisdependentonU.S.nuclearprotectionthanareactuallyrequiredtodeter
atargetedenemyfromattack.LikethecontributionsofBrodieandSchelling,
thisinsighthasbeenofcrucialimportanceinthedevelopmentandunderstanding
ofnuclearstrategy.Idoubt,however,thatitcanbeofmuchuseintheabsence
ofathreattotheAtlanticAlliance,ortoanyofthestateswhohavereliedupon
theAmericannuclearumbrella.Ofwhatexactlyarewetoreassureourallies?
Reassuranceasanideainnuclearstrategydependsonthecrucialdistinction
betweenextendedandcentraldeterrence.Theformertermappliestothe
extensionofAmericannuclearprotectiontoEuropeandJapanthelatterterm
referstothethreatofnuclearretaliationtodeterattackontheAmerican
homeland.IhavearguedelsewherethatextendeddeterrencehasdrivenU.S.
nuclearstrategy,notcentraldeterrence.Reflectingontheevolutionofnuclear
strategyinDemocracyandDeterrence,Iconcludedin1983that:
ThefateoftheworlddoesnothangonwhethertheU.S.ortheUSSRreduce
theirweaponsoronwhethertheyfreezetheirtechnologies.Indeeditshouldbe
easytoseethatwereeithergoalpursuedtoosinglemindedly,therewould
resultamuchmoredangerousworldasotherpowersenteredthenuclearfield,
approachingparitywiththesuperpowers.Rather,oursituationwillbe
determinedbywhetherEuroJapanese
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:42 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page116
Compellance,too,isanideathatoriginatedinthestrategyofnuclearweapons
andhasbeenimportedbytheWhitePaperintotheworldofconventional
forces.Thereissomeconsiderableironyinthis.ThomasSchellingintroduced
theneologismcompellanceasacomplementtodeterrencebecausethis
ancientconceptoftheuseofforcehadbecomelostinthebizarrenewworldof
nuclearstrategy.
4
Schellingusedcompellancetodescribethecoerciveuseof
nuclearweapons.Thisoccurswhenthethreatoftheuseofsuchweaponsseeks
tocompelanadversarystatetoactuallydosomethingitwouldotherwisenot
do,ratherthanmerelyrefrainfromdoingsomethingitwouldliketodo(whichis
thepurposeofdeterrence).Compellancehasbeenapurposeforarmedforce
or,indeed,violencegenerallythroughoutthelifeofmankind.Yetittoois
inappropriateasamissionstatementforAmericanforces.Onlyifwehavea
clearpoliticalobjectivecanwedeterminewhatformofcompellanceis
appropriatestrategically.Tosaythemissionofourforcesiscompellanceis
verylikesayingthemissionofourmindsisthought.Itisbothatrueandan
emptysentence.
Compellancehashadagoodrunlately.ItwascompellancethatforcedSaddam
HusseintoevacuateKuwait,oncehehadoccupiedandannexedit.Itwas
compellancethatforcedSlobodanMilosevictoabandonKosovo,aprovince
hehithertocontrolledutterly.Thesewereworthyobjectives,evenifour
executionofourwarplanswasnotfaultless.Itwouldbegoodtohavehada
BushDoctrineoraClintonDoctrine,spellingoutpreciselyforwhatreasonand
inwhatcontextstheUnitedStateswillcompelotherstatesbyforce,notonly
becausethepublicinademocracyhasarighttosuchanarticulationofpurpose,
butalsobecausewithoutsuchlimitingguidelines,compellancehasawayof
bringingforthcountervailingforce.Whenhewasaskedwhatthelessonofthe
GulfWarwas,theIndianchiefofstaffisreportedtohavesaid,Neverfightthe
UnitedStateswithoutnuclearweapons.
Interestingly,thethirdideasaidtomakeupthemissionofU.S.forcestodayis
anideaalsodrawnfromnuclearstrategy.SirMichaelHowardisthefatherof
thenotionofreassuranceinnuclearstrategy.
5
Inaseriesofessaysand
lectureshestressedreassuranceasthekeyelementinAmericannuclear
strategyanelementnotdirectedatouradversaries,buttowardourallies.
Muchstrongerforcesarerequired,heconcluded,toreassureanervousally
whoisdependentonU.S.nuclearprotectionthanareactuallyrequiredtodeter
atargetedenemyfromattack.LikethecontributionsofBrodieandSchelling,
thisinsighthasbeenofcrucialimportanceinthedevelopmentandunderstanding
ofnuclearstrategy.Idoubt,however,thatitcanbeofmuchuseintheabsence
ofathreattotheAtlanticAlliance,ortoanyofthestateswhohavereliedupon
theAmericannuclearumbrella.Ofwhatexactlyarewetoreassureourallies?
Reassuranceasanideainnuclearstrategydependsonthecrucialdistinction
betweenextendedandcentraldeterrence.Theformertermappliestothe
extensionofAmericannuclearprotectiontoEuropeandJapanthelatterterm
referstothethreatofnuclearretaliationtodeterattackontheAmerican
homeland.IhavearguedelsewherethatextendeddeterrencehasdrivenU.S.
nuclearstrategy,notcentraldeterrence.Reflectingontheevolutionofnuclear
strategyinDemocracyandDeterrence,Iconcludedin1983that:
ThefateoftheworlddoesnothangonwhethertheU.S.ortheUSSRreduce
theirweaponsoronwhethertheyfreezetheirtechnologies.Indeeditshouldbe
easytoseethatwereeithergoalpursuedtoosinglemindedly,therewould
resultamuchmoredangerousworldasotherpowersenteredthenuclearfield,
approachingparitywiththesuperpowers.Rather,oursituationwillbe
determinedbywhetherEuroJapanese
Page117
securityisenhanced,fromtheirperspective,byourstrategies,militaryand
diplomaticwhetherthepubliccanbemadetounderstandandsupportsuch
stepsasdoenhancetheextendedenvironmentwhenithasbeentoldmoreor
lessconstantlythatitisthenumberofweaponsandtheadvanceoftechnology
thatcauses(orcures)theproblem[]
6

Istillendorsethisview,butsuchreassuranceisnowfarlesseasytoachieve
becauseithaslargelyceasedtobedefined.Reassuranceplayedacrucialrole
duringthefinalphaseoftheLongWar,from1949to1990,becauseit
preventedmultipolaritytheproliferationofnuclearweaponstostatessuchas
GermanyandJapanandtherebymadepossiblethequitestabledeterrence
relationshipbetweentheUnitedStatesandtheSovietUnion.Reassurance,I
willargue,hasanequallyvitalroletoplayinthetwentyfirstcenturyasour
strategiesmovetowardagreateremphasisondefenseanddeception.Thiswill
notbepossible,however,ifwecontinuetothinkandplanasthoughthestable
relationsthatattendedthepossessorsofweaponsofmassdestructioninthe
ColdWararesomehowintrinsictosuchweapons.Indeed,inmyviewtheuse
ofnuclearweaponsislikelierinthefirstfiftyyearsofthetwentyfirstcentury
thanatanytimeinthelastfiftyyearsofthetwentiethcentury,butwearelulled
intocomplacencyaboutthisbecauseofthenuclearstabilityweexperiencedin
thatperiod.Asonecommentatorhasputit,
ourcurrentstrategicthoughttendstoprojectthispeculiarexperienceintothe
future.Itassumesthattheuseofmassdestructionweaponswilleitherbe
deterredorbeconfinedtolocalizeddisasterscausedbystrategically
incompetentterrorists.Competentadversaries,thisthinkingimplicitlyassumes,
willhavetoemulatetherevolutionarymilitarytechnologythatwenow
possess,butatthesametimeadheretoourold,counterrevolutionarystrategy,
asworkedoutinoursuperpowerrivalrywiththeformerSovietUnion.But,
unfortunately,ouroldstrategyisnotanimmutablelawofnature.Ahighly
competentenemymightwellemergewhowillseektodestroytheUnitedStates
byusingmassdestructionweaponsinatrulyrevolutionarykindofwarfare.
7

Thuswewontbeabletoreassureourpeercompetitorsbecausewewillfailto
appreciatethetruethreatstheyface.Instead,mesmerizedbyroguestates
whosehostilitytotheUnitedStatesisessentiallyabyproductofourglobal
reachthatfrustratestheirregionalambitions,wewillfindourselvesincreasingly
atoddswiththeothergreatpowers.Untilweknowwhatwillservethefunction
ofmaintainingtheAlliancethathasbecomeaprotoworldorder,weknownot
whattoassureouralliesof(orinsurethemagainst).TheproblemfortheUnited
Stateshasbecometoidentifyitsinterestsandfuturethreatssothatitcanuseits
powertostrengthentheworldorderthatithasfought,successfully,toachieve,
andthatcan,ifproperlystructuredandmaintained,reenforceAmerican
securitytoafargreaterdegreethantheUnitedStatescouldpossiblydoalone.
Thisisessentiallyanintellectualproblem,justasthesolutiondevisedbythe
UnitedStatesanditsalliestotheuniversalvulnerabilitythatattendedthe
developmentofnuclearweaponswasanintellectualsolution.Butfacedwiththe
immensedifficultiesofanticipatinganewstrategicenvironmentbothatthe
statelevel,wherepeercompetitorsmayemergeasthreats,andatthe
technologicallevel,whereweaponsofmassdestructionmakenonsenseoutof
ourdefensepreparationswhoiseagertotakethebureaucraticandpolitical
risksinherentinacceptingthischallenge?Howmuchmorelikelyitisthatwewill
extrapolatefromtheworldweknow,withincompetentvillainsandheroic(and
recent!)successstories.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:42 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page117
securityisenhanced,fromtheirperspective,byourstrategies,militaryand
diplomaticwhetherthepubliccanbemadetounderstandandsupportsuch
stepsasdoenhancetheextendedenvironmentwhenithasbeentoldmoreor
lessconstantlythatitisthenumberofweaponsandtheadvanceoftechnology
thatcauses(orcures)theproblem[]
6

Istillendorsethisview,butsuchreassuranceisnowfarlesseasytoachieve
becauseithaslargelyceasedtobedefined.Reassuranceplayedacrucialrole
duringthefinalphaseoftheLongWar,from1949to1990,becauseit
preventedmultipolaritytheproliferationofnuclearweaponstostatessuchas
GermanyandJapanandtherebymadepossiblethequitestabledeterrence
relationshipbetweentheUnitedStatesandtheSovietUnion.Reassurance,I
willargue,hasanequallyvitalroletoplayinthetwentyfirstcenturyasour
strategiesmovetowardagreateremphasisondefenseanddeception.Thiswill
notbepossible,however,ifwecontinuetothinkandplanasthoughthestable
relationsthatattendedthepossessorsofweaponsofmassdestructioninthe
ColdWararesomehowintrinsictosuchweapons.Indeed,inmyviewtheuse
ofnuclearweaponsislikelierinthefirstfiftyyearsofthetwentyfirstcentury
thanatanytimeinthelastfiftyyearsofthetwentiethcentury,butwearelulled
intocomplacencyaboutthisbecauseofthenuclearstabilityweexperiencedin
thatperiod.Asonecommentatorhasputit,
ourcurrentstrategicthoughttendstoprojectthispeculiarexperienceintothe
future.Itassumesthattheuseofmassdestructionweaponswilleitherbe
deterredorbeconfinedtolocalizeddisasterscausedbystrategically
incompetentterrorists.Competentadversaries,thisthinkingimplicitlyassumes,
willhavetoemulatetherevolutionarymilitarytechnologythatwenow
possess,butatthesametimeadheretoourold,counterrevolutionarystrategy,
asworkedoutinoursuperpowerrivalrywiththeformerSovietUnion.But,
unfortunately,ouroldstrategyisnotanimmutablelawofnature.Ahighly
competentenemymightwellemergewhowillseektodestroytheUnitedStates
byusingmassdestructionweaponsinatrulyrevolutionarykindofwarfare.
7

Thuswewontbeabletoreassureourpeercompetitorsbecausewewillfailto
appreciatethetruethreatstheyface.Instead,mesmerizedbyroguestates
whosehostilitytotheUnitedStatesisessentiallyabyproductofourglobal
reachthatfrustratestheirregionalambitions,wewillfindourselvesincreasingly
atoddswiththeothergreatpowers.Untilweknowwhatwillservethefunction
ofmaintainingtheAlliancethathasbecomeaprotoworldorder,weknownot
whattoassureouralliesof(orinsurethemagainst).TheproblemfortheUnited
Stateshasbecometoidentifyitsinterestsandfuturethreatssothatitcanuseits
powertostrengthentheworldorderthatithasfought,successfully,toachieve,
andthatcan,ifproperlystructuredandmaintained,reenforceAmerican
securitytoafargreaterdegreethantheUnitedStatescouldpossiblydoalone.
Thisisessentiallyanintellectualproblem,justasthesolutiondevisedbythe
UnitedStatesanditsalliestotheuniversalvulnerabilitythatattendedthe
developmentofnuclearweaponswasanintellectualsolution.Butfacedwiththe
immensedifficultiesofanticipatinganewstrategicenvironmentbothatthe
statelevel,wherepeercompetitorsmayemergeasthreats,andatthe
technologicallevel,whereweaponsofmassdestructionmakenonsenseoutof
ourdefensepreparationswhoiseagertotakethebureaucraticandpolitical
risksinherentinacceptingthischallenge?Howmuchmorelikelyitisthatwewill
extrapolatefromtheworldweknow,withincompetentvillainsandheroic(and
recent!)successstories.
Page118
Ourpresentworld,thisIndiansummer
8
asonewriterputsit,notonly
presentsabeguilinginvitationtocomplacencyreinforcedbynewtechnological
possibilities.Italsooffersanopportunitytoundertakesomefundamental
reassessmentswithouttheterriblepressureofwar.RecentAmericansuccesses
intheGulfWarandinYugoslavia,however,maytendtodiscourageanytoo
radicalrevisions.
PaulBrackencorrectlyconcludes,
Thefocusontheimmediatemeansthatalarger,moreimportantquestionisnot
beingasked:shouldplannersredesigntheU.S.militaryforanentirelynew
operationalenvironment,takingaccountofrevolutionarychangesinmilitary
technologyandthepossibleappearanceofentirelynewkindsofcompetitors?
9

AndFredIkladdsthat
militaryplanners,aswellasmostscholars,wouldshrugoffthesecosmic
questionsandinsteadnibbleattheedgesoftheproblemworrying,say,about
whetheratacticalnuclearweaponcouldbestoleninRussiaandsoldtoIran,or
whetherIraqmightstillbehidingsomeSecondWorldWartypebiologicalor
chemicalagents.
10

Afailuretotakeseriouslythenewstrategicenvironmentcanhavecostly
consequencesinthedomestictheatreaswell.Shouldtheuseofaweaponof
massdestructionoccur,thestateinwhichthishappenswillundergoacrisisinits
constitutionalorder.Howitpreparesforthiscrisiswilldeterminethefateofits
society,notonlyitssheersurvival,buttheconditionsofthatsurvival.Some
societiesmaybecomepolicestatesinanefforttoprotectthemselvessomemay
disintegratebecausetheycannotagreeonhowtoprotectthemselves.
Theconstitutionalorderofastateanditsstrategicposturetowardotherstates
togetherformtheinnerandoutermembraneofastate.Thatmembraneis
securedbyviolencewithoutthatsecurity,astateceasestoexist.Whatis
distinctiveabouttheStateistherequirementthattheviolenceitdeploysonits
behalfmustbelegitimatethatis,itmustbeacceptedwithinasamatteroflaw,
andacceptedwithoutasanappropriateactofstatesovereignty.Legitimacy
mustcloaktheviolenceoftheState,ortheStateceasestobe.Legitimacy,
however,isamatterofhistoryandthusissubjecttochangeasnewevents
emergefromthefutureandnewunderstandingsreinterpretthepast.The
standardsagainstwhichstatelegitimacyismeasuredhaveundergoneprofound
change,animatedbyinnovationsinthestrategicenvironmentand
transformationsoftheconstitutionalorderofstates.
Itisoftensaidtodaythatthenationstateisdefunct.
11
Recently,inasingleyear,
twobookswerepublishedwithalmostidenticaltitles,TheEndoftheNation
StateandTheEndoftheNationState:TheRiseofRegionalEconomies.
12

TothesecannowbeaddedMartinvanCreveldsdistinguishedTheRiseand
DeclineoftheState.
13
Thereareskeptics,however,whopointoutthatboth
nationalismandtheStatearethrivingenterprises.Moreover,forallthetransfer
offunctionstotheprivatesector,wedontreallywanttheStatetofadeaway
altogether.TherearemanythingswewanttheStateandnottheprivatesector
todobecausewewantourpoliticsratherthanthemarkettoresolvecertain
kindsofdifficultchoices.And,itmustbeconceded,themarketitselfhasneed
oftheStatetosetthelegalframeworkthatpermitsthemarkettofunction.
Whatiswronginthisdebateoverthedemiseofthenationstateisthe
identificationofthenationstatewiththeStateitself.Weusuallydatetheorigin
ofthenationstatetothePeaceofWestphaliain1648thatendedtheThirty
YearsWarandrecognizedaconstitutional
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:42 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page118
Ourpresentworld,thisIndiansummer
8
asonewriterputsit,notonly
presentsabeguilinginvitationtocomplacencyreinforcedbynewtechnological
possibilities.Italsooffersanopportunitytoundertakesomefundamental
reassessmentswithouttheterriblepressureofwar.RecentAmericansuccesses
intheGulfWarandinYugoslavia,however,maytendtodiscourageanytoo
radicalrevisions.
PaulBrackencorrectlyconcludes,
Thefocusontheimmediatemeansthatalarger,moreimportantquestionisnot
beingasked:shouldplannersredesigntheU.S.militaryforanentirelynew
operationalenvironment,takingaccountofrevolutionarychangesinmilitary
technologyandthepossibleappearanceofentirelynewkindsofcompetitors?
9

AndFredIkladdsthat
militaryplanners,aswellasmostscholars,wouldshrugoffthesecosmic
questionsandinsteadnibbleattheedgesoftheproblemworrying,say,about
whetheratacticalnuclearweaponcouldbestoleninRussiaandsoldtoIran,or
whetherIraqmightstillbehidingsomeSecondWorldWartypebiologicalor
chemicalagents.
10

Afailuretotakeseriouslythenewstrategicenvironmentcanhavecostly
consequencesinthedomestictheatreaswell.Shouldtheuseofaweaponof
massdestructionoccur,thestateinwhichthishappenswillundergoacrisisinits
constitutionalorder.Howitpreparesforthiscrisiswilldeterminethefateofits
society,notonlyitssheersurvival,buttheconditionsofthatsurvival.Some
societiesmaybecomepolicestatesinanefforttoprotectthemselvessomemay
disintegratebecausetheycannotagreeonhowtoprotectthemselves.
Theconstitutionalorderofastateanditsstrategicposturetowardotherstates
togetherformtheinnerandoutermembraneofastate.Thatmembraneis
securedbyviolencewithoutthatsecurity,astateceasestoexist.Whatis
distinctiveabouttheStateistherequirementthattheviolenceitdeploysonits
behalfmustbelegitimatethatis,itmustbeacceptedwithinasamatteroflaw,
andacceptedwithoutasanappropriateactofstatesovereignty.Legitimacy
mustcloaktheviolenceoftheState,ortheStateceasestobe.Legitimacy,
however,isamatterofhistoryandthusissubjecttochangeasnewevents
emergefromthefutureandnewunderstandingsreinterpretthepast.The
standardsagainstwhichstatelegitimacyismeasuredhaveundergoneprofound
change,animatedbyinnovationsinthestrategicenvironmentand
transformationsoftheconstitutionalorderofstates.
Itisoftensaidtodaythatthenationstateisdefunct.
11
Recently,inasingleyear,
twobookswerepublishedwithalmostidenticaltitles,TheEndoftheNation
StateandTheEndoftheNationState:TheRiseofRegionalEconomies.
12

TothesecannowbeaddedMartinvanCreveldsdistinguishedTheRiseand
DeclineoftheState.
13
Thereareskeptics,however,whopointoutthatboth
nationalismandtheStatearethrivingenterprises.Moreover,forallthetransfer
offunctionstotheprivatesector,wedontreallywanttheStatetofadeaway
altogether.TherearemanythingswewanttheStateandnottheprivatesector
todobecausewewantourpoliticsratherthanthemarkettoresolvecertain
kindsofdifficultchoices.And,itmustbeconceded,themarketitselfhasneed
oftheStatetosetthelegalframeworkthatpermitsthemarkettofunction.
Whatiswronginthisdebateoverthedemiseofthenationstateisthe
identificationofthenationstatewiththeStateitself.Weusuallydatetheorigin
ofthenationstatetothePeaceofWestphaliain1648thatendedtheThirty
YearsWarandrecognizedaconstitutional
Page119
systemofstates.Infact,however,thenationstateisrelativelynewbeinglittle
morethanacenturyoldandhasbeenprecededbyotherformsoftheState,
includingformsthatlongantedatedtheThirtyYearsWar.Thenationstateis
dying,butthisonlymeansthat,asinthepast,anewformisbeingborn.This
newform,themarketstate,willultimatelybedefinedbyitsresponsetothe
strategicthreatsthathavemadethenationstatenolongerviable.Different
modelsofthisformwillcontend.Itisourtasktodevisemeansbywhichthis
competitioncanbemaintainedwithoutitsbecomingfataltothecompetitors.
Notes
1Agreatpowerisastatecapableofinitiatinganepochalwar,thatis,aconflict
thatthreatenstheconstitutionalsurvivaloftheleadersofthesocietyofstates.
2U.S.DepartmentoftheArmy,DecisiveVictory:AmericasPower
ProjectionArmy(DepartmentoftheArmy,Washington,D.C.,1994
3BernardBrodie,ImplicationsforMilitaryPolicyinTheAbsoluteWeapon:
AtomicPowerandWorldOrder,ed.BernardBrodie(Harcourt,Brace,
1946)p.76.
4ThomasC.Schelling,ArmsandInfluence(YaleUniversityPress,New
Haven,1966).
5MichaelHoward,LessonsoftheColdWar,Survival36(19945)p.165.
6PhilipBobbitt,DemocracyandDeterrence(StMartinsPress,NewYork,
1988)p.286.
7FredIkl,TheNextLenin:OntheCuspofTrulyRevolutionaryWarfare,
TheNationalInterest47,(1997)p.9.
8WrittenbeforeSeptember11,2001.
9PaulBracken,TheMilitaryAfterNext,TheWashingtonQuarterly16
(1993)p.157.
10Ikl(fn7)p.9.
11JeanMarieGuehenno,TheEndoftheNationState(Universityof
MinnesotaPress,1995).
12KenichiOhmae,TheEndoftheNationState:TheRiseofRegional
Economies(FreePress,NewYork,1995).
13MartinvanCreveld,TheRiseandDeclineoftheState(Cambridge
UniversityPress,1999).
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:43 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page120
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:43 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page121
PartII
Thepoliticsofinterdependenceand
globalization
Introduction
Theextractsinthispartreflectandevaluateasetofchangesand
transformationsthathavecreatedanewformofpluralismincontemporary
worldpolitics.Asearlyasthe1970s,dissatisfactionwiththepreceptsofrealism
andthetraditionalstatecentricapproachtoworldpoliticshademerged.The
critiqueofrealismthatemergedatthatstagewasbasedonthreecentral
challenges:totheclaimthatthestatewasnecessarilythedominantactorin
worldpoliticsandactedonbehalfofallofitscitizenstotheclaimthatnational
securityandhighpoliticsdominatedthearenaofworldpoliticsandtothe
notionthatcompetition,insecurityandpoliticalviolencewerethecentral
componentsofthepoliticalprocessintheworldarena.Asaresultofthis
critique,thestudyofworldpoliticsbecamemoreastudyofdifferentiation
betweenavarietyofgroupsactingforavarietyofendsthroughavarietyof
channelsthanofthesocietyofstates.Statesdidnotlosetheirimportance,
however:rather,theyhadtobeseeninthecontextofthismorediverseandfluid
worldarena.Inthe1970sand1980s,therefore,studiesofinterdependence,
transnationalrelationsandinternationalintegrationappearedinincreasing
numbers,reflectingtheevermoreapparentpluralismofworldpoliticsandthe
challengestostatedominance.
Duringthe1990s,theseestablishedtrendsdevelopedfurther.Indeed,some
wouldsaythatsincetheendoftheColdWarintheearly1990s,andwiththe
increasingfluidityanddiversityofeconomic,socialandpoliticalprocesses,both
theworldarenaandthestudyofworldpoliticshavebeentransformed.There
continuestobeastrongfocusonthewaysinwhichstateshavetocopewiththe
impactofglobalchange,drawingonthemajorchangesinthestatesystem
duringthe1990sandemphasizingthenewinstitutionalandnegotiatingcontexts
confrontingstateauthorities.Alongsidethis,however,therehasbeenafurther
significantdevelopmentofinterestintransnationalprocessesandtheinfluenceof
nonstateactorssuchasinternationalorganizationsorcrossnationalnetworks
ofpoliticalactivists.Accompanyingthistherehasalsobeenasurgeofattention
totheprocessesandproblemsgenerallydescribedasthoseofglobalization,in
whichintensificationoftransnationallinkagesinpolitics,politicaleconomyand
variousformsofcommunicationsandinformationtechnologieshaveproduceda
transformationnotonlyofinstitutionsbutalsoofideasandculturalinteractions.
Thepiecesgatheredinthispartofthebookareselectedinordertoaddress
someofthekeyissuesthathaveemergedfromtheseprocessesofchangesand
tranformation,andtounderlinethefactthatinmanycasesoldinstitutionsand
problemshavepersistedintoatransformedpoliticalworld.Thefirstfour
selectionsthusalladdresstheproblemsofthestateasanactorinthischanging
world,andsomeofthechangedcontextsintowhichstate
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:43 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page122
authoritieshavetoprojecttheirinfluence.Shaw(2.1)focusesonthewaysin
whichprocessesofglobalizationhavetransformedthenatureandactivitiesof
states,buthedoesthiswithinahistoricalcontextwhichemphasizestheroleof
theWesternstatecentredintheNorthAtlantic,JapanandAustralasia.He
goesontosuggestthatinthiswaytheWesternstatehasthepotentialto
becomeaglobalstate,inthesensethatitisthepredominantmodelfor
institutionsandideasrelatingtostatehood.Butatthesametime,heshowsthat
oneofthekeyfeaturesofstatehoodintheageofglobalizationistheincreasing
varietyofstatehoodandstateauthorities,whichmakessimpleprognostications
aboutthemodelsforfutureformsofstatehoodadangerousexercise.Ikenberry
(2.2)developsfurtheroneofthekeythemesinShawsargument,byfocusing
onthewaysinwhichtheWesternstateintheformoftheUnitedStatesandits
allies,hascontinuedtodominatethepostColdWarorder.Thisisnot,
however,asimplestatecentricorpowerbasedargument,sinceIkenberryis
concernedtoshowhowthisWesterndominatedorderissustainedbythe
moderationofstatepower,bythebuildingofcooperativeprocessesand
institutionsandbysharedideasaboutthelogicoforder.Ikenberrythusargues
thattheWesternorderhasconstitutionalcharacteristicsthatprofoundly
modifytherealistvisionofcompetitiveandhierarchicalrelationsbetweenstates.
ThisgeneralargumentisillustratedmorespecificallybyMoravcsik(2.3),who
explorestherationalityofinternationalcooperationwithspecificreferencetothe
EuropeanUnion.AccordingtoMoravcsik,cooperationbetweenstatesinthe
EuropeanUnionhasreflectedkeyprocessesofnationalpreferenceformation,
interstatebargainingandinstitutionalchoice,inwhichthechoiceforEurope
hasledtopoolingordelegationofsovereigntyinkeyareasofstateactivity.The
finalselectioninthisgroup,byGaryMarks,ElisabethHoogheandKermit
Blank(2.4),goesfurtherdownthistrack,bysuggestingthatalthoughinterstate
bargainingcanaccountforsignificantpartsofwhathashappenedinEuropean
integration,itisincreasinglyaccompaniedifnotsupplantedbyaverydifferent
process,thatofmultilevelgovernance.Inthisgrowingsetofprocesses,
decisionmakingpowerissharedacrossseverallevelsofauthorityandbetween
manydifferenttypesofpoliticalactor.Asaresult,stateexecutiveslose
significantamountsofcontroloverkeypolicyareas,andtheseparationbetween
domesticandinternationalpoliticsisincreasinglychallenged.Althoughthis
typeofnewpoliticsismostapparentinWesternEurope,itisalsoincreasingly
discernibleinotherregionsoftheworld,withthegrowthofnewinstitutionsfor
cooperationandregulation.
Thesecondgroupofextractsinthispartmoveontoexplorethediversityof
institutions,groupsandprocessesthatcharacterizeaworldoftransnational
relationsandexchanges.Asbefore,theydonotclaimthattheinfluenceofstates
andnationalexecutiveshasdisappearedbuttheytakeasacentralpartoftheir
argumentsthattherearenewprocessesandphenomenaoverwhichstateshave
comparativelylittlecontrol.Theyalsogiveanincreasinglyprominentrolenot
onlytonewinstitutionsbuttotheroleofideasinconferringpowerandleverage
onnewtypesofinternationalactors.BarnettandPhinnemore(2.5)focusonthe
waysinwhichinternationalorganizationscandeveloppowerindependentofthe
statesthatcreatedthem,andtheydosoinlargepartbystressingthewaysin
whichinternationalagenciescangeneratenewnormsandsocialknowledge.
Thissocialconstructivistapproachtoworldpoliticshasbecomeincreasingly
prominentsincetheendoftheColdWar,arguablyastheresultofthenew
fluidityofidentitiesandallegiancesnoticeableinthenewworlddisorder.
BarnettandPhinnemoreuseittoarguethatthedefinitionofsharedtasksand
thepromotionofmodelsofpoliticalorganizationisakeyfunctionof
internationalorganizations,andthatthisgivesnewmeaningtotheconceptof
powerinworldpolitics.KeckandSikkink(2.6)pursueanotheraspectofthis
newworldpoliticsbyexploringthewaysin
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:43 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page122
authoritieshavetoprojecttheirinfluence.Shaw(2.1)focusesonthewaysin
whichprocessesofglobalizationhavetransformedthenatureandactivitiesof
states,buthedoesthiswithinahistoricalcontextwhichemphasizestheroleof
theWesternstatecentredintheNorthAtlantic,JapanandAustralasia.He
goesontosuggestthatinthiswaytheWesternstatehasthepotentialto
becomeaglobalstate,inthesensethatitisthepredominantmodelfor
institutionsandideasrelatingtostatehood.Butatthesametime,heshowsthat
oneofthekeyfeaturesofstatehoodintheageofglobalizationistheincreasing
varietyofstatehoodandstateauthorities,whichmakessimpleprognostications
aboutthemodelsforfutureformsofstatehoodadangerousexercise.Ikenberry
(2.2)developsfurtheroneofthekeythemesinShawsargument,byfocusing
onthewaysinwhichtheWesternstateintheformoftheUnitedStatesandits
allies,hascontinuedtodominatethepostColdWarorder.Thisisnot,
however,asimplestatecentricorpowerbasedargument,sinceIkenberryis
concernedtoshowhowthisWesterndominatedorderissustainedbythe
moderationofstatepower,bythebuildingofcooperativeprocessesand
institutionsandbysharedideasaboutthelogicoforder.Ikenberrythusargues
thattheWesternorderhasconstitutionalcharacteristicsthatprofoundly
modifytherealistvisionofcompetitiveandhierarchicalrelationsbetweenstates.
ThisgeneralargumentisillustratedmorespecificallybyMoravcsik(2.3),who
explorestherationalityofinternationalcooperationwithspecificreferencetothe
EuropeanUnion.AccordingtoMoravcsik,cooperationbetweenstatesinthe
EuropeanUnionhasreflectedkeyprocessesofnationalpreferenceformation,
interstatebargainingandinstitutionalchoice,inwhichthechoiceforEurope
hasledtopoolingordelegationofsovereigntyinkeyareasofstateactivity.The
finalselectioninthisgroup,byGaryMarks,ElisabethHoogheandKermit
Blank(2.4),goesfurtherdownthistrack,bysuggestingthatalthoughinterstate
bargainingcanaccountforsignificantpartsofwhathashappenedinEuropean
integration,itisincreasinglyaccompaniedifnotsupplantedbyaverydifferent
process,thatofmultilevelgovernance.Inthisgrowingsetofprocesses,
decisionmakingpowerissharedacrossseverallevelsofauthorityandbetween
manydifferenttypesofpoliticalactor.Asaresult,stateexecutiveslose
significantamountsofcontroloverkeypolicyareas,andtheseparationbetween
domesticandinternationalpoliticsisincreasinglychallenged.Althoughthis
typeofnewpoliticsismostapparentinWesternEurope,itisalsoincreasingly
discernibleinotherregionsoftheworld,withthegrowthofnewinstitutionsfor
cooperationandregulation.
Thesecondgroupofextractsinthispartmoveontoexplorethediversityof
institutions,groupsandprocessesthatcharacterizeaworldoftransnational
relationsandexchanges.Asbefore,theydonotclaimthattheinfluenceofstates
andnationalexecutiveshasdisappearedbuttheytakeasacentralpartoftheir
argumentsthattherearenewprocessesandphenomenaoverwhichstateshave
comparativelylittlecontrol.Theyalsogiveanincreasinglyprominentrolenot
onlytonewinstitutionsbuttotheroleofideasinconferringpowerandleverage
onnewtypesofinternationalactors.BarnettandPhinnemore(2.5)focusonthe
waysinwhichinternationalorganizationscandeveloppowerindependentofthe
statesthatcreatedthem,andtheydosoinlargepartbystressingthewaysin
whichinternationalagenciescangeneratenewnormsandsocialknowledge.
Thissocialconstructivistapproachtoworldpoliticshasbecomeincreasingly
prominentsincetheendoftheColdWar,arguablyastheresultofthenew
fluidityofidentitiesandallegiancesnoticeableinthenewworlddisorder.
BarnettandPhinnemoreuseittoarguethatthedefinitionofsharedtasksand
thepromotionofmodelsofpoliticalorganizationisakeyfunctionof
internationalorganizations,andthatthisgivesnewmeaningtotheconceptof
powerinworldpolitics.KeckandSikkink(2.6)pursueanotheraspectofthis
newworldpoliticsbyexploringthewaysin
Page123
whichtransnationalgroups,especiallywhattheycalladvocacynetworks
focusedonparticularcauses,cangainaccesstothepoliticalprocess,These
networkscanprovideresourcesbothininternationalandindomesticpolitical
processes,byexploitingthegapsincontrolofcommunicationsandideas,and
bybeingabletocrosstheincreasinglyblurredboundariesbetweenhomeand
abroad.Theiractivitieschallengetheestablishedpracticesofsovereignty,and
althoughtheycanoftenoperatealongsidestateauthorities,theirveryexistence
erodesthecentralityofsuchnationalauthoritiesinworldpolitics.Keohaneand
Nye(2.7)focusstronglyononeofthethemesidentifiedbybothBarnettand
PhinnemoreandKeckandSikkink:thatofinformationandcommunication.The
impactofnewinformationandcommunicationtechnologies,addinguptowhat
theydescribeastheinformationrevolution,hasgivennewdimensionstowhat
theydescribeascomplexinterdependence,inwhichtheroleofstatesisless
centralandtherearemultiplechannelsofcommunicationandexchangebetween
societies.KeohaneandNyearguethatasaresultitispossibletoidentifyanew
politicsofcredibilityinworldpolitics,inwhichpoliticaleffectivenessdepends
onthecapacitytoconveycredibleinformationonspecificissuesandproblems,
ratherthanonestablishedmechanismsofstateauthority.
Thefinalgroupofextractstakesupanumberofthethemesalreadyraised,but
relatesthemdirectlytoprocessesoforderandgovernanceintheworld
arena.Thegrowthofdiversityandoftheinterconnectednessthatisbasictoall
ideasofglobalizationautomaticallycreatesquestionsaboutwhoisincontrol
andhowthatcontrolmightbeexercised.WayneSandholtz(2.8)approaches
thisissuefromabeliefthatworldpoliticsconstitutesasocialsystem,definedby
rulesandinstitutions,andthatglobalizationcreatesthedemandfornewrules
andinstitutionstogovernnewrelationshipsofcommunicationandexchange.
Notallrulesarecompletelynew:oftentheyaremodificationsofexisting
principlesandappliedthroughexistinginstitutionstheyalsoexistnotonlyin
termsofmaterialexchanges,butalsointermsofnormsandnormative
discoursesaboutthenatureofworldorder.AdlerandBarnett(2.9)takea
ratherdifferentapproach,sincetheyfocusonthedemandforsecurityinafluid
andunpredictableworld,whichisoftentakentobeakeyproblemof
globalization.Theyidentifythecentralqualitiesofsecuritycommunitiesandthe
waysinwhichtheyreflectstableexpectationsofpeacefulchangeamong
groupsofstatesandsocieties.Theirargumentgeneratesanumberofimportant
questionsaboutthenatureofcommunityandidentityintheworldarena,and
aboutprocessesofgovernanceandinstitutionbuildinginworldpolitics.Inthe
finaltwoextracts,JanAartScholteandDavidHeldshifttheemphasistothe
overallnatureofglobalcivilsocietyandthewaysinwhichnewformsof
internationalsolidaritymightshapetheglobalizationprocess.Scholte(2.10)
exploresthekeyfeaturesofglobalcivilsociety:thatistosay,thegrowing
rangeofgroupsandinstitutionsthatsetouttoinfluencepolicies,normsand
socialstructuresintheworldarena.Aswithotherextractsinthispart,he
emphasizesthefactthatalongsidetheburgeoningarrayofgroupsandnetworks
inaglobalizingworld,therearepersistentandinfluentialnationalauthorities.
Held(2.11)focusesontheproblemsofgovernancecreatedbyglobalization,
andarguesexplicitlythatnationalandstateauthoritiesdonotpossessthe
resourcestomeetthesechallenges.Heproposescosmopolitanismasawayin
whichpoliticscanbereframedintheglobalagetoreflecttheneedsof
individualsaswellasstateorotherinstitutions.Bydoingso,hereflectsthe
centralfactthatmanyofthedebatescoveredinthispartofthebookareabout
normsandvaluesaswellasaboutpracticalproblemsofpoliticalorganization
andinstitutions.
Itshouldbeclearonthebasisofthissummarythatthepoliticsof
interdependence,globalizationandcosmopolitanismcentreondiversity,change
andglobalpluralism.It
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:43 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page123
whichtransnationalgroups,especiallywhattheycalladvocacynetworks
focusedonparticularcauses,cangainaccesstothepoliticalprocess,These
networkscanprovideresourcesbothininternationalandindomesticpolitical
processes,byexploitingthegapsincontrolofcommunicationsandideas,and
bybeingabletocrosstheincreasinglyblurredboundariesbetweenhomeand
abroad.Theiractivitieschallengetheestablishedpracticesofsovereignty,and
althoughtheycanoftenoperatealongsidestateauthorities,theirveryexistence
erodesthecentralityofsuchnationalauthoritiesinworldpolitics.Keohaneand
Nye(2.7)focusstronglyononeofthethemesidentifiedbybothBarnettand
PhinnemoreandKeckandSikkink:thatofinformationandcommunication.The
impactofnewinformationandcommunicationtechnologies,addinguptowhat
theydescribeastheinformationrevolution,hasgivennewdimensionstowhat
theydescribeascomplexinterdependence,inwhichtheroleofstatesisless
centralandtherearemultiplechannelsofcommunicationandexchangebetween
societies.KeohaneandNyearguethatasaresultitispossibletoidentifyanew
politicsofcredibilityinworldpolitics,inwhichpoliticaleffectivenessdepends
onthecapacitytoconveycredibleinformationonspecificissuesandproblems,
ratherthanonestablishedmechanismsofstateauthority.
Thefinalgroupofextractstakesupanumberofthethemesalreadyraised,but
relatesthemdirectlytoprocessesoforderandgovernanceintheworld
arena.Thegrowthofdiversityandoftheinterconnectednessthatisbasictoall
ideasofglobalizationautomaticallycreatesquestionsaboutwhoisincontrol
andhowthatcontrolmightbeexercised.WayneSandholtz(2.8)approaches
thisissuefromabeliefthatworldpoliticsconstitutesasocialsystem,definedby
rulesandinstitutions,andthatglobalizationcreatesthedemandfornewrules
andinstitutionstogovernnewrelationshipsofcommunicationandexchange.
Notallrulesarecompletelynew:oftentheyaremodificationsofexisting
principlesandappliedthroughexistinginstitutionstheyalsoexistnotonlyin
termsofmaterialexchanges,butalsointermsofnormsandnormative
discoursesaboutthenatureofworldorder.AdlerandBarnett(2.9)takea
ratherdifferentapproach,sincetheyfocusonthedemandforsecurityinafluid
andunpredictableworld,whichisoftentakentobeakeyproblemof
globalization.Theyidentifythecentralqualitiesofsecuritycommunitiesandthe
waysinwhichtheyreflectstableexpectationsofpeacefulchangeamong
groupsofstatesandsocieties.Theirargumentgeneratesanumberofimportant
questionsaboutthenatureofcommunityandidentityintheworldarena,and
aboutprocessesofgovernanceandinstitutionbuildinginworldpolitics.Inthe
finaltwoextracts,JanAartScholteandDavidHeldshifttheemphasistothe
overallnatureofglobalcivilsocietyandthewaysinwhichnewformsof
internationalsolidaritymightshapetheglobalizationprocess.Scholte(2.10)
exploresthekeyfeaturesofglobalcivilsociety:thatistosay,thegrowing
rangeofgroupsandinstitutionsthatsetouttoinfluencepolicies,normsand
socialstructuresintheworldarena.Aswithotherextractsinthispart,he
emphasizesthefactthatalongsidetheburgeoningarrayofgroupsandnetworks
inaglobalizingworld,therearepersistentandinfluentialnationalauthorities.
Held(2.11)focusesontheproblemsofgovernancecreatedbyglobalization,
andarguesexplicitlythatnationalandstateauthoritiesdonotpossessthe
resourcestomeetthesechallenges.Heproposescosmopolitanismasawayin
whichpoliticscanbereframedintheglobalagetoreflecttheneedsof
individualsaswellasstateorotherinstitutions.Bydoingso,hereflectsthe
centralfactthatmanyofthedebatescoveredinthispartofthebookareabout
normsandvaluesaswellasaboutpracticalproblemsofpoliticalorganization
andinstitutions.
Itshouldbeclearonthebasisofthissummarythatthepoliticsof
interdependence,globalizationandcosmopolitanismcentreondiversity,change
andglobalpluralism.It
Page124
shouldalsobeclearthattheauthorsrepresentedheretakedifferentviewsof
(forexample)thecentralityofthestate,ofinternationalorganizationsandof
transnationalnetworks.Someoftheauthorswouldbecloseinmanywaystoa
realist,statecentricperspectiveotherswouldrejectthisaseithermisleadingor
dangerous,butwouldnotrejecttheimportanceofstatesandnationalauthorities
assuch.Finally,itisapparentthattheauthorsselectedherefocuspredominantly
onthepoliticsofthedevelopedorindustrialworld,althoughmanyare
sensitivetothedifferencesbetweenthisworldandthatoflessdeveloped
societies.Theirapproachispredominantlyreformist,admittingdiversityand
uncertaintybutassertingthepossibilityofcooperativesolutionstocentralissues.
Thishassomeechoesofthetopdownpoliticscharacteristicofarealist
perspective,whilstitmovesbeyondthatbytakingaliberalviewonthe
importanceofnonstateactorsandtheindividual.Suchapositionischallenged
stronglybythefinalperspective(PartIII)withitsviewofworldpoliticsfrom
thebottomupandaverydifferentpositiononthemeaningofglobalization.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:43 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page125
2.1
Thestateofglobalization:towardsatheoryofstate
transformation
MartinShaw
Source:ReviewofInternationalPoliticalEconomy,vol.4,no.3(1997),pp.
497513.
Shawfocusesonthewaysinwhichprocessesofglobalizationhave
transformedthenatureandactivitiesofstates.HeidentifiestheWestern
statecentredontheNorthAtlantic,JapanandAustralasiaasthe
dominantformofstateinthelatetwentiethandearlytwentyfirst
centuries,andgoesontoshowhowthismightbeanemergentformof
worldstate.Theargumentdemonstratesthattheideaofaglobalstate
remainsproblematicbecauseofthepersistentvarietyandunevennessof
stateforms.
[Shawstartsbyarguingthatoutofacomplexhistoricalprocesstherehas
emergedadominantWesternformofstate.]
Theorizingtheemergentglobalstate
Howdoweunderstandtheemergingglobalstateformscentredonthewestern
stateconglomerate?Sofar,theoryhastendedtoseetheglobalcontextofstate
powerinoneoftwolimitingways,bothofwhichtacitlyassumetheoldidentity
ofstateasnationstate.Ontheonehand,globalformsofstatepowerare
subsumedundertheinternational,whichitselfassumesthenationalasthe
fundamentalunitofanalysis.Thestudyofinternationalorganizationsand
regimes,forexample,seestheseasextensionsofthenationstate.
Ontheotherhand,therearenew,generallymoreradical,discourseswhich
movebeyondtheinternationaltoglobalpolitics,butassumethatglobalization
diminishesthestateelementofgovernance.Aliteratureongovernance
withoutgovernment,
1
inapoststatistworldorder,
2
focusesonhow
regulationtakesplacethroughinternationalorganizationsandcivilsocietyas
wellasthroughnationstates.Whilethisliteraturecorrectlyseesthatgovernance
nowinvolvesmorethanthenationstate,itmistakenlyimpliesthatthisshould
leadustoreplaceastateperspectivewiththeperspectiveofgovernance.To
concludefromtherelativedeclineorbypassingofthenationstatethatstateas
suchhasbecomelessimportantistomissthecentralcontextsofglobalization.
[]
[]weneedtounderstandthegloballydominantcontemporaryformofthe
stateasthewesternstateconglomerate,whichisdevelopingincreasingglobal
reachandlegitimacyinthepostColdWarwould.Provocativelyperhaps,I
wouldtakethisfurtherandarguethatweshouldunderstandthisstateformas
anemergentglobalstate.Thisstateisfragmentary,undoubtedly,andpossibly
unstable.Itconstitutes,however,amoreorlesscoherentraftofstateinstitutions
whichpossess,tosomedegree,globalreachandlegitimacy,andwhichfunction
asastateinregulatingeconomy,societyandpoliticsonaglobalscale.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:43 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page125
2.1
Thestateofglobalization:towardsatheoryofstate
transformation
MartinShaw
Source:ReviewofInternationalPoliticalEconomy,vol.4,no.3(1997),pp.
497513.
Shawfocusesonthewaysinwhichprocessesofglobalizationhave
transformedthenatureandactivitiesofstates.HeidentifiestheWestern
statecentredontheNorthAtlantic,JapanandAustralasiaasthe
dominantformofstateinthelatetwentiethandearlytwentyfirst
centuries,andgoesontoshowhowthismightbeanemergentformof
worldstate.Theargumentdemonstratesthattheideaofaglobalstate
remainsproblematicbecauseofthepersistentvarietyandunevennessof
stateforms.
[Shawstartsbyarguingthatoutofacomplexhistoricalprocesstherehas
emergedadominantWesternformofstate.]
Theorizingtheemergentglobalstate
Howdoweunderstandtheemergingglobalstateformscentredonthewestern
stateconglomerate?Sofar,theoryhastendedtoseetheglobalcontextofstate
powerinoneoftwolimitingways,bothofwhichtacitlyassumetheoldidentity
ofstateasnationstate.Ontheonehand,globalformsofstatepowerare
subsumedundertheinternational,whichitselfassumesthenationalasthe
fundamentalunitofanalysis.Thestudyofinternationalorganizationsand
regimes,forexample,seestheseasextensionsofthenationstate.
Ontheotherhand,therearenew,generallymoreradical,discourseswhich
movebeyondtheinternationaltoglobalpolitics,butassumethatglobalization
diminishesthestateelementofgovernance.Aliteratureongovernance
withoutgovernment,
1
inapoststatistworldorder,
2
focusesonhow
regulationtakesplacethroughinternationalorganizationsandcivilsocietyas
wellasthroughnationstates.Whilethisliteraturecorrectlyseesthatgovernance
nowinvolvesmorethanthenationstate,itmistakenlyimpliesthatthisshould
leadustoreplaceastateperspectivewiththeperspectiveofgovernance.To
concludefromtherelativedeclineorbypassingofthenationstatethatstateas
suchhasbecomelessimportantistomissthecentralcontextsofglobalization.
[]
[]weneedtounderstandthegloballydominantcontemporaryformofthe
stateasthewesternstateconglomerate,whichisdevelopingincreasingglobal
reachandlegitimacyinthepostColdWarwould.Provocativelyperhaps,I
wouldtakethisfurtherandarguethatweshouldunderstandthisstateformas
anemergentglobalstate.Thisstateisfragmentary,undoubtedly,andpossibly
unstable.Itconstitutes,however,amoreorlesscoherentraftofstateinstitutions
whichpossess,tosomedegree,globalreachandlegitimacy,andwhichfunction
asastateinregulatingeconomy,societyandpoliticsonaglobalscale.
Page126
Alargebodyofliteraturenowrecognizesglobalizationineconomic,socialand
culturalsenses,andwithitglobalsociety.
3
Whythenisitsounthinkableto
lookattheglobalizationofpoliticalandmilitarypower,andwithittheglobal
state?Theconceptisunfamiliar,certainly,butmuchofitsdifficultyistodowith
thecultureofthesocialscienceswhichissaturatedwithaconceptofstateas
centralizednationstate.Inthiscontext,aglobalstatecanonlybeunderstoodin
termsofaworldgovernmentwhichobviouslydoesnotandisnotlikelyto
exist.Iusetheterminaratherdifferentway,andintheremainderofthisarticle
Iprovideanelaborationandjustification.
Onereasonforourdifficultyinrecognizingglobalstatedevelopmentsisthat
theyaremanifestedincomplex,rapidlychangingandoftenhighlycontrasting
forms.Differenttheoreticalapproachestendtolatchontodifferentsidesof
thesedevelopments.FormarxistsandThirdWorldtheorists,forexample,the
GulfWarrepresentedamanifestationofimperialism,centredonstrategic
controlofoil.Incontrast,westernmilitaryactiontoprotectKurdishrefugees,
followingthewar,representedformanyInternationalRelationsanalystsanew
formofhumanitarianintervention
Theseandotherparadigmscompetetooffersimplecharacterizationsofglobal
statepower.Inreality,however,globalstatepowercrystallizesasboth
imperialistandhumanitarian,andindeedinotherforms.Mannsargument
thatstatesinvolvepolymorphouscrystallization,andthatdifferent
crystallizationsdominatedifferentinstitutions,isparticularlyimportanthere.
4
He
givesasanexampletheAmericanstate,crystallizing.
asconservativepatriarchaloneweekwhenrestrictingabortionrights,as
capitalistthenextwhenregulatingthesavingsandloansbankingscandal,asa
superpowerthenextwhensendingtroopsabroadforotherthannational
economicinterests.Thesevariedcrystallizationsarerarelyinharmonyorin
dialecticaloppositiontooneanotherusuallytheyjustdiffer.Theymobilize
differing,ifoverlappingandintersecting,powernetworks.
5

Weneedtoextendthisanalysisinunderstandingtheemergentglobalstate.In
theIraqiwarsof1991,Westernandglobalstatepowercrystallizedasboth
imperialistandhumanitarianaswellasinotherforms,atquicklysucceeding
stagesofthecrisis.
6
Withinthiskindofglobalcrisis,theAmericanstate
crystallizessometimesasanationstate,atothertimesascentreofthewestern
state,atothersstillasthecentreofglobalstatepower.Withoutunderstanding
thisdiversity,wewilllapseintoonesidednessordownrightconfusionandfailto
graspglobalpoliticalchange.
Inordertounderstandtheglobalstatewhichcrystallizesinthesediverseforms,
wemustfirstdefinethestate.Inparticular,thecontinuingsignificanceof
militarypoliticalpowerastheprimarycriterionfortheexistenceofastate
needstobeexplained.Mostdiscussionofstatesinthesocialscienceshas
impliedaslippagefromamilitarycentreddefinitiontowardsajuridicalor
economicmanagementbaseddefinition.Itisbecauseofthisslippagethatmany
haveconcludedthatthestateisweakenedbyglobalization.Iamassumingthat
theclassicmilitarypoliticaldefinitionisstillrelevant:thatmilitaryrelationsstill
definetherelationsbetweendistinctstatesandhencetheparametersofglobal
relationsofpower.
Tounderstandwhatisastateandconversely,whenastateisnotastateI
returntoWebersdefinition[],whichcentresonthemonopolyoflegitimate
violenceinagiventerritory.Before1945,stateleaders(andothers)oftenacted
asifWebersdefinitionwastrueandtheydidinfactholdamonopolyof
legitimateviolence.Inaworldofnationstates,thedemarcationofonestate
fromanotherwasthepotentialforviolencebetweenthem.Our
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:44 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page126
Alargebodyofliteraturenowrecognizesglobalizationineconomic,socialand
culturalsenses,andwithitglobalsociety.
3
Whythenisitsounthinkableto
lookattheglobalizationofpoliticalandmilitarypower,andwithittheglobal
state?Theconceptisunfamiliar,certainly,butmuchofitsdifficultyistodowith
thecultureofthesocialscienceswhichissaturatedwithaconceptofstateas
centralizednationstate.Inthiscontext,aglobalstatecanonlybeunderstoodin
termsofaworldgovernmentwhichobviouslydoesnotandisnotlikelyto
exist.Iusetheterminaratherdifferentway,andintheremainderofthisarticle
Iprovideanelaborationandjustification.
Onereasonforourdifficultyinrecognizingglobalstatedevelopmentsisthat
theyaremanifestedincomplex,rapidlychangingandoftenhighlycontrasting
forms.Differenttheoreticalapproachestendtolatchontodifferentsidesof
thesedevelopments.FormarxistsandThirdWorldtheorists,forexample,the
GulfWarrepresentedamanifestationofimperialism,centredonstrategic
controlofoil.Incontrast,westernmilitaryactiontoprotectKurdishrefugees,
followingthewar,representedformanyInternationalRelationsanalystsanew
formofhumanitarianintervention
Theseandotherparadigmscompetetooffersimplecharacterizationsofglobal
statepower.Inreality,however,globalstatepowercrystallizesasboth
imperialistandhumanitarian,andindeedinotherforms.Mannsargument
thatstatesinvolvepolymorphouscrystallization,andthatdifferent
crystallizationsdominatedifferentinstitutions,isparticularlyimportanthere.
4
He
givesasanexampletheAmericanstate,crystallizing.
asconservativepatriarchaloneweekwhenrestrictingabortionrights,as
capitalistthenextwhenregulatingthesavingsandloansbankingscandal,asa
superpowerthenextwhensendingtroopsabroadforotherthannational
economicinterests.Thesevariedcrystallizationsarerarelyinharmonyorin
dialecticaloppositiontooneanotherusuallytheyjustdiffer.Theymobilize
differing,ifoverlappingandintersecting,powernetworks.
5

Weneedtoextendthisanalysisinunderstandingtheemergentglobalstate.In
theIraqiwarsof1991,Westernandglobalstatepowercrystallizedasboth
imperialistandhumanitarianaswellasinotherforms,atquicklysucceeding
stagesofthecrisis.
6
Withinthiskindofglobalcrisis,theAmericanstate
crystallizessometimesasanationstate,atothertimesascentreofthewestern
state,atothersstillasthecentreofglobalstatepower.Withoutunderstanding
thisdiversity,wewilllapseintoonesidednessordownrightconfusionandfailto
graspglobalpoliticalchange.
Inordertounderstandtheglobalstatewhichcrystallizesinthesediverseforms,
wemustfirstdefinethestate.Inparticular,thecontinuingsignificanceof
militarypoliticalpowerastheprimarycriterionfortheexistenceofastate
needstobeexplained.Mostdiscussionofstatesinthesocialscienceshas
impliedaslippagefromamilitarycentreddefinitiontowardsajuridicalor
economicmanagementbaseddefinition.Itisbecauseofthisslippagethatmany
haveconcludedthatthestateisweakenedbyglobalization.Iamassumingthat
theclassicmilitarypoliticaldefinitionisstillrelevant:thatmilitaryrelationsstill
definetherelationsbetweendistinctstatesandhencetheparametersofglobal
relationsofpower.
Tounderstandwhatisastateandconversely,whenastateisnotastateI
returntoWebersdefinition[],whichcentresonthemonopolyoflegitimate
violenceinagiventerritory.Before1945,stateleaders(andothers)oftenacted
asifWebersdefinitionwastrueandtheydidinfactholdamonopolyof
legitimateviolence.Inaworldofnationstates,thedemarcationofonestate
fromanotherwasthepotentialforviolencebetweenthem.Our
Page127
discussionhasraisedtheissueofwhatthenhappenstostates,andtoour
understandingofstate,whenthispotentialhasbeenremoved,asithassince
1945betweenwesternstatesandmoreproblematicallysince1989between
westernstatesandRussia.
Themostimportantchangeisthatthecontrolofviolenceisceasingtobe
dividedverticallybetweendifferentnationstatesandempires.Instead,itis
beingdividedhorizontallybetweendifferentlevelsofpower,eachofwhich
claimssomelegitimacyandthusfragmentsthenatureofstate.Ontheone
hand,thereistheinternationalizationoflegitimateforce.Ontheotherthereare
theprocessesofprivatization(orreprivatization)offorce,whichhavebeen
increasinglydiscussedinthe1990s,inwhichindividuals,socialgroupsandnon
stateactorsaremorewidelyusingforceandclaiminglegitimacyfortheirusage.
Atthesametime,somenationstates,atleast,retainsomeoftheirclassic
controlofviolence.
ThissituationcallsforarevisionofWebersdefinition.FortunatelyMann,inhis
studyofnineteenthcenturystates,hasalreadyprovidedalooserversion.For
him,
1Thestateisadifferentiatedsetofinstitutionsandpersonnel
2embodyingcentrality,inthesensethatpoliticalrelationsradiatetoandfroma
centre,tocovera
3territoriallydemarcatedareaoverwhichitexercises
4somedegreeofauthoritative,bindingrulemaking,backedupbysome
organizedpoliticalforce.
7

AsMannpointsout,thisisaninstitutionalratherthanafunctionaldefinitionand
cruciallyforourpurposesitabandonstheideaofamonopolyoflegitimate
force.Astateinvolves,Mannsuggests,merelysomedegreeofauthoritative
rulemakingandsomeorganizedpoliticalforce.
Thisdefinitionisparticularlysuitedtothecomplex,overlappingformsofstate
powerwhichexistinthelatetwentiethcenturyinconditionsofglobalization.
TakingMannscriteriainturn,Iarguethattheemergentglobalstatecanbe
consideredastate,andthatanadditionalfifthcriterionneedstobeaddedifwe
aretomakesenseofthesituationofoverlappinglevelsofstatepower.
States,accordingtoMannsfirstpoint,involveadifferentiatedsetof
institutionsandpersonnel:differentiated,hemeans,inrelationtosociety.The
importantwordhereisactuallyset.Mannmakesitclearthatstatesarenot
necessarilyhomogenizedandcloselyintegratedinstitutions,buttheyconsistof
moreorlessdiscreteandoftendisjointedapparatuses.Underthemicroscope,
statesBalkanize,heargues,quotingAbramssneatformulationthatThe
stateistheunifiedsymbolofanactualdisunity.
8
MannaversthatLikecock
upfouluptheoristsIbelievethatstatesaremessierandlesssystematicand
unitarythaneachsingletheorysuggests.
9
Theideathatstatesareinstitutional
messesratherthanthehomogenousstructuresofidealtypeisofcentral
importancetomyunderstandingoftheglobalstate.
Justastheemergentglobalsocietyishighlydistinctiveinincludingalarge
numberofnationalsocieties,theglobalstateisunusualinincludingalarge
numberofnationstates.Nevertheless,thisisnotanentirelyunprecedented
situation.Multinationalstatesdonotalwaystaketherelativelyneatcentralized
formsoftheUKor(inadifferentsense)theformerSovietUnion.Mannhimself
analysesthehighlycomplex(andfromanidealtypicalpointofview,
idiosyncratic)formsoftheAustroHungarianempire.Thewesterncentred
globalstateis,however,anaggregationofinstitutionsofanunprecedentedkind
andonanunprecedentedscale.Ifweexamineitinaction,forexamplein
BosniaHerzegovina,wesee
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:44 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page127
discussionhasraisedtheissueofwhatthenhappenstostates,andtoour
understandingofstate,whenthispotentialhasbeenremoved,asithassince
1945betweenwesternstatesandmoreproblematicallysince1989between
westernstatesandRussia.
Themostimportantchangeisthatthecontrolofviolenceisceasingtobe
dividedverticallybetweendifferentnationstatesandempires.Instead,itis
beingdividedhorizontallybetweendifferentlevelsofpower,eachofwhich
claimssomelegitimacyandthusfragmentsthenatureofstate.Ontheone
hand,thereistheinternationalizationoflegitimateforce.Ontheotherthereare
theprocessesofprivatization(orreprivatization)offorce,whichhavebeen
increasinglydiscussedinthe1990s,inwhichindividuals,socialgroupsandnon
stateactorsaremorewidelyusingforceandclaiminglegitimacyfortheirusage.
Atthesametime,somenationstates,atleast,retainsomeoftheirclassic
controlofviolence.
ThissituationcallsforarevisionofWebersdefinition.FortunatelyMann,inhis
studyofnineteenthcenturystates,hasalreadyprovidedalooserversion.For
him,
1Thestateisadifferentiatedsetofinstitutionsandpersonnel
2embodyingcentrality,inthesensethatpoliticalrelationsradiatetoandfroma
centre,tocovera
3territoriallydemarcatedareaoverwhichitexercises
4somedegreeofauthoritative,bindingrulemaking,backedupbysome
organizedpoliticalforce.
7

AsMannpointsout,thisisaninstitutionalratherthanafunctionaldefinitionand
cruciallyforourpurposesitabandonstheideaofamonopolyoflegitimate
force.Astateinvolves,Mannsuggests,merelysomedegreeofauthoritative
rulemakingandsomeorganizedpoliticalforce.
Thisdefinitionisparticularlysuitedtothecomplex,overlappingformsofstate
powerwhichexistinthelatetwentiethcenturyinconditionsofglobalization.
TakingMannscriteriainturn,Iarguethattheemergentglobalstatecanbe
consideredastate,andthatanadditionalfifthcriterionneedstobeaddedifwe
aretomakesenseofthesituationofoverlappinglevelsofstatepower.
States,accordingtoMannsfirstpoint,involveadifferentiatedsetof
institutionsandpersonnel:differentiated,hemeans,inrelationtosociety.The
importantwordhereisactuallyset.Mannmakesitclearthatstatesarenot
necessarilyhomogenizedandcloselyintegratedinstitutions,buttheyconsistof
moreorlessdiscreteandoftendisjointedapparatuses.Underthemicroscope,
statesBalkanize,heargues,quotingAbramssneatformulationthatThe
stateistheunifiedsymbolofanactualdisunity.
8
MannaversthatLikecock
upfouluptheoristsIbelievethatstatesaremessierandlesssystematicand
unitarythaneachsingletheorysuggests.
9
Theideathatstatesareinstitutional
messesratherthanthehomogenousstructuresofidealtypeisofcentral
importancetomyunderstandingoftheglobalstate.
Justastheemergentglobalsocietyishighlydistinctiveinincludingalarge
numberofnationalsocieties,theglobalstateisunusualinincludingalarge
numberofnationstates.Nevertheless,thisisnotanentirelyunprecedented
situation.Multinationalstatesdonotalwaystaketherelativelyneatcentralized
formsoftheUKor(inadifferentsense)theformerSovietUnion.Mannhimself
analysesthehighlycomplex(andfromanidealtypicalpointofview,
idiosyncratic)formsoftheAustroHungarianempire.Thewesterncentred
globalstateis,however,anaggregationofinstitutionsofanunprecedentedkind
andonanunprecedentedscale.Ifweexamineitinaction,forexamplein
BosniaHerzegovina,wesee
Page128
anamazingplethoraofglobal,westernandnationalstateinstitutionspolitical,
militaryandwelfarecomplementedbyanequallydazzlingandcomplexarray
ofcivilsocietyorganizations.Asthisexampleunderlines,theglobalstateistruly
thebiggestinstitutionalmessofall.
ThesecondquestionisinwhatsensetheglobalstatemeetsMannssecond
criterionofembodyingcentrality,inthesensethatpoliticalrelationsradiateto
andfromacentre.Toputtheissueanotherway,whenisaninstitutionalmess
somessythatitcannotbeseenasasinglesetofinstitutionsatall?Inwhatsense
dotheUN,NATOandvariousotherinternationalorganizations,togetherwith
theUSAandthevariouswesternnationstates,constituteasinglesetof
institutions?
Clearlythereisnostraightforwardconstitutionalorderintheglobalstate,but
thereisanorderanditdoeshaveelementsofaconstitution.Thecentre
WashingtonratherthanNewYorkseemsclear,andthefactthatpolitical
relationsrediatetoandfromithasnowbeenconfirmedinallseriousglobal
crisesofthepost1989period,fromKuwaittoDayton.Thecontinuing
centralityoftheUSAtowarmanagementworldwide,andtoallthemajor
attemptsatpeacesettlementsfromtheMiddleEastandYugoslaviatoSouth
AfricaandevenNorthernIreland,underlinesthispoint.
Therearetwoapparentanomaliesinthissituationwhichleadprobablytomuch
ofthetheoreticalconfusion.First,thecentreofthewesternandemergentglobal
stateisconstitutedprimarilybythecentreofanationstate,theUSA.Second,
politicalrelationsradiatetoandfromthiscentrethroughdiversesetsof
institutions.ThereistheUNitself,whichconfersgloballegitimacyontheUS
state(andinwhichthatstatedoeshaveaconstitutionalroleasapermanent
memberoftheSecurityCouncil,andadefactorolewhichgoesbeyondthat).
ThereisNATO,whichisincreasinglyconfirmedastheeffectiveorganizationof
westernmilitarypoweronaglobalaswellasaregionalscale.Therearethe
numerouswesternledworldeconomicorganizations,fromtheexclusiveG7to
thewiderOECDandtheincreasinglyglobalWTO.Andlastbutnotleast,there
arethebilateralrelationsoftheAmericanstatewithvirtuallyallothernation
states.
Allthesenetworksoverlap,however,andthecriticalpointisthattheroleofthe
USadministrationineachofthemisdeterminednotonlybyitsnational
interestsbutbytheexigenciesofgloballeadership.Ofcourse,othernation
states,especiallytheUKandFrancebutindifferentwaysGermanyandJapan
andalsoRussiaandChina,aswellasregionalorganizations,notablytheEU,
alsohaveveryimportantrolesinthedevelopingglobalstate.Theinternal
structureoftheglobalstateisuncertainandevolving.Therolesofthevarious
statesandpowernetworksareallcontested,problematicandchanging,andin
theRussianandChinesecasesespeciallyunstable.Neverthelesstheir
developmentisgovernednotjustbytheinterplayofnationalinterestsbutbythe
demandsofworldpoliticalandeconomicmanagement.
Mannsthirdcriterion,thatastatepossessesaterritoriallydemarcatedarea
overwhichitexercisessomedegreeofauthoritative,bindingrulemaking,
backedupbysomeorganizedpoliticalforce,isobviouslyalsoproblematic,but
doesnotinmyviewnegatetheconceptofaglobalstate.Theterritorially
demarcatedareaoftheinterlockingglobalpowernetworksis,inprinciple,the
world.Thefactthatotherstateorganizationsclaimlesserterritorialjurisdictions,
regionalinthecaseoftheEU,nationalinthecaseofnationstates,subnational
inthecaseoflocalstateauthorities,doesnotcontradictthis.Theideaof
overlappingterritorialjurisdictionsisnotnewbutithasaparticular
contemporarysalience.Thereisasystematicsharingofsovereigntywhichis
relativizingthepreviouslyuniquesovereigntyofthenationstate.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:44 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page128
anamazingplethoraofglobal,westernandnationalstateinstitutionspolitical,
militaryandwelfarecomplementedbyanequallydazzlingandcomplexarray
ofcivilsocietyorganizations.Asthisexampleunderlines,theglobalstateistruly
thebiggestinstitutionalmessofall.
ThesecondquestionisinwhatsensetheglobalstatemeetsMannssecond
criterionofembodyingcentrality,inthesensethatpoliticalrelationsradiateto
andfromacentre.Toputtheissueanotherway,whenisaninstitutionalmess
somessythatitcannotbeseenasasinglesetofinstitutionsatall?Inwhatsense
dotheUN,NATOandvariousotherinternationalorganizations,togetherwith
theUSAandthevariouswesternnationstates,constituteasinglesetof
institutions?
Clearlythereisnostraightforwardconstitutionalorderintheglobalstate,but
thereisanorderanditdoeshaveelementsofaconstitution.Thecentre
WashingtonratherthanNewYorkseemsclear,andthefactthatpolitical
relationsrediatetoandfromithasnowbeenconfirmedinallseriousglobal
crisesofthepost1989period,fromKuwaittoDayton.Thecontinuing
centralityoftheUSAtowarmanagementworldwide,andtoallthemajor
attemptsatpeacesettlementsfromtheMiddleEastandYugoslaviatoSouth
AfricaandevenNorthernIreland,underlinesthispoint.
Therearetwoapparentanomaliesinthissituationwhichleadprobablytomuch
ofthetheoreticalconfusion.First,thecentreofthewesternandemergentglobal
stateisconstitutedprimarilybythecentreofanationstate,theUSA.Second,
politicalrelationsradiatetoandfromthiscentrethroughdiversesetsof
institutions.ThereistheUNitself,whichconfersgloballegitimacyontheUS
state(andinwhichthatstatedoeshaveaconstitutionalroleasapermanent
memberoftheSecurityCouncil,andadefactorolewhichgoesbeyondthat).
ThereisNATO,whichisincreasinglyconfirmedastheeffectiveorganizationof
westernmilitarypoweronaglobalaswellasaregionalscale.Therearethe
numerouswesternledworldeconomicorganizations,fromtheexclusiveG7to
thewiderOECDandtheincreasinglyglobalWTO.Andlastbutnotleast,there
arethebilateralrelationsoftheAmericanstatewithvirtuallyallothernation
states.
Allthesenetworksoverlap,however,andthecriticalpointisthattheroleofthe
USadministrationineachofthemisdeterminednotonlybyitsnational
interestsbutbytheexigenciesofgloballeadership.Ofcourse,othernation
states,especiallytheUKandFrancebutindifferentwaysGermanyandJapan
andalsoRussiaandChina,aswellasregionalorganizations,notablytheEU,
alsohaveveryimportantrolesinthedevelopingglobalstate.Theinternal
structureoftheglobalstateisuncertainandevolving.Therolesofthevarious
statesandpowernetworksareallcontested,problematicandchanging,andin
theRussianandChinesecasesespeciallyunstable.Neverthelesstheir
developmentisgovernednotjustbytheinterplayofnationalinterestsbutbythe
demandsofworldpoliticalandeconomicmanagement.
Mannsthirdcriterion,thatastatepossessesaterritoriallydemarcatedarea
overwhichitexercisessomedegreeofauthoritative,bindingrulemaking,
backedupbysomeorganizedpoliticalforce,isobviouslyalsoproblematic,but
doesnotinmyviewnegatetheconceptofaglobalstate.Theterritorially
demarcatedareaoftheinterlockingglobalpowernetworksis,inprinciple,the
world.Thefactthatotherstateorganizationsclaimlesserterritorialjurisdictions,
regionalinthecaseoftheEU,nationalinthecaseofnationstates,subnational
inthecaseoflocalstateauthorities,doesnotcontradictthis.Theideaof
overlappingterritorialjurisdictionsisnotnewbutithasaparticular
contemporarysalience.Thereisasystematicsharingofsovereigntywhichis
relativizingthepreviouslyuniquesovereigntyofthenationstate.
Page129
ThisleavesuswithMannsfourthpoint,theexistenceofsomedegreeof
authoritative,bindingrulemaking,backedupbysomeorganizedpolitical
force.Authoritativeglobalrulemakingactuallytakesseveraldifferentforms.
Therearetheinstitutionalarrangementswhichbindstatestogetherinthevarious
interstateorganizations,sothattheyregulatetheinternalstructureoftheglobal
stateandtherolesofnationstateswithinit.Thereisthebodyofinternational
lawwhichbindsindividualsandinstitutionsincivilsocietyaswellasstate
institutions.Therearethewiderangeofinternationalconventionsand
agreementswhichregulateglobaleconomyandsociety.Rulemakingis
undoubtedlypatchyandinsomeareasincoherent,butitisproceedingapace.
Mannssomedegreeseemsparticularlyapposite.
Rulemakingintheglobalstateclearlyhasthebackingofsomeorganized
politicalforce:thearmedforcesoftheUSA,UK,France,insome
circumstancesRussia,andmanyotherstates,havebeendeployedinthenames
ofNATOandtheUN.Increasingly,too,internationallawisacquiringa
machineryofcourts,tribunalsandpolice,evenifitremainsheavilydependent
onnationstates,andhasselectiveapplicationandlimitedrealenforcement
capacity.
TheglobalstateappearstomeetMannsdefinitionofastate.However,
althoughthisdefinitionclearlypermitsaconceptualizationofoverlappinglevels
ofstatepower,itsaysnothingspecificallyaboutthesituationofoverlappingand
thewaysinwhichdifferentstatesinthissensewillarticulate.Weneed
thereforetoaddanewcriterion:thatastate(particular)mustbe.
5toasignificantdegreeinclusiveandconstitutiveofotherformsorlevelsof
statepower(i.e.ofstatepoweringeneralinaparticulartimeandspace).
Thiscriterionisessential.Clearlynationstates,inthepresentperiod,arestill
generallyinclusiveandconstitutiveofsubnationalforms,althoughperhapsless
sothatintherecentpast(intheEuropeanUnion,forexample,regionsare
startingtobeconstitutedbyEUaswellasnationalstatepower).Toa
considerableextent,too,nationstatesalsoconstituteregionalandglobalforms
ofstate,aswellas(bydefinition)theinternational.Incontrast,localandregional
stateformswithinnationstatesaregenerallyonlyweaklyinclusiveor
constitutive.
Theinclusivenessandconstitutivenessofthevarioustransnationalformsofstate
isnoteasytodetermine.ClearlytheglobalstateinstitutionsoftheUNsystem
havebeen,inprinciple,inclusiveoftheentirerangeofnationstates,evenifin
practiceimportantstateshavebeenexcludedorhaveexcludedthemselvesfrom
allorpartsofthesystem.Todate,however,theUNsystemhasbeenonly
weaklyconstitutiveofitscomponentnationstates.Thewesternstate,onthe
otherhand,becamehighlyconstitutiveofitscomponentnationstatesduringthe
ColdWar,andlargelyremainsso.TheEuropeanstate(EuropeanUnion)has
graduallystrengthenedbothitsinclusivenessanditsconstitutivenessofmember
nationstatesalthoughthisisverymuchamatterofcontentionbutits
articulationwiththetransatlanticwesternstateisproblematic.
Onceweexaminethiscriterion,theglobalstateisevidentlyaproblematiclevel
ofstatepower.Inmanywaysitswesterncoreremainsstrongerthantheglobal
formitself.Itisevident,however,thatthewesternstateisoperatingglobally,in
responsetoglobalimperativesandtheneedforgloballegitimation.Thewestern
statehasbeguntobeconstitutedwithinbroaderglobalratherthannarrowly
westernparameters.Thegloballevelratherthanthenarrowlywesternis
becomingconstitutive,too,ofthecomponentnationstates.Still,it
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:44 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page129
ThisleavesuswithMannsfourthpoint,theexistenceofsomedegreeof
authoritative,bindingrulemaking,backedupbysomeorganizedpolitical
force.Authoritativeglobalrulemakingactuallytakesseveraldifferentforms.
Therearetheinstitutionalarrangementswhichbindstatestogetherinthevarious
interstateorganizations,sothattheyregulatetheinternalstructureoftheglobal
stateandtherolesofnationstateswithinit.Thereisthebodyofinternational
lawwhichbindsindividualsandinstitutionsincivilsocietyaswellasstate
institutions.Therearethewiderangeofinternationalconventionsand
agreementswhichregulateglobaleconomyandsociety.Rulemakingis
undoubtedlypatchyandinsomeareasincoherent,butitisproceedingapace.
Mannssomedegreeseemsparticularlyapposite.
Rulemakingintheglobalstateclearlyhasthebackingofsomeorganized
politicalforce:thearmedforcesoftheUSA,UK,France,insome
circumstancesRussia,andmanyotherstates,havebeendeployedinthenames
ofNATOandtheUN.Increasingly,too,internationallawisacquiringa
machineryofcourts,tribunalsandpolice,evenifitremainsheavilydependent
onnationstates,andhasselectiveapplicationandlimitedrealenforcement
capacity.
TheglobalstateappearstomeetMannsdefinitionofastate.However,
althoughthisdefinitionclearlypermitsaconceptualizationofoverlappinglevels
ofstatepower,itsaysnothingspecificallyaboutthesituationofoverlappingand
thewaysinwhichdifferentstatesinthissensewillarticulate.Weneed
thereforetoaddanewcriterion:thatastate(particular)mustbe.
5toasignificantdegreeinclusiveandconstitutiveofotherformsorlevelsof
statepower(i.e.ofstatepoweringeneralinaparticulartimeandspace).
Thiscriterionisessential.Clearlynationstates,inthepresentperiod,arestill
generallyinclusiveandconstitutiveofsubnationalforms,althoughperhapsless
sothatintherecentpast(intheEuropeanUnion,forexample,regionsare
startingtobeconstitutedbyEUaswellasnationalstatepower).Toa
considerableextent,too,nationstatesalsoconstituteregionalandglobalforms
ofstate,aswellas(bydefinition)theinternational.Incontrast,localandregional
stateformswithinnationstatesaregenerallyonlyweaklyinclusiveor
constitutive.
Theinclusivenessandconstitutivenessofthevarioustransnationalformsofstate
isnoteasytodetermine.ClearlytheglobalstateinstitutionsoftheUNsystem
havebeen,inprinciple,inclusiveoftheentirerangeofnationstates,evenifin
practiceimportantstateshavebeenexcludedorhaveexcludedthemselvesfrom
allorpartsofthesystem.Todate,however,theUNsystemhasbeenonly
weaklyconstitutiveofitscomponentnationstates.Thewesternstate,onthe
otherhand,becamehighlyconstitutiveofitscomponentnationstatesduringthe
ColdWar,andlargelyremainsso.TheEuropeanstate(EuropeanUnion)has
graduallystrengthenedbothitsinclusivenessanditsconstitutivenessofmember
nationstatesalthoughthisisverymuchamatterofcontentionbutits
articulationwiththetransatlanticwesternstateisproblematic.
Onceweexaminethiscriterion,theglobalstateisevidentlyaproblematiclevel
ofstatepower.Inmanywaysitswesterncoreremainsstrongerthantheglobal
formitself.Itisevident,however,thatthewesternstateisoperatingglobally,in
responsetoglobalimperativesandtheneedforgloballegitimation.Thewestern
statehasbeguntobeconstitutedwithinbroaderglobalratherthannarrowly
westernparameters.Thegloballevelratherthanthenarrowlywesternis
becomingconstitutive,too,ofthecomponentnationstates.Still,it
Page130
seemsbesttodefinetheglobalstate,evenmorethanglobalsocietyorculture,
asanemergent,stillcontingentandproblematicreality.
Thefactthatthewesternstateactsasaglobalstateisduetothemanifold
pressuresandcontradictionsofglobalgovernance.Theseincludenotmerely
threatstowesterninterests(aswithKuwaitioilorthedangerofawiderBalkan
war),butalsotheimperativesofgloballylegitimateprinciples,theclaimsof
insurgentandvictimizedgroups(suchastheKurdsandBosnians),the
contradictionsofglobalmediacoverageandthedemandsofanemergentglobal
civilsociety.Thefactthatthewesthaslargelycontinuedtocohere,despitethe
endoftheColdWar,andhasassumedglobalrolesdespitethemanifest
reluctanceofthemainwesternstatestopursueagloballeadershiprole,testifies
tothestructuralsignificanceofthesetrendsinglobalsociety.
Atraremoments,suchastheGulfmobilization,theSomalianandHaitian
interventionsandtheDaytonsettlement,westerngovernmentsappeartohave
chosenleadership.Thescarcityofthesemoments,comparedtotheoccasions
onwhichtheyhaveseemedtowanttoturntheirbacks,suggests,however,that
intheendtheyhavehadleadershipthrustuponthem.Intheenditisthelogicof
thenewglobalpoliticalmilitarysituation,includingthearticulationofdomestic
politicswithglobalissues,whichhascompelledthewestandespeciallythe
USAtoactasthecentreofanemergentglobalstate.
Thesepressuresfunctiontoholdtogether,moreorless,awesterncentred
globalstate,justasthepressuresofworldwarandColdWarformedthe
contextofearlierstagesinthedevelopmentofacoherentwesternstate.The
factthatthesepressuresaremorediffusedoesnotnecessarilymeanthatthey
areineffectual,althoughitdoesraiseaquestionmarkovertheprocess.While
globalcrisespushtheprocessofglobalstateformationforwardandmakeit
visible,theyalsobareitsweakcoherenceandcontradictions,includingthe
internalconflictsofthewesterncore.Althoughthewesternstateproveditself
relativelystableduringtheColdWar,itmaybethatthechallengesinvolvedin
itsnewglobalrolemayultimatelythreatenthatstability.Itistherefore
theoreticallypossiblethattheglobalstatecouldsimplyfragment,andtheworld
couldrevertinthemediumtermatleasttoananarchyofnationalandregional
stateinstitutionsfundamentallyatoddswiththeglobalizationofeconomy,
societyandculture.Suchadevelopmentis,however,unlikely,butto
acknowledgeitspossibilityunderlinestheuncertaintyandincoherenceofthe
currentformsofglobalstate.Itmayalsoimplytheneedforconstructivethinking
abouttheirdevelopment.
Sofaronbalancethetrendsdiscussedabovehaveworkedtomaintainthe
generalcohesionofthewesternglobalstate.Despiteimportanttemporary
disagreements,itappearsthatthecommoninterestsofthecomponentnational
andregionalformsofstatewithinthewestfavouritslongtermstability.The
majorcontradictionsofthewesterncentredglobalstateareitsrelativelyweak
effectivenessincontrollingviolenceanditsrelativelypoorlegitimacywithstate
elitesandsocietiesinthenonwesternworld.Thenexusofthewesternstate
withtheUNasalegitimatinginstitutionismanifestlyfragile.Inthelongterm,it
willonlysurviveifitmanagestoachievegreatereffectivenessandlegitimacy,
whichwillrequiresubstantialsocialchangeaswellasinstitutionbuilding.
Thereare,moreover,importantissuesinthearticulationoftheglobalstatewith
theregionalandnationalstateswhichitpartlyincludesandconstitutes.These
relationshipsarepluralandvariable.Afullanalysisofthecontemporarystate
needstoexaminetheseformsalongsidetheglobalizedwesternstatepower.
Toexplicatethenatureofcontemporarynationstatesandtheirrelationswith
globalstatepower,itisnecessarytograspthehugevariationwhichexistsinthe
statesdescribedbythisterm.RobertCooperhasproposedathreefold
categorizationofcontemporary
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:45 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page130
seemsbesttodefinetheglobalstate,evenmorethanglobalsocietyorculture,
asanemergent,stillcontingentandproblematicreality.
Thefactthatthewesternstateactsasaglobalstateisduetothemanifold
pressuresandcontradictionsofglobalgovernance.Theseincludenotmerely
threatstowesterninterests(aswithKuwaitioilorthedangerofawiderBalkan
war),butalsotheimperativesofgloballylegitimateprinciples,theclaimsof
insurgentandvictimizedgroups(suchastheKurdsandBosnians),the
contradictionsofglobalmediacoverageandthedemandsofanemergentglobal
civilsociety.Thefactthatthewesthaslargelycontinuedtocohere,despitethe
endoftheColdWar,andhasassumedglobalrolesdespitethemanifest
reluctanceofthemainwesternstatestopursueagloballeadershiprole,testifies
tothestructuralsignificanceofthesetrendsinglobalsociety.
Atraremoments,suchastheGulfmobilization,theSomalianandHaitian
interventionsandtheDaytonsettlement,westerngovernmentsappeartohave
chosenleadership.Thescarcityofthesemoments,comparedtotheoccasions
onwhichtheyhaveseemedtowanttoturntheirbacks,suggests,however,that
intheendtheyhavehadleadershipthrustuponthem.Intheenditisthelogicof
thenewglobalpoliticalmilitarysituation,includingthearticulationofdomestic
politicswithglobalissues,whichhascompelledthewestandespeciallythe
USAtoactasthecentreofanemergentglobalstate.
Thesepressuresfunctiontoholdtogether,moreorless,awesterncentred
globalstate,justasthepressuresofworldwarandColdWarformedthe
contextofearlierstagesinthedevelopmentofacoherentwesternstate.The
factthatthesepressuresaremorediffusedoesnotnecessarilymeanthatthey
areineffectual,althoughitdoesraiseaquestionmarkovertheprocess.While
globalcrisespushtheprocessofglobalstateformationforwardandmakeit
visible,theyalsobareitsweakcoherenceandcontradictions,includingthe
internalconflictsofthewesterncore.Althoughthewesternstateproveditself
relativelystableduringtheColdWar,itmaybethatthechallengesinvolvedin
itsnewglobalrolemayultimatelythreatenthatstability.Itistherefore
theoreticallypossiblethattheglobalstatecouldsimplyfragment,andtheworld
couldrevertinthemediumtermatleasttoananarchyofnationalandregional
stateinstitutionsfundamentallyatoddswiththeglobalizationofeconomy,
societyandculture.Suchadevelopmentis,however,unlikely,butto
acknowledgeitspossibilityunderlinestheuncertaintyandincoherenceofthe
currentformsofglobalstate.Itmayalsoimplytheneedforconstructivethinking
abouttheirdevelopment.
Sofaronbalancethetrendsdiscussedabovehaveworkedtomaintainthe
generalcohesionofthewesternglobalstate.Despiteimportanttemporary
disagreements,itappearsthatthecommoninterestsofthecomponentnational
andregionalformsofstatewithinthewestfavouritslongtermstability.The
majorcontradictionsofthewesterncentredglobalstateareitsrelativelyweak
effectivenessincontrollingviolenceanditsrelativelypoorlegitimacywithstate
elitesandsocietiesinthenonwesternworld.Thenexusofthewesternstate
withtheUNasalegitimatinginstitutionismanifestlyfragile.Inthelongterm,it
willonlysurviveifitmanagestoachievegreatereffectivenessandlegitimacy,
whichwillrequiresubstantialsocialchangeaswellasinstitutionbuilding.
Thereare,moreover,importantissuesinthearticulationoftheglobalstatewith
theregionalandnationalstateswhichitpartlyincludesandconstitutes.These
relationshipsarepluralandvariable.Afullanalysisofthecontemporarystate
needstoexaminetheseformsalongsidetheglobalizedwesternstatepower.
Toexplicatethenatureofcontemporarynationstatesandtheirrelationswith
globalstatepower,itisnecessarytograspthehugevariationwhichexistsinthe
statesdescribedbythisterm.RobertCooperhasproposedathreefold
categorizationofcontemporary
Page131
nationstatesaspostmodern,modernandpremodern.
10
Whilethe
terminologycarriesquestionabletheoreticalovertones,itcatchesadivisionof
stateswhichisusefulforthisanalysis.
First,withinthewest,nationstatesarenolongerclassicnationstates.They
arepostmoderninthesensethattheyareveryfullyarticulatedwith
transnationalwesternandglobalpowernetworks.Ofcourse,statesvary
enormouslyintheextenttowhichtheymimicthecharacteristicsoftraditional
nationstates.TheUSAandpostimperialBritainandFranceeachretainaclear
capacityforsignificantindependentmilitaryactioninsomecircumstances
althoughevenintheAmericancase,dependenceonthewiderframeworkof
westernandglobalpowernetworkshasincreased.Attheotherextreme,the
Canadian,BeneluxandScandinavianstateshavelargelysurrenderedtheir
capacityforindependentinitiativetoNATOandtheUN.Westernstatesare
alsovariablyembeddedinmoreorlessdominantpositionsinthewiderangeof
globaleconomicinstitutions.Theseinstitutionspowerfullyreinforcethepolitical
militaryintegrationofwesternstates.
Withinthewest,itisimportanttonotethespecialsignificanceoftheEuropean
state.Thisisauniquestateformaswellasakeycomponentofthewestern
stateingeneral.IttoomeetsallbutoneofMannscriteria,insomecasesbetter
thanthewesternglobalstateasawhole.Thekeyqualificationisthattheforms
offorceavailabletotheEUareverylimitedanditscapacityformobilizing
militarypower,orevenpoliticalpowertodealwithmilitaryissues,isstillvery
weak.TheEuropeansituationistheextremecaseofthegeneralfeatureof
modernstateorganizationwhichwehavediscussed.Fortheforeseeablefuture,
therearelikelytoexistinEuropeseveraldistinctivelevelsofstateorganization,
atthenational,European,western(transatlantic)andgloballevels(notto
mentionsubnationalregionalstateforms).
11

Beyondthewesternstateliesaneverneverlandofminorstates,likethecentral
andeasternEuropeans,smallerEastAsianandmanyLatinAmericanand
Africanstates,whichalsohaveweakautonomouspower.Althoughsome
statesespeciallythosewhichhaveonlyrecentlyclaimedindependencepride
themselvesontheirnationstatestatus,thesearealsonotreallynationstatesin
theclassicsense.Theyshelterunderwesternpower:althoughtheyarecurrently
moreweaklyintegratedintoitthanwesternstates,theyhavenoseriousstrategic
optionsapartfromcloserrelationshipswiththewesterncentredglobalstate.In
theEuropeancontext,thisrealityisreflectedintheaspirationsofthesmaller
centralandeasternstatestojointheEU,NATO,etc.
Therelationsofwesternandthesealliednationstatestoregional,westernand
globalstateformsareincreasinglyinstitutionalized.Manndubstheperiodafter
1945theageofinstitutionalizednationstates,partlybecausestateswere
basedoninstitutionalizedcompromisesbetweenclasses,butalsomore
relevanttoourpurposesbecauserelationsbetweenstateswerehighly
institutionalized.
12
Theroleofeachnationstatecorrespondstoacomplexsetof
understandingsandsystemsofregulationwithinthewestasawhole.
Thesecondmajorgroupofstatesconsistsofmajorindependentcentresofstate
power,whichcorrespondbesttotheclassicmodelofthemodernnation
states.Beyondthewestanditsperipheryliethegreatnonwesternstates
includingIndiaandBrazilaswellasRussiaandChina,andlesserpowerssuch
asIraq,IranandSerbia.Thesestatesmostlyacknowledgetherealityof
westernglobaldominancebypartialincorporationintowesternledglobal
institutionsandbyavoidingpotentialmilitaryconfrontationswiththewest.On
theotherhand,manyofthemmobilizesubstantialmilitarypowerwhichthey
maywelluseinconfrontationswitheachotherandwithminorstatesor
insurgentmovements,andwhichmaythenbringthemintoconflictwiththe
westernUNcentre.Themostcriticallongtermissuesforthewesternand
emergentglobalstatearetheirrelationswiththestatesinthis
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:45 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page131
nationstatesaspostmodern,modernandpremodern.
10
Whilethe
terminologycarriesquestionabletheoreticalovertones,itcatchesadivisionof
stateswhichisusefulforthisanalysis.
First,withinthewest,nationstatesarenolongerclassicnationstates.They
arepostmoderninthesensethattheyareveryfullyarticulatedwith
transnationalwesternandglobalpowernetworks.Ofcourse,statesvary
enormouslyintheextenttowhichtheymimicthecharacteristicsoftraditional
nationstates.TheUSAandpostimperialBritainandFranceeachretainaclear
capacityforsignificantindependentmilitaryactioninsomecircumstances
althoughevenintheAmericancase,dependenceonthewiderframeworkof
westernandglobalpowernetworkshasincreased.Attheotherextreme,the
Canadian,BeneluxandScandinavianstateshavelargelysurrenderedtheir
capacityforindependentinitiativetoNATOandtheUN.Westernstatesare
alsovariablyembeddedinmoreorlessdominantpositionsinthewiderangeof
globaleconomicinstitutions.Theseinstitutionspowerfullyreinforcethepolitical
militaryintegrationofwesternstates.
Withinthewest,itisimportanttonotethespecialsignificanceoftheEuropean
state.Thisisauniquestateformaswellasakeycomponentofthewestern
stateingeneral.IttoomeetsallbutoneofMannscriteria,insomecasesbetter
thanthewesternglobalstateasawhole.Thekeyqualificationisthattheforms
offorceavailabletotheEUareverylimitedanditscapacityformobilizing
militarypower,orevenpoliticalpowertodealwithmilitaryissues,isstillvery
weak.TheEuropeansituationistheextremecaseofthegeneralfeatureof
modernstateorganizationwhichwehavediscussed.Fortheforeseeablefuture,
therearelikelytoexistinEuropeseveraldistinctivelevelsofstateorganization,
atthenational,European,western(transatlantic)andgloballevels(notto
mentionsubnationalregionalstateforms).
11

Beyondthewesternstateliesaneverneverlandofminorstates,likethecentral
andeasternEuropeans,smallerEastAsianandmanyLatinAmericanand
Africanstates,whichalsohaveweakautonomouspower.Althoughsome
statesespeciallythosewhichhaveonlyrecentlyclaimedindependencepride
themselvesontheirnationstatestatus,thesearealsonotreallynationstatesin
theclassicsense.Theyshelterunderwesternpower:althoughtheyarecurrently
moreweaklyintegratedintoitthanwesternstates,theyhavenoseriousstrategic
optionsapartfromcloserrelationshipswiththewesterncentredglobalstate.In
theEuropeancontext,thisrealityisreflectedintheaspirationsofthesmaller
centralandeasternstatestojointheEU,NATO,etc.
Therelationsofwesternandthesealliednationstatestoregional,westernand
globalstateformsareincreasinglyinstitutionalized.Manndubstheperiodafter
1945theageofinstitutionalizednationstates,partlybecausestateswere
basedoninstitutionalizedcompromisesbetweenclasses,butalsomore
relevanttoourpurposesbecauserelationsbetweenstateswerehighly
institutionalized.
12
Theroleofeachnationstatecorrespondstoacomplexsetof
understandingsandsystemsofregulationwithinthewestasawhole.
Thesecondmajorgroupofstatesconsistsofmajorindependentcentresofstate
power,whichcorrespondbesttotheclassicmodelofthemodernnation
states.Beyondthewestanditsperipheryliethegreatnonwesternstates
includingIndiaandBrazilaswellasRussiaandChina,andlesserpowerssuch
asIraq,IranandSerbia.Thesestatesmostlyacknowledgetherealityof
westernglobaldominancebypartialincorporationintowesternledglobal
institutionsandbyavoidingpotentialmilitaryconfrontationswiththewest.On
theotherhand,manyofthemmobilizesubstantialmilitarypowerwhichthey
maywelluseinconfrontationswitheachotherandwithminorstatesor
insurgentmovements,andwhichmaythenbringthemintoconflictwiththe
westernUNcentre.Themostcriticallongtermissuesforthewesternand
emergentglobalstatearetheirrelationswiththestatesinthis
Page132
group.Thelattersfullerincorporationintoglobalstateinstitutionswouldlargely
neutralizeanydangerofseriousinterstatewar.
Thethirdcategoryconsistsofterritorieswherethestatedoesnotevenreachthe
levelofastablenationstate,letalonefullparticipationinglobalinstitutions.
Heretheconditionsforstablestateformsofanykindareweak.Instead,state
powerisfragmentary,oftenbasedcrudelyonviolencewiththreadbare
legitimacy.Insomecasesstatepowerhasdegeneratedintowarlordismand
gangsterism.ThishasbeenanincreasinglycommonpatterninpartsofAfrica
andtheformerSovietUnion(nottomentionYugoslavia).Cooperlabelsthis
casepremodernalthoughthishighlightstheproblemofhisterminology.
Althoughancientethnicortribalhatredsmaybemobilized,thetechnologiesof
communicationandarmamentusedinmobilizingareoftenstateoftheart,and
diasporabasedglobalpowernetworksareexploited.Duringthe1990s,
managingtheviolentdisintegrationofstatesinthisgrouphasbeenamajor
challengegeneratingpressuresforcontinuingglobalstatedevelopment.
Thisaccountofthearticulationofdifferentcategoriesofnationstatewith
globalstatedevelopmentsshowsthecontinuinginterdependenceandmutual
constitutivenessofthesetwomajorforms.Thisistheproblemwhichthestate
theoryofthetwentyfirstcenturywillneedtoaddress,andwhichglobalization
theorywillneedtounderstandifitistoescapefromthesterilecounterposition
ofstateandglobalization.
Notes
1JamesN.RosenauandOttoCzempiel,GovernancewithoutGovernment:
OrderandChangeinWorldPolitics(CambridgeUniversityPress,
Cambridge,1992).
2RichardN.Falk,StateofSiege:WillGlobalisationWinOut?,International
Affairs73(1),January1997:125.
3SeeMartinShaw,GlobalSocietyandInternationalRelations(Polity,
Cambridge,1994).
4MichaelMann,TheSourcesofSocialPower,vol.II(CambridgeUniversity
Press,Cambridge,1986),pp.7588.Mannidentifiessixhigherlevel
crystallizationsinhisanalysisofnineteenthcenturywesternstates,ascapitalist,
ideologicalmoral,militarist,patriarchalandatpointsoncontinuaof
representativenessandmorality.Thiscategorizationneedsexpansiontodeal
withthegreatercomplexitiesoflatetwentiethcenturystatecrystallizations.
5ibid.,p.7
6IhaveanalysedthisphenomenoninCivilSocietyandMediainGlobal
Crises(Pinter,London,1996).
7Mann,TheSourcesofSocialPower,vol.II,p.55.
8ibid.,p.53.
9ibid.,p.88.
10RobertCooper,ThePostModernStateandtheWorldOrder(Demos,
London,1996).
11TheargumentaboutanationstateversusafederalconceptofEuropean
integrationisthereforemisnamedonbothsides,sinceneithermerelinkagesof
nationstatesnoraclassicfederationisonoffer,butratherthisindependent
pluralityofformsofstatepower.
12MichaelMann,AstheTwentiethCenturyAges,NewLeftReview214
(NovemberDecember1995):116.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:45 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page132
group.Thelattersfullerincorporationintoglobalstateinstitutionswouldlargely
neutralizeanydangerofseriousinterstatewar.
Thethirdcategoryconsistsofterritorieswherethestatedoesnotevenreachthe
levelofastablenationstate,letalonefullparticipationinglobalinstitutions.
Heretheconditionsforstablestateformsofanykindareweak.Instead,state
powerisfragmentary,oftenbasedcrudelyonviolencewiththreadbare
legitimacy.Insomecasesstatepowerhasdegeneratedintowarlordismand
gangsterism.ThishasbeenanincreasinglycommonpatterninpartsofAfrica
andtheformerSovietUnion(nottomentionYugoslavia).Cooperlabelsthis
casepremodernalthoughthishighlightstheproblemofhisterminology.
Althoughancientethnicortribalhatredsmaybemobilized,thetechnologiesof
communicationandarmamentusedinmobilizingareoftenstateoftheart,and
diasporabasedglobalpowernetworksareexploited.Duringthe1990s,
managingtheviolentdisintegrationofstatesinthisgrouphasbeenamajor
challengegeneratingpressuresforcontinuingglobalstatedevelopment.
Thisaccountofthearticulationofdifferentcategoriesofnationstatewith
globalstatedevelopmentsshowsthecontinuinginterdependenceandmutual
constitutivenessofthesetwomajorforms.Thisistheproblemwhichthestate
theoryofthetwentyfirstcenturywillneedtoaddress,andwhichglobalization
theorywillneedtounderstandifitistoescapefromthesterilecounterposition
ofstateandglobalization.
Notes
1JamesN.RosenauandOttoCzempiel,GovernancewithoutGovernment:
OrderandChangeinWorldPolitics(CambridgeUniversityPress,
Cambridge,1992).
2RichardN.Falk,StateofSiege:WillGlobalisationWinOut?,International
Affairs73(1),January1997:125.
3SeeMartinShaw,GlobalSocietyandInternationalRelations(Polity,
Cambridge,1994).
4MichaelMann,TheSourcesofSocialPower,vol.II(CambridgeUniversity
Press,Cambridge,1986),pp.7588.Mannidentifiessixhigherlevel
crystallizationsinhisanalysisofnineteenthcenturywesternstates,ascapitalist,
ideologicalmoral,militarist,patriarchalandatpointsoncontinuaof
representativenessandmorality.Thiscategorizationneedsexpansiontodeal
withthegreatercomplexitiesoflatetwentiethcenturystatecrystallizations.
5ibid.,p.7
6IhaveanalysedthisphenomenoninCivilSocietyandMediainGlobal
Crises(Pinter,London,1996).
7Mann,TheSourcesofSocialPower,vol.II,p.55.
8ibid.,p.53.
9ibid.,p.88.
10RobertCooper,ThePostModernStateandtheWorldOrder(Demos,
London,1996).
11TheargumentaboutanationstateversusafederalconceptofEuropean
integrationisthereforemisnamedonbothsides,sinceneithermerelinkagesof
nationstatesnoraclassicfederationisonoffer,butratherthisindependent
pluralityofformsofstatepower.
12MichaelMann,AstheTwentiethCenturyAges,NewLeftReview214
(NovemberDecember1995):116.
Page133
2.2
Institutions,strategicrestraint,andthepersistenceof
Americanpostwarorder
G.JohnIkenberry
Source:InternationalSecurity,vol.23,no.3(19981999),pp.4378.
Ikenberrywishestoexplainthepersistenceofcooperative,stableand
interdependentrelationsbetweentheUnitedStatesanditsmajorallies,
particularlyaftertheendoftheColdWar,anddoessobylookingbackto
theWesternordercreatedafter1945.Incontrasttoneorealist
explanationsbasedonthedistributionofpower,heemphasizestheways
inwhichtheinstitutionalfoundationsofWesternpoliticalordercreatea
logicoforderandasetofconstitutionalcharacteristicssurrounding
stablerelationsbetweenthedominantstateanditsallies.Bydoingso,he
providesanimportantmodificationtoideasofcompetitiveinter state
relationsinworldpolitics.
[Ikenberrystartsbydiscussingthefoundationsofthepost1945Westernorder,
andthenmovesontodiscussthenatureofordermoregenerally]
Thedebateaboutorder
ThedebateoverAmericangrandstrategyaftertheColdWarhingeson
assumptionsaboutthesourcesandcharacterofWesternorder.Neorealism
advancestwoclearlydefinedanswerstothebasicquestionofhoworderis
createdamongstates:balanceofpowerandhegemony.Bothareultimately
pessimisticaboutthefuturestabilityandcoherenceofeconomicandsecurity
relationsbetweentheUnitedStates,Europe,andJapan.
Balanceofpowertheoryexplainsorderandtherulesandinstitutionsthat
emergeastheresultofbalancingtocounterexternalorhegemonicpower.
Orderistheproductoftheunendingprocessofbalancingandadjustment
amongstatesunderconditionsofanarchy.Balancingcanbepursuedboth
internallyandexternallythroughdomesticmobilizationandthroughthe
formationoftemporaryalliancesamongthreatenedstatestoresistand
counterbalancealoomingorthreateningconcentrationofpower.Under
conditionsofanarchy,allianceswillcomeandgoastemporaryexpedients,
stateswillguardtheirautonomy,andentanglinginstitutionswillberesisted.
Asecondneorealisttheory,hegemonicstabilitytheory,holdsthatorderis
createdandmaintainedbyahegemonicstate,whichusespowercapabilitiesto
organizerelationsamongstates.Thepreponderanceofpowerheldbyastate
allowsittoofferincentives,bothpositiveandnegative,totheotherstatesto
agreetoparticipationwithinthehegemonicorder.AccordingtoRobertGilpin,
aninternationalorderis,atanyparticularmomentinhistory,thereflectionofthe
underlyingdistributionofpowerofstateswithinthesystem.
1
Overtime,that
distributionofpowershifts,leadingtoconflictsandrupturesinthesystem,
hegemonicwar,andtheeventualreorganizationofordersoastoreflectthenew
distributionofpower
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:45 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page133
2.2
Institutions,strategicrestraint,andthepersistenceof
Americanpostwarorder
G.JohnIkenberry
Source:InternationalSecurity,vol.23,no.3(19981999),pp.4378.
Ikenberrywishestoexplainthepersistenceofcooperative,stableand
interdependentrelationsbetweentheUnitedStatesanditsmajorallies,
particularlyaftertheendoftheColdWar,anddoessobylookingbackto
theWesternordercreatedafter1945.Incontrasttoneorealist
explanationsbasedonthedistributionofpower,heemphasizestheways
inwhichtheinstitutionalfoundationsofWesternpoliticalordercreatea
logicoforderandasetofconstitutionalcharacteristicssurrounding
stablerelationsbetweenthedominantstateanditsallies.Bydoingso,he
providesanimportantmodificationtoideasofcompetitiveinter state
relationsinworldpolitics.
[Ikenberrystartsbydiscussingthefoundationsofthepost1945Westernorder,
andthenmovesontodiscussthenatureofordermoregenerally]
Thedebateaboutorder
ThedebateoverAmericangrandstrategyaftertheColdWarhingeson
assumptionsaboutthesourcesandcharacterofWesternorder.Neorealism
advancestwoclearlydefinedanswerstothebasicquestionofhoworderis
createdamongstates:balanceofpowerandhegemony.Bothareultimately
pessimisticaboutthefuturestabilityandcoherenceofeconomicandsecurity
relationsbetweentheUnitedStates,Europe,andJapan.
Balanceofpowertheoryexplainsorderandtherulesandinstitutionsthat
emergeastheresultofbalancingtocounterexternalorhegemonicpower.
Orderistheproductoftheunendingprocessofbalancingandadjustment
amongstatesunderconditionsofanarchy.Balancingcanbepursuedboth
internallyandexternallythroughdomesticmobilizationandthroughthe
formationoftemporaryalliancesamongthreatenedstatestoresistand
counterbalancealoomingorthreateningconcentrationofpower.Under
conditionsofanarchy,allianceswillcomeandgoastemporaryexpedients,
stateswillguardtheirautonomy,andentanglinginstitutionswillberesisted.
Asecondneorealisttheory,hegemonicstabilitytheory,holdsthatorderis
createdandmaintainedbyahegemonicstate,whichusespowercapabilitiesto
organizerelationsamongstates.Thepreponderanceofpowerheldbyastate
allowsittoofferincentives,bothpositiveandnegative,totheotherstatesto
agreetoparticipationwithinthehegemonicorder.AccordingtoRobertGilpin,
aninternationalorderis,atanyparticularmomentinhistory,thereflectionofthe
underlyingdistributionofpowerofstateswithinthesystem.
1
Overtime,that
distributionofpowershifts,leadingtoconflictsandrupturesinthesystem,
hegemonicwar,andtheeventualreorganizationofordersoastoreflectthenew
distributionofpower
Page134
capabilities.Itistherisinghegemonicstateorgroupofstates,whosepower
positionhasbeenratifiedbywar,thatdefinesthetermsofthepostwar
settlementandthecharacteroftheneworder.
ThecontinuityandstabilityoftheWesternpostwarorderisapuzzleforboth
varietiesofneorealism.WiththeendoftheColdWar,balanceofpowertheory
expectstheWest,andparticularlythesecurityorganizationssuchastheNorth
AtlanticTreatyOrganization(NATO)andtheU.S.Japanalliance,toweaken
andeventuallyreturntoapatternofstrategicrivalry.Thesemisovereign
securitypostureofGermanyandJapanwillend,andthesecountrieswill
eventuallyrevertbacktotraditionalgreatpowers.TheSovietthreatalsoserved
todampenandcontaineconomicconflictwithintheWestandaftertheCold
War,economiccompetitionandconflictamongtheadvancedindustrialsocieties
isexpectedtorise.Neorealisttheoriesofhegemonyalsoexpectthatthegradual
declineofAmericanpowermagnifiedbytheColdWarshouldalsoleadto
risingconflictandinstitutionaldisarray.Morerecently,somerealistshave
arguedthatitisactuallytheextremepreponderanceofAmericanpower,and
notitsdecline,thatwilltriggercounterbalancingreactionsbyAsianand
Europeanallies.
ThebasicthrustoftheseneorealisttheoriesisthatrelationsamongtheWestern
stateswillreturntotheproblemsofanarchyaftertheColdWar:economy
rivalry,securitydilemmas,institutionaldecay,andbalancingalliances.Thefact
thatpostColdWarrelationsamongtheWesternindustrialcountrieshave
remainedstableandopen,andeconomicinterdependenceandinstitutionalized
cooperationhaveactuallyexpandedinsomeareas,isapuzzlethatneorealismis
hardpressedtoexplain.Despitesharpshiftsinthedistributionofpowerwithin
theWest,thepoliticalorderamongtheindustrialdemocracieshasremained
quitestable.HighlyasymmetricalrelationsbetweentheUnitedStatesandthe
otheradvancedindustrialcountriesinthe1940sandagaintodayordeclines
inthoseasymmetriesinthe1980shavenotalteredthebasicstabilityand
cohesioninrelationsamongthesecountries.
Liberaltheoriesprovidesomepromisingleadsinexplainingfeaturesofthe
postwarWesternorder,buttheytooareincomplete.Manyofthesetheories
wouldalsopredictorderandstabilityintheWestbuttheircausalarguments
aretoonarrow.Thekeyfocusofliberalinstitutionaltheoryisthewayinwhich
institutionsprovideinformationtostatesandreducetheincentivesforcheating.
Butthismissesthefundamentalfeatureoforderamongtheadvancedindustrial
countries:thestructuresofrelationsarenowsodeepandpervasivethatthe
kindofcheatingthatthesetheoriesworryabouteithercannothappen,orifit
doesitwillnotreallymatterbecausecooperationandtheinstitutionsarenot
fragilebutprofoundlyrobust.Thebasicproblemisthattheseinstitutionalist
argumentshavenotincorporatedthestructuralfeaturesofWesternorderin
theirexplanations.Inparticular,theymisstheproblemsoforderassociatedwith
thegreatasymmetriesofpowerbetweenWesternstates,thepathdependent
characterofpostwarinstitutions,andtheimportanceoftheopenandaccessible
characterofAmericanhegemony.
Ingeneralterms,liberaltheoriesseeinstitutionsashavingavarietyof
internationalfunctionsandimpactsservinginvariouswaystofacilitateco
operationandalterthewaysinwhichstatesidentifyandpursuetheirinterests.
Liberaltheorieshavealsoidentifiedandstressedtheimportanceofinstitutions
amongstatesthatserveasfoundationalagreementsorconstitutionalcontracts
whatOranYoungdescribesassetsofrightsandrulesthatareexpectedto
governtheirsubsequentinteractions.
2
Liberalinstitutionaltheoriesarehelpfulin
explainingwhyspecificinstitutionsintheWestmaypersistevenafterthe
powerandintereststhatestablishedthemhavechanged.Buttherehasbeenless
attentiontothewaysthatinstitutionscanbeusedasstrategiestomitigatethe
securitydilemmaandovercome
C
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:46 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page134
capabilities.Itistherisinghegemonicstateorgroupofstates,whosepower
positionhasbeenratifiedbywar,thatdefinesthetermsofthepostwar
settlementandthecharacteroftheneworder.
ThecontinuityandstabilityoftheWesternpostwarorderisapuzzleforboth
varietiesofneorealism.WiththeendoftheColdWar,balanceofpowertheory
expectstheWest,andparticularlythesecurityorganizationssuchastheNorth
AtlanticTreatyOrganization(NATO)andtheU.S.Japanalliance,toweaken
andeventuallyreturntoapatternofstrategicrivalry.Thesemisovereign
securitypostureofGermanyandJapanwillend,andthesecountrieswill
eventuallyrevertbacktotraditionalgreatpowers.TheSovietthreatalsoserved
todampenandcontaineconomicconflictwithintheWestandaftertheCold
War,economiccompetitionandconflictamongtheadvancedindustrialsocieties
isexpectedtorise.Neorealisttheoriesofhegemonyalsoexpectthatthegradual
declineofAmericanpowermagnifiedbytheColdWarshouldalsoleadto
risingconflictandinstitutionaldisarray.Morerecently,somerealistshave
arguedthatitisactuallytheextremepreponderanceofAmericanpower,and
notitsdecline,thatwilltriggercounterbalancingreactionsbyAsianand
Europeanallies.
ThebasicthrustoftheseneorealisttheoriesisthatrelationsamongtheWestern
stateswillreturntotheproblemsofanarchyaftertheColdWar:economy
rivalry,securitydilemmas,institutionaldecay,andbalancingalliances.Thefact
thatpostColdWarrelationsamongtheWesternindustrialcountrieshave
remainedstableandopen,andeconomicinterdependenceandinstitutionalized
cooperationhaveactuallyexpandedinsomeareas,isapuzzlethatneorealismis
hardpressedtoexplain.Despitesharpshiftsinthedistributionofpowerwithin
theWest,thepoliticalorderamongtheindustrialdemocracieshasremained
quitestable.HighlyasymmetricalrelationsbetweentheUnitedStatesandthe
otheradvancedindustrialcountriesinthe1940sandagaintodayordeclines
inthoseasymmetriesinthe1980shavenotalteredthebasicstabilityand
cohesioninrelationsamongthesecountries.
Liberaltheoriesprovidesomepromisingleadsinexplainingfeaturesofthe
postwarWesternorder,buttheytooareincomplete.Manyofthesetheories
wouldalsopredictorderandstabilityintheWestbuttheircausalarguments
aretoonarrow.Thekeyfocusofliberalinstitutionaltheoryisthewayinwhich
institutionsprovideinformationtostatesandreducetheincentivesforcheating.
Butthismissesthefundamentalfeatureoforderamongtheadvancedindustrial
countries:thestructuresofrelationsarenowsodeepandpervasivethatthe
kindofcheatingthatthesetheoriesworryabouteithercannothappen,orifit
doesitwillnotreallymatterbecausecooperationandtheinstitutionsarenot
fragilebutprofoundlyrobust.Thebasicproblemisthattheseinstitutionalist
argumentshavenotincorporatedthestructuralfeaturesofWesternorderin
theirexplanations.Inparticular,theymisstheproblemsoforderassociatedwith
thegreatasymmetriesofpowerbetweenWesternstates,thepathdependent
characterofpostwarinstitutions,andtheimportanceoftheopenandaccessible
characterofAmericanhegemony.
Ingeneralterms,liberaltheoriesseeinstitutionsashavingavarietyof
internationalfunctionsandimpactsservinginvariouswaystofacilitateco
operationandalterthewaysinwhichstatesidentifyandpursuetheirinterests.
Liberaltheorieshavealsoidentifiedandstressedtheimportanceofinstitutions
amongstatesthatserveasfoundationalagreementsorconstitutionalcontracts
whatOranYoungdescribesassetsofrightsandrulesthatareexpectedto
governtheirsubsequentinteractions.
2
Liberalinstitutionaltheoriesarehelpfulin
explainingwhyspecificinstitutionsintheWestmaypersistevenafterthe
powerandintereststhatestablishedthemhavechanged.Buttherehasbeenless
attentiontothewaysthatinstitutionscanbeusedasstrategiestomitigatethe
securitydilemmaandovercome
Page135
incentivestobalance.Liberaltheoriesgraspthewaysinwhichinstitutionscan
channelandconstrainstateactions,buttheyhavenotexploredamorefar
reachingviewinwhichleadingstatesuseintergovernmentalinstitutionsto
restrainthearbitraryexerciseofpoweranddampenthefearsofdominationand
abandonment.
TheapproachtoinstitutionsIamproposingcanbecontrastedwithtwo
alternativetheoriestherationalist(orunsticky)theoryofinstitutions,andthe
constructivist(ordisembodied)theoryofinstitutions.Rationalisttheorysees
institutionsasagreementsorcontractsbetweenactorsthatfunctiontoreduce
uncertainty,lowertransactionscosts,andsolvecollectiveactionproblems.
Institutionsprovideinformation,enforcementmechanisms,andotherdevices
thatallowstatestorealizejointgains.Institutionsareexplainedintermsofthe
problemstheysolvetheyareconstructsthatcanbetracedtotheactionsof
selfinterestedindividualsorgroups.Constructivisttheoryseesinstitutionsas
diffuseandsociallyconstructedworldviewsthatboundandshapethestrategic
behaviorofindividualsandstates.Institutionsareoverarchingpatternsof
relationsthatdefineandreproducetheinterestsandactionsofindividualsand
groups.Institutionsprovidenormativeandcognitivemapsforinterpretationand
action,andtheyultimatelyaffecttheidentitiesandsocialpurposesoftheactors.
Athirdpositionadvancedhereseesinstitutionsasbothconstructsand
constraints.Institutionsaretheformalandinformalorganizations,rules,routines,
andpracticesthatareembeddedinthewiderpoliticalorderanddefinethe
landscapeinwhichactorsoperate.Assuch,institutionalstructuresinfluence
thewaypowerisdistributedacrossindividualsandgroupswithinapolitical
systemprovidingadvantagesandresourcestosomeandconstrainingthe
optionsofothers.
Thisapproachtoinstitutionsgivesattentiontothewaysinwhichinstitutionsalter
orfixintoplacethedistributionofpowerwithinapoliticalorder.Itoffersa
morestickytheoryofinstitutionsthantherationalistaccount,butunlike
constructivism,institutionalstickinessismanifestinthepracticalinteraction
betweenactorsandformalandinformalorganizations,rules,androutines.
Becauseofthecomplexcausalinteractionbetweenactorsandinstitutions,
attentiontohistoricaltimingandsequencingisnecessarytoappreciatetheway
inwhichagencyandstructurematter.
DebatesoverpostColdWarorderhingeonclaimsaboutthecharacterof
relationsamongthemajorindustrialdemocracies.Neorealisttheoriestrace
ordertotheoperationofthebalanceofpowerorhegemony,andthey
anticipaterisingconflictandstrategyrivalrywithintheWest.Liberaltheoriesare
moreinclinedtoseecontinuityandinertiaintheinstitutionsandrelationsof
postwarorder,evenifthreatsdisappearandpowerbalancesshiftsharply.Itis
thesharplycontrastingviewofinstitutionalstickiness,asRobertPowell
argues,thatdifferentiatesrealistandliberalinstitutionaltheories.
3
Theargument
advancedhereisthatinstitutionsarepotentiallyevenmorestickythanliberal
theoriesallow,capableunderspecificcircumstancesoflockingstatesintostable
andcontinuousrelationsthatplacesomelimitsontheexerciseofstatepower,
therebymitigatingtheinsecuritiesthatneorealismtracestoanarchyandshifting
powerbalances.
[Ikenberrygoesontoexplorethenatureoftheconstitutionalbargainreached
amongWesternpowersafter1945andtostresstheimportanceofstrategic
restraintbytheUSAincreatingandmaintainingit.Hethenproceedsto
investigatewhysuchprocessesmightoccur.]
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:46 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page135
incentivestobalance.Liberaltheoriesgraspthewaysinwhichinstitutionscan
channelandconstrainstateactions,buttheyhavenotexploredamorefar
reachingviewinwhichleadingstatesuseintergovernmentalinstitutionsto
restrainthearbitraryexerciseofpoweranddampenthefearsofdominationand
abandonment.
TheapproachtoinstitutionsIamproposingcanbecontrastedwithtwo
alternativetheoriestherationalist(orunsticky)theoryofinstitutions,andthe
constructivist(ordisembodied)theoryofinstitutions.Rationalisttheorysees
institutionsasagreementsorcontractsbetweenactorsthatfunctiontoreduce
uncertainty,lowertransactionscosts,andsolvecollectiveactionproblems.
Institutionsprovideinformation,enforcementmechanisms,andotherdevices
thatallowstatestorealizejointgains.Institutionsareexplainedintermsofthe
problemstheysolvetheyareconstructsthatcanbetracedtotheactionsof
selfinterestedindividualsorgroups.Constructivisttheoryseesinstitutionsas
diffuseandsociallyconstructedworldviewsthatboundandshapethestrategic
behaviorofindividualsandstates.Institutionsareoverarchingpatternsof
relationsthatdefineandreproducetheinterestsandactionsofindividualsand
groups.Institutionsprovidenormativeandcognitivemapsforinterpretationand
action,andtheyultimatelyaffecttheidentitiesandsocialpurposesoftheactors.
Athirdpositionadvancedhereseesinstitutionsasbothconstructsand
constraints.Institutionsaretheformalandinformalorganizations,rules,routines,
andpracticesthatareembeddedinthewiderpoliticalorderanddefinethe
landscapeinwhichactorsoperate.Assuch,institutionalstructuresinfluence
thewaypowerisdistributedacrossindividualsandgroupswithinapolitical
systemprovidingadvantagesandresourcestosomeandconstrainingthe
optionsofothers.
Thisapproachtoinstitutionsgivesattentiontothewaysinwhichinstitutionsalter
orfixintoplacethedistributionofpowerwithinapoliticalorder.Itoffersa
morestickytheoryofinstitutionsthantherationalistaccount,butunlike
constructivism,institutionalstickinessismanifestinthepracticalinteraction
betweenactorsandformalandinformalorganizations,rules,androutines.
Becauseofthecomplexcausalinteractionbetweenactorsandinstitutions,
attentiontohistoricaltimingandsequencingisnecessarytoappreciatetheway
inwhichagencyandstructurematter.
DebatesoverpostColdWarorderhingeonclaimsaboutthecharacterof
relationsamongthemajorindustrialdemocracies.Neorealisttheoriestrace
ordertotheoperationofthebalanceofpowerorhegemony,andthey
anticipaterisingconflictandstrategyrivalrywithintheWest.Liberaltheoriesare
moreinclinedtoseecontinuityandinertiaintheinstitutionsandrelationsof
postwarorder,evenifthreatsdisappearandpowerbalancesshiftsharply.Itis
thesharplycontrastingviewofinstitutionalstickiness,asRobertPowell
argues,thatdifferentiatesrealistandliberalinstitutionaltheories.
3
Theargument
advancedhereisthatinstitutionsarepotentiallyevenmorestickythanliberal
theoriesallow,capableunderspecificcircumstancesoflockingstatesintostable
andcontinuousrelationsthatplacesomelimitsontheexerciseofstatepower,
therebymitigatingtheinsecuritiesthatneorealismtracestoanarchyandshifting
powerbalances.
[Ikenberrygoesontoexplorethenatureoftheconstitutionalbargainreached
amongWesternpowersafter1945andtostresstheimportanceofstrategic
restraintbytheUSAincreatingandmaintainingit.Hethenproceedsto
investigatewhysuchprocessesmightoccur.]
Page136
Strategicrestraintandpowerconservation
Whywouldanewlyhegemonicstatewanttorestrictitselfbyagreeingtolimits
ontheuseofhegemonicpower?Thebasicansweristhataconstitutional
settlementconserveshegemonicpower,fortworeasons.First,ifthehegemonic
statecalculatesthatitsoverwhelmingpostwarpoweradvantagesareonly
momentary,aninstitutionalizedordermightlockinfavorablearrangements
thatcontinuebeyondthezenithofitspower.Ineffect,thecreationofbasic
orderinginstitutionsareaformofhegemonicinvestmentinthefuture.The
hegemonicstategivesupsomefreedomontheuseofitspowerinexchangefor
adurableandpredictableorderthatsafeguardsitsinterestsinthefuture.
Thisinvestmentmotiverestsonseveralassumptions.Thehegemonicstatemust
beconvincedthatitspowerpositionwillultimatelydeclinethatitiscurrently
experiencingamomentarywindfallinrelativepowercapabilities.Ifthisisthe
statesstrategicsituation,itshouldwanttouseitsmomentarypositiontoget
whatitwants.Ontheotherhand,ifthenewhegemoncalculatesthatitspower
positionwillremainpreponderantintotheforeseeablefuture,theincentiveto
conserveitspowerwilldisappear.Also,thehegemonmustbeconvincedthat
theinstitutionsitcreateswillpersistbeyonditsownpowercapabilitiesthatis,
itmustcalculatethattheseinstitutionshavesomeindependentorderingcapacity.
Ifinstitutionssimplyarereflectionsofthedistributionofpower,theappealofan
institutionalsettlementwillobviouslydecline.Butifinstitutionsarepotentially
sticky,powerfulstatesthatarefarsightedenoughtoanticipatetheirrelative
declinecanattempttoinstitutionalizefavorablepatternsofcooperationwith
otherstatesthatpersistevenaspowerbalancesshift.
Thesecondreasonwhyahegemonmightwanttoreachagreementonbasic
institutions,evenifitmeansgivingupsomeautonomyandshorttermadvantage,
isthatitcanreducetheenforcementcostsofmaintainingorder.Theconstant
useofpowercapabilitiestopunishandrewardsecondarystatesandresolve
conflictsiscostly.Itisfarmoreeffectiveoverthelongtermtoshapethe
interestsandorientationsofotherstatesratherthandirectlyshapetheiractions
throughcoercionandinducements.Aconstitutionalsettlementreducesthe
necessityofthecostlyexpenditureofresourcesbytheleadingstateon
bargaining,monitoring,andenforcement.
Itremainsaquestionwhyweakerstatesmightnotjustresistanyinstitutional
settlementafterthewarandwaituntiltheyarestrongerandcannegotiatea
morefavorablesettlement.Severalfactorsmightmakethisalessattractive
option.First,withoutaninstitutionalagreement,theweakerstateswilllosemore
thantheywouldunderasettlement,wherethehegemonicstateagreestoforgo
someimmediategainsinexchangeforwillingparticipationofsecondarystates.
Withoutaninstitutionalsettlement,bargainingwillbebasedsimplyonpower
capacities,andthehegemonicstatewillhavetheclearadvantage.Theoptionof
losingmorenowtogainmorelaterisnotattractiveforaweakstatethatis
strugglingtorebuildafterwar.Itschoiceswillbebiasedinfavorofgainstoday
ratherthangainstomorrow.Thehegemon,ontheotherhand,willbemore
willingtotradeoffgainstodayforgainstomorrow.Thedifferenceinthetwo
timehorizonsiscrucialtounderstandingwhyaconstitutionalsettlementis
possible.
Asecondreasonwhyweakerstatesmightoptfortheinstitutionalagreementis
thatifthehegemonisabletocrediblydemonstratestrategicrestraintitdoes
buythemsomeprotectionagainstthethreatofdominationorabandonment.As
realisttheorywouldnote,acentralconcernofweakorsecondarystatesis
whethertheywillbedominatedbythemorepowerfulstate.Inaninternational
orderthathascrediblerestraintsonpower,thepossibilityofindiscriminateand
ruthlessdominationismitigated.Justasimportant,thepossibilityof
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:46 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page136
Strategicrestraintandpowerconservation
Whywouldanewlyhegemonicstatewanttorestrictitselfbyagreeingtolimits
ontheuseofhegemonicpower?Thebasicansweristhataconstitutional
settlementconserveshegemonicpower,fortworeasons.First,ifthehegemonic
statecalculatesthatitsoverwhelmingpostwarpoweradvantagesareonly
momentary,aninstitutionalizedordermightlockinfavorablearrangements
thatcontinuebeyondthezenithofitspower.Ineffect,thecreationofbasic
orderinginstitutionsareaformofhegemonicinvestmentinthefuture.The
hegemonicstategivesupsomefreedomontheuseofitspowerinexchangefor
adurableandpredictableorderthatsafeguardsitsinterestsinthefuture.
Thisinvestmentmotiverestsonseveralassumptions.Thehegemonicstatemust
beconvincedthatitspowerpositionwillultimatelydeclinethatitiscurrently
experiencingamomentarywindfallinrelativepowercapabilities.Ifthisisthe
statesstrategicsituation,itshouldwanttouseitsmomentarypositiontoget
whatitwants.Ontheotherhand,ifthenewhegemoncalculatesthatitspower
positionwillremainpreponderantintotheforeseeablefuture,theincentiveto
conserveitspowerwilldisappear.Also,thehegemonmustbeconvincedthat
theinstitutionsitcreateswillpersistbeyonditsownpowercapabilitiesthatis,
itmustcalculatethattheseinstitutionshavesomeindependentorderingcapacity.
Ifinstitutionssimplyarereflectionsofthedistributionofpower,theappealofan
institutionalsettlementwillobviouslydecline.Butifinstitutionsarepotentially
sticky,powerfulstatesthatarefarsightedenoughtoanticipatetheirrelative
declinecanattempttoinstitutionalizefavorablepatternsofcooperationwith
otherstatesthatpersistevenaspowerbalancesshift.
Thesecondreasonwhyahegemonmightwanttoreachagreementonbasic
institutions,evenifitmeansgivingupsomeautonomyandshorttermadvantage,
isthatitcanreducetheenforcementcostsofmaintainingorder.Theconstant
useofpowercapabilitiestopunishandrewardsecondarystatesandresolve
conflictsiscostly.Itisfarmoreeffectiveoverthelongtermtoshapethe
interestsandorientationsofotherstatesratherthandirectlyshapetheiractions
throughcoercionandinducements.Aconstitutionalsettlementreducesthe
necessityofthecostlyexpenditureofresourcesbytheleadingstateon
bargaining,monitoring,andenforcement.
Itremainsaquestionwhyweakerstatesmightnotjustresistanyinstitutional
settlementafterthewarandwaituntiltheyarestrongerandcannegotiatea
morefavorablesettlement.Severalfactorsmightmakethisalessattractive
option.First,withoutaninstitutionalagreement,theweakerstateswilllosemore
thantheywouldunderasettlement,wherethehegemonicstateagreestoforgo
someimmediategainsinexchangeforwillingparticipationofsecondarystates.
Withoutaninstitutionalsettlement,bargainingwillbebasedsimplyonpower
capacities,andthehegemonicstatewillhavetheclearadvantage.Theoptionof
losingmorenowtogainmorelaterisnotattractiveforaweakstatethatis
strugglingtorebuildafterwar.Itschoiceswillbebiasedinfavorofgainstoday
ratherthangainstomorrow.Thehegemon,ontheotherhand,willbemore
willingtotradeoffgainstodayforgainstomorrow.Thedifferenceinthetwo
timehorizonsiscrucialtounderstandingwhyaconstitutionalsettlementis
possible.
Asecondreasonwhyweakerstatesmightoptfortheinstitutionalagreementis
thatifthehegemonisabletocrediblydemonstratestrategicrestraintitdoes
buythemsomeprotectionagainstthethreatofdominationorabandonment.As
realisttheorywouldnote,acentralconcernofweakorsecondarystatesis
whethertheywillbedominatedbythemorepowerfulstate.Inaninternational
orderthathascrediblerestraintsonpower,thepossibilityofindiscriminateand
ruthlessdominationismitigated.Justasimportant,thepossibilityof
Page137
abandonmentisalsolessened.Ifthehegemonicstateisrenderedmore
predictable,thesecondarystatesdonotneedtospendasmanyresourceson
riskpremiums,whichwouldotherwisebeneededtoprepareforeither
dominationorabandonment.Insuchasituation,theasymmetriesinpowerare
renderedmoretolerableforweakerstates.
Importantly,institutionalagreementispossiblebecauseofthedifferenttime
horizonsthatthehegemonicandsecondarystatesareusingtocalculatetheir
interests.Theleadingstateagreestoforgosomeofthegainsthatitcould
achieveifittookfulladvantageofitssuperiorpowerposition,doingsoto
conservepowerresourcesandinvestinfuturereturns.Theweakerstatesget
morereturnsontheirpowerintheearlyperiods,butinagreeingtobelocked
intoasetofpostwarinstitutions,theygiveuptheopportunitytotakefull
potentialadvantageofrisingrelativepowercapacitiesinlaterperiods.These
alternativecalculationsaresummarizedinFigures1and2.Theleadingstate
tradesshorttermgainsforlongtermgains,takingadvantageoftheopportunity
tolaydownasetofinstitutionsthatwillensureafavorableorderwellintothe
future.Gainsinthelaterperiodsaregreaterthanwhatthatstatespower
capacitiesalone,withouttheinstitutionalagreement,wouldotherwiseyield.
Weakerandsecondarystatesgiveupsomelateropportunitiestogainamore
favorablereturnontheirrisingrelativepower,butinreturntheygetabetter
postwardealintheearlypostwarperiod.Theoptionoflosingmorenowsoas
togainmorelaterisnotanattractiveoptionforaweakstatethatisstrugglingto
rebuildafterwar.Butbeyondthis,theweakerstatesalsogetaninstitutional
agreementthatprovidessomeprotectionsagainstthethreatofdominationor
abandonmentiftheleadingstateisabletocrediblydemonstratestrategic
restraint.
Takentogether,theWesternpostwarorderinvolvesabargain:theleadingstate
getsapredictableanddurableorderbasedonagreeduponrulesand
institutionsitsecurestheacquiescenceinthisorderofweakerstates,whichin
turnallowsittoconserveitspower.Inreturn,theleadingstateagreestolimits
onitsownactionstooperateaccordingtothesamerulesandinstitutionsas
lesserstatesandtoopenitselfuptoapoliticalprocessinwhichtheweaker
statescanactivelypresstheirinterestsuponthemorepowerfulstate.The
hegemonicorleadingstateagreestoforgosomegainsintheearlypostwar
periodinexchangeforrules
Figure1Timehorizonsandthereturnonpowerassets:leadingstate C
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:47 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page138
Figure2Timehorizonsandthereturnonpowerassets:secondarystate
andinstitutionsthatallowittohavestablereturnslater,whileweakerstatesare
givenfavorablereturnsupfrontandlimitsontheexerciseofpower.
Strategiesofrestraint:bonding,binding,andvoiceopportunities
TheAmericanpostwarhegemonicordercouldtakeonconstitutional
characteristicsbecauseofthewayinstitutions,createdbyandoperated
betweendemocraticstates,couldbewieldedtofacilitatestrategicrestraint.
Institutionscanshapeandlimitthewaypowercanbeusedinthesystem,
therebyrenderingasymmetricpostwarpowerrelationslesspotentiallyexploitive
andcommitmentmorecertain.Thereturnstopowerarereduced.Where
institutionscreaterestraintsonpower,weakerandsecondarystateshaveless
fearofabandonment,ordominationislessened.Institutionscanalsodampen
theeffectsofthesecuritydilemmaandreducetheincentivesforweakerand
secondarystatestobalanceagainstthenewlypowerfulstate.Bycreatinga
mutuallyconstrainingenvironment,institutionsallowstatestoconveyassurances
toeachotherandmitigatethedynamicsofanarchy.
Thehegemonicstatehasadisproportionateroleincreatingconfidencein
postwarorder:ithasthemostcapacitytobreakoutofitscommitmentsand
takeadvantageofitspositiontodominateorabandontheweakerand
secondarystates.Asaresult,initseffortstodrawotherstatesintothepostwar
order,theleadingstatewillhavestrongincentivestofindwaystoreassurethese
otherstates,todemonstratethatitisaresponsibleandpredictablewielderof
powerandthattheexerciseofpoweris,atleasttosomeacceptabledegree,
circumscribed.Toachievethisgoal,theleadingstatecanpursuestrategiesthat
involvebonding,binding,andinstitutionalizedvoiceopportunities.
Bondingmeanstocertifystatepower:tomakeitopenandpredictable.A
powerfulleadingstatewithagovernmentaldecisionmakingprocessandwider
politicalsystemthatisopenandtransparent,andthatoperatesaccordingto
predictableinstitutionalrulesandprocedures,canreassureweakerand
secondarystatesthattheexerciseofpowerwillnotbearbitraryorexploitive.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:47 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page139
[]whenastateisopenandtransparenttooutsidestates,itreducesthe
surprisesandallowsotherstatestomonitorthedomesticdecisionmakingthat
attendstheexerciseofpower.Theimplicationofthisargumentisthat
democraticstateshaveanadvantageintheprocessofbonding.Democratic
stateshaveamorereadycapacitytoincurthecostsofbondingbecausethose
costswillberelativelylow.Democraticstatesalreadyhavethedecentralized
andpermeableinstitutionsthatprovidesecondarystateswithinformation,
access,andultimatelyreassurance.
Theleadingstatecangobeyondinternalopennesstoestablishformal
institutionallinkswithotherstates,limitingstateautonomyandallowingother
statestohaveinstitutionalizedvoiceopportunitiesinthedecisionmakingofthe
leadingstate.
[]theinstitutionalizationofrelationsbetweenweakandstrongstates,whenit
createsvoiceopportunitiesfortheweakerstates,canbeasolutionforthese
weakerstatesthatwanttoworkwithbutnotbedominatedbystrongerstates.
Deudney[]describesthedynamicofbinding,butemphasizesitsother
feature:itisapracticeofestablishinginstitutionallinksbetweentheunitsthat
reducetheirautonomyvisvisoneanother.
4
Inagreeingtobeinstitutionally
connected,statesmutuallyconstraineachotherandtherebymitigatethe
problemsofanarchythatleadtosecuritydilemmasandpowerbalancing.
AccordingtoDeudney,bindingpracticesareparticularlyavailabletoand
desiredbydemocraticpolitiesthatwanttoresistthestatestrengtheningand
centralizingconsequencesofbalanceofpowerorders.Bindingrestrictsthe
rangeoffreedomofstateswhetherweakorstrongandwhenstatesbindto
eachother,theyjointlyreducetheroleandconsequencesofpowerintheir
relationship.
Eachofthesestrategiesinvolvestheinstitutionalizationofstatepower.
Asymmetriesofpowerdonotdisappear,butinstitutionsdemocratic
institutionsandintergovernmentalinstitutionschannelandcircumscribethe
waythatstatepowerisexercised.Institutionsmaketheexerciseofpowermore
predictableandlessarbitraryandindiscriminate,uptosomepoint.Whena
newlyhegemonicstateseekstocreateamutuallyacceptableorder,doingsoto
preserveandextendthereturnstoitspowerintothefuture,institutionscanbe
anattractivetool:theylockotherstatesintotheorder,andtheyallowthe
leadingstatetoreassureandcooptotherstatesbylimitingthereturnsto
power.
[IkenberrygoesontoexploreindetailthecreationandmaintenanceofWestern
institutionsafter1945,andthewaysinwhichtheseinstitutionslimitedthe
returnstopowerintheWesternsystem.Heconcludesasfollows.]
Conclusion
Thetwentiethcenturymaybeending,buttheAmericancenturyisinfullswing.
ThecharacterofAmericanpowerisasinterestingandremarkableasthefactof
itsexistence.Americandominationorhegemonyisveryunusual,andthelarger
Westernpoliticalorderthatsurroundsitisuniqueaswell.Fundamentally,
Americanhegemonyisreluctant,open,andhighlyinstitutionalizedorina
word,liberal.Thisiswhatmakesitacceptabletoothercountriesthatmight
otherwisebeexpectedtobalanceagainsthegemonicpower,anditisalsowhat
makesitsostableandexpansive.
EvenwiththeendoftheColdWarandtheshiftingglobaldistributionofpower,
therelationsbetweentheUnitedStatesandtheotherindustrialcountriesof
EuropeandAsiaremainremarkablystableandcooperative.Thisarticleoffers
twomajorreasonswhyAmericanhegemonyhasenduredandfacilitated
cooperationandintegrationamongthemajor
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:47 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page139
[]whenastateisopenandtransparenttooutsidestates,itreducesthe
surprisesandallowsotherstatestomonitorthedomesticdecisionmakingthat
attendstheexerciseofpower.Theimplicationofthisargumentisthat
democraticstateshaveanadvantageintheprocessofbonding.Democratic
stateshaveamorereadycapacitytoincurthecostsofbondingbecausethose
costswillberelativelylow.Democraticstatesalreadyhavethedecentralized
andpermeableinstitutionsthatprovidesecondarystateswithinformation,
access,andultimatelyreassurance.
Theleadingstatecangobeyondinternalopennesstoestablishformal
institutionallinkswithotherstates,limitingstateautonomyandallowingother
statestohaveinstitutionalizedvoiceopportunitiesinthedecisionmakingofthe
leadingstate.
[]theinstitutionalizationofrelationsbetweenweakandstrongstates,whenit
createsvoiceopportunitiesfortheweakerstates,canbeasolutionforthese
weakerstatesthatwanttoworkwithbutnotbedominatedbystrongerstates.
Deudney[]describesthedynamicofbinding,butemphasizesitsother
feature:itisapracticeofestablishinginstitutionallinksbetweentheunitsthat
reducetheirautonomyvisvisoneanother.
4
Inagreeingtobeinstitutionally
connected,statesmutuallyconstraineachotherandtherebymitigatethe
problemsofanarchythatleadtosecuritydilemmasandpowerbalancing.
AccordingtoDeudney,bindingpracticesareparticularlyavailabletoand
desiredbydemocraticpolitiesthatwanttoresistthestatestrengtheningand
centralizingconsequencesofbalanceofpowerorders.Bindingrestrictsthe
rangeoffreedomofstateswhetherweakorstrongandwhenstatesbindto
eachother,theyjointlyreducetheroleandconsequencesofpowerintheir
relationship.
Eachofthesestrategiesinvolvestheinstitutionalizationofstatepower.
Asymmetriesofpowerdonotdisappear,butinstitutionsdemocratic
institutionsandintergovernmentalinstitutionschannelandcircumscribethe
waythatstatepowerisexercised.Institutionsmaketheexerciseofpowermore
predictableandlessarbitraryandindiscriminate,uptosomepoint.Whena
newlyhegemonicstateseekstocreateamutuallyacceptableorder,doingsoto
preserveandextendthereturnstoitspowerintothefuture,institutionscanbe
anattractivetool:theylockotherstatesintotheorder,andtheyallowthe
leadingstatetoreassureandcooptotherstatesbylimitingthereturnsto
power.
[IkenberrygoesontoexploreindetailthecreationandmaintenanceofWestern
institutionsafter1945,andthewaysinwhichtheseinstitutionslimitedthe
returnstopowerintheWesternsystem.Heconcludesasfollows.]
Conclusion
Thetwentiethcenturymaybeending,buttheAmericancenturyisinfullswing.
ThecharacterofAmericanpowerisasinterestingandremarkableasthefactof
itsexistence.Americandominationorhegemonyisveryunusual,andthelarger
Westernpoliticalorderthatsurroundsitisuniqueaswell.Fundamentally,
Americanhegemonyisreluctant,open,andhighlyinstitutionalizedorina
word,liberal.Thisiswhatmakesitacceptabletoothercountriesthatmight
otherwisebeexpectedtobalanceagainsthegemonicpower,anditisalsowhat
makesitsostableandexpansive.
EvenwiththeendoftheColdWarandtheshiftingglobaldistributionofpower,
therelationsbetweentheUnitedStatesandtheotherindustrialcountriesof
EuropeandAsiaremainremarkablystableandcooperative.Thisarticleoffers
twomajorreasonswhyAmericanhegemonyhasenduredandfacilitated
cooperationandintegrationamongthemajor
Page140
industrialcountriesratherthantriggeredbalancingandestrangement.Both
reasonsunderscoretheimportanceoftheliberalfeaturesofAmerican
hegemonyandtheinstitutionalfoundationsofWesternpoliticalorder.
First,theUnitedStatesmovedveryquicklyafterWorldWarIItoensurethat
relationsamongtheliberaldemocracieswouldtakeplacewithinan
institutionalizedpoliticalprocess.Ineffect,theUnitedStatesofferedtheother
countriesabargain:iftheUnitedStateswouldagreetooperatewithinmutually
acceptableinstitutions,therebymutingtheimplicationsofpowerasymmetries,
theothercountrieswouldagreetobewillingparticipantsaswell.TheUnited
StatesgottheacquiescenceoftheotherWesternstates,andtheyinturngotthe
reassurancethattheUnitedStateswouldneitherdominatenorabandonthem.
Thestabilityofthisbargaincomesfromitsunderlyinglogic:thepostwar
hegemonicorderisinfusedwithinstitutionsandpracticesthatreducethereturns
topower.Thismeansthattheimplicationsofwinningandlosingareminimized
andcontained.AstatecouldloseinintraWesternrelationsandyetnotworry
thatthewinnerwouldbeabletousethosewinningstopermanentlydominate.
Thisisacentralcharacteristicofdomesticliberalconstitutionalorders.Parties
thatwinelectionsmustoperatewithinwelldefinedlimits.Theycannotusetheir
powersofincumbencytoundermineordestroytheoppositionpartyorparties.
Theycanpresstheadvantageofofficetothelimitsofthelaw,butthereare
limitsandlaws.Thisreassuresthelosingpartyitcanacceptitslossandprepare
forthenextelection.Thefeaturesofthepostwarorderand,importantly,the
openandpenetratedcharacteroftheAmericanpolityitselfhasmechanismsto
providethesamesortofassurancestoAmericasEuropeanandAsianpartners.
Second,theinstitutionsofAmericanhegemonyalsohaveadurabilitythatcomes
fromthephenomenonofincreasingreturns.Theoverallsystemorganized
aroundprinciplesofopenness,reciprocity,andmultilateralismhasbecome
increasinglyconnectedtothewideranddeeperinstitutionsofpoliticsand
societywithintheadvancedindustrialworld.Astheembeddednessofthese
institutionshasgrown,ithasbecomeincreasinglydifficultforpotentialrival
statestointroduceacompetingsetofprinciplesandinstitutions.American
hegemonyhasbecomehighlyinstitutionalizedandpathdependent.Shortof
largescalewaroraglobaleconomiccrisis,theAmericanhegemonicorder
appearstobeimmunetowouldbehegemonicchallengers.Evenifalarge
coalitionofstateshadintereststhatfavoredanalternativetypeoforder,the
benefitsofchangewouldhavetoberadicallyhigherthanthosethatflowfrom
thepresentsystemtojustifychange.Butthereisnopotentialhegemonicstate
(orcoalitionofstates)andnosetofrivalprinciplesandorganizationsevenon
thehorizon.Theworldofthe1940scontainedfarmorerivalsystems,
ideologies,andintereststhantheworldofthe1990s.Thephenomenonof
increasingreturnsisreallyatypeofpositivefeedbackloop.Ifinitialinstitutions
areestablishedsuccessfully,wheretheUnitedStatesanditspartnershave
confidenceintheircredibilityandfunctioning,thisallowsthesestatestomake
choicesthatservetostrengthenthebindingcharacteroftheseinstitutions.
ThepostwarWesternorderfitsthisbasiclogic.Itsopenanddecentralized
characterinvitesparticipationandcreatesassurancesofsteadycommitment.Its
institutionalizedcharacteralsoprovidesmechanismsfortheresolutionof
conflictsandcreatesassurancesofcontinuity.Moreover,likeamarriage,the
interconnectionsandinstitutionsofthepartnershiphavespreadanddeepened.
Withinthisopenandinstitutionalizedorder,thefortuneofparticularstateswill
continuetoriseandfall.TheUnitedStatesitself,whileremainingatthecenterof
theorder,alsocontinuestoexperiencegainsandlosses.Butthemixofwinning
andlosingacrossthesystemisdistributedwidelyenoughtomitigatetheinterest
that
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:47 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page140
industrialcountriesratherthantriggeredbalancingandestrangement.Both
reasonsunderscoretheimportanceoftheliberalfeaturesofAmerican
hegemonyandtheinstitutionalfoundationsofWesternpoliticalorder.
First,theUnitedStatesmovedveryquicklyafterWorldWarIItoensurethat
relationsamongtheliberaldemocracieswouldtakeplacewithinan
institutionalizedpoliticalprocess.Ineffect,theUnitedStatesofferedtheother
countriesabargain:iftheUnitedStateswouldagreetooperatewithinmutually
acceptableinstitutions,therebymutingtheimplicationsofpowerasymmetries,
theothercountrieswouldagreetobewillingparticipantsaswell.TheUnited
StatesgottheacquiescenceoftheotherWesternstates,andtheyinturngotthe
reassurancethattheUnitedStateswouldneitherdominatenorabandonthem.
Thestabilityofthisbargaincomesfromitsunderlyinglogic:thepostwar
hegemonicorderisinfusedwithinstitutionsandpracticesthatreducethereturns
topower.Thismeansthattheimplicationsofwinningandlosingareminimized
andcontained.AstatecouldloseinintraWesternrelationsandyetnotworry
thatthewinnerwouldbeabletousethosewinningstopermanentlydominate.
Thisisacentralcharacteristicofdomesticliberalconstitutionalorders.Parties
thatwinelectionsmustoperatewithinwelldefinedlimits.Theycannotusetheir
powersofincumbencytoundermineordestroytheoppositionpartyorparties.
Theycanpresstheadvantageofofficetothelimitsofthelaw,butthereare
limitsandlaws.Thisreassuresthelosingpartyitcanacceptitslossandprepare
forthenextelection.Thefeaturesofthepostwarorderand,importantly,the
openandpenetratedcharacteroftheAmericanpolityitselfhasmechanismsto
providethesamesortofassurancestoAmericasEuropeanandAsianpartners.
Second,theinstitutionsofAmericanhegemonyalsohaveadurabilitythatcomes
fromthephenomenonofincreasingreturns.Theoverallsystemorganized
aroundprinciplesofopenness,reciprocity,andmultilateralismhasbecome
increasinglyconnectedtothewideranddeeperinstitutionsofpoliticsand
societywithintheadvancedindustrialworld.Astheembeddednessofthese
institutionshasgrown,ithasbecomeincreasinglydifficultforpotentialrival
statestointroduceacompetingsetofprinciplesandinstitutions.American
hegemonyhasbecomehighlyinstitutionalizedandpathdependent.Shortof
largescalewaroraglobaleconomiccrisis,theAmericanhegemonicorder
appearstobeimmunetowouldbehegemonicchallengers.Evenifalarge
coalitionofstateshadintereststhatfavoredanalternativetypeoforder,the
benefitsofchangewouldhavetoberadicallyhigherthanthosethatflowfrom
thepresentsystemtojustifychange.Butthereisnopotentialhegemonicstate
(orcoalitionofstates)andnosetofrivalprinciplesandorganizationsevenon
thehorizon.Theworldofthe1940scontainedfarmorerivalsystems,
ideologies,andintereststhantheworldofthe1990s.Thephenomenonof
increasingreturnsisreallyatypeofpositivefeedbackloop.Ifinitialinstitutions
areestablishedsuccessfully,wheretheUnitedStatesanditspartnershave
confidenceintheircredibilityandfunctioning,thisallowsthesestatestomake
choicesthatservetostrengthenthebindingcharacteroftheseinstitutions.
ThepostwarWesternorderfitsthisbasiclogic.Itsopenanddecentralized
characterinvitesparticipationandcreatesassurancesofsteadycommitment.Its
institutionalizedcharacteralsoprovidesmechanismsfortheresolutionof
conflictsandcreatesassurancesofcontinuity.Moreover,likeamarriage,the
interconnectionsandinstitutionsofthepartnershiphavespreadanddeepened.
Withinthisopenandinstitutionalizedorder,thefortuneofparticularstateswill
continuetoriseandfall.TheUnitedStatesitself,whileremainingatthecenterof
theorder,alsocontinuestoexperiencegainsandlosses.Butthemixofwinning
andlosingacrossthesystemisdistributedwidelyenoughtomitigatetheinterest
that
Page141
particularstatesmighthaveinreplacingit.Inanorderwherethereturnsto
powerarelowandthereturnstoinstitutionsarehigh,stabilitywillbean
inevitablefeature.
Notes
1R.Gilpin,WarandChangeinWorldPolitics(CambridgeUniversityPress,
Cambridge,1981).
2O.Young,PoliticalLeadershipandRegimeFormation:OntheDevelopment
ofInstitutionsinInternationalSociety,InternationalOrganization45(3),
1991,p.282.
3R.Powell,AnarchyinInternationalRelationsTheory:TheNeorealistand
NeoliberalDebate,InternationalOrganization48(2),1994,pp.31344.
4DanielDeudney,ThePhiladelphianSystem:Sovereignty,ArmsControl,and
BalanceofPowerintheAmericanStatesUnion,InternationalOrganization,
49(2),1995,pp.191228andDeudney,BindingSovereigns:Authorities,
Structures,andGeopoliticsinPhiladelphianSystemsinThomasBierstekerand
CynthiaWeber(eds.)StateSovereigntyasSocialConstruct(Cambridge
UniversityPress,Cambridge,1996),esp.pp.21316.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:48 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page142
2.3
Interstatecooperationandinstitutionalchoice
AndrewMoravcsik
Source:TheChoiceforEurope:SocialPurposeandStatePowerfrom
MessinatoMaastricht(CornellUniversityPress,Ithaca,NY,1998),pp.67
77.
Moravcsikputsforwardarationalistframeworkofinternational
cooperation,inwhichstatesactrationallyinpursuitoftheirpreferences.
Accordingtothismodel,cooperation(inthiscasewithintheEuropean
Communitiesbetweenthe1950sand1990s)reflectsthreestages:national
preferenceformation,inter statebargaining,andthechoiceof
internationalinstitutions.Theextractherefocusesparticularlyonthe
latterprocess,thatofinstitutionalchoice,especiallyinrelationtothe
poolingordelegationofsovereigntywithintheEuropeanCommunities.
Institutionalchoice:poolinganddelegationofsovereignty
Wenowturntothethirdanalyticalstageintherationalistframeworkof
internationalcooperation:institutionalchoice.Givensubstantiveagreement,
whenandwhydoECgovernmentsdelegateorpooldecisionmakingpowerin
authoritativeinternationalinstitutions?Whydotheynotalwaysretainthe
prerogativetomakefutureunilateraldecisions?
Thisquestion,centraltomoderntheoriesofinternationalcooperation,takeson
particularsignificanceinthecaseoftheECbecauseoftheuniquelyrichsetof
institutionsithasevolved.TheECcomprisesfourmajorbranches:theCouncil
ofMinisters,anintergovernmentaldecisionmakingbodythatroutinelylegislates
byqualifiedmajorityvotetheCommission,apowerfultechnocraticsecretariat
withformalagendasettingpowersinmanyareastheParliament,adirectly
electedassemblywithmorelimitedpowersthananynationalequivalentbut
greaterinfluencethananyinternationalcounterpartandtheCourtofJustice,a
constitutionalcourtinsomewaysmorepowerfulthanthoseofmanynational
systems.Theseinstitutionstranscendthecoordinatingrulesandadministrative
secretariatsfoundinmostinternationalorganizationstheymanifestlyimpingeon
nationalsovereignty.
Constraintsonsovereigntycanbeimposedintwoways:poolingordelegation
ofauthoritativedecisionmaking.Sovereigntyispooledwhengovernments
agreetodecidefuturemattersbyvotingproceduresotherthanunanimity.Inthe
EClegislativeprocess,suchdecisionsoccurprimarilythroughqualifiedmajority
voting(QMV)intheCouncilofMinisters,whereasupermajorityofweighted
votesisrequiredforpassage.Sovereigntyisdelegatedwhensupranational
actorsarepermittedtotakecertainautonomousdecisions,withoutan
interveninginterstatevoteorunilateralveto.TheCommissionenjoyssuch
autonomyinsomemattersofantitrustenforcement,dailyimplementationof
regulations,and,toamorelimitedextent,externaltradeandaccession
negotiations.Perhapsmostimportant,the
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:48 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page142
2.3
Interstatecooperationandinstitutionalchoice
AndrewMoravcsik
Source:TheChoiceforEurope:SocialPurposeandStatePowerfrom
MessinatoMaastricht(CornellUniversityPress,Ithaca,NY,1998),pp.67
77.
Moravcsikputsforwardarationalistframeworkofinternational
cooperation,inwhichstatesactrationallyinpursuitoftheirpreferences.
Accordingtothismodel,cooperation(inthiscasewithintheEuropean
Communitiesbetweenthe1950sand1990s)reflectsthreestages:national
preferenceformation,inter statebargaining,andthechoiceof
internationalinstitutions.Theextractherefocusesparticularlyonthe
latterprocess,thatofinstitutionalchoice,especiallyinrelationtothe
poolingordelegationofsovereigntywithintheEuropeanCommunities.
Institutionalchoice:poolinganddelegationofsovereignty
Wenowturntothethirdanalyticalstageintherationalistframeworkof
internationalcooperation:institutionalchoice.Givensubstantiveagreement,
whenandwhydoECgovernmentsdelegateorpooldecisionmakingpowerin
authoritativeinternationalinstitutions?Whydotheynotalwaysretainthe
prerogativetomakefutureunilateraldecisions?
Thisquestion,centraltomoderntheoriesofinternationalcooperation,takeson
particularsignificanceinthecaseoftheECbecauseoftheuniquelyrichsetof
institutionsithasevolved.TheECcomprisesfourmajorbranches:theCouncil
ofMinisters,anintergovernmentaldecisionmakingbodythatroutinelylegislates
byqualifiedmajorityvotetheCommission,apowerfultechnocraticsecretariat
withformalagendasettingpowersinmanyareastheParliament,adirectly
electedassemblywithmorelimitedpowersthananynationalequivalentbut
greaterinfluencethananyinternationalcounterpartandtheCourtofJustice,a
constitutionalcourtinsomewaysmorepowerfulthanthoseofmanynational
systems.Theseinstitutionstranscendthecoordinatingrulesandadministrative
secretariatsfoundinmostinternationalorganizationstheymanifestlyimpingeon
nationalsovereignty.
Constraintsonsovereigntycanbeimposedintwoways:poolingordelegation
ofauthoritativedecisionmaking.Sovereigntyispooledwhengovernments
agreetodecidefuturemattersbyvotingproceduresotherthanunanimity.Inthe
EClegislativeprocess,suchdecisionsoccurprimarilythroughqualifiedmajority
voting(QMV)intheCouncilofMinisters,whereasupermajorityofweighted
votesisrequiredforpassage.Sovereigntyisdelegatedwhensupranational
actorsarepermittedtotakecertainautonomousdecisions,withoutan
interveninginterstatevoteorunilateralveto.TheCommissionenjoyssuch
autonomyinsomemattersofantitrustenforcement,dailyimplementationof
regulations,and,toamorelimitedextent,externaltradeandaccession
negotiations.Perhapsmostimportant,the
Page143
Commissionhasbeengrantedinmostareasofeconomiclegislationaunique
righttoproposelegislationandcanamendproposalsatanytime.The
Parliamentpossessesadifferentsortofpooledsovereignty,inwhichnational
representatives,generallyorganizedinpoliticalparties,caninfluencethe
legislativeprocess.Foritspart,theEuropeanCourtalsoenjoysindependent
powersofjudicialscrutinyandenforcement,atleastinsofarasdomesticcourts
arepreparedtoimplementitsdecisions.TheMaastrichtTreatyforesees,in
addition,thecreationofanautonomousEuropeancentralbank.
Thesenovelinstitutionalpractices,PerryAndersonobserves,emergedforthe
mostpartnotthroughinattention,emulation,orrevolution,asonecanarguewas
thecasewithnationalstatebuilding,butthroughdeliberatedesignwithout
historicalprecedent.
1
WhilethisisslightlyoverstatedthepowersoftheCourt
appeartoconstituteapartialexceptionthedeliberatequalityoftheprovisions
forpoolingthroughQMVisevidentfromtheirselectiveapplicationtoEC
policyareasandthewayinwhichtheyhavebeenchangedquitedifferently
anddiscriminately[]withinpolicyareasovertime.
2
Similarobservations
applytopooledsovereigntyintheParliamentanddelegationtothe
Commission.AcentraltaskofanycomprehensiveaccountofmajorEuropean
decisionsisthustounderstandconditionsunderwhichmemberstateschooseto
foregoadhocdecisionmakingundertheunanimityruleinordertopoolor
delegatesovereignty.Whywouldsovereigngovernmentsinananarchic
internationalsystemchoosetodelegatedecisionmakingpowerratherthan
makedecisionsthemselves?Thisquestionliesattheheartofthemodernstudy
ofinternationalregimesandofpoliticaldelegationmoregenerally.
Therearethreeplausibleexplanationsforthedelegationandpoolingof
sovereigntyinthecontextoftheEC.Thesestress,respectively,beliefin
federalistideology,theneedforcentralizedtechnocraticcoordinationand
planning,andthedesireformorecrediblecommitments.Eachexplanation
generatesadistinctivesetofpredictionsconcerningvariationalongthree
dimensionsofinstitutionalchoice:delegationandpoolingacrossissuesand
countries,domesticcleavagesanddiscourse,andthenatureofinstitutional
controlsoverthosetowhompowerisdelegated.Theresultinghypothesesare
summarizedinTable1.
Ideology:federalismvs.nationalism?
Thewillingnessofgovernmentstopoolordelegatecontroloverpolicy,one
explanationsuggests,stemsfromprevailingideologicalbeliefsaboutnational
sovereignty.Somenationalpublics,elites,andpartiesaremorefederalistothers
aremorenationalist.Nationalpositionsconcerninginstitutionalformreflectthese
beliefsratherthanthesubstantiveconsequencesoftransferringsovereigntya
viewlinkedtoideologicalvariantsofthegeopoliticalexplanationofnational
preferencesexploredearlierinthischapter.Suchideasandideologiesmay
reflectdistinctivehistoricalmemoriesofWorldWarII,partisanpositions,
preferredstylesofdomesticgovernance,orbroadgeopoliticalcalculations.
Whateverthesource,wehaveseen,Germany(alongwithBeneluxandItaly)
hastraditionallybeenthemostfederalistofthethreemajorECmembers.
Francehasbeenlessso,balancingnationalismandfederalism,withcentrist
partiesgenerallyfavoringamorefederalistposition.Britainisleastfederalist.
TheindigenousproEuropeanmovementisweakerthanontheContinent,while
thereisastrongtraditionofnationalistappealsattheextremesofbothmajor
parties.Threehypothesesfollow.
Onthefirstdimension,delegationandpoolingacrossissuesandcountries,
theideologicalexplanationpredictssystematicvariationacrosscountriesrather
thanacrossissues.Governmentsoffederalistcountriesandpartiesshould
favorconsistentlydelegationandpooling,
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:48 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page143
Commissionhasbeengrantedinmostareasofeconomiclegislationaunique
righttoproposelegislationandcanamendproposalsatanytime.The
Parliamentpossessesadifferentsortofpooledsovereignty,inwhichnational
representatives,generallyorganizedinpoliticalparties,caninfluencethe
legislativeprocess.Foritspart,theEuropeanCourtalsoenjoysindependent
powersofjudicialscrutinyandenforcement,atleastinsofarasdomesticcourts
arepreparedtoimplementitsdecisions.TheMaastrichtTreatyforesees,in
addition,thecreationofanautonomousEuropeancentralbank.
Thesenovelinstitutionalpractices,PerryAndersonobserves,emergedforthe
mostpartnotthroughinattention,emulation,orrevolution,asonecanarguewas
thecasewithnationalstatebuilding,butthroughdeliberatedesignwithout
historicalprecedent.
1
WhilethisisslightlyoverstatedthepowersoftheCourt
appeartoconstituteapartialexceptionthedeliberatequalityoftheprovisions
forpoolingthroughQMVisevidentfromtheirselectiveapplicationtoEC
policyareasandthewayinwhichtheyhavebeenchangedquitedifferently
anddiscriminately[]withinpolicyareasovertime.
2
Similarobservations
applytopooledsovereigntyintheParliamentanddelegationtothe
Commission.AcentraltaskofanycomprehensiveaccountofmajorEuropean
decisionsisthustounderstandconditionsunderwhichmemberstateschooseto
foregoadhocdecisionmakingundertheunanimityruleinordertopoolor
delegatesovereignty.Whywouldsovereigngovernmentsinananarchic
internationalsystemchoosetodelegatedecisionmakingpowerratherthan
makedecisionsthemselves?Thisquestionliesattheheartofthemodernstudy
ofinternationalregimesandofpoliticaldelegationmoregenerally.
Therearethreeplausibleexplanationsforthedelegationandpoolingof
sovereigntyinthecontextoftheEC.Thesestress,respectively,beliefin
federalistideology,theneedforcentralizedtechnocraticcoordinationand
planning,andthedesireformorecrediblecommitments.Eachexplanation
generatesadistinctivesetofpredictionsconcerningvariationalongthree
dimensionsofinstitutionalchoice:delegationandpoolingacrossissuesand
countries,domesticcleavagesanddiscourse,andthenatureofinstitutional
controlsoverthosetowhompowerisdelegated.Theresultinghypothesesare
summarizedinTable1.
Ideology:federalismvs.nationalism?
Thewillingnessofgovernmentstopoolordelegatecontroloverpolicy,one
explanationsuggests,stemsfromprevailingideologicalbeliefsaboutnational
sovereignty.Somenationalpublics,elites,andpartiesaremorefederalistothers
aremorenationalist.Nationalpositionsconcerninginstitutionalformreflectthese
beliefsratherthanthesubstantiveconsequencesoftransferringsovereigntya
viewlinkedtoideologicalvariantsofthegeopoliticalexplanationofnational
preferencesexploredearlierinthischapter.Suchideasandideologiesmay
reflectdistinctivehistoricalmemoriesofWorldWarII,partisanpositions,
preferredstylesofdomesticgovernance,orbroadgeopoliticalcalculations.
Whateverthesource,wehaveseen,Germany(alongwithBeneluxandItaly)
hastraditionallybeenthemostfederalistofthethreemajorECmembers.
Francehasbeenlessso,balancingnationalismandfederalism,withcentrist
partiesgenerallyfavoringamorefederalistposition.Britainisleastfederalist.
TheindigenousproEuropeanmovementisweakerthanontheContinent,while
thereisastrongtraditionofnationalistappealsattheextremesofbothmajor
parties.Threehypothesesfollow.
Onthefirstdimension,delegationandpoolingacrossissuesandcountries,
theideologicalexplanationpredictssystematicvariationacrosscountriesrather
thanacrossissues.Governmentsoffederalistcountriesandpartiesshould
favorconsistentlydelegationandpooling,
Page144
Table1Institutionalchoice:theoriesandhypotheses
Dimensions Federalist
ideology
Technocratic
management
Crediblecommitments
Crossissue
andcross
national
variation
Supportfor
delegationand
poolingvaries
acrosscountries,
notissues.The
mostimportant
splitdivides
federalistand
nationalist
governments.The
pressuresare
strongerwhere
issuesare
ideologically
saliente.g.,
increasesinEC
Parliamentary
power.
Supportfor
delegationand
poolingvaries
acrossissues,not
acrosscountries.
Delegationand
perhapspooling
areparticularly
likelywhen
distributional
conflictislowand
issuesare
technically,legally,
orpolitically
complex.
Supportfordelegation
andpoolingvaries
acrossbothcountries
andissues,paralleling
nationalsupportfor
substantivecooperation.
Institutionaldelegation
andpoolingemerge
whenjointgains,an
incentivetodefect,and
futureuncertaintycall
intertemporalbargains
intoquestion.
Governmentswith
extremepreferences,at
greaterriskofbeing
outvotedoroverruled,
tendtobecautious.
Concernabout
complianceinduces
delegation:concern
aboutobstructionorlog
rollinginducespooling.
Domestic
cleavages
and
discourse
Domestic
cleavagespit
European
federalistsagainst
nationalist
opponents.
Supporttendsto
centerinnational
parliaments,
federalistparties
andmovements,
orpublicopinion
Domestic
discourse,even
behindthescenes,
stressesideology.
Pressurefor
delegationand
poolingcomes
fromexpertsand
officials,witha
secondaryrolefor
societalelite
supportersofa
givenpolicy.
Domestic
discoursestresses
optimal
technocratic
solutionsto
problemsthrough
centralplanning.
Domesticgroupsthat
favororopposepolicy
goalstakethesameview
ontransfersof
sovereignty.Domestic
discoursefocuseson
securingcommitmentsto
implementationand
compliance.More
populistgroupsremain
skeptical.
Institutional
form
Institutions
empower
democraticor
otherwise
ideologically
legitimate
decisionmakers,
spearheadedby
domesticand
European
Parliamentary
federalists.
Oversight
provision
reinforce
democratic
legitimacyand
control.
Institutions
empower
technocratic
experts.Minimal
democratic,legal,
orpolitical
oversightrequired,
becausethereare
fewconflicting
interestsinareas
oftechnocratic
consensus.
Institutionsestablish
actorsandprocedures
thatassurepredictable,
usuallyfair,compliance
orimplementation.
Nationalgovernments
carefullylimitthescope
ofmandates,generating
aninverserelation
betweenthescopeand
extentofmandates.To
bolstercredibility,
democraticinvolvement
islimited.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:49 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page144
Table1Institutionalchoice:theoriesandhypotheses
Dimensions Federalist
ideology
Technocratic
management
Crediblecommitments
Crossissue
andcross
national
variation
Supportfor
delegationand
poolingvaries
acrosscountries,
notissues.The
mostimportant
splitdivides
federalistand
nationalist
governments.The
pressuresare
strongerwhere
issuesare
ideologically
saliente.g.,
increasesinEC
Parliamentary
power.
Supportfor
delegationand
poolingvaries
acrossissues,not
acrosscountries.
Delegationand
perhapspooling
areparticularly
likelywhen
distributional
conflictislowand
issuesare
technically,legally,
orpolitically
complex.
Supportfordelegation
andpoolingvaries
acrossbothcountries
andissues,paralleling
nationalsupportfor
substantivecooperation.
Institutionaldelegation
andpoolingemerge
whenjointgains,an
incentivetodefect,and
futureuncertaintycall
intertemporalbargains
intoquestion.
Governmentswith
extremepreferences,at
greaterriskofbeing
outvotedoroverruled,
tendtobecautious.
Concernabout
complianceinduces
delegation:concern
aboutobstructionorlog
rollinginducespooling.
Domestic
cleavages
and
discourse
Domestic
cleavagespit
European
federalistsagainst
nationalist
opponents.
Supporttendsto
centerinnational
parliaments,
federalistparties
andmovements,
orpublicopinion
Domestic
discourse,even
behindthescenes,
stressesideology.
Pressurefor
delegationand
poolingcomes
fromexpertsand
officials,witha
secondaryrolefor
societalelite
supportersofa
givenpolicy.
Domestic
discoursestresses
optimal
technocratic
solutionsto
problemsthrough
centralplanning.
Domesticgroupsthat
favororopposepolicy
goalstakethesameview
ontransfersof
sovereignty.Domestic
discoursefocuseson
securingcommitmentsto
implementationand
compliance.More
populistgroupsremain
skeptical.
Institutional
form
Institutions
empower
democraticor
otherwise
ideologically
legitimate
decisionmakers,
spearheadedby
domesticand
European
Parliamentary
federalists.
Oversight
provision
reinforce
democratic
legitimacyand
control.
Institutions
empower
technocratic
experts.Minimal
democratic,legal,
orpolitical
oversightrequired,
becausethereare
fewconflicting
interestsinareas
oftechnocratic
consensus.
Institutionsestablish
actorsandprocedures
thatassurepredictable,
usuallyfair,compliance
orimplementation.
Nationalgovernments
carefullylimitthescope
ofmandates,generating
aninverserelation
betweenthescopeand
extentofmandates.To
bolstercredibility,
democraticinvolvement
islimited.
Page145
whereasgovernmentsofnationalistcountriesandpartiesshouldoppose
themindependentlyofsubstantiveconsequencesofcooperation.
Ontheseconddimension,domesticcleavagesanddiscourse,weshould
observedomesticdivisionsalongthelinesofgeneralpublicorpartisanviews
aboutstatesovereignty,ratherthanconcreteeconomicorregulatoryinterests.
ProEuropeangroupswillfavordelegationandpoolingindependentlyof
substantiveconcerns,whereasnationalistgroupswillopposethem.
Ideologicallymotivatedleaders,governments,orsocietalgroups,whether
favourableoropposed,willfocustheirattentionandrhetoricprimarilyonthe
mostsalientsymbolicissuesconnectedwithsovereigntytransfers,suchasthe
powersoftheParliamentvisvisnationalparliaments,majorityvotingand
nationalvetoes,andthegeneralscopeofECcompetencesvisvisthose
powersreservedtosubsidiarylevelsofnationalandsubnationalgovernment.In
thisregardtheideologicalapproachremainsresolutelynonfunctional.Perry
Andersonsobservationistypical:Acustomsunion,evenequippedwithan
agriculturalfund,didnotrequireasupranationalCommissionarmedwith
powersofexecutivedirection,aHighCourt[and]aParliament.[]Theactual
machineryoftheCommunityisinexplicablewithout[]thefederalistvisionof
EuropedevelopedaboveallbyMonnetandhiscircle.
3

Onthethirddimension,theidentityofandinstitutionalcontrolsonthose
holdingdelegatedorpooledpowers,theideologicalexplanationpredictsthat
ECinstitutionswillbedesignedtoenhancelegitimacybyempowering
democraticallyelectedofficialsandneutraljudges.Policyprocessesare
thereforetransparentandsalientandsubjecttodirectdemocraticoversight.
ThisisthepositionconsistentlysupportedovertheyearsbytheEuropean
federalistmovement.Notbychancehasthismovementbeenbased
traditionallyintheEuropeanParliament,whenceitvoicedstrongcriticismsof
thedemocraticdeficitandthecentralizationofECpolicymakinginthe
CommissionandtheCouncilofMinisters.
Technocraticgovernance:theneedforcentralizedexpertiseandinformation?
Asecondexplanationforpatternsinthedelegationandpoolingofsovereignty
focusesontheneedforcentralizedexpertstomanagecomplex,modern,
transnationaleconomies.Inthisview,moderneconomicplanningisahighly
complexactivityrequiringconsiderabletechnicalandlegalinformation.Such
informationismostefficientlyprovidedbyasinglecentralizedauthority.This
explanationcloselyrelatedtoelementsofthesupranationalexplanationof
interstatebargainingconsideredearlierassumesthatthecollectiveaction
problemfacinggovernmentsisoneofcoordinatingtheproductionof
information.Centralizedauthoritiesarebestplacedtoexploitinformational
economiesofscaleandovercomecoordinationproblemsornationalmistrust,
therebygeneratinganddisseminatingsufficientinformationrequiredformore
efficientdecisionmaking.Aroundexpertproposalstechnocraticfocal
pointsgovernmentscoordinatetheiractivities.
Likethesupranationalexplanationofsubstantivebargains,thetechnocratic
explanationofinstitutionalchoiceisassociatedwithMonnetandHaas,bothof
whomjustifiedaneedforcentralizedexpertisebyarguingthatmodern
economiesrequireextensivestateinterventionandplanningbyknowledgeable,
neutralexperts.Rationalinvestmentdecisions,theyargued,arebestmadeby
centralizedtechnocratstransfersofsovereigntyestablishplanningcapacity.
HenceMonnetsoughttopromoteintegrationinthoseareas,suchasatomic
energy,withhighlevelsoftechnicalcomplexityandstateinterventionHaas
predictedthesuccessofsuchefforts.Sinceapostindustrialeconomycan
easilyproduceenoughtosatisfycitizens,
C
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:49 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page145
whereasgovernmentsofnationalistcountriesandpartiesshouldoppose
themindependentlyofsubstantiveconsequencesofcooperation.
Ontheseconddimension,domesticcleavagesanddiscourse,weshould
observedomesticdivisionsalongthelinesofgeneralpublicorpartisanviews
aboutstatesovereignty,ratherthanconcreteeconomicorregulatoryinterests.
ProEuropeangroupswillfavordelegationandpoolingindependentlyof
substantiveconcerns,whereasnationalistgroupswillopposethem.
Ideologicallymotivatedleaders,governments,orsocietalgroups,whether
favourableoropposed,willfocustheirattentionandrhetoricprimarilyonthe
mostsalientsymbolicissuesconnectedwithsovereigntytransfers,suchasthe
powersoftheParliamentvisvisnationalparliaments,majorityvotingand
nationalvetoes,andthegeneralscopeofECcompetencesvisvisthose
powersreservedtosubsidiarylevelsofnationalandsubnationalgovernment.In
thisregardtheideologicalapproachremainsresolutelynonfunctional.Perry
Andersonsobservationistypical:Acustomsunion,evenequippedwithan
agriculturalfund,didnotrequireasupranationalCommissionarmedwith
powersofexecutivedirection,aHighCourt[and]aParliament.[]Theactual
machineryoftheCommunityisinexplicablewithout[]thefederalistvisionof
EuropedevelopedaboveallbyMonnetandhiscircle.
3

Onthethirddimension,theidentityofandinstitutionalcontrolsonthose
holdingdelegatedorpooledpowers,theideologicalexplanationpredictsthat
ECinstitutionswillbedesignedtoenhancelegitimacybyempowering
democraticallyelectedofficialsandneutraljudges.Policyprocessesare
thereforetransparentandsalientandsubjecttodirectdemocraticoversight.
ThisisthepositionconsistentlysupportedovertheyearsbytheEuropean
federalistmovement.Notbychancehasthismovementbeenbased
traditionallyintheEuropeanParliament,whenceitvoicedstrongcriticismsof
thedemocraticdeficitandthecentralizationofECpolicymakinginthe
CommissionandtheCouncilofMinisters.
Technocraticgovernance:theneedforcentralizedexpertiseandinformation?
Asecondexplanationforpatternsinthedelegationandpoolingofsovereignty
focusesontheneedforcentralizedexpertstomanagecomplex,modern,
transnationaleconomies.Inthisview,moderneconomicplanningisahighly
complexactivityrequiringconsiderabletechnicalandlegalinformation.Such
informationismostefficientlyprovidedbyasinglecentralizedauthority.This
explanationcloselyrelatedtoelementsofthesupranationalexplanationof
interstatebargainingconsideredearlierassumesthatthecollectiveaction
problemfacinggovernmentsisoneofcoordinatingtheproductionof
information.Centralizedauthoritiesarebestplacedtoexploitinformational
economiesofscaleandovercomecoordinationproblemsornationalmistrust,
therebygeneratinganddisseminatingsufficientinformationrequiredformore
efficientdecisionmaking.Aroundexpertproposalstechnocraticfocal
pointsgovernmentscoordinatetheiractivities.
Likethesupranationalexplanationofsubstantivebargains,thetechnocratic
explanationofinstitutionalchoiceisassociatedwithMonnetandHaas,bothof
whomjustifiedaneedforcentralizedexpertisebyarguingthatmodern
economiesrequireextensivestateinterventionandplanningbyknowledgeable,
neutralexperts.Rationalinvestmentdecisions,theyargued,arebestmadeby
centralizedtechnocratstransfersofsovereigntyestablishplanningcapacity.
HenceMonnetsoughttopromoteintegrationinthoseareas,suchasatomic
energy,withhighlevelsoftechnicalcomplexityandstateinterventionHaas
predictedthesuccessofsuchefforts.Sinceapostindustrialeconomycan
easilyproduceenoughtosatisfycitizens,
Page146
Haaswrotein1964,thereneedberelativelylittleideologicalordistributive
conflictovereconomicpolicythecentralproblemisinsteadupgradingthe
commoninterestthroughtheapplicationofpropertechnocraticexpertise.
4
The
Commissionsinfluenceisthusoftenattributedtoitstechnicalcompetence,
which,accordingtoLindberg,ensuresthatitsproposalscommandtheserious
attentionofthemembergovernments.
5
InterpretationsoftheCommissions
influencethatrelyheavilyonfocalpoints,technicalexpertise,andepistemic
communitieshaverecentlyreemergedamongscholarswhostressthe
Commissionsrole.
6

WhencetheadvantageoftheCommission,Parliament,andCourtinproviding
expertinformationandanalysis?Onealternativeistodelegateauthorityto
nationalexpertswhomeetregularly:Whyisthisnotdone?EvenCouncilof
Ministerscommittees,Haasargued,wereessentiallynonideologicalandnon
partisan,consistingofhighcivilservantsmeeting[]andworkingout
commonpoliciesonthebasisoftheirperceptionofthetechnicalpolicies
inherentinwhateverisbeingdiscussed.
7
Itishardlyobviousthatdelegatedor
highlystructureddecisionmakingismoreefficientthanlooserarrangements.In
astudyofmultiorganizationalsystemsofwhichtheECissurelyaprime
internationalexampleDonaldChisholmhasobserved,Whereformal
organizationalarrangementsareabsent,insufficientorinappropriatefor
providingtherequisitecoordination,informaladaptationsdevelop[which]may
bequitestableandeffective,moresoperhapsthanformalhierarchical
arrangement.Furthermore,becauseinformalorganizationpermitsthecontinued
existenceofformallyautonomousorganizationsinthefaceofmutual
interdependence,itcanachieveothervalues,suchasreliability,flexibilityand
representativeness,thatwouldotherwisebeprecludedorsubstantially
diminishedunderformalarrangements.
8
Itisthusunclear,inthetechnocratic
view,whydelegationorpoolingisrequired.
Onecommonexplanationisthatexpertinformationandanalysismayrequire
considerabletime,money,andexpertisetogenerateyetcanbedisseminated
easilyinshort,theyarepublicorclubgoodswithinaninternational
organization.Theyarethereforelikelytobeunderprovidedbyindividual
governments,sincethecostsofprovisionarerelativelyhighrelativetothe
benefitsaccruingtoanysinglestate.(Governmentsmayalsowithholdexpert
informationforfearofexploitationiftheyrevealit.)Yetitisunlikelythatthe
Commission,withafewthousandofficials,letalonetheParliamentorCourt,
hasmoretime,money,orexpertiseatitsdisposalthanamajorEuropean
government.AmoreplausibleexplanationisthatCommissionofficialsoccupya
privilegedpositionatthecenterofan[institutionalized]networkof
knowledgeanepistemiccommunityoftechnicalexpertscommittedto
politicalgoalsandlinkedthroughnetworksofnationalandinternational
bureaucracies.Scientificandtechnicalelites,ithasbeenargued,areconstituted
inselfconsciousnetworkswithinwhichinformation,expertise,andshared
valuesareeasilydisseminated.Bymanipulatinginformationthroughsuch
networks,nationalandsupranationalofficialsconstructdomesticand
internationalcoalitionsinsupportoftheirpoliciesandlegitimatepackage
deals.Suchactionsmaygeneratepoliciesthatgobeyondtheinitialintentionsof
governmentsaphenomenonsaidtobecommonininternationalorganizations.
TheECCourt,Parliament,andCommissionmightalso,byvirtueofproximity
andexpertise,berelativelyexpertinEClegalandadministrativeprocedures,
whichmaygivethemacomparativeadvantageindesigningoriginalsolutions
andinventinginstitutionaloptionssaidtobeakeyskillofsuccessful
internationalentrepreneurs.
Ifthetechnocraticexplanationofpoolinganddelegationiscorrect,hypotheses
followalongthethreedimensionsintroducedabove.Onthefirst,variation
acrossissuesandcountries,thetechnocratictheorypredictsthatinstitutional
choicesvarymorebyissuethanbycountry.Delegationislikelywhereissues
aretechnicallycomplex(e.g.,environmental,agricultural,
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:50 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page146
Haaswrotein1964,thereneedberelativelylittleideologicalordistributive
conflictovereconomicpolicythecentralproblemisinsteadupgradingthe
commoninterestthroughtheapplicationofpropertechnocraticexpertise.
4
The
Commissionsinfluenceisthusoftenattributedtoitstechnicalcompetence,
which,accordingtoLindberg,ensuresthatitsproposalscommandtheserious
attentionofthemembergovernments.
5
InterpretationsoftheCommissions
influencethatrelyheavilyonfocalpoints,technicalexpertise,andepistemic
communitieshaverecentlyreemergedamongscholarswhostressthe
Commissionsrole.
6

WhencetheadvantageoftheCommission,Parliament,andCourtinproviding
expertinformationandanalysis?Onealternativeistodelegateauthorityto
nationalexpertswhomeetregularly:Whyisthisnotdone?EvenCouncilof
Ministerscommittees,Haasargued,wereessentiallynonideologicalandnon
partisan,consistingofhighcivilservantsmeeting[]andworkingout
commonpoliciesonthebasisoftheirperceptionofthetechnicalpolicies
inherentinwhateverisbeingdiscussed.
7
Itishardlyobviousthatdelegatedor
highlystructureddecisionmakingismoreefficientthanlooserarrangements.In
astudyofmultiorganizationalsystemsofwhichtheECissurelyaprime
internationalexampleDonaldChisholmhasobserved,Whereformal
organizationalarrangementsareabsent,insufficientorinappropriatefor
providingtherequisitecoordination,informaladaptationsdevelop[which]may
bequitestableandeffective,moresoperhapsthanformalhierarchical
arrangement.Furthermore,becauseinformalorganizationpermitsthecontinued
existenceofformallyautonomousorganizationsinthefaceofmutual
interdependence,itcanachieveothervalues,suchasreliability,flexibilityand
representativeness,thatwouldotherwisebeprecludedorsubstantially
diminishedunderformalarrangements.
8
Itisthusunclear,inthetechnocratic
view,whydelegationorpoolingisrequired.
Onecommonexplanationisthatexpertinformationandanalysismayrequire
considerabletime,money,andexpertisetogenerateyetcanbedisseminated
easilyinshort,theyarepublicorclubgoodswithinaninternational
organization.Theyarethereforelikelytobeunderprovidedbyindividual
governments,sincethecostsofprovisionarerelativelyhighrelativetothe
benefitsaccruingtoanysinglestate.(Governmentsmayalsowithholdexpert
informationforfearofexploitationiftheyrevealit.)Yetitisunlikelythatthe
Commission,withafewthousandofficials,letalonetheParliamentorCourt,
hasmoretime,money,orexpertiseatitsdisposalthanamajorEuropean
government.AmoreplausibleexplanationisthatCommissionofficialsoccupya
privilegedpositionatthecenterofan[institutionalized]networkof
knowledgeanepistemiccommunityoftechnicalexpertscommittedto
politicalgoalsandlinkedthroughnetworksofnationalandinternational
bureaucracies.Scientificandtechnicalelites,ithasbeenargued,areconstituted
inselfconsciousnetworkswithinwhichinformation,expertise,andshared
valuesareeasilydisseminated.Bymanipulatinginformationthroughsuch
networks,nationalandsupranationalofficialsconstructdomesticand
internationalcoalitionsinsupportoftheirpoliciesandlegitimatepackage
deals.Suchactionsmaygeneratepoliciesthatgobeyondtheinitialintentionsof
governmentsaphenomenonsaidtobecommonininternationalorganizations.
TheECCourt,Parliament,andCommissionmightalso,byvirtueofproximity
andexpertise,berelativelyexpertinEClegalandadministrativeprocedures,
whichmaygivethemacomparativeadvantageindesigningoriginalsolutions
andinventinginstitutionaloptionssaidtobeakeyskillofsuccessful
internationalentrepreneurs.
Ifthetechnocraticexplanationofpoolinganddelegationiscorrect,hypotheses
followalongthethreedimensionsintroducedabove.Onthefirst,variation
acrossissuesandcountries,thetechnocratictheorypredictsthatinstitutional
choicesvarymorebyissuethanbycountry.Delegationislikelywhereissues
aretechnicallycomplex(e.g.,environmental,agricultural,
Page147
andfinancepolicy).Governmentsshouldbelargelyinagreementconcerningthe
needforsuchdelegation.Weshouldexpectdelegationwhereconflictofinterest
islowandgovernmentsareconcernedmorewiththeefficiencyofpolicy
makingthanwiththedistributionofgains.Giventhelowlevelofconflict
assumedbythetechnocraticexplanation,however,itisunclearwhy
governmentsshouldeverpool,asopposedtodelegate,sovereignty.Onthe
seconddimension,domesticcleavagesanddiscourse,technocraticelites
shouldplayaprominentroleindomesticdebates.Domesticdiscussionsshould
beconcernedmorewiththeefficiencyofpolicymakingthanwiththe
distributionaloutcomes.Onthethirddimension,theidentityofand
institutionalcontrolsonthoseholdingdelegatedorpooledpowers,we
shouldseeinstitutionsdesignedtoempowertechnocraticelites.Little
democratic,legal,orpoliticaloversightshouldberequired,becauseofthelack
ofconflictinginterestsinareasofexpertconsensus.
Crediblecommitments:lockinginpolicycoordination?
Ifthefederalistexplanationforinstitutionalchoiceisinessenceideologicaland
thetechnocraticexplanationinformational,anexplanationbasedontheneedfor
crediblecommitmentsisquintessentiallypolitical.Poolinganddelegationare,in
thisview,twolevelstrategiesdesignedtoprecommitgovernmentstoastream
offuturedecisionsbyremovingthemfromtheunilateralcontrolofindividual
governments.Bypoolingordelegatingtherighttopropose,legislate,implement,
interpret,andenforceagreements,governmentsrestructurefuturedomestic
incentives,encouragingfuturecooperationbyraisingthecostofnondecisionor
noncompliance.Governmentsarelikelytoacceptpoolingordelegationasa
meanstoassurethatothergovernmentswillacceptagreedlegislationand
enforcement,tosignaltheirowncredibility,ortolockinfuturedecisionsagainst
domesticopposition.
Ifgovernmentsseekcrediblecommitments,whydotheypoolanddelegate
sovereigntyinsteadofpromulgatingpreciserulesinadvance?Theanswerliesin
uncertaintyaboutthefuture.Poolinganddelegationcanbeviewedassolutions
totheproblemofincompletecontracting,whichariseswhenmember
governmentssharebroadgoalsbutfindittoocostlyortechnicallyimpossibleto
specifyallfuturecontingenciesinvolvedinlegislatingorenforcingthosegoals.
Governmentsthereforerequireefficientmeansofprecommittingtoaseriesof
smaller,uncertaindecisionsstaggeredataseriesoftimesinthefuture,someof
whicharelikelytobeinconvenientbutwhichtakenasawholebenefiteachof
them.Thealternativetodelegationandpooling,namelyaseriesofpackage
dealslinkingtogethervariousissuesexplicitly,makesitmoredifficultto
structureintertemporaltradeoffs.Issuesmustbenegotiatedinlargeunwieldy
bundles.Poolinganddelegationmayalsobeusedtoprecommitgovernmentsto
decisionsbeforethecostsandbenefitsbecomeclearenoughtogenerate
oppositionatechniquecommonlyemployedintradenegotiationsthe
equivalentintheUnitedStatesarefasttrackprovisionsandGATTnormsof
reciprocityandnondiscrimination.Thelackofpreciseexanteknowledgeabout
theform,details,andoutcomeoffuturedecisionsprecludesmoreexplicit
contractsbutalsohelpsdefusepotentialoppositionfromdisadvantagedgroups.
Majorityvoting,Commissioninitiative,orthirdpartyenforcementintheTreaty
(likemostdomesticconstitutions)serveasrelationalcontractsamong
memberstatesbindingagreementsthatdonotspecifydetailedplansbut
precommitgovernmentsordelegatedauthoritiestocommonsetsofprinciples,
norms,anddecisionmakinganddisputeresolutionprocedures.Bargaining
continuesamongnationalgovernmentsbutundernewinstitutionalcircumstances
designedtoassureaparticularlevelofagreement.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:50 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page147
andfinancepolicy).Governmentsshouldbelargelyinagreementconcerningthe
needforsuchdelegation.Weshouldexpectdelegationwhereconflictofinterest
islowandgovernmentsareconcernedmorewiththeefficiencyofpolicy
makingthanwiththedistributionofgains.Giventhelowlevelofconflict
assumedbythetechnocraticexplanation,however,itisunclearwhy
governmentsshouldeverpool,asopposedtodelegate,sovereignty.Onthe
seconddimension,domesticcleavagesanddiscourse,technocraticelites
shouldplayaprominentroleindomesticdebates.Domesticdiscussionsshould
beconcernedmorewiththeefficiencyofpolicymakingthanwiththe
distributionaloutcomes.Onthethirddimension,theidentityofand
institutionalcontrolsonthoseholdingdelegatedorpooledpowers,we
shouldseeinstitutionsdesignedtoempowertechnocraticelites.Little
democratic,legal,orpoliticaloversightshouldberequired,becauseofthelack
ofconflictinginterestsinareasofexpertconsensus.
Crediblecommitments:lockinginpolicycoordination?
Ifthefederalistexplanationforinstitutionalchoiceisinessenceideologicaland
thetechnocraticexplanationinformational,anexplanationbasedontheneedfor
crediblecommitmentsisquintessentiallypolitical.Poolinganddelegationare,in
thisview,twolevelstrategiesdesignedtoprecommitgovernmentstoastream
offuturedecisionsbyremovingthemfromtheunilateralcontrolofindividual
governments.Bypoolingordelegatingtherighttopropose,legislate,implement,
interpret,andenforceagreements,governmentsrestructurefuturedomestic
incentives,encouragingfuturecooperationbyraisingthecostofnondecisionor
noncompliance.Governmentsarelikelytoacceptpoolingordelegationasa
meanstoassurethatothergovernmentswillacceptagreedlegislationand
enforcement,tosignaltheirowncredibility,ortolockinfuturedecisionsagainst
domesticopposition.
Ifgovernmentsseekcrediblecommitments,whydotheypoolanddelegate
sovereigntyinsteadofpromulgatingpreciserulesinadvance?Theanswerliesin
uncertaintyaboutthefuture.Poolinganddelegationcanbeviewedassolutions
totheproblemofincompletecontracting,whichariseswhenmember
governmentssharebroadgoalsbutfindittoocostlyortechnicallyimpossibleto
specifyallfuturecontingenciesinvolvedinlegislatingorenforcingthosegoals.
Governmentsthereforerequireefficientmeansofprecommittingtoaseriesof
smaller,uncertaindecisionsstaggeredataseriesoftimesinthefuture,someof
whicharelikelytobeinconvenientbutwhichtakenasawholebenefiteachof
them.Thealternativetodelegationandpooling,namelyaseriesofpackage
dealslinkingtogethervariousissuesexplicitly,makesitmoredifficultto
structureintertemporaltradeoffs.Issuesmustbenegotiatedinlargeunwieldy
bundles.Poolinganddelegationmayalsobeusedtoprecommitgovernmentsto
decisionsbeforethecostsandbenefitsbecomeclearenoughtogenerate
oppositionatechniquecommonlyemployedintradenegotiationsthe
equivalentintheUnitedStatesarefasttrackprovisionsandGATTnormsof
reciprocityandnondiscrimination.Thelackofpreciseexanteknowledgeabout
theform,details,andoutcomeoffuturedecisionsprecludesmoreexplicit
contractsbutalsohelpsdefusepotentialoppositionfromdisadvantagedgroups.
Majorityvoting,Commissioninitiative,orthirdpartyenforcementintheTreaty
(likemostdomesticconstitutions)serveasrelationalcontractsamong
memberstatesbindingagreementsthatdonotspecifydetailedplansbut
precommitgovernmentsordelegatedauthoritiestocommonsetsofprinciples,
norms,anddecisionmakinganddisputeresolutionprocedures.Bargaining
continuesamongnationalgovernmentsbutundernewinstitutionalcircumstances
designedtoassureaparticularlevelofagreement.
Page148
Inwhatwaysdopoolinganddelegationbolsterthecredibilityofinternational
commitments?Thisquestionhardlyarisesindomesticsettings,where
constitutionalrulesarestraightforwardlyenforceable,butintheinternational
realm,wherethereisnostatewithamonopolyoflegitimateforce,moresubtle
mechanismsmustsuffice.Poolinganddelegationmayraisethevisibilityof
noncooperation,creatingafocalpointformobilizationbydomesticgroupsnot
involvedinaparticulardecisionbutsupportiveofsubsequentorrelated
decisions.Oncesovereigntyhasbeenpooledordelegated,anyattemptto
reestablishunilateralcontrolposesachallengetothelegitimacyoftheinstitution
asawholeandmayrequiregovernmentstolaunchcostlyandrisky
renegotiationoftheinstitutions,perhapsinvolvingasuspensionofcooperation.
Internationalinstitutionsmayoftenenjoybroadideologicalsupport,
automaticallymobilizingstillmoregroupsinfavorofanysingledecision.Such
ideologicalsupportmayalsopermitnationalpoliticianstoreducethepolitical
costsofunpopularpoliciesbyscapegoatinginternationalinstitutionsorforeign
governments.Finally,internationalinstitutionsmayhelpestablishreputationsfor
membergovernments,reputationseasilydamagedbynoncomplianceinafew
areas.
Internationalinstitutionsareparticularlylikelytobeusefulforthispurposewhere
nodomesticequivalentsexist.Forexample,itisdifficulttoimagine,absent
institutionalcentralization,Germanycrediblycommittingnottosubsidizeits
farmersorItalycrediblycommittingtosubordinateitsmonetarypolicytothose
ofitsneighbors.Inmonetarypolicy,thecentralizationofinstitutionalcontrol
overmonetarypolicyinaninternationalinstitutionmayincreasethecredibilityof
domesticreform.Ifdomesticworkersandlegislatorsorinternationalinvestors
andspeculatorsconsidertargetsmorecredible,ithasbeenargued,theywillnot
challengethemandtheoutputcostofdisinflationwillbelower.Thereis
considerableevidence,[]thatgovernmentsbelievedthatinstitutionshad
preciselytheseconsequences.ECinstitutionsarelinkedinthepublicmindto
normativelydesirablepolicyoutcomes,suchassuccessfultradeliberalization
andpostwarpeace.Exclusionfromanypolicyisviewedinsomecountrieswith
greatsuspicion.SuchideologicallinkagespermittheECtobeemployedasa
scapegoatincountrieswhereitisapopularorganization.Finally,the
centralizationoffuturedecisionsconcerningasinglecurrencyinaEuropean
centralbankraisesthecostsofunilateralbehavior,whichwouldrequirethe
timeconsuminganddifficultreconstitutionofunilateraldecisionmaking
proceduresduringwhichtimediplomaticoppositionoreconomicreactions
maydiscouragenoncompliance.
Thedecisiontoprecommitthroughpoolingordelegationmarksawillingnessto
acceptanincreasedpoliticalriskofbeingoutvotedoroverruledonany
individualdecision.Thespecificlevelofpoolingordelegationreflectsa
reciprocalcostbenefitanalysis:governmentsrenounceunilateraloptionsin
ordertoassurethatallgovernmentswillcoordinatetheirbehaviorinparticular
ways.InagreeingtonegotiatetogetherinGATT,forexample,Franceand
Germanyeachsurrenderedunilateralcontrolovertariffnegotiationsinexchange
forgreaterassurancesthattheywouldcombineforces,acceptcommon
decisionmaking,andberepresentedinternationallybytheCommission.From
thisperspective,wecanthinkofunanimityvoting,pooling,anddelegationas
strikingdifferentbalancesbetweentheefficiencyofcommondecisionsandthe
desireofindividualcountriestoreducepoliticalrisksbyretainingaveto.As
comparedtounanimityvoting,whichpermitsrecalcitrantgovernmentsto
demandsidepayments,thusencouraginglogrolling,lowestcommon
denominatorbargains,oroutrightobstruction,QMVandtoanevengreater
extentdelegationreducethebargainingpowerofpotentialopponents,
encouragingahigherlevelofcompromise.
Threehypothesesfollow.Onthefirstdimension,variationacrossissuesand
countries,thecredibilityexplanationpredictsthatdelegationandpoolingwill
varybyissueandcountry.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:50 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page148
Inwhatwaysdopoolinganddelegationbolsterthecredibilityofinternational
commitments?Thisquestionhardlyarisesindomesticsettings,where
constitutionalrulesarestraightforwardlyenforceable,butintheinternational
realm,wherethereisnostatewithamonopolyoflegitimateforce,moresubtle
mechanismsmustsuffice.Poolinganddelegationmayraisethevisibilityof
noncooperation,creatingafocalpointformobilizationbydomesticgroupsnot
involvedinaparticulardecisionbutsupportiveofsubsequentorrelated
decisions.Oncesovereigntyhasbeenpooledordelegated,anyattemptto
reestablishunilateralcontrolposesachallengetothelegitimacyoftheinstitution
asawholeandmayrequiregovernmentstolaunchcostlyandrisky
renegotiationoftheinstitutions,perhapsinvolvingasuspensionofcooperation.
Internationalinstitutionsmayoftenenjoybroadideologicalsupport,
automaticallymobilizingstillmoregroupsinfavorofanysingledecision.Such
ideologicalsupportmayalsopermitnationalpoliticianstoreducethepolitical
costsofunpopularpoliciesbyscapegoatinginternationalinstitutionsorforeign
governments.Finally,internationalinstitutionsmayhelpestablishreputationsfor
membergovernments,reputationseasilydamagedbynoncomplianceinafew
areas.
Internationalinstitutionsareparticularlylikelytobeusefulforthispurposewhere
nodomesticequivalentsexist.Forexample,itisdifficulttoimagine,absent
institutionalcentralization,Germanycrediblycommittingnottosubsidizeits
farmersorItalycrediblycommittingtosubordinateitsmonetarypolicytothose
ofitsneighbors.Inmonetarypolicy,thecentralizationofinstitutionalcontrol
overmonetarypolicyinaninternationalinstitutionmayincreasethecredibilityof
domesticreform.Ifdomesticworkersandlegislatorsorinternationalinvestors
andspeculatorsconsidertargetsmorecredible,ithasbeenargued,theywillnot
challengethemandtheoutputcostofdisinflationwillbelower.Thereis
considerableevidence,[]thatgovernmentsbelievedthatinstitutionshad
preciselytheseconsequences.ECinstitutionsarelinkedinthepublicmindto
normativelydesirablepolicyoutcomes,suchassuccessfultradeliberalization
andpostwarpeace.Exclusionfromanypolicyisviewedinsomecountrieswith
greatsuspicion.SuchideologicallinkagespermittheECtobeemployedasa
scapegoatincountrieswhereitisapopularorganization.Finally,the
centralizationoffuturedecisionsconcerningasinglecurrencyinaEuropean
centralbankraisesthecostsofunilateralbehavior,whichwouldrequirethe
timeconsuminganddifficultreconstitutionofunilateraldecisionmaking
proceduresduringwhichtimediplomaticoppositionoreconomicreactions
maydiscouragenoncompliance.
Thedecisiontoprecommitthroughpoolingordelegationmarksawillingnessto
acceptanincreasedpoliticalriskofbeingoutvotedoroverruledonany
individualdecision.Thespecificlevelofpoolingordelegationreflectsa
reciprocalcostbenefitanalysis:governmentsrenounceunilateraloptionsin
ordertoassurethatallgovernmentswillcoordinatetheirbehaviorinparticular
ways.InagreeingtonegotiatetogetherinGATT,forexample,Franceand
Germanyeachsurrenderedunilateralcontrolovertariffnegotiationsinexchange
forgreaterassurancesthattheywouldcombineforces,acceptcommon
decisionmaking,andberepresentedinternationallybytheCommission.From
thisperspective,wecanthinkofunanimityvoting,pooling,anddelegationas
strikingdifferentbalancesbetweentheefficiencyofcommondecisionsandthe
desireofindividualcountriestoreducepoliticalrisksbyretainingaveto.As
comparedtounanimityvoting,whichpermitsrecalcitrantgovernmentsto
demandsidepayments,thusencouraginglogrolling,lowestcommon
denominatorbargains,oroutrightobstruction,QMVandtoanevengreater
extentdelegationreducethebargainingpowerofpotentialopponents,
encouragingahigherlevelofcompromise.
Threehypothesesfollow.Onthefirstdimension,variationacrossissuesand
countries,thecredibilityexplanationpredictsthatdelegationandpoolingwill
varybyissueandcountry.
Page149
Delegationandpoolingaremostlikelytoariseinissueareaswherejointgains
arehighanddistributionalconflictsaremoderate,andwherethereisuncertainty
aboutfuturedecisions.Iftherewerehighconflict,somegovernmentswouldbe
likelytoreservetheirpowers.Wheredecisionsarelumpyandrisky,withlittle
consensusondesiredoutcomesorveryintensepreferencesinvolved,
governmentsarelikelytoreserveunanimityrights.Wherethereislittle
uncertaintyandprescribedfuturebehaviorinvolvesaclearlydefinedsetof
actionsaimedatasinglegoalforexample,theorderlyeliminationoftariffs
statesgainlittledomesticallyorinternationallyfrompoolinganddelegationand
tendtooptinsteadforspecificbindingrules.Poolinganddelegationare
thereforemostlikelytobefoundinlimiteddomains,suchasspecificissue
areas,implementation,enforcement,andsecondarylegislation,wherealarge
numberofsmallerdecisionsoveranextendedperiod,eachuncertain,take
placewithinthebroadercontextofapreviousdecision.Examplesincludethe
settingofcommodityprices,thesteeringofmonetarypolicy,andtheconductof
competition(antitrust)policyeachofwhichrequiresconstantadaptationto
neweconomicorpoliticalcircumstances.Thecrediblecommitmentsexplanation
predictsnoconsistentvariationbycountrynationalpositionsvaryinsteadby
countryandbyissue.Inthoseareaswheregovernmentsfavorintegrationand
expecttojoinaqualifiedmajoritycoalition(orgainsupportfromsupranational
actors),theysupportpoolinganddelegation.Thosethatdonotfavorintegration
orarenotlikelytomusteramajorityopposegrantsofsovereignty.
Ontheseconddimension,domesticcleavagesanddiscourse,thecredibility
explanationpredictsthatthepositionstakenbydomesticgroupswillmirrortheir
substantiveinterests.Themostintensesupportersofdelegationwillbethose
thatbenefitmostfromfuturecompliancewiththecommonrules.Governments
transfersovereigntytocommitothergovernmentstoacceptpoliciesfavoredby
keydomesticconstituenciesandperhapsalsotoprecommitthegovernmentto
policiesopposedbydomesticgroupsunsupportiveofthegovernment.
Domesticdiscoursestressesconcernwithfuturecompliance.
Onthethirddimension,theidentityofandinstitutionalcontrolsonthose
holdingdelegatedorpooledpowers,thecredibilityexplanationpredictsan
inversecorrelationbetweenthescopeandtheextentofdelegation.Theideais
toassurefuturepromulgationorimplementationofrulesdespitenational
opposition,whichrequiresameasureofautonomyandneutrality.Weshould
observegovernmentslimitingpoliticalriskbynestingspecificdecisionsinsidea
setoflargerdecisionsreachedbyunanimity.Toenhancecredibilityyetmaintain
control,moreover,arrangementstendtobeinsulatedfromdirectdemocratic
controlbutarestrictlylimitedbygovernmentaloversight,resultingina
democraticdeficit.
Unliketheideologicalandtechnocraticexplanations,thecredibilityexplanation
generatesprecisepredictionsconcerningthenatureofsupportforpoolingand
delegation.Wherethemajorinstitutionalobjectiveofthosewhosupport
cooperationistofacilitatefuturelegislation,poolingismorelikelywherethe
concernistoassuretheimplementationofandcompliancewithlaws,delegation
ismorelikely.Thereasonisclear.Legislationis,atleastpotentially,amore
openendedfunction,sotightercontrolismaintained.Adjudication,
implementation,andenforcementarenarrowerfunctions,sogovernmentscan
affordloosercontrolandgreaterefficiency.
Notes
1PerryAnderson,UndertheSignoftheInterim,LondonReviewofBooks,
4January1996,p.17.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:51 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page149
Delegationandpoolingaremostlikelytoariseinissueareaswherejointgains
arehighanddistributionalconflictsaremoderate,andwherethereisuncertainty
aboutfuturedecisions.Iftherewerehighconflict,somegovernmentswouldbe
likelytoreservetheirpowers.Wheredecisionsarelumpyandrisky,withlittle
consensusondesiredoutcomesorveryintensepreferencesinvolved,
governmentsarelikelytoreserveunanimityrights.Wherethereislittle
uncertaintyandprescribedfuturebehaviorinvolvesaclearlydefinedsetof
actionsaimedatasinglegoalforexample,theorderlyeliminationoftariffs
statesgainlittledomesticallyorinternationallyfrompoolinganddelegationand
tendtooptinsteadforspecificbindingrules.Poolinganddelegationare
thereforemostlikelytobefoundinlimiteddomains,suchasspecificissue
areas,implementation,enforcement,andsecondarylegislation,wherealarge
numberofsmallerdecisionsoveranextendedperiod,eachuncertain,take
placewithinthebroadercontextofapreviousdecision.Examplesincludethe
settingofcommodityprices,thesteeringofmonetarypolicy,andtheconductof
competition(antitrust)policyeachofwhichrequiresconstantadaptationto
neweconomicorpoliticalcircumstances.Thecrediblecommitmentsexplanation
predictsnoconsistentvariationbycountrynationalpositionsvaryinsteadby
countryandbyissue.Inthoseareaswheregovernmentsfavorintegrationand
expecttojoinaqualifiedmajoritycoalition(orgainsupportfromsupranational
actors),theysupportpoolinganddelegation.Thosethatdonotfavorintegration
orarenotlikelytomusteramajorityopposegrantsofsovereignty.
Ontheseconddimension,domesticcleavagesanddiscourse,thecredibility
explanationpredictsthatthepositionstakenbydomesticgroupswillmirrortheir
substantiveinterests.Themostintensesupportersofdelegationwillbethose
thatbenefitmostfromfuturecompliancewiththecommonrules.Governments
transfersovereigntytocommitothergovernmentstoacceptpoliciesfavoredby
keydomesticconstituenciesandperhapsalsotoprecommitthegovernmentto
policiesopposedbydomesticgroupsunsupportiveofthegovernment.
Domesticdiscoursestressesconcernwithfuturecompliance.
Onthethirddimension,theidentityofandinstitutionalcontrolsonthose
holdingdelegatedorpooledpowers,thecredibilityexplanationpredictsan
inversecorrelationbetweenthescopeandtheextentofdelegation.Theideais
toassurefuturepromulgationorimplementationofrulesdespitenational
opposition,whichrequiresameasureofautonomyandneutrality.Weshould
observegovernmentslimitingpoliticalriskbynestingspecificdecisionsinsidea
setoflargerdecisionsreachedbyunanimity.Toenhancecredibilityyetmaintain
control,moreover,arrangementstendtobeinsulatedfromdirectdemocratic
controlbutarestrictlylimitedbygovernmentaloversight,resultingina
democraticdeficit.
Unliketheideologicalandtechnocraticexplanations,thecredibilityexplanation
generatesprecisepredictionsconcerningthenatureofsupportforpoolingand
delegation.Wherethemajorinstitutionalobjectiveofthosewhosupport
cooperationistofacilitatefuturelegislation,poolingismorelikelywherethe
concernistoassuretheimplementationofandcompliancewithlaws,delegation
ismorelikely.Thereasonisclear.Legislationis,atleastpotentially,amore
openendedfunction,sotightercontrolismaintained.Adjudication,
implementation,andenforcementarenarrowerfunctions,sogovernmentscan
affordloosercontrolandgreaterefficiency.
Notes
1PerryAnderson,UndertheSignoftheInterim,LondonReviewofBooks,
4January1996,p.17.
Page150
2ThomasKoenigandThomasBraeuninger,TheConstitutionalChoiceof
Rules:AnApplicationoftheAbsoluteandRelativePowerConceptsto
EuropeanLegislation,MannheimerZentrumfrEuropischeSozialforschung
ABII/17(Mannheim,1997),p.14.
3Anderson,UndertheSignoftheInterim,p.14.
4ErnstB.Haas,Technocracy,PluralismandtheNewEuropeinStephen
R.Graubard(ed.)ANewEurope?(Boston,1964),pp.6268.
5LeonLindberg,ThePoliticalDynamicsofEuropeanEconomic
Integration(StanfordUniversityPress,Standford,1963).
6E.g.,LauraCram,PolicyMakingintheEU:ConceptualLensesandthe
IntegrationProcess(London,1997).
7Haas,Technocracy,PluralismandtheNewEurope,pp.65ff.
8DonaldChisholm,CoordinationWithoutHierarchy:InformalStructures
inMultiorganizationalSystems(Berkeley,1989),pp.1718.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:51 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page151
2.4
Europeanintegrationfromthe1980s:statecentricv.multi
levelgovernance
GaryMarks,LiesbetHoogheandKermitBlank
Source:JournalofCommonMarketStudies,vol.4,no.3(1996),pp.341
78.
MarksandhiscoauthorspresenttwomodelsoftheEuropeanintegration
process:a statecentricmodelinwhichEuropeanintegrationdoesnot
challengetheautonomyofnationstates,andinwhichtheprocessis
drivenbyinterstatebargains(compareMoravcsik,selection2.3)anda
multilevelgovernancemodelwheredecisionmakingpowerisshared
acrossseverallevelsandtypesofactors.Inthissecondmodel,state
executiveslosesignificantamountsofcontroloverdecisionmaking,and
theseparationbetweendomesticandinternationalpoliticsiseroded.This
extractexploresthesignificanceofthetwomodelsforpolicymakingin
theEuropeanUnion.
[Marksandhiscolleaguesexplorethefeaturesofthetwomodels,andcontinue
asfollows.]
PolicymakingintheEuropeanUnion
ThequestionsweareaskinghavetodowithwhodecideswhatinEuropean
Unionpolicymaking.Ifthestatecentricmodelisvalid,wewouldfinda
systematicpatternofstateexecutivedominance.Thatentailsthreeconditions.
Nationalgovernments,byvirtueoftheEuropeanCouncilandtheCouncilof
Ministers,shouldbeabletoimposetheirpreferencescollectivelyuponother
Europeaninstitutions,i.e.theEuropeanCommission,theEuropeanParliament
andtheEuropeanCourtofJustice.Inotherwords,thelatterthreeEuropean
institutionsshouldbeagentseffectivelycontrolledbystatedominatedEuropean
institutions.Second,nationalgovernmentsshouldbeabletomaintainindividual
sovereigntyvisvisothernationalgovernments.Andthirdly,national
governmentsshouldbeabletocontrolthemobilizationofsubnationalinterestsin
theEuropeanarena.If,however,themultilevelgovernancemodelisvalid,we
shouldfind,first,thattheEuropeanCouncilandCouncilofMinistersshare
decisionalauthoritywithsupranationalinstitutionssecond,thatindividualstate
executivescannotdelivertheoutcomestheywishthroughcollectivestate
executivedecisionsand,finally,thatsubnationalinterestsmobilizedirectlyinthe
EuropeanarenaorusetheEUasapublicspacetopressurestateexecutives
intoparticularactions.
Wedividethepolicymakingprocessintofoursequentialphases:policy
initiation,decisionmaking,implementationandadjudication.Wefocuson
informalpracticesinadditiontoformalrules,foritisvitaltounderstandhow
institutionsactuallyshapethebehaviourofpoliticalactorsintheEuropean
arena.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:52 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page151
2.4
Europeanintegrationfromthe1980s:statecentricv.multi
levelgovernance
GaryMarks,LiesbetHoogheandKermitBlank
Source:JournalofCommonMarketStudies,vol.4,no.3(1996),pp.341
78.
MarksandhiscoauthorspresenttwomodelsoftheEuropeanintegration
process:a statecentricmodelinwhichEuropeanintegrationdoesnot
challengetheautonomyofnationstates,andinwhichtheprocessis
drivenbyinterstatebargains(compareMoravcsik,selection2.3)anda
multilevelgovernancemodelwheredecisionmakingpowerisshared
acrossseverallevelsandtypesofactors.Inthissecondmodel,state
executiveslosesignificantamountsofcontroloverdecisionmaking,and
theseparationbetweendomesticandinternationalpoliticsiseroded.This
extractexploresthesignificanceofthetwomodelsforpolicymakingin
theEuropeanUnion.
[Marksandhiscolleaguesexplorethefeaturesofthetwomodels,andcontinue
asfollows.]
PolicymakingintheEuropeanUnion
ThequestionsweareaskinghavetodowithwhodecideswhatinEuropean
Unionpolicymaking.Ifthestatecentricmodelisvalid,wewouldfinda
systematicpatternofstateexecutivedominance.Thatentailsthreeconditions.
Nationalgovernments,byvirtueoftheEuropeanCouncilandtheCouncilof
Ministers,shouldbeabletoimposetheirpreferencescollectivelyuponother
Europeaninstitutions,i.e.theEuropeanCommission,theEuropeanParliament
andtheEuropeanCourtofJustice.Inotherwords,thelatterthreeEuropean
institutionsshouldbeagentseffectivelycontrolledbystatedominatedEuropean
institutions.Second,nationalgovernmentsshouldbeabletomaintainindividual
sovereigntyvisvisothernationalgovernments.Andthirdly,national
governmentsshouldbeabletocontrolthemobilizationofsubnationalinterestsin
theEuropeanarena.If,however,themultilevelgovernancemodelisvalid,we
shouldfind,first,thattheEuropeanCouncilandCouncilofMinistersshare
decisionalauthoritywithsupranationalinstitutionssecond,thatindividualstate
executivescannotdelivertheoutcomestheywishthroughcollectivestate
executivedecisionsand,finally,thatsubnationalinterestsmobilizedirectlyinthe
EuropeanarenaorusetheEUasapublicspacetopressurestateexecutives
intoparticularactions.
Wedividethepolicymakingprocessintofoursequentialphases:policy
initiation,decisionmaking,implementationandadjudication.Wefocuson
informalpracticesinadditiontoformalrules,foritisvitaltounderstandhow
institutionsactuallyshapethebehaviourofpoliticalactorsintheEuropean
arena.
Page152
Policyinitiation:commissionasagendasetterwithapricelisten,makesense,and
timeaptly
Inpoliticalsystemsthatinvolvemanyactors,complexproceduresandmultiple
vetopoints,thepowertosettheagendaisextremelyimportant.TheEuropean
Commissionalonehastheformalpowertoinitiateanddraftlegislation,which
includestherighttoamendorwithdrawitsproposalatanystageintheprocess,
anditisthethinktankfornewpolicies(Article155,EC).Fromamultilevel
governanceperspective,theEuropeanCommissionhassignificantautonomous
influenceovertheagenda.Accordingtothestatecentricmodel,thisformal
powerislargelydecorative:inrealitytheEuropeanCommissiondrawsup
legislationprimarilytomeetthedemandsofstateexecutives.
Atfirstsight,thepracticeofpolicyinitiationisconsistentwithastatecentric
interpretation.Analysisof500recentdirectivesandregulationsbytheFrench
ConseildEtatfoundthatonlyaminorityofEUproposalswerespontaneous
initiativesoftheCommission.RegulatoryinitiativeattheEuropeanlevelis
demanddrivenratherthantheproductofautonomoussupranationalaction,but
thedemandscomenotonlyfromgovernmentleaders.Asignificantnumberof
initiativesoriginateintheEuropeanParliament,theEconomicandSocial
Committee,regionalgovernments,andvariousprivateandpublicinterest
groups.
Suchdatashouldbeevaluatedcarefully.Foronething,regulatoryinitiativeat
nationalandEuropeanlevelsisincreasinglyintermeshed.Initsreport,the
ConseildEtatestimatedthattheEuropeanCommissionisconsulted
beforehandon7580percentofFrenchnationallegislation.JacquesDelors
predictionthatbytheyear2000about80percentofnationaleconomicand
sociallegislationwouldbeofCommunityoriginhasasolidbaseinreality.
Moreover,itisonethingtobethefirsttoarticulateanissue,andquiteanother
toinfluencehowthatissuewillbetakenup,withwhom,andunderwhatsetof
rules.AndineachoftheserespectstheinfluenceoftheCommissionextends
beyonditsformalrole,partlybecauseofitsuniquepoliticalandadministrative
resources,discussedbelow,andpartlybecausetheCouncilisstymiedby
intergovernmentalcompetition.
Anorganizationthatmayserveasapowerfulprincipalwithrespecttothe
CommissionistheEuropeanCouncil,thesummitofthepoliticalleadersofthe
MemberStates(plusthePresidentoftheCommission)heldeverysixmonths.
TheEuropeanCouncilhasimmenseprestigeandlegitimacyandaquasilegal
statusasthebodywhichdefinesgeneralpoliticalguidelines(Title1,Art.D,
TreatyoftheEuropeanUnion).However,itscontroloftheEuropeanagendais
limitedbecauseitmeetsrarelyandhasonlyaskeletonpermanentstaff.The
EuropeanCouncilprovidestheCommissionwithgeneralpolicymandatesrather
thanspecificpolicyproposals,andsuchmandateshaveprovedtobeaflexible
basisfortheCommissiontobuildlegislativeprogrammes.
MoredirectconstraintsontheCommissionoriginatefromtheCouncilof
MinistersandtheEuropeanParliament.Indeed,thepowerofinitiativehas
increasinglybecomeasharedcompetence,permanentlysubjecttocontestation,
amongthethreeinstitutions.TheCouncil(Article152,EC)and,sincethe
MaastrichtTreaty,theEuropeanParliament(Article138b,EC)canrequestthe
Commissiontoproduceproposals,althoughtheycannotdraftproposals
themselves.CouncilPresidenciesbegantoexploitthiswindowinthelegaltexts
fromthemid1980s,whenstateexecutivesbegantoattachhigherprioritytothe
CouncilPresidency.Severalgovernmentsbringdetailedproposalswiththemto
BrusselswhentheytakeovertheCouncilPresidency.Anotherwayforthe
CounciltocircumventtheCommissionsformalmonopolyoflegislative
proposalistomakesoftlaw,i.e.byratifyingcommonopinions,resolutions,
agreements,andrecommendations.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:53 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page152
Policyinitiation:commissionasagendasetterwithapricelisten,makesense,and
timeaptly
Inpoliticalsystemsthatinvolvemanyactors,complexproceduresandmultiple
vetopoints,thepowertosettheagendaisextremelyimportant.TheEuropean
Commissionalonehastheformalpowertoinitiateanddraftlegislation,which
includestherighttoamendorwithdrawitsproposalatanystageintheprocess,
anditisthethinktankfornewpolicies(Article155,EC).Fromamultilevel
governanceperspective,theEuropeanCommissionhassignificantautonomous
influenceovertheagenda.Accordingtothestatecentricmodel,thisformal
powerislargelydecorative:inrealitytheEuropeanCommissiondrawsup
legislationprimarilytomeetthedemandsofstateexecutives.
Atfirstsight,thepracticeofpolicyinitiationisconsistentwithastatecentric
interpretation.Analysisof500recentdirectivesandregulationsbytheFrench
ConseildEtatfoundthatonlyaminorityofEUproposalswerespontaneous
initiativesoftheCommission.RegulatoryinitiativeattheEuropeanlevelis
demanddrivenratherthantheproductofautonomoussupranationalaction,but
thedemandscomenotonlyfromgovernmentleaders.Asignificantnumberof
initiativesoriginateintheEuropeanParliament,theEconomicandSocial
Committee,regionalgovernments,andvariousprivateandpublicinterest
groups.
Suchdatashouldbeevaluatedcarefully.Foronething,regulatoryinitiativeat
nationalandEuropeanlevelsisincreasinglyintermeshed.Initsreport,the
ConseildEtatestimatedthattheEuropeanCommissionisconsulted
beforehandon7580percentofFrenchnationallegislation.JacquesDelors
predictionthatbytheyear2000about80percentofnationaleconomicand
sociallegislationwouldbeofCommunityoriginhasasolidbaseinreality.
Moreover,itisonethingtobethefirsttoarticulateanissue,andquiteanother
toinfluencehowthatissuewillbetakenup,withwhom,andunderwhatsetof
rules.AndineachoftheserespectstheinfluenceoftheCommissionextends
beyonditsformalrole,partlybecauseofitsuniquepoliticalandadministrative
resources,discussedbelow,andpartlybecausetheCouncilisstymiedby
intergovernmentalcompetition.
Anorganizationthatmayserveasapowerfulprincipalwithrespecttothe
CommissionistheEuropeanCouncil,thesummitofthepoliticalleadersofthe
MemberStates(plusthePresidentoftheCommission)heldeverysixmonths.
TheEuropeanCouncilhasimmenseprestigeandlegitimacyandaquasilegal
statusasthebodywhichdefinesgeneralpoliticalguidelines(Title1,Art.D,
TreatyoftheEuropeanUnion).However,itscontroloftheEuropeanagendais
limitedbecauseitmeetsrarelyandhasonlyaskeletonpermanentstaff.The
EuropeanCouncilprovidestheCommissionwithgeneralpolicymandatesrather
thanspecificpolicyproposals,andsuchmandateshaveprovedtobeaflexible
basisfortheCommissiontobuildlegislativeprogrammes.
MoredirectconstraintsontheCommissionoriginatefromtheCouncilof
MinistersandtheEuropeanParliament.Indeed,thepowerofinitiativehas
increasinglybecomeasharedcompetence,permanentlysubjecttocontestation,
amongthethreeinstitutions.TheCouncil(Article152,EC)and,sincethe
MaastrichtTreaty,theEuropeanParliament(Article138b,EC)canrequestthe
Commissiontoproduceproposals,althoughtheycannotdraftproposals
themselves.CouncilPresidenciesbegantoexploitthiswindowinthelegaltexts
fromthemid1980s,whenstateexecutivesbegantoattachhigherprioritytothe
CouncilPresidency.Severalgovernmentsbringdetailedproposalswiththemto
BrusselswhentheytakeovertheCouncilPresidency.Anotherwayforthe
CounciltocircumventtheCommissionsformalmonopolyoflegislative
proposalistomakesoftlaw,i.e.byratifyingcommonopinions,resolutions,
agreements,andrecommendations.
Page153
TheeffectofthisontheCommissionsagendasettingroleisdoubleedged.On
theonehand,theCommissionfindsitpoliticallydifficulttoignoredetailed
Councilinitiativesorsoftlaw,eventhoughtheirlegalstatusisvague.Onthe
otherhand,stateexecutivesareintentonusingtheEuropeanarenatoattaina
varietyofpolicygoals,andthisgivestheCommissionalliesforintegrationist
initiatives.
TheEuropeanParliamenthasmadeuseofitsnewlygainedcompetencein
Article138b.InreturnfortheapprovaloftheSanterCommissioninJanuary
1995,itextractedfromtheCommissionPresidentapledgetorenegotiatethe
codeofconduct(datingfrom1990)betweenthetwoinstitutionsinaneffortto
gaingreaterinfluenceontheCommissionspen,itsrightofinitiative.
TheEuropeanCouncil,theCouncil,andtheEuropeanParliamenthaveeach
succeededincircumscribingtheCommissionsformalmonopolyofinitiative
morenarrowly,thoughnonecanclaimthatithasreducedthepositionofthe
Commissiontothatofanagent.Agendasettingisnowasharedandcontested
competenceamongthefourEuropeaninstitutions,ratherthanmonopolizedby
oneactor.
ButthediffusionofcontrolovertheEUsagendadoesnotstophere.Interest
groupshavemobilizedintensivelyintheEuropeanarenaand,whiletheirpower
isdifficulttopinpoint,itisclearthattheCommissiontakestheirinputseriously.
ThepassageoftheSingleEuropeanActprecipitatedarapidgrowthof
Europeanlegislationandacorrespondingincreaseininterestgroup
representationinEurope.Anoutpouringofcasestudyresearchsuggeststhat
thenumberandvarietyofgroupsinvolvedisasgreat,andperhapsgreater,than
inanynationalcapital.Nationalandregionalorganizationsofeverykindhave
mobilizedinBrussels,andtheseareflankedbyalargeandgrowingnumberof
EuropeanpeakorganizationsandindividualcompaniesfromacrossEurope.
[]
SubnationalauthoritiesnowmobilizeintensivelyinBrussels.Apartfromthe
CommitteeoftheRegions,establishedbytheMaastrichtTreaty,individual
subnationalauthoritieshavesetupalmost100regionalofficesinBrusselsanda
widevarietyofinterregionalassociations.
Agendasettingisthereforeincreasinglyasharedandcontestedcompetence,
withEuropeaninstitutionscompetingforcontrol,andinterestgroupsand
subnationalactorsvyingtoinfluencetheprocess.Thisisnotmuchdifferentfrom
thesituationinsomenationalpolities,particularlythoseorganizedfederally.
Asaconsequence,itisoftendifficulttoapportionresponsibilityforparticular
initiatives.Thisistrueforthemostintensivelystudiedinitiativeofallthe
internalmarketprogrammewhichwaspressedforwardbybusinessinterests,
theCommission,andtheEuropeanParliament,aswellasbystateexecutives.
BecausetheCommissionplaysasubtleinitiatingrole,itsinfluenceisnot
capturedbyanalysisofwhichinstitutionformallyannouncesanewpolicy.For
example,theWhitePaperonGrowth,CompetitivenessandEmployment
waspubliclymandatedbytheEuropeanCouncilinJune1993,butitdidsoin
responsetodetailedguidelinesforeconomicrenewaltabledbytheCommission
President.
TheCommissionhasconsiderableleverage,butitisconditional,notabsolute.It
dependsonitscapacitytonurtureandusediversecontacts,itsabilityto
anticipateandmediatedemands,itsdecisionalefficiency,andtheunique
expertiseitderivesfromitsroleasthinktankoftheEuropeanUnion.
TheCommissionisalwaysonthelookoutforinformationandpoliticalsupport.
Ithasdevelopedanextensiveinformalmachineryofadvisorycommitteesand
workinggroupsforconsultationandprenegotiation,someofwhicharemade
upofMemberStatenominees,butothersofinterestgrouprepresentativesand
expertswhogivetheCommissionaccesstoindependentinformationand
legitimacy.TheCommissionhasvirtuallyafreehandin
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:53 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page153
TheeffectofthisontheCommissionsagendasettingroleisdoubleedged.On
theonehand,theCommissionfindsitpoliticallydifficulttoignoredetailed
Councilinitiativesorsoftlaw,eventhoughtheirlegalstatusisvague.Onthe
otherhand,stateexecutivesareintentonusingtheEuropeanarenatoattaina
varietyofpolicygoals,andthisgivestheCommissionalliesforintegrationist
initiatives.
TheEuropeanParliamenthasmadeuseofitsnewlygainedcompetencein
Article138b.InreturnfortheapprovaloftheSanterCommissioninJanuary
1995,itextractedfromtheCommissionPresidentapledgetorenegotiatethe
codeofconduct(datingfrom1990)betweenthetwoinstitutionsinaneffortto
gaingreaterinfluenceontheCommissionspen,itsrightofinitiative.
TheEuropeanCouncil,theCouncil,andtheEuropeanParliamenthaveeach
succeededincircumscribingtheCommissionsformalmonopolyofinitiative
morenarrowly,thoughnonecanclaimthatithasreducedthepositionofthe
Commissiontothatofanagent.Agendasettingisnowasharedandcontested
competenceamongthefourEuropeaninstitutions,ratherthanmonopolizedby
oneactor.
ButthediffusionofcontrolovertheEUsagendadoesnotstophere.Interest
groupshavemobilizedintensivelyintheEuropeanarenaand,whiletheirpower
isdifficulttopinpoint,itisclearthattheCommissiontakestheirinputseriously.
ThepassageoftheSingleEuropeanActprecipitatedarapidgrowthof
Europeanlegislationandacorrespondingincreaseininterestgroup
representationinEurope.Anoutpouringofcasestudyresearchsuggeststhat
thenumberandvarietyofgroupsinvolvedisasgreat,andperhapsgreater,than
inanynationalcapital.Nationalandregionalorganizationsofeverykindhave
mobilizedinBrussels,andtheseareflankedbyalargeandgrowingnumberof
EuropeanpeakorganizationsandindividualcompaniesfromacrossEurope.
[]
SubnationalauthoritiesnowmobilizeintensivelyinBrussels.Apartfromthe
CommitteeoftheRegions,establishedbytheMaastrichtTreaty,individual
subnationalauthoritieshavesetupalmost100regionalofficesinBrusselsanda
widevarietyofinterregionalassociations.
Agendasettingisthereforeincreasinglyasharedandcontestedcompetence,
withEuropeaninstitutionscompetingforcontrol,andinterestgroupsand
subnationalactorsvyingtoinfluencetheprocess.Thisisnotmuchdifferentfrom
thesituationinsomenationalpolities,particularlythoseorganizedfederally.
Asaconsequence,itisoftendifficulttoapportionresponsibilityforparticular
initiatives.Thisistrueforthemostintensivelystudiedinitiativeofallthe
internalmarketprogrammewhichwaspressedforwardbybusinessinterests,
theCommission,andtheEuropeanParliament,aswellasbystateexecutives.
BecausetheCommissionplaysasubtleinitiatingrole,itsinfluenceisnot
capturedbyanalysisofwhichinstitutionformallyannouncesanewpolicy.For
example,theWhitePaperonGrowth,CompetitivenessandEmployment
waspubliclymandatedbytheEuropeanCouncilinJune1993,butitdidsoin
responsetodetailedguidelinesforeconomicrenewaltabledbytheCommission
President.
TheCommissionhasconsiderableleverage,butitisconditional,notabsolute.It
dependsonitscapacitytonurtureandusediversecontacts,itsabilityto
anticipateandmediatedemands,itsdecisionalefficiency,andtheunique
expertiseitderivesfromitsroleasthinktankoftheEuropeanUnion.
TheCommissionisalwaysonthelookoutforinformationandpoliticalsupport.
Ithasdevelopedanextensiveinformalmachineryofadvisorycommitteesand
workinggroupsforconsultationandprenegotiation,someofwhicharemade
upofMemberStatenominees,butothersofinterestgrouprepresentativesand
expertswhogivetheCommissionaccesstoindependentinformationand
legitimacy.TheCommissionhasvirtuallyafreehandin
Page154
creatingnewnetworks,andinthiswayitisabletoreachouttonew
constituencies,includingavarietyofsubnationalgroups.[]
TheextenttowhichtheCommissioninitiatespolicy(Article155)dependsalso
onitsalacrity.AstrikingexampleofthisistheEuropeanEnergyCharter,a
formalagreementbetweenRussiaandwestEuropeanstatesguaranteeing
RussianenergysupplyafterthecollapseoftheSovietUnion.AnEUpolicy
cameintobeingbecausetheCommissionpreemptedanalternative
intergovernmentalapproachpreferredbytheDutch,German,andBritish
governments.ActingonavaguemandateoftheEuropeanCouncilinJune
1990,theCommissionnegotiatedapreliminaryagreementwiththeRussian
governmentin1991.MemberStateexecutives,presentedwithafaitaccompli,
acceptedtheEuropeanCommunityastheappropriateforumfortheCharter
andgavetheCommissionatoeholdininternationalenergypolicy,anote
worthyincursioninapolicyareawhichhadbeendominatedbynational
governments.
TheCommissionscapacitytomovequicklyisafunctionofitsinternal
cohesion.Anexamplefromindustrialpolicyillustratesthelimitsofthe
Commissionsagendasettingpowerwhenitisinternallydivided.InSpring
1990,EuropeslargestelectronicsfirmspressuredtheCommissionfora
EuropeanstrategyinthesemiconductorssectorasameansofsecuringEU
financialsupportandmarketprotection.TheCommissionwasparalysedfor
monthsasaresultofinternaldisagreements.Wheniteventuallyproduceda
policyrecommendationforaEuropeanindustrialpolicyinthebeginningof
1991,mostfirmshadshiftedtheirstrategytootherarenas.TheFrenchfirms,
BullandThomson,hadobtainedguaranteesfromtheFrenchgovernmentfor
financialsupport,whileotherslikeSiemensandOlivettiwereexploringstrategic
allianceswithAmericanorJapanesefirms.
AsthethinktankoftheEuropeanUnion,theCommissionhasresponsibilityfor
investigatingthefeasibilityofnewEUpolicies,arolethatrequiresthe
Commissiontosolicitexpertise.Inthiscapacityitproducesannually200300
reports,WhitePapers,GreenPapers,andotherstudiesandcommunications.
Somearehighlytechnicalstudiesabout,say,theadministrationofmilk
surpluses.Othersareinfluentialpolicyprogrammessuchasthe1985White
PaperontheInternalMarket,the1990reformproposalsforCommon
AgriculturalPolicywhichlaidthebasisfortheEuropeanpositionintheGATT
negotiations,orthe1993WhitePaperonGrowth,Competitivenessand
Employmentwhicharguedformorelabourmarketflexibility.
Asasmallandthinlystaffedorganization,theCommissionhasonlyafractionof
theresourcesavailabletocentralstateexecutives,butitspositionasinterlocutor
withnationalgovernments,subnationalauthoritiesandalargevarietyofinterest
groupsgivesitunparalleledaccesstoinformation.TheCommissionhassuperior
inhouseknowledgeandexpertiseinagriculture,whereonequarterofitsstaffis
concentrated.Ithasformidableexpertiseinexternaltradeandcompetition,the
twootherareaswhereCommissioncompetenceisfirmlyestablished.Inother
areas,theCommissionreliesonMemberStatesubmissions,itsextensive
advisorysystemofpublicandprivateactors,andpaidconsultants.
TheEuropeanCommissionisacriticalactorinthepolicyinitiationphase,
whetheronelooksatformalrulesorpractice.Ifonesurveystheevidenceone
cannotconcludethattheCommissionservesmerelyasanagentofstate
executives.ThepointisnotthattheCommissionistheonlydecisiveactor.We
discerninsteadasystemofmultilevelgovernanceinvolvingcompetitionand
interdependenceamongtheCommission,Council,andEuropeanParliament,
eachofwhichcommandsimpressiveresourcesintheintricategameofpolicy
initiation.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:54 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page154
creatingnewnetworks,andinthiswayitisabletoreachouttonew
constituencies,includingavarietyofsubnationalgroups.[]
TheextenttowhichtheCommissioninitiatespolicy(Article155)dependsalso
onitsalacrity.AstrikingexampleofthisistheEuropeanEnergyCharter,a
formalagreementbetweenRussiaandwestEuropeanstatesguaranteeing
RussianenergysupplyafterthecollapseoftheSovietUnion.AnEUpolicy
cameintobeingbecausetheCommissionpreemptedanalternative
intergovernmentalapproachpreferredbytheDutch,German,andBritish
governments.ActingonavaguemandateoftheEuropeanCouncilinJune
1990,theCommissionnegotiatedapreliminaryagreementwiththeRussian
governmentin1991.MemberStateexecutives,presentedwithafaitaccompli,
acceptedtheEuropeanCommunityastheappropriateforumfortheCharter
andgavetheCommissionatoeholdininternationalenergypolicy,anote
worthyincursioninapolicyareawhichhadbeendominatedbynational
governments.
TheCommissionscapacitytomovequicklyisafunctionofitsinternal
cohesion.Anexamplefromindustrialpolicyillustratesthelimitsofthe
Commissionsagendasettingpowerwhenitisinternallydivided.InSpring
1990,EuropeslargestelectronicsfirmspressuredtheCommissionfora
EuropeanstrategyinthesemiconductorssectorasameansofsecuringEU
financialsupportandmarketprotection.TheCommissionwasparalysedfor
monthsasaresultofinternaldisagreements.Wheniteventuallyproduceda
policyrecommendationforaEuropeanindustrialpolicyinthebeginningof
1991,mostfirmshadshiftedtheirstrategytootherarenas.TheFrenchfirms,
BullandThomson,hadobtainedguaranteesfromtheFrenchgovernmentfor
financialsupport,whileotherslikeSiemensandOlivettiwereexploringstrategic
allianceswithAmericanorJapanesefirms.
AsthethinktankoftheEuropeanUnion,theCommissionhasresponsibilityfor
investigatingthefeasibilityofnewEUpolicies,arolethatrequiresthe
Commissiontosolicitexpertise.Inthiscapacityitproducesannually200300
reports,WhitePapers,GreenPapers,andotherstudiesandcommunications.
Somearehighlytechnicalstudiesabout,say,theadministrationofmilk
surpluses.Othersareinfluentialpolicyprogrammessuchasthe1985White
PaperontheInternalMarket,the1990reformproposalsforCommon
AgriculturalPolicywhichlaidthebasisfortheEuropeanpositionintheGATT
negotiations,orthe1993WhitePaperonGrowth,Competitivenessand
Employmentwhicharguedformorelabourmarketflexibility.
Asasmallandthinlystaffedorganization,theCommissionhasonlyafractionof
theresourcesavailabletocentralstateexecutives,butitspositionasinterlocutor
withnationalgovernments,subnationalauthoritiesandalargevarietyofinterest
groupsgivesitunparalleledaccesstoinformation.TheCommissionhassuperior
inhouseknowledgeandexpertiseinagriculture,whereonequarterofitsstaffis
concentrated.Ithasformidableexpertiseinexternaltradeandcompetition,the
twootherareaswhereCommissioncompetenceisfirmlyestablished.Inother
areas,theCommissionreliesonMemberStatesubmissions,itsextensive
advisorysystemofpublicandprivateactors,andpaidconsultants.
TheEuropeanCommissionisacriticalactorinthepolicyinitiationphase,
whetheronelooksatformalrulesorpractice.Ifonesurveystheevidenceone
cannotconcludethattheCommissionservesmerelyasanagentofstate
executives.ThepointisnotthattheCommissionistheonlydecisiveactor.We
discerninsteadasystemofmultilevelgovernanceinvolvingcompetitionand
interdependenceamongtheCommission,Council,andEuropeanParliament,
eachofwhichcommandsimpressiveresourcesintheintricategameofpolicy
initiation.
Page155
Decisionmaking:statesovereigntyinretreat
AccordingtotheTreaties,themainlegislativebodyintheEUisnotthe
EuropeanParliament,buttheCouncilofMinisters,anassemblyofMember
Stateexecutives.UntiltheSingleEuropeanAct,theCouncilwasthesole
legislativeauthority.Thethrustofthestatecentricargumentistogivegreat
weighttothelegislativepowersofstateexecutivesinthedecisionmakingstage.
Atthisstage,stateexecutivesmaybesaidtobeincompletecontrol.They
adjustpoliciestotheircollectivepreferences,definethelimitsofEuropean
collaboration,determinetheroleoftheEuropeanCommissionandtheECJand,
ifneedbe,curtailtheiractivities.Ifpreviousdecisionshaveunintended
consequences,thesecanbecorrectedbytheCouncil.
Thereissomeplausibilitytothisargument,butitisonedimensional.Inthefirst
place,onemusttakeintoaccounttheseriousconstraintsunderwhichindividual
governmentshaveoperatedsincetheSingleEuropeanAct.Second,oneshould
recognizethatevencollectively,stateexecutivesexertconditional,notabsolute,
control.Stateexecutivedominanceiserodedinthedecisionmakingprocessby
thelegislativepoweroftheEuropeanParliament,theroleoftheEuropean
Commissioninovercomingtransactionproblems,andtheeffortsofinterest
groupstoinfluenceoutcomesintheEuropeanarena.
Themosttransparentblowtostatesovereigntyhascomefromthesuccessive
extensionofqualifiedmajorityvotingundertheSingleEuropeanActandthe
MaastrichtTreaty.Qualifiedmajorityvotingisnowtheruleformostpolicy
areascoveredbytheoriginalTreatyofRome,includingagriculture,trade,
competitionpolicy,transport,andpolicyareasconcernedwiththerealizationof
theinternalmarket,thoughthereareimportantexceptionswhichincludetheEU
budget,taxation,capitalflows,selfemployedpersonsandprofessions,visa
policy(qualifiedmajorityfrom1January1996),freemovementofpersons,and
rightsofemployedpersons.Thedecisionmakingrulesarecomplex,butthe
bottomlineisclear:overbroadareasofEUcompetenceindividualstate
executivesmaybeoutvoted.
ThepracticeofqualifiedmajorityvotingiscomplicatedbytheLuxembourg
Compromiseandbyavetoculturewhichissaidtohavepredominatedinthe
CouncilofMinisters.UndertheLuxembourgCompromisestateexecutivescan
vetodecisionssubjecttomajorityruleiftheyclaimthattheirnationalvital
interestsareatstake.TheLuxembourgCompromisefeaturesfarmorestrongly
inacademicdebatesabouttheEUthaninthepracticeofEuropeanpolitics.It
wasinvokedlessthanadozentimesbetween1966and1981,andithasbeen
usedevenlessfrequentlysincethattime.[]
Inthiscontext,secondorderrulesabouttheadoptionofalternativevoting
proceduresareextremelyimportant.AmendmentstotheCouncilsRulesof
ProcedureinJuly1987havemadeitmucheasiertoinitiateaqualifiedmajority
vote.WhilepreviouslyonlytheCouncilPresidentcouldcallavote,itnow
sufficesthatonerepresentativeandthatcouldbetheCommissiondemands
aballotandissupportedbyasimplemajorityoftheCouncil.
Oneofthemostremarkabledevelopmentsinthe1980shasbeenthe
transformationofthenotionofVitalnationalinterest.Stateexecutiveswishing
toexerciseaLuxembourgvetohavebecomedependentontheacquiescenceof
otherstateexecutives.Theycannolongerindependentlydeterminewhether
theirvitalnationalinterestisatstake.AstheBritish(1982),German(1985),
Greek(1988)andFrench(199293)casessuggest,theconditionsare
restrictive.TheLuxembourgCompromisehascometooperateeffectivelyonly
fordecisionswhichinvolvesomecombinationofthefollowingcharacteristics:
theperceptionofanunambiguouslinktovitalnationalintereststheprospectof
seriousdomesticpoliticaldamagetothegovernmentconcernedanational
governmentwhichcancrediblythreatento
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:55 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page155
Decisionmaking:statesovereigntyinretreat
AccordingtotheTreaties,themainlegislativebodyintheEUisnotthe
EuropeanParliament,buttheCouncilofMinisters,anassemblyofMember
Stateexecutives.UntiltheSingleEuropeanAct,theCouncilwasthesole
legislativeauthority.Thethrustofthestatecentricargumentistogivegreat
weighttothelegislativepowersofstateexecutivesinthedecisionmakingstage.
Atthisstage,stateexecutivesmaybesaidtobeincompletecontrol.They
adjustpoliciestotheircollectivepreferences,definethelimitsofEuropean
collaboration,determinetheroleoftheEuropeanCommissionandtheECJand,
ifneedbe,curtailtheiractivities.Ifpreviousdecisionshaveunintended
consequences,thesecanbecorrectedbytheCouncil.
Thereissomeplausibilitytothisargument,butitisonedimensional.Inthefirst
place,onemusttakeintoaccounttheseriousconstraintsunderwhichindividual
governmentshaveoperatedsincetheSingleEuropeanAct.Second,oneshould
recognizethatevencollectively,stateexecutivesexertconditional,notabsolute,
control.Stateexecutivedominanceiserodedinthedecisionmakingprocessby
thelegislativepoweroftheEuropeanParliament,theroleoftheEuropean
Commissioninovercomingtransactionproblems,andtheeffortsofinterest
groupstoinfluenceoutcomesintheEuropeanarena.
Themosttransparentblowtostatesovereigntyhascomefromthesuccessive
extensionofqualifiedmajorityvotingundertheSingleEuropeanActandthe
MaastrichtTreaty.Qualifiedmajorityvotingisnowtheruleformostpolicy
areascoveredbytheoriginalTreatyofRome,includingagriculture,trade,
competitionpolicy,transport,andpolicyareasconcernedwiththerealizationof
theinternalmarket,thoughthereareimportantexceptionswhichincludetheEU
budget,taxation,capitalflows,selfemployedpersonsandprofessions,visa
policy(qualifiedmajorityfrom1January1996),freemovementofpersons,and
rightsofemployedpersons.Thedecisionmakingrulesarecomplex,butthe
bottomlineisclear:overbroadareasofEUcompetenceindividualstate
executivesmaybeoutvoted.
ThepracticeofqualifiedmajorityvotingiscomplicatedbytheLuxembourg
Compromiseandbyavetoculturewhichissaidtohavepredominatedinthe
CouncilofMinisters.UndertheLuxembourgCompromisestateexecutivescan
vetodecisionssubjecttomajorityruleiftheyclaimthattheirnationalvital
interestsareatstake.TheLuxembourgCompromisefeaturesfarmorestrongly
inacademicdebatesabouttheEUthaninthepracticeofEuropeanpolitics.It
wasinvokedlessthanadozentimesbetween1966and1981,andithasbeen
usedevenlessfrequentlysincethattime.[]
Inthiscontext,secondorderrulesabouttheadoptionofalternativevoting
proceduresareextremelyimportant.AmendmentstotheCouncilsRulesof
ProcedureinJuly1987havemadeitmucheasiertoinitiateaqualifiedmajority
vote.WhilepreviouslyonlytheCouncilPresidentcouldcallavote,itnow
sufficesthatonerepresentativeandthatcouldbetheCommissiondemands
aballotandissupportedbyasimplemajorityoftheCouncil.
Oneofthemostremarkabledevelopmentsinthe1980shasbeenthe
transformationofthenotionofVitalnationalinterest.Stateexecutiveswishing
toexerciseaLuxembourgvetohavebecomedependentontheacquiescenceof
otherstateexecutives.Theycannolongerindependentlydeterminewhether
theirvitalnationalinterestisatstake.AstheBritish(1982),German(1985),
Greek(1988)andFrench(199293)casessuggest,theconditionsare
restrictive.TheLuxembourgCompromisehascometooperateeffectivelyonly
fordecisionswhichinvolvesomecombinationofthefollowingcharacteristics:
theperceptionofanunambiguouslinktovitalnationalintereststheprospectof
seriousdomesticpoliticaldamagetothegovernmentconcernedanational
governmentwhichcancrediblythreatento
Page156
damagethegeneralworkingoftheEuropeanUnion.Whileitoriginally
legitimizedunconditionaldefenceofstatesovereignty(deGaullevetoedthe
budgetaryreformof1965onthegroundsthatitwastoosupranational),the
notionofvitalnationalinteresthasevolvedtojustifyonlydefenceofsubstantive
interests,notdefenceofnationalsovereigntyitself.
EvenifaMemberStateexecutiveisabletoinvoketheLuxembourg
Compromise,thevetoremainsadullweapon.Itcannotblockalternative
coursesofaction,astheGermanFederalgovernmentexperiencedin1985after
ithadstoppedaCouncilregulationonlowerpricesforcerealandcolza.The
Commissionsimplyinvokeditsemergencypowersandachievedvirtuallythe
samereductionsunilaterally.Moreover,avetorarelysettlesanissue,unlessthe
statusquoisthepreferredoutcomeforthevetoinggovernment.Buteveninthe
twocaseswherethestatusquowasmoredesirablethantheproposedchange
(theGermanandFrenchcases),neithergovernmentwasabletosustainthe
statusquo.TheGermangovernmentwasbypassedbytheCommissionthe
FrenchgovernmentwasunabletoblocktheGATTaccordand,moreover,
receivedonlymodestfinancialcompensationsinreturnforitsacquiescence.
Allinall,sincethemid1980s,theLuxembourgCompromisehasbeenaweak
instrumentforthedefenceofstatesovereignty.TheBritish,German,Greekand
Frenchgovernmentsdidnotgainmuchbyinvokingorthreateningtoinvokeit.
EachcametoacceptthatitsoptionswereseverelyconstrainedbyEuropean
decisions.[]
StateexecutiveshavebuiltavarietyofspecificsafeguardsintotheTreaties.
Therearenumerousderogationsforparticularstates,especiallyonmattersof
taxation,stateaids,monetarypolicyandenergypolicy.TheSingleEuropean
ActandtheMaastrichtTreatypreserveunanimityforthemostsensitiveor
contestedpolicyareas.
Thesequalificationssoftentheblowtonationalsovereignty.Butasensible
discussionoftheoverallsituationturnsontheextenttowhichnational
sovereintyhasbeencompromised,ratherthanonwhetherthishashappened.
EvenunderthedoubtfulpremisethattheCouncilisthesoledecisionmaker,itis
nowthecasethatstatesovereigntyhasbeenpooledamongagroupofstatesin
mostEUpolicyareas.
CollectivestatecontrolexercisedthroughtheCouncilhasdiminished.Thatis
firstofallduetothegrowingroleoftheEuropeanParliamentindecision
making.TheSEAandtheMaastrichtTreatyestablishedcooperationandco
decisionprocedureswhichhavetransformedthelegislativeprocessfroma
simpleCouncildominatedprocessintoancomplexbalancingactbetween
Council,ParliamentandCommission.SincetheMaastrichtTreaty,thetwo
proceduresapplytothebulkofEUlegislation.Theproceduresaredesignedto
encourageconsensualdecisionmakingbetweenthethreeinstitutions.Itis
impossiblefortheCounciltotakelegislativedecisionswithoutthesupportofat
leastoneofthetwootherinstitutionsunlessitisunanimous.Moreover,the
proceduresenhancetheagendasettingpoweroftheEuropeanParliament.
ThecooperationproceduregivestheCommissionsignificantagendasetting
capacity.ItmaydecidetotakeupordropamendmentsfromeithertheCouncil
orParliament,apowerthatmakesitabrokeraconsensuscrafterbetween
thetwoinstitutions.
Theintermeshingofinstitutionsisparticularlyintricateunderthecodecision
procedure,underwhichtheParliamentobtainsanabsoluteveto,althoughit
losessomeagendasettingpowertotheCouncil.IftheParliamentorCouncil
rejectstheotherspositions,aconciliationcommitteetriestohammerouta
compromise.Thecommitteeconsistsofrepresentativesfrombothinstitutions,
withtheCommissionsittinginasbroker.Acompromiseneedstheapprovalof
anabsolutemajorityintheParliamentandaqualifiedmajorityintheCouncil.If
thereisnoagreement,theinitiativereturnstotheCouncil,whichcanthenmake
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:55 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page156
damagethegeneralworkingoftheEuropeanUnion.Whileitoriginally
legitimizedunconditionaldefenceofstatesovereignty(deGaullevetoedthe
budgetaryreformof1965onthegroundsthatitwastoosupranational),the
notionofvitalnationalinteresthasevolvedtojustifyonlydefenceofsubstantive
interests,notdefenceofnationalsovereigntyitself.
EvenifaMemberStateexecutiveisabletoinvoketheLuxembourg
Compromise,thevetoremainsadullweapon.Itcannotblockalternative
coursesofaction,astheGermanFederalgovernmentexperiencedin1985after
ithadstoppedaCouncilregulationonlowerpricesforcerealandcolza.The
Commissionsimplyinvokeditsemergencypowersandachievedvirtuallythe
samereductionsunilaterally.Moreover,avetorarelysettlesanissue,unlessthe
statusquoisthepreferredoutcomeforthevetoinggovernment.Buteveninthe
twocaseswherethestatusquowasmoredesirablethantheproposedchange
(theGermanandFrenchcases),neithergovernmentwasabletosustainthe
statusquo.TheGermangovernmentwasbypassedbytheCommissionthe
FrenchgovernmentwasunabletoblocktheGATTaccordand,moreover,
receivedonlymodestfinancialcompensationsinreturnforitsacquiescence.
Allinall,sincethemid1980s,theLuxembourgCompromisehasbeenaweak
instrumentforthedefenceofstatesovereignty.TheBritish,German,Greekand
Frenchgovernmentsdidnotgainmuchbyinvokingorthreateningtoinvokeit.
EachcametoacceptthatitsoptionswereseverelyconstrainedbyEuropean
decisions.[]
StateexecutiveshavebuiltavarietyofspecificsafeguardsintotheTreaties.
Therearenumerousderogationsforparticularstates,especiallyonmattersof
taxation,stateaids,monetarypolicyandenergypolicy.TheSingleEuropean
ActandtheMaastrichtTreatypreserveunanimityforthemostsensitiveor
contestedpolicyareas.
Thesequalificationssoftentheblowtonationalsovereignty.Butasensible
discussionoftheoverallsituationturnsontheextenttowhichnational
sovereintyhasbeencompromised,ratherthanonwhetherthishashappened.
EvenunderthedoubtfulpremisethattheCouncilisthesoledecisionmaker,itis
nowthecasethatstatesovereigntyhasbeenpooledamongagroupofstatesin
mostEUpolicyareas.
CollectivestatecontrolexercisedthroughtheCouncilhasdiminished.Thatis
firstofallduetothegrowingroleoftheEuropeanParliamentindecision
making.TheSEAandtheMaastrichtTreatyestablishedcooperationandco
decisionprocedureswhichhavetransformedthelegislativeprocessfroma
simpleCouncildominatedprocessintoancomplexbalancingactbetween
Council,ParliamentandCommission.SincetheMaastrichtTreaty,thetwo
proceduresapplytothebulkofEUlegislation.Theproceduresaredesignedto
encourageconsensualdecisionmakingbetweenthethreeinstitutions.Itis
impossiblefortheCounciltotakelegislativedecisionswithoutthesupportofat
leastoneofthetwootherinstitutionsunlessitisunanimous.Moreover,the
proceduresenhancetheagendasettingpoweroftheEuropeanParliament.
ThecooperationproceduregivestheCommissionsignificantagendasetting
capacity.ItmaydecidetotakeupordropamendmentsfromeithertheCouncil
orParliament,apowerthatmakesitabrokeraconsensuscrafterbetween
thetwoinstitutions.
Theintermeshingofinstitutionsisparticularlyintricateunderthecodecision
procedure,underwhichtheParliamentobtainsanabsoluteveto,althoughit
losessomeagendasettingpowertotheCouncil.IftheParliamentorCouncil
rejectstheotherspositions,aconciliationcommitteetriestohammerouta
compromise.Thecommitteeconsistsofrepresentativesfrombothinstitutions,
withtheCommissionsittinginasbroker.Acompromiseneedstheapprovalof
anabsolutemajorityintheParliamentandaqualifiedmajorityintheCouncil.If
thereisnoagreement,theinitiativereturnstotheCouncil,whichcanthenmake
Page157
atakeitorleaveitoffer,whichtheParliamentcanrejectbyabsolutemajority.
SotheParliamenthasthefinalword.
Eventhoughtheoutcomeofthecodecisionprocedureislikelytobecloserto
thepreferencesoftheCouncilthanthoseoftheCommissionofParliament,it
doesnotsimplyreflectCouncilpreferences.UnderbothprocedurestheCouncil
islockedinacomplexrelationshipofcooperationandcontestationwiththe
twootherinstitutions.Thisismultilevelgovernanceinaction,andisdistinctly
differentfromwhatwouldbeexpectedinastatecentricsystem.
Theerosionofcollectivestatecontrolgoesfurtherthanthis.Itisdifficultfor
stateexecutivestoresolvetransactioncostsintheegalitariansettingofthe
Council,particularlynow,giventhatthereare15suchactors.TheCouncil
usuallylacksinformation,expertise,andthecoordinationtoactquicklyand
effectively,andthisinducesittorelyontheEuropeanCommissionfor
leadership.
TheCommission,asahierarchicalorganization,isusuallyabletopresenta
morecoherentpositionthantheCouncil.Furthermore,Commissionofficials
bringunusualskillstothenegotiationtable.Asadministrators,theyhaveoften
beenworkingonaparticularpolicyissueforyearscareermobilitytendstobe
lowerthanfortopechelonsofmostnationaladministrations(Bellier,1994).In
addition,theyhaveaccesstoinformationandexpertisefromavarietyof
sourcesintheEuropeanUnion.Theytendtobeexceptionallyskilledpolitical
negotiatorsacclimatizedtothediversepoliticalstylesofnationalrepresentatives
andtheneedtoseekconsensualsolutions.FormaldecisionrulesintheCouncil
helptheCommissiontofocusdiscussionorbrokercompromise.While
MemberStaterepresentativespresideatCouncilofMinistersmeetingsand
Councilworkinggroups,theCommissionsitsintoclarify,redraft,andfinalize
theproposalinshort,itholdsthepen.[]
CohesionpolicyoffersanexampleofhowtheCommissionmaystepbeyondits
roleofumpiretobecomeanegotiator.Inestablishingtheframeworkfor
structuralfundsfor199499inthesummerof1993,Commissionofficials
negotiatedbilaterallywithofficialsfromtherelevantstates.ItwastheBelgian
presidencywhichactedasumpire.Insuchcases,theCommissionbecomes
effectivelya13th(or,since1995,a16th)partneraroundthebargainingtable.
ThiscanevenbetrueforthemostintergovernmentalaspectofEuropeanUnion
politics:treatybargaining,asanexamplefromMaastrichtillustrates.Whenthe
BritishgovernmentrefusedthewatereddownsocialprovisionsintheMaastricht
Treaty,JacquesDelorsputonthetablehisoriginal,moreradical,socialpolicy
programmeof1989andproposedtoattachitasaspecialprotocoltothe
Treaty,leavingBritainout.Facedwiththeprospectthatthewholenegotiation
mightbreakdown,theother11stateexecutiveshastilysigneduptoamore
substantialdocumentthantheyhadoriginallyanticipated.
Insum,theCouncilisthesenioractorinthedecisionmakingstage,butthe
EuropeanParliamentandtheCommissionareindispensablepartners.The
Commissionspowerispredominantlysoftinthatitisexercisedbysubtle
influenceratherthansanction.Exceptforagriculture,externaltradeand
competitionpolicy,whereithassubstantialexecutiveautonomy,itcangainlittle
byconfrontation.Itsinfluencedependsonitsabilitytocraftconsensusamong
institutionsandamongMemberStateexecutives.However,extensivereliance
onqualifiedmajorityvotinghasenabledtheCommissiontobebolder,asitdoes
nothavetocourtallstateexecutivesatonce.
TheEuropeanParliamentspositionisbasedmoreonformalrules.Itstrack
recordundercooperationandcodecisionshowsthatitdoesnoteschew
confrontationswiththeCouncil.Inreturnforitsassenttoenlargementandthe
GATTagreementin1994,itextractedfromtheCouncilaformalseatinthe
preparatorynegotiationsfortheintergovernmental
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:56 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page157
atakeitorleaveitoffer,whichtheParliamentcanrejectbyabsolutemajority.
SotheParliamenthasthefinalword.
Eventhoughtheoutcomeofthecodecisionprocedureislikelytobecloserto
thepreferencesoftheCouncilthanthoseoftheCommissionofParliament,it
doesnotsimplyreflectCouncilpreferences.UnderbothprocedurestheCouncil
islockedinacomplexrelationshipofcooperationandcontestationwiththe
twootherinstitutions.Thisismultilevelgovernanceinaction,andisdistinctly
differentfromwhatwouldbeexpectedinastatecentricsystem.
Theerosionofcollectivestatecontrolgoesfurtherthanthis.Itisdifficultfor
stateexecutivestoresolvetransactioncostsintheegalitariansettingofthe
Council,particularlynow,giventhatthereare15suchactors.TheCouncil
usuallylacksinformation,expertise,andthecoordinationtoactquicklyand
effectively,andthisinducesittorelyontheEuropeanCommissionfor
leadership.
TheCommission,asahierarchicalorganization,isusuallyabletopresenta
morecoherentpositionthantheCouncil.Furthermore,Commissionofficials
bringunusualskillstothenegotiationtable.Asadministrators,theyhaveoften
beenworkingonaparticularpolicyissueforyearscareermobilitytendstobe
lowerthanfortopechelonsofmostnationaladministrations(Bellier,1994).In
addition,theyhaveaccesstoinformationandexpertisefromavarietyof
sourcesintheEuropeanUnion.Theytendtobeexceptionallyskilledpolitical
negotiatorsacclimatizedtothediversepoliticalstylesofnationalrepresentatives
andtheneedtoseekconsensualsolutions.FormaldecisionrulesintheCouncil
helptheCommissiontofocusdiscussionorbrokercompromise.While
MemberStaterepresentativespresideatCouncilofMinistersmeetingsand
Councilworkinggroups,theCommissionsitsintoclarify,redraft,andfinalize
theproposalinshort,itholdsthepen.[]
CohesionpolicyoffersanexampleofhowtheCommissionmaystepbeyondits
roleofumpiretobecomeanegotiator.Inestablishingtheframeworkfor
structuralfundsfor199499inthesummerof1993,Commissionofficials
negotiatedbilaterallywithofficialsfromtherelevantstates.ItwastheBelgian
presidencywhichactedasumpire.Insuchcases,theCommissionbecomes
effectivelya13th(or,since1995,a16th)partneraroundthebargainingtable.
ThiscanevenbetrueforthemostintergovernmentalaspectofEuropeanUnion
politics:treatybargaining,asanexamplefromMaastrichtillustrates.Whenthe
BritishgovernmentrefusedthewatereddownsocialprovisionsintheMaastricht
Treaty,JacquesDelorsputonthetablehisoriginal,moreradical,socialpolicy
programmeof1989andproposedtoattachitasaspecialprotocoltothe
Treaty,leavingBritainout.Facedwiththeprospectthatthewholenegotiation
mightbreakdown,theother11stateexecutiveshastilysigneduptoamore
substantialdocumentthantheyhadoriginallyanticipated.
Insum,theCouncilisthesenioractorinthedecisionmakingstage,butthe
EuropeanParliamentandtheCommissionareindispensablepartners.The
Commissionspowerispredominantlysoftinthatitisexercisedbysubtle
influenceratherthansanction.Exceptforagriculture,externaltradeand
competitionpolicy,whereithassubstantialexecutiveautonomy,itcangainlittle
byconfrontation.Itsinfluencedependsonitsabilitytocraftconsensusamong
institutionsandamongMemberStateexecutives.However,extensivereliance
onqualifiedmajorityvotinghasenabledtheCommissiontobebolder,asitdoes
nothavetocourtallstateexecutivesatonce.
TheEuropeanParliamentspositionisbasedmoreonformalrules.Itstrack
recordundercooperationandcodecisionshowsthatitdoesnoteschew
confrontationswiththeCouncil.Inreturnforitsassenttoenlargementandthe
GATTagreementin1994,itextractedfromtheCouncilaformalseatinthe
preparatorynegotiationsfortheintergovernmental
Page158
conferenceof199697.Inthemeantime,itisintentonmakingthemostofits
power,evenifittreadsonthetoesofitslongstandingally,theEuropean
Commission.DuringitshearingsontheSanterCommissioninJanuary1995,the
EuropeanParliamentdemandedthattheCommissionacceptparliamentary
amendmentsasamatterofcourse,andwithdrawproposalsthatitrejects.
Commissionofficialshavedescribedtheseproposalsasoutrageousonthe
groundsthattheCommissionwouldmoreorlessloseitsabilitytooperate.
1

Asawhole,EUdecisionmakingcanbecharacterizedasoneofmultiple,
intermeshingcompetencies,complementarypolicyfunctions,andvariablelines
ofauthorityfeaturesthatareelementsofmultilevelgovernance.
Implementation:openingtheEuropeanarenabreakingthestatemould
Multilevelgovernanceisprominentintheimplementationstage.Althoughthe
Commissionhasformalexecutivepowersandnationalgovernmentsarein
principleresponsibleforimplementation,inpracticethesecompetenciesare
shared.Ontheonehand,nationalgovernmentsmonitortheexecutivepowersof
theCommissionclosely,thoughtheydosoinconjunctionwithsubnational
governmentsandsocietalactors.Ontheotherhand,theCommissionhas
becomeinvolvedindaytodayimplementationinanumberofpolicyareas,and
thisbringsitintoclosecontactwithsubnationalauthoritiesandinterestgroups.
Asintheinitiationanddecisionmakingstage,mutualintrusioniscontested.
TheCommissionsformalmandategivesitdiscretiontointerpretlegislationand
issueadministrativeregulationsbearingonspecificcases.Itissues67,000
administrativeregulationsannually.However,onlyatinyproportionofthe
Commissionsdecisionsareunilateral.Sincethe1980s,theCouncilandthe
individualnationalgovernmentshavebecomeintimatelyinvolved.Many
regulationshavetheirowncommitteeattachedtothem.BalancingCommission
autonomyandstateinvolvementisanopenendedandconflictualprocessinthe
EuropeanUnion,andthisisalsoapparentincomitology.Rulesofoperation
varyacrosspolicyareasandareasourceofcontentionbetweenthe
Commission,usuallysupportedbytheParliament,andtheCouncil.Some
committeesareonlyadvisoryotherscanpreventtheCommissionfromcarrying
outacertainactionbyqualifiedmajorityvoteandathirdcategorymust
approveCommissionactionsbyqualifiedmajority.Ineachcasethe
Commissionpresides.
Atfirstsight,comitologyseemstogivestateexecutivescontroloverthe
Commissionsactionsingenuineprincipalagentfashion.Buttherelationship
betweenstateactorsandEuropeaninstitutionsismorecomplex.Comitologyis
weakestinpreciselythoseareaswheretheCommissionhasextensiveexecutive
powers,e.g.incompetitionpolicy,stateaids,agriculture,commercialpolicyand
theinternalmarket.Here,theCommissionhassignificantspaceforautonomous
action.
Statecentristsmayarguethatstateexecutivesprefertodelegatethesepowers
toachievestateorientedcollectivegoods,suchascontroloverpotential
distortionofcompetitionorastrongerbargainingpositionininternationaltrade.
Butoneresultisthatstateexecutiveshavelostexclusivecontrolinarangeof
policyareas.Tomentionjustthreeexamplesamongthemanydiscussedinthis
chapter:theynolongercontrolcompetitionwithintheirborderstheycannotaid
nationalfirmsastheydeemfittheycannotautonomouslyconducttrade
negotiations.[]
AlthoughcomitologyinvolvesstateactorsintheEuropeanCommissions
activities,thisintermeshingisnotnecessarilylimitedtocentralstateactors.
Becausetheissuesonthetable
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:56 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page158
conferenceof199697.Inthemeantime,itisintentonmakingthemostofits
power,evenifittreadsonthetoesofitslongstandingally,theEuropean
Commission.DuringitshearingsontheSanterCommissioninJanuary1995,the
EuropeanParliamentdemandedthattheCommissionacceptparliamentary
amendmentsasamatterofcourse,andwithdrawproposalsthatitrejects.
Commissionofficialshavedescribedtheseproposalsasoutrageousonthe
groundsthattheCommissionwouldmoreorlessloseitsabilitytooperate.
1

Asawhole,EUdecisionmakingcanbecharacterizedasoneofmultiple,
intermeshingcompetencies,complementarypolicyfunctions,andvariablelines
ofauthorityfeaturesthatareelementsofmultilevelgovernance.
Implementation:openingtheEuropeanarenabreakingthestatemould
Multilevelgovernanceisprominentintheimplementationstage.Althoughthe
Commissionhasformalexecutivepowersandnationalgovernmentsarein
principleresponsibleforimplementation,inpracticethesecompetenciesare
shared.Ontheonehand,nationalgovernmentsmonitortheexecutivepowersof
theCommissionclosely,thoughtheydosoinconjunctionwithsubnational
governmentsandsocietalactors.Ontheotherhand,theCommissionhas
becomeinvolvedindaytodayimplementationinanumberofpolicyareas,and
thisbringsitintoclosecontactwithsubnationalauthoritiesandinterestgroups.
Asintheinitiationanddecisionmakingstage,mutualintrusioniscontested.
TheCommissionsformalmandategivesitdiscretiontointerpretlegislationand
issueadministrativeregulationsbearingonspecificcases.Itissues67,000
administrativeregulationsannually.However,onlyatinyproportionofthe
Commissionsdecisionsareunilateral.Sincethe1980s,theCouncilandthe
individualnationalgovernmentshavebecomeintimatelyinvolved.Many
regulationshavetheirowncommitteeattachedtothem.BalancingCommission
autonomyandstateinvolvementisanopenendedandconflictualprocessinthe
EuropeanUnion,andthisisalsoapparentincomitology.Rulesofoperation
varyacrosspolicyareasandareasourceofcontentionbetweenthe
Commission,usuallysupportedbytheParliament,andtheCouncil.Some
committeesareonlyadvisoryotherscanpreventtheCommissionfromcarrying
outacertainactionbyqualifiedmajorityvoteandathirdcategorymust
approveCommissionactionsbyqualifiedmajority.Ineachcasethe
Commissionpresides.
Atfirstsight,comitologyseemstogivestateexecutivescontroloverthe
Commissionsactionsingenuineprincipalagentfashion.Buttherelationship
betweenstateactorsandEuropeaninstitutionsismorecomplex.Comitologyis
weakestinpreciselythoseareaswheretheCommissionhasextensiveexecutive
powers,e.g.incompetitionpolicy,stateaids,agriculture,commercialpolicyand
theinternalmarket.Here,theCommissionhassignificantspaceforautonomous
action.
Statecentristsmayarguethatstateexecutivesprefertodelegatethesepowers
toachievestateorientedcollectivegoods,suchascontroloverpotential
distortionofcompetitionorastrongerbargainingpositionininternationaltrade.
Butoneresultisthatstateexecutiveshavelostexclusivecontrolinarangeof
policyareas.Tomentionjustthreeexamplesamongthemanydiscussedinthis
chapter:theynolongercontrolcompetitionwithintheirborderstheycannotaid
nationalfirmsastheydeemfittheycannotautonomouslyconducttrade
negotiations.[]
AlthoughcomitologyinvolvesstateactorsintheEuropeanCommissions
activities,thisintermeshingisnotnecessarilylimitedtocentralstateactors.
Becausetheissuesonthetable
Page159
areoftentechnicalinnature,MemberStategovernmentstendtosendthose
peoplewhoaredirectlyresponsibleorwhoarebestinformedabouttheissueat
home.Theseareregularlysubnationalofficials,orrepresentativesofinterest
groupsorothernongovernmentalbodies.Subnationalparticipationin
comitologyisprevalentforMemberStatesorganizedalongfederalorsemi
federallines.But,inrecentyears,subnationalactorshavebeendrawnintothe
EuropeanarenafrommorecentralizedMemberStates.
TotheextentthatEUregulationsaffectpolicyareaswhereauthorityisshared
amongcentralandsubnationallevelsofgovernment,effectiveimplementation
requirescontactsbetweenmultiplelevelsofgovernment.Environmentalpolicyis
anexampleofthis,forinseveralEuropeancountriescompetenciesinthisarea
aresharedacrossdifferentterritoriallevels.Tospeedupimplementationof
environmentallaw,theCommissionbeganin1990toarrangesocalled
packagemeetingstobringtogethercentral,regionalandlocalgovernment
representativesofaMemberState.Suchmeetingsarevoluntary,butinthefirst
yearofitsoperationsevencountriesmadeuseofthem.TheSpanishcentral
government,forexample,waskeentousetheCommissionspresenceto
pressureitsautonomousprovincesintocompliancewithEUenvironmentallaw,
buttodosoitconcededthemaccesstotheEuropeanarena.
Themajorityofparticipantsincomitologyarenotnationalcivilservants,but
interestgrouprepresentatives(particularlyfromfarming,union,andemployer
organizations)alongsidetechnicalexperts,scientistsandacademics.These
peoplearemostlyselected,oratleastapprovedof,bytheirnational
government.Onecanplausiblyassumethatnationalgovernmentsfinditmore
difficulttopersuadetechnicalexperts,interestgrouprepresentatives,and
privateactorsthantheirownofficialstodefendthenationalinterest.Inpractice
therefore,comitology,whichwasoriginallyamechanismforcentralstate
oversightoverCommissionactivities,hashadtheintendedconsequenceof
deepeningtheparticipationofsubnationalauthoritiesandprivateactorsinthe
Europeanarena.
Aseconddevelopment[]isthedirectinvolvementofCommissionofficialsin
daytodaypolicyimplementation.TheCommissionwasneverexpectedto
performgroundlevelimplementation,exceptinunusualcircumstances(suchas
competitionpolicy,fraud,etc.).Yet,insomeareasthishaschanged.Themost
prominentexampleiscohesionpolicy,whichnowabsorbsaboutonethirdof
theEUbudget.Thebulkofthemoneygoestomultiannualregional
developmentprogrammesinthelessdevelopedregionsoftheEU.The1989
reformprescribestheinvolvementofCommission,national,regional,localand
socialactorsonacontinuingbasisinallstagesofthepolicyprocess:selectionof
priorities,choiceofprogrammes,allocationoffunding,monitoringofoperations,
evaluationandadjustmentofprogrammes.Tothisend,eachrecipientregionor
countryisrequiredtosetupanelaboratesystemofmonitoringcommittees,with
ageneralcommitteeontop,andacascadeofsubcommitteesfocusedon
particularprogrammes.Commissionofficialscananddoparticipateateach
levelofthistreelikestructure.Partnershipisimplementedunevenlyacrossthe
EU,butjustabouteverywhereitinstitutionalizessomeformofdirectcontact
betweentheCommissionandnoncentralgovernmentactorsincluding,
particularly,regionalandlocalauthorities,localactiongroupsandlocal
businesses.Suchlinksbreakopenthemouldofthestate,sothatmultilevel
governanceencompassesactorswithinaswellasbeyondexistingstates.
C
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:57 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page159
areoftentechnicalinnature,MemberStategovernmentstendtosendthose
peoplewhoaredirectlyresponsibleorwhoarebestinformedabouttheissueat
home.Theseareregularlysubnationalofficials,orrepresentativesofinterest
groupsorothernongovernmentalbodies.Subnationalparticipationin
comitologyisprevalentforMemberStatesorganizedalongfederalorsemi
federallines.But,inrecentyears,subnationalactorshavebeendrawnintothe
EuropeanarenafrommorecentralizedMemberStates.
TotheextentthatEUregulationsaffectpolicyareaswhereauthorityisshared
amongcentralandsubnationallevelsofgovernment,effectiveimplementation
requirescontactsbetweenmultiplelevelsofgovernment.Environmentalpolicyis
anexampleofthis,forinseveralEuropeancountriescompetenciesinthisarea
aresharedacrossdifferentterritoriallevels.Tospeedupimplementationof
environmentallaw,theCommissionbeganin1990toarrangesocalled
packagemeetingstobringtogethercentral,regionalandlocalgovernment
representativesofaMemberState.Suchmeetingsarevoluntary,butinthefirst
yearofitsoperationsevencountriesmadeuseofthem.TheSpanishcentral
government,forexample,waskeentousetheCommissionspresenceto
pressureitsautonomousprovincesintocompliancewithEUenvironmentallaw,
buttodosoitconcededthemaccesstotheEuropeanarena.
Themajorityofparticipantsincomitologyarenotnationalcivilservants,but
interestgrouprepresentatives(particularlyfromfarming,union,andemployer
organizations)alongsidetechnicalexperts,scientistsandacademics.These
peoplearemostlyselected,oratleastapprovedof,bytheirnational
government.Onecanplausiblyassumethatnationalgovernmentsfinditmore
difficulttopersuadetechnicalexperts,interestgrouprepresentatives,and
privateactorsthantheirownofficialstodefendthenationalinterest.Inpractice
therefore,comitology,whichwasoriginallyamechanismforcentralstate
oversightoverCommissionactivities,hashadtheintendedconsequenceof
deepeningtheparticipationofsubnationalauthoritiesandprivateactorsinthe
Europeanarena.
Aseconddevelopment[]isthedirectinvolvementofCommissionofficialsin
daytodaypolicyimplementation.TheCommissionwasneverexpectedto
performgroundlevelimplementation,exceptinunusualcircumstances(suchas
competitionpolicy,fraud,etc.).Yet,insomeareasthishaschanged.Themost
prominentexampleiscohesionpolicy,whichnowabsorbsaboutonethirdof
theEUbudget.Thebulkofthemoneygoestomultiannualregional
developmentprogrammesinthelessdevelopedregionsoftheEU.The1989
reformprescribestheinvolvementofCommission,national,regional,localand
socialactorsonacontinuingbasisinallstagesofthepolicyprocess:selectionof
priorities,choiceofprogrammes,allocationoffunding,monitoringofoperations,
evaluationandadjustmentofprogrammes.Tothisend,eachrecipientregionor
countryisrequiredtosetupanelaboratesystemofmonitoringcommittees,with
ageneralcommitteeontop,andacascadeofsubcommitteesfocusedon
particularprogrammes.Commissionofficialscananddoparticipateateach
levelofthistreelikestructure.Partnershipisimplementedunevenlyacrossthe
EU,butjustabouteverywhereitinstitutionalizessomeformofdirectcontact
betweentheCommissionandnoncentralgovernmentactorsincluding,
particularly,regionalandlocalauthorities,localactiongroupsandlocal
businesses.Suchlinksbreakopenthemouldofthestate,sothatmultilevel
governanceencompassesactorswithinaswellasbeyondexistingstates.
Page160
Adjudication:anactivistcourtinasupranationallegalorder
StatecentristshavearguedthataEuropeanlegalorderandeffectiveEuropean
CourtofJustice(ECJ)areessentialtostatecooperation.Unilateraldefectionis
difficulttodetect,andthusitisintheinterestofstatestodelegateauthoritytoa
EuropeanCourttomonitorcompliance.TheECJalsomitigatesincomplete
contractingproblemsbyapplyinggeneralinterstatebargainstofuture
contingencies.Inthisvein,theECJmaybeconceptualizedasanagentof
constituentMemberStates.However,anumberofscholarshaveargued
convincinglythattheECJhasbecomemorethananinstrumentofMember
States.TheCourthasbeenactiveintransformingthelegalorderina
supranationaldirection.ButtheCourtcouldnothavedonethiswithouta
politicalallyattheEuropeanlevel:theEuropeanCommission.Norcouldithave
establishedthesupremacyofEuropeanlawwithoutthecollaborationofnational
courts,andthiscollaborationhasalteredthebalanceofpowerbetweennational
courtsandnationalpoliticalauthorities.
Throughitsactiviststance,theECJhaslaidthelegalfoundationforan
integratedEuropeanpolity.Bymeansofanimpressivebodyofcaselaw,the
CourthasestablishedtheTreatyofRomeasadocumentcreatinglegal
obligationsdirectlybindingonnationalgovernmentsandindividualcitizensalike.
Moreover,theseobligationshavelegalpriorityoverlawsmadebytheMember
States.Directlybindinglegalauthorityandsupremacyareattributesof
sovereignty,andtheirapplicationbytheECJindicatesthattheEUisbecoming
aconstitutionalregime.
TheCourtwasoriginallyexpectedtoactasanimpartialmonitortoensurethat
intheinterpretationandapplicationofthetreatiesthelawisobserved(Article
164EEC,Article136Euratom,Article31ECSC)but,fromthebeginning,the
Courtviewedtheseinterstatetreatiesasmorethannarrowagreements.The
Courtsexpansiveroleisfoundedonthefailureofthetreatiestospecifythe
competenciesofmajorEUinstitutions.Instead,thetreatiessetouttasksor
purposesforEuropeancooperation,suchasthecustomsunion(Treatyof
Rome),thecompletionoftheinternalmarket(SingleEuropeanAct)or
economicandmonetaryunion(MaastrichtTreaty).TheCourthas
constitutionalizedEuropeanlawandexpandedEuropeanauthorityinother
policyareasbystatingthatthesewerenecessarytoachievethesefunctional
goals.
CourtrulingshavebeenpivotalinshapingEuropeanintegration.However,the
ECJdependsonotheractorstoforceissuesontheEuropeanpoliticalagenda
andcondoneitsinterpretations.Legislators(theEuropeanCouncil,Councilof
Ministers,CommissionandParliament)mayalwaysreversethecoursesetby
theCourtbychangingthelaworbyalteringtheTreaties.Inotherwords,the
ECJisnodifferentfromtheCouncil,CommissionorEuropeanParliamentin
thatitislockedinmutualdependencewithotheractors.
Oneoutcomeofthisinterlockingistheprincipleofmutualrecognition,which
becamethecoreprincipleoftheinternalmarketprogrammeinthelandmark
caseofCassisdeDijon(1979)inwhichtheCourtstatedthataproduct
lawfullyproducedinoneMemberStatemustbeacceptedinanother.Some
havearguedthattherulingwasbasedontheECJsreadingoftheinterestsof
themostinfluentialstateexecutives,FranceandGermany,butdetailedanalysis
oftheevidencesuggeststhattheCourtmadethedecisionautonomously,
notwithstandingtheoppositionoftheFrenchandGermangovernments.Itwas
theCommissionthatprojectedtheprincipleofmutualrecognitionontoawider
agenda,thesinglemarketinitiative,anditdidthisasearlyasJuly1980whenit
announcedtotheEuropeanParliamentandtheCouncilthattheCassiscase
wasthefoundationforanewapproachtomarketharmonization.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:57 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page160
Adjudication:anactivistcourtinasupranationallegalorder
StatecentristshavearguedthataEuropeanlegalorderandeffectiveEuropean
CourtofJustice(ECJ)areessentialtostatecooperation.Unilateraldefectionis
difficulttodetect,andthusitisintheinterestofstatestodelegateauthoritytoa
EuropeanCourttomonitorcompliance.TheECJalsomitigatesincomplete
contractingproblemsbyapplyinggeneralinterstatebargainstofuture
contingencies.Inthisvein,theECJmaybeconceptualizedasanagentof
constituentMemberStates.However,anumberofscholarshaveargued
convincinglythattheECJhasbecomemorethananinstrumentofMember
States.TheCourthasbeenactiveintransformingthelegalorderina
supranationaldirection.ButtheCourtcouldnothavedonethiswithouta
politicalallyattheEuropeanlevel:theEuropeanCommission.Norcouldithave
establishedthesupremacyofEuropeanlawwithoutthecollaborationofnational
courts,andthiscollaborationhasalteredthebalanceofpowerbetweennational
courtsandnationalpoliticalauthorities.
Throughitsactiviststance,theECJhaslaidthelegalfoundationforan
integratedEuropeanpolity.Bymeansofanimpressivebodyofcaselaw,the
CourthasestablishedtheTreatyofRomeasadocumentcreatinglegal
obligationsdirectlybindingonnationalgovernmentsandindividualcitizensalike.
Moreover,theseobligationshavelegalpriorityoverlawsmadebytheMember
States.Directlybindinglegalauthorityandsupremacyareattributesof
sovereignty,andtheirapplicationbytheECJindicatesthattheEUisbecoming
aconstitutionalregime.
TheCourtwasoriginallyexpectedtoactasanimpartialmonitortoensurethat
intheinterpretationandapplicationofthetreatiesthelawisobserved(Article
164EEC,Article136Euratom,Article31ECSC)but,fromthebeginning,the
Courtviewedtheseinterstatetreatiesasmorethannarrowagreements.The
Courtsexpansiveroleisfoundedonthefailureofthetreatiestospecifythe
competenciesofmajorEUinstitutions.Instead,thetreatiessetouttasksor
purposesforEuropeancooperation,suchasthecustomsunion(Treatyof
Rome),thecompletionoftheinternalmarket(SingleEuropeanAct)or
economicandmonetaryunion(MaastrichtTreaty).TheCourthas
constitutionalizedEuropeanlawandexpandedEuropeanauthorityinother
policyareasbystatingthatthesewerenecessarytoachievethesefunctional
goals.
CourtrulingshavebeenpivotalinshapingEuropeanintegration.However,the
ECJdependsonotheractorstoforceissuesontheEuropeanpoliticalagenda
andcondoneitsinterpretations.Legislators(theEuropeanCouncil,Councilof
Ministers,CommissionandParliament)mayalwaysreversethecoursesetby
theCourtbychangingthelaworbyalteringtheTreaties.Inotherwords,the
ECJisnodifferentfromtheCouncil,CommissionorEuropeanParliamentin
thatitislockedinmutualdependencewithotheractors.
Oneoutcomeofthisinterlockingistheprincipleofmutualrecognition,which
becamethecoreprincipleoftheinternalmarketprogrammeinthelandmark
caseofCassisdeDijon(1979)inwhichtheCourtstatedthataproduct
lawfullyproducedinoneMemberStatemustbeacceptedinanother.Some
havearguedthattherulingwasbasedontheECJsreadingoftheinterestsof
themostinfluentialstateexecutives,FranceandGermany,butdetailedanalysis
oftheevidencesuggeststhattheCourtmadethedecisionautonomously,
notwithstandingtheoppositionoftheFrenchandGermangovernments.Itwas
theCommissionthatprojectedtheprincipleofmutualrecognitionontoawider
agenda,thesinglemarketinitiative,anditdidthisasearlyasJuly1980whenit
announcedtotheEuropeanParliamentandtheCouncilthattheCassiscase
wasthefoundationforanewapproachtomarketharmonization.
Page161
Nationalcourtshaveprovedwillingtoapplythedoctrineofdirecteffectby
invokingArticle177oftheTreatyofRomewhichstipulatesthatnationalcourts
mayseekauthoritativeguidancefromtheECJincasesinvolvingCommunity
law.Insuchinstances,theECJprovidesapreliminaryruling,specifyingthe
properapplicationofCommunitylawtotheissueathand.Whilethispreliminary
rulingdoesnotformallydecidethecase,inpracticetheCourtisrenderinga
judgmentoftheconstitutionalityofaparticularstatuteoradministrativeaction
inthelightofitsinterpretationofCommunitylaw.Thecourtthatmadethe
referralcannotbeforcedtoacknowledgetheinterpretationsbytheECJ,butifit
does,othernationalcourtsusuallyacceptthesedecisionsasaprecedent.
PreliminaryrulingsexpandECJinfluence,andjudgesatthelowestlevelgaina
defactopowerofjudicialreview,whichhadbeenreservedtothehighestcourt
inthestate.Article177giveslowernationalcourtsstrongincentivesto
circumventtheirownnationaljudicialhierarchy.Withtheirsupport,muchofthe
businessofinterpretingCommunitylawhasbeentransferredfromnationalhigh
courtstotheECJandlowercourts.
ECJdecisionshavebecomeacceptedaspartofthelegalorderintheMember
States,shiftingexpectationaboutdecisionmakingauthorityfromapurely
nationalbasedsystemtoonethatismoremultilevel.Thedoctrinesofdirect
effectandsupremacywereconstructedoverthestrongobjectionsofseveral
MemberStateexecutives.Yet,itsinfluenceliesnotinitsscopeforunilateral
action,butinthefactthatitsrulingsandinclusivemodeofoperationcreate
opportunitiesforotherEuropeaninstitutions,particularlytheCommission,for
privateinterests,andnationalinstitutions(lowernationalcourts),toinfluencethe
Europeanagendaorenhancetheirpower.
Conclusion
Multilevelgovernancedoesnotconfrontthesovereigntyofstatesdirectly.
Insteadofbeingexplicitlychallenged,statesintheEuropeanUnionarebeing
meldedgentlyintoamultilevelpolitybytheirleadersandtheactionsof
numeroussubnationalandsupranationalactors.Statecentrictheoristsareright
whentheyarguethatstatesareextremelypowerfulinstitutionsthatarecapable
ofcrushingdirectthreatstotheirexistence.Theinstitutionalformofthestate
emergedbecauseitprovedaparticularlyeffectivemeansofsystematically
wieldingviolence,anditisdifficulttoimagineanygeneralizedchallengealong
theselines.Butthisisnottheonly,noreventhemostimportant,issuefacingthe
state.Onedoesnothavetoarguethatstatesareonthevergeofpolitical
extinctiontobelievethattheircontrolofthoselivingintheirterritorieshas
significantlyweakened.
Itisnotnecessarytolookfarbeyondthestateitselftofindreasonsthatmight
explainhowsuchanoutcomeispossible.Whenwedisaggregatethestateinto
theactorsthatshapeitsdiverseinstitutions,itisclearthatkeydecisionmakers,
aboveallthosedirectingthestateexecutive,mayhavegoalsthatdonot
coincidewiththatofprojectingstatesovereigntyintothefuture.Aswellas
beingagoalinitself,thestatemaysensiblyberegardedasameanstoavariety
ofendsthatarestructuredbypartycompetitionandinterestgrouppoliticsina
liberaldemocraticsetting.Astateexecutivemaywishtoshiftdecisionmaking
tothesupranationallevelbecausethepoliticalbenefitsoutweighthecostof
losingcontrol.Orastateexecutivemayhaveintrinsicgroundstoshiftcontrol,
forexampletoshedresponsibilityforunpopulardecisions.
Evenifstateexecutiveswanttomaintainsovereignty,theyareoftennotableto
doso.Astateexecutivecaneasilybeoutvotedbecausemostdecisionsinthe
Councilarenowtakenunderthedecisionruleofqualifiedmajority,and
moreover,eventhenationalveto,the
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:58 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page161
Nationalcourtshaveprovedwillingtoapplythedoctrineofdirecteffectby
invokingArticle177oftheTreatyofRomewhichstipulatesthatnationalcourts
mayseekauthoritativeguidancefromtheECJincasesinvolvingCommunity
law.Insuchinstances,theECJprovidesapreliminaryruling,specifyingthe
properapplicationofCommunitylawtotheissueathand.Whilethispreliminary
rulingdoesnotformallydecidethecase,inpracticetheCourtisrenderinga
judgmentoftheconstitutionalityofaparticularstatuteoradministrativeaction
inthelightofitsinterpretationofCommunitylaw.Thecourtthatmadethe
referralcannotbeforcedtoacknowledgetheinterpretationsbytheECJ,butifit
does,othernationalcourtsusuallyacceptthesedecisionsasaprecedent.
PreliminaryrulingsexpandECJinfluence,andjudgesatthelowestlevelgaina
defactopowerofjudicialreview,whichhadbeenreservedtothehighestcourt
inthestate.Article177giveslowernationalcourtsstrongincentivesto
circumventtheirownnationaljudicialhierarchy.Withtheirsupport,muchofthe
businessofinterpretingCommunitylawhasbeentransferredfromnationalhigh
courtstotheECJandlowercourts.
ECJdecisionshavebecomeacceptedaspartofthelegalorderintheMember
States,shiftingexpectationaboutdecisionmakingauthorityfromapurely
nationalbasedsystemtoonethatismoremultilevel.Thedoctrinesofdirect
effectandsupremacywereconstructedoverthestrongobjectionsofseveral
MemberStateexecutives.Yet,itsinfluenceliesnotinitsscopeforunilateral
action,butinthefactthatitsrulingsandinclusivemodeofoperationcreate
opportunitiesforotherEuropeaninstitutions,particularlytheCommission,for
privateinterests,andnationalinstitutions(lowernationalcourts),toinfluencethe
Europeanagendaorenhancetheirpower.
Conclusion
Multilevelgovernancedoesnotconfrontthesovereigntyofstatesdirectly.
Insteadofbeingexplicitlychallenged,statesintheEuropeanUnionarebeing
meldedgentlyintoamultilevelpolitybytheirleadersandtheactionsof
numeroussubnationalandsupranationalactors.Statecentrictheoristsareright
whentheyarguethatstatesareextremelypowerfulinstitutionsthatarecapable
ofcrushingdirectthreatstotheirexistence.Theinstitutionalformofthestate
emergedbecauseitprovedaparticularlyeffectivemeansofsystematically
wieldingviolence,anditisdifficulttoimagineanygeneralizedchallengealong
theselines.Butthisisnottheonly,noreventhemostimportant,issuefacingthe
state.Onedoesnothavetoarguethatstatesareonthevergeofpolitical
extinctiontobelievethattheircontrolofthoselivingintheirterritorieshas
significantlyweakened.
Itisnotnecessarytolookfarbeyondthestateitselftofindreasonsthatmight
explainhowsuchanoutcomeispossible.Whenwedisaggregatethestateinto
theactorsthatshapeitsdiverseinstitutions,itisclearthatkeydecisionmakers,
aboveallthosedirectingthestateexecutive,mayhavegoalsthatdonot
coincidewiththatofprojectingstatesovereigntyintothefuture.Aswellas
beingagoalinitself,thestatemaysensiblyberegardedasameanstoavariety
ofendsthatarestructuredbypartycompetitionandinterestgrouppoliticsina
liberaldemocraticsetting.Astateexecutivemaywishtoshiftdecisionmaking
tothesupranationallevelbecausethepoliticalbenefitsoutweighthecostof
losingcontrol.Orastateexecutivemayhaveintrinsicgroundstoshiftcontrol,
forexampletoshedresponsibilityforunpopulardecisions.
Evenifstateexecutiveswanttomaintainsovereignty,theyareoftennotableto
doso.Astateexecutivecaneasilybeoutvotedbecausemostdecisionsinthe
Councilarenowtakenunderthedecisionruleofqualifiedmajority,and
moreover,eventhenationalveto,the
Page162
ultimateinstrumentofsovereignty,isconstrainedbythewillingnessofotherstate
executivestotolerateitsuse.Butthelimitsonstatesovereigntyaredeeper.
Evencollectively,stateexecutivesdonotdeterminetheEuropeanagenda
becausetheyareunabletocontrolthesupranationalinstitutionstheyhave
createdattheEuropeanlevel.ThegrowingdiversityofissuesontheCouncils
agenda,thesheernumberofstateexecutiveprincipalsandthemistrustthat
existsamongthem,andtheincreasedspecializationofpolicymakinghavemade
theCouncilofMinistersreliantupontheCommissiontosettheagenda,forge
compromises,andsupervisecompliance.TheCommissionandtheCouncilare
notonapar,butneithercantheirrelationshipbeunderstoodinprincipalagent
terms.PolicymakingintheEUischaracterizedbymutualdependence,
complementaryfunctionsandoverlappingcompetencies.
TheCouncilalsosharesdecisionmakingcompetencieswiththeEuropean
Parliament,whichhasgainedsignificantlegislativepowerundertheSingle
EuropeanActandtheMaastrichtTreaty.Indeed,theParliamentmightbe
conceivedofasaprincipalinitsownrightintheEuropeanarena.TheCouncil,
CommissionandParliamentinteractwithinalegalorderwhichhasbeen
transformedintoasupranationalonethroughtheinnovativejurisprudenceofthe
EuropeanCourtofJustice.Thecomplexinterplayamongthesecontending
institutionsinapolitywherepoliticalcontrolisdiffuseoftenleadstooutcomes
thataresecondchoiceforallparticipants.
ThecharacteroftheEuropolityatanyparticularpointintimeistheoutcomeof
atensionbetweensupranationalandintergovernmentalpressures.Wehave
arguedthat,sincethe1980s,ithascrystallizedintoamultilevelpolity.States
nolongerserveastheexclusivenexusbetweendomesticpoliticsand
internationalrelations.
Directconnectionsarebeingforgedamongpoliticalactorsindiversepolitical
arenas.Traditionalandformerlyexclusivechannelsofcommunicationand
influencearebeingsidestepped.Withitsdispersedcompetencies,contending
butinterlockedinstitutions,shiftingagendas,multilevelgovernanceopens
multiplepointsofaccessforinterests,whileitprivilegesthoseinterestswith
technicalexpertisethatmatchthedominantstyleofEUpolicymaking.Inthis
turbulentprocessofmobilizationandcountermobilizationitispatentlyclearthat
statesnolongerserveastheexclusivenexusbetweendomesticpoliticsand
internationalrelations.Directconnectionsarebeingforgedamongpolitical
actorsindiversepoliticalarenas.
However,thereisnothinginherentinthecurrentsystem.Multilevelgovernance
isunlikelytobeastableequilibrium.Thereisnowidelylegitimizedconstitutional
framework.Thereislittleconsensusonthegoalsofintegration.Asaresult,the
allocationofcompetenciesbetweennationalandsupranationalactorsis
ambiguousandcontested.ItisworthnotingthattheEuropeanpolityhasmade
twoUturnsinitsshorthistory.Overtsupranationalistfeaturesoftheoriginal
structurewereovershadowedbytheimpositionofintergovernmentalinstitutions
inthe1960sand1970s.Fromthe1980s,asystemofmultilevelgovernance
arose,inwhichnationalgovernmentalcontrolbecamedilutedbytheactivitiesof
supranationalandsubnationalactors.
Thesedevelopmentshaveengenderedstrongnegativereactionsonthepartof
decliningsocialgroupsrepresentedinnationalistpoliticalmovements.Ironically,
muchofthediscontentwithEuropeanintegrationhasbeendirectedtowards
stateexecutivesthemselvesandthepragmaticandelitiststyleinwhichtheyhave
bargainedinstitutionalchangeintheEU.
TheEUwideseriesofdebatesunleashedbytheTreatyofMaastrichthave
forcedtheissueofsovereigntyontotheagenda.Wheregoverningparties
themselvesshyawayfrom
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:59 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page162
ultimateinstrumentofsovereignty,isconstrainedbythewillingnessofotherstate
executivestotolerateitsuse.Butthelimitsonstatesovereigntyaredeeper.
Evencollectively,stateexecutivesdonotdeterminetheEuropeanagenda
becausetheyareunabletocontrolthesupranationalinstitutionstheyhave
createdattheEuropeanlevel.ThegrowingdiversityofissuesontheCouncils
agenda,thesheernumberofstateexecutiveprincipalsandthemistrustthat
existsamongthem,andtheincreasedspecializationofpolicymakinghavemade
theCouncilofMinistersreliantupontheCommissiontosettheagenda,forge
compromises,andsupervisecompliance.TheCommissionandtheCouncilare
notonapar,butneithercantheirrelationshipbeunderstoodinprincipalagent
terms.PolicymakingintheEUischaracterizedbymutualdependence,
complementaryfunctionsandoverlappingcompetencies.
TheCouncilalsosharesdecisionmakingcompetencieswiththeEuropean
Parliament,whichhasgainedsignificantlegislativepowerundertheSingle
EuropeanActandtheMaastrichtTreaty.Indeed,theParliamentmightbe
conceivedofasaprincipalinitsownrightintheEuropeanarena.TheCouncil,
CommissionandParliamentinteractwithinalegalorderwhichhasbeen
transformedintoasupranationalonethroughtheinnovativejurisprudenceofthe
EuropeanCourtofJustice.Thecomplexinterplayamongthesecontending
institutionsinapolitywherepoliticalcontrolisdiffuseoftenleadstooutcomes
thataresecondchoiceforallparticipants.
ThecharacteroftheEuropolityatanyparticularpointintimeistheoutcomeof
atensionbetweensupranationalandintergovernmentalpressures.Wehave
arguedthat,sincethe1980s,ithascrystallizedintoamultilevelpolity.States
nolongerserveastheexclusivenexusbetweendomesticpoliticsand
internationalrelations.
Directconnectionsarebeingforgedamongpoliticalactorsindiversepolitical
arenas.Traditionalandformerlyexclusivechannelsofcommunicationand
influencearebeingsidestepped.Withitsdispersedcompetencies,contending
butinterlockedinstitutions,shiftingagendas,multilevelgovernanceopens
multiplepointsofaccessforinterests,whileitprivilegesthoseinterestswith
technicalexpertisethatmatchthedominantstyleofEUpolicymaking.Inthis
turbulentprocessofmobilizationandcountermobilizationitispatentlyclearthat
statesnolongerserveastheexclusivenexusbetweendomesticpoliticsand
internationalrelations.Directconnectionsarebeingforgedamongpolitical
actorsindiversepoliticalarenas.
However,thereisnothinginherentinthecurrentsystem.Multilevelgovernance
isunlikelytobeastableequilibrium.Thereisnowidelylegitimizedconstitutional
framework.Thereislittleconsensusonthegoalsofintegration.Asaresult,the
allocationofcompetenciesbetweennationalandsupranationalactorsis
ambiguousandcontested.ItisworthnotingthattheEuropeanpolityhasmade
twoUturnsinitsshorthistory.Overtsupranationalistfeaturesoftheoriginal
structurewereovershadowedbytheimpositionofintergovernmentalinstitutions
inthe1960sand1970s.Fromthe1980s,asystemofmultilevelgovernance
arose,inwhichnationalgovernmentalcontrolbecamedilutedbytheactivitiesof
supranationalandsubnationalactors.
Thesedevelopmentshaveengenderedstrongnegativereactionsonthepartof
decliningsocialgroupsrepresentedinnationalistpoliticalmovements.Ironically,
muchofthediscontentwithEuropeanintegrationhasbeendirectedtowards
stateexecutivesthemselvesandthepragmaticandelitiststyleinwhichtheyhave
bargainedinstitutionalchangeintheEU.
TheEUwideseriesofdebatesunleashedbytheTreatyofMaastrichthave
forcedtheissueofsovereigntyontotheagenda.Wheregoverningparties
themselvesshyawayfrom
Page163
theissue,itisraisedinstarktermsbyoppositionparties,particularlythoseof
theextremeright.SeveralMemberStategovernmentsare,themselves,deeply
rivenontheissuesofintegrationandsovereignty.Statesandstatesovereignty
havebecomeobjectsofpopularcontentiontheoutcomeofwhichisasyet
uncertain.
Note
1FinancialTimes,1415.1.1995.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:20:59 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page164
2.5
Thepowerofinternationalorganizations
MichaelN.BarnettandMarthaFinnemore
Source:Thepolitics,powerandpathologiesofinternationalorganizations,
InternationalOrganization,vol.53,no.4(1999),pp.695732.Theextract
isfrompp.70715.
BarnettandFinnemoretakeaconstructivistapproach,incontrasttothe
rationalistmethodologyof(forexample)Moravcsik(selection2.3).This
meansthattheyemphasizethewaysinwhichinternationalorganizations
canexploittheirstatusasconstitutivebodiesintheworldarenatocreate
socialknowledgeanddefinenorms.Inthisenquiry,itisimportantto
exploretheextenttowhichinternationalorganizationscandeveloppower
independentofthestatesthatcreatedthem.Centraltothisprocessisthe
wayinwhichbureaucraciescreaterulesandsocialknowledgeby
definingsharedtasksandtransferringmodelsofpoliticalorganization
aroundtheworld.Theauthorsinthisextractdeveloptheirconceptionof
powerandthewaysinwhichinternationalorganizationscanwieldit.
[BarnettandFinnemorebeginwithacritiqueofrationalistapproaches,andthen
moveontothequestionofpower.]
ThepowerofIOs
IOscanbecomeautonomoussitesofauthority,independentfromthestate
principalswhomayhavecreatedthem,becauseofpowerflowingfromat
leasttwosources:(1)thelegitimacyoftherationallegalauthoritytheyembody,
and(2)controlovertechnicalexpertiseandinformation.Thefirstoftheseis
almostentirelyneglectedbythepoliticalscienceliterature,andthesecond,we
argue,hasbeenconceivedofverynarrowly,leadingscholarstooverlooksome
ofthemostbasicandconsequentialformsofIOinfluence.Takentogether,
thesetwofeaturesprovideatheoreticalbasisfortreatingIOsasautonomous
actorsincontemporaryworldpoliticsbyidentifyingsourcesofsupportfor
them,independentofstates,inthelargersocialenvironment.Sincerationallegal
authorityandcontroloverexpertisearepartofwhatdefinesandconstitutesany
bureaucracy(abureaucracywouldnotbeabureaucracywithoutthem),the
autonomythatflowsfromthemisbestunderstoodasaconstitutiveeffect,an
effectofthewaybureaucracyisconstituted,which,inturn,makespossible(and
inthatsensecauses)otherprocessesandeffectsinglobalpolitics.
SourcesofIOautonomyandauthority
TounderstandhowIOscanbecomeautonomoussitesofauthorityweturnto
Weberandhisclassicstudyofbureaucratization.Weberwasdeeplyambivalent
abouttheincreasingly
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:21:00 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page165
bureaucraticworldinwhichhelivedandwaswellattunedtothevicesaswell
asthevirtuesofthisnewsocialformofauthority.Bureaucraciesarerightly
consideredagrandachievement,hethought.Theyprovideaframeworkfor
socialinteractionthatcanrespondtotheincreasinglytechnicaldemandsof
modernlifeinastable,predictable,andnonviolentwaytheyexemplify
rationalityandaretechnicallysuperiortopreviousformsofrulebecausethey
bringprecision,knowledge,andcontinuitytoincreasinglycomplexsocialtasks.
Butsuchtechnicalandrationalachievements,accordingtoWeber,comeata
steepprice.Bureaucraciesarepoliticalcreaturesthatcanbeautonomousfrom
theircreatorsandcancometodominatethesocietiestheywerecreatedto
serve,becauseofboththenormativeappealofrationallegalauthorityin
modernlifeandthebureaucracyscontrolovertechnicalexpertiseand
information.Weconsidereachinturn.
Bureaucraciesembodyaformofauthority,rationallegalauthority,that
modernityviewsasparticularlylegitimateandgood.Incontrasttoearlierforms
ofauthoritythatwereinvestedinaleader,legitimatemodernauthorityis
investedinlegalities,procedures,andrulesandthusrenderedimpersonal.This
authorityisrationalinthatitdeployssociallyrecognizedrelevantknowledge
tocreaterulesthatdeterminehowgoalswillbepursued.Theveryfactthatthey
embodyrationalityiswhatmakesbureaucraciespowerfulandmakespeople
willingtosubmittothiskindofauthority.AccordingtoWeber,
inlegalauthority,submissiondoesnotrestuponthebeliefanddevotionto
charismaticallygiftedpersons[]oruponpietytowardapersonallordand
masterwhoisdefinedbyanorderedtradition.[]Rathersubmissionunder
legalauthorityisbaseduponanimpersonalbondtothegenerallydefinedand
functionaldutyofoffice.Theofficialdutylikethecorrespondingrightto
exerciseauthority:thejurisdictionalcompetencyisfixedbyrationally
establishednorms,byenactments,decrees,andregulationsinsuchamanner
thatthelegitimacyoftheauthoritybecomesthelegalityofthegeneralrule,which
ispurposelythoughtout,enacted,andannouncedwithformalcorrectness.
1

Whenbureaucratsdosomethingcontrarytoyourinterestsorthatyoudonot
like,theydefendthemselvesbysayingSorry,thosearetherulesorjustdoing
myjob.Therulesandthejobarethesourceofgreatpowerinmodern
society.ItisbecausebureaucratsinIOsareperformingdutiesofofficeand
implementingrationallyestablishednormsthattheyarepowerful.
Asecondbasisofautonomyandauthority,intimatelyconnectedtothefirst,is
bureaucraticcontroloverinformationandexpertise.Abureaucracysautonomy
derivesfromspecializedtechnicalknowledge,training,andexperiencethatis
notimmediatelyavailabletootheractors.Whilesuchknowledgemighthelpthe
bureaucracycarryoutthedirectivesofpoliticiansmoreefficiently,Weber
stressedthatitalsogivesbureaucraciespoweroverpoliticians(andother
actors).Itinvitesandattimesrequiresbureaucraciestoshapepolicy,notjust
implementit.
Theironyinbothofthesefeaturesofauthorityisthattheymakebureaucracies
powerfulpreciselybycreatingtheappearanceofdepoliticization.Thepowerof
IOs,andbureaucraciesgenerally,isthattheypresentthemselvesasimpersonal,
technocratic,andneutralasnotexercisingpowerbutinsteadasserving
othersthepresentationandacceptanceoftheseclaimsiscriticaltotheir
legitimacyandauthority.Weber,however,sawthroughtheseclaims.According
tohim,thedepoliticizedcharacterofbureaucracythatlegitimatesitcouldbea
myth:Behindthefunctionalpurposes[ofbureaucracy],ofcourse,ideasof
culturevaluesusuallystand.
2
Bureaucraciesalwaysservesomesocial
purposeorsetofculturalvalues.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:21:00 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page165
bureaucraticworldinwhichhelivedandwaswellattunedtothevicesaswell
asthevirtuesofthisnewsocialformofauthority.Bureaucraciesarerightly
consideredagrandachievement,hethought.Theyprovideaframeworkfor
socialinteractionthatcanrespondtotheincreasinglytechnicaldemandsof
modernlifeinastable,predictable,andnonviolentwaytheyexemplify
rationalityandaretechnicallysuperiortopreviousformsofrulebecausethey
bringprecision,knowledge,andcontinuitytoincreasinglycomplexsocialtasks.
Butsuchtechnicalandrationalachievements,accordingtoWeber,comeata
steepprice.Bureaucraciesarepoliticalcreaturesthatcanbeautonomousfrom
theircreatorsandcancometodominatethesocietiestheywerecreatedto
serve,becauseofboththenormativeappealofrationallegalauthorityin
modernlifeandthebureaucracyscontrolovertechnicalexpertiseand
information.Weconsidereachinturn.
Bureaucraciesembodyaformofauthority,rationallegalauthority,that
modernityviewsasparticularlylegitimateandgood.Incontrasttoearlierforms
ofauthoritythatwereinvestedinaleader,legitimatemodernauthorityis
investedinlegalities,procedures,andrulesandthusrenderedimpersonal.This
authorityisrationalinthatitdeployssociallyrecognizedrelevantknowledge
tocreaterulesthatdeterminehowgoalswillbepursued.Theveryfactthatthey
embodyrationalityiswhatmakesbureaucraciespowerfulandmakespeople
willingtosubmittothiskindofauthority.AccordingtoWeber,
inlegalauthority,submissiondoesnotrestuponthebeliefanddevotionto
charismaticallygiftedpersons[]oruponpietytowardapersonallordand
masterwhoisdefinedbyanorderedtradition.[]Rathersubmissionunder
legalauthorityisbaseduponanimpersonalbondtothegenerallydefinedand
functionaldutyofoffice.Theofficialdutylikethecorrespondingrightto
exerciseauthority:thejurisdictionalcompetencyisfixedbyrationally
establishednorms,byenactments,decrees,andregulationsinsuchamanner
thatthelegitimacyoftheauthoritybecomesthelegalityofthegeneralrule,which
ispurposelythoughtout,enacted,andannouncedwithformalcorrectness.
1

Whenbureaucratsdosomethingcontrarytoyourinterestsorthatyoudonot
like,theydefendthemselvesbysayingSorry,thosearetherulesorjustdoing
myjob.Therulesandthejobarethesourceofgreatpowerinmodern
society.ItisbecausebureaucratsinIOsareperformingdutiesofofficeand
implementingrationallyestablishednormsthattheyarepowerful.
Asecondbasisofautonomyandauthority,intimatelyconnectedtothefirst,is
bureaucraticcontroloverinformationandexpertise.Abureaucracysautonomy
derivesfromspecializedtechnicalknowledge,training,andexperiencethatis
notimmediatelyavailabletootheractors.Whilesuchknowledgemighthelpthe
bureaucracycarryoutthedirectivesofpoliticiansmoreefficiently,Weber
stressedthatitalsogivesbureaucraciespoweroverpoliticians(andother
actors).Itinvitesandattimesrequiresbureaucraciestoshapepolicy,notjust
implementit.
Theironyinbothofthesefeaturesofauthorityisthattheymakebureaucracies
powerfulpreciselybycreatingtheappearanceofdepoliticization.Thepowerof
IOs,andbureaucraciesgenerally,isthattheypresentthemselvesasimpersonal,
technocratic,andneutralasnotexercisingpowerbutinsteadasserving
othersthepresentationandacceptanceoftheseclaimsiscriticaltotheir
legitimacyandauthority.Weber,however,sawthroughtheseclaims.According
tohim,thedepoliticizedcharacterofbureaucracythatlegitimatesitcouldbea
myth:Behindthefunctionalpurposes[ofbureaucracy],ofcourse,ideasof
culturevaluesusuallystand.
2
Bureaucraciesalwaysservesomesocial
purposeorsetofculturalvalues.
Page166
Thatpurposemaybenormativelygood,asWeberbelievedthePrussian
nationalismaroundhimwas,buttherewasnoapriorireasontoassumethis.
Inadditiontoembodyingculturalvaluesfromthelargerenvironmentthatmight
bedesirableornot,bureaucraciesalsocarrywiththembehavioraldispositions
andvaluesflowingfromtherationalitythatlegitimatesthemasaculturalform.
Someofthese,likethecelebrationofknowledgeandexpertise,Weber
admired.Othersconcernedhimgreatly,andhisdescriptionsofbureaucracyas
anironcageandbureaucratsasspecialistswithoutspiritarehardlyan
endorsementofthebureaucraticform.Bureaucracycanunderminepersonal
freedominimportantways.Theveryimpersonal,ruleboundcharacterthat
empowersbureaucracyalsodehumanizesit.Bureaucraciesoftenexercisetheir
powerinrepressiveways,inthenameofgeneralrulesbecauserulesaretheir
raisondtre.Thistendencyisexacerbatedbythewaybureaucraciesselectand
rewardnarrowedprofessionalsseekingsecurecareersinternallypeoplewho
arelackinginheroism,humanspontaneity,andinventiveness.
3
Following
Weber,weinvestigateratherthanassumethegoodnessofbureaucracy.
Webersinsightsprovideapowerfulcritiqueofthewaysinwhichinternational
relationsscholarshavetreatedIOs.Thelegitimacyofrationallegalauthority
suggeststhatIOsmayhaveanauthorityindependentofthepoliciesand
interestsofstatesthatcreatethem,apossibilityobscuredbythetechnicaland
apoliticaltreatmentofIOsbybothrealistsandneoliberals.Norhaverealists
andneoliberalsconsideredhowcontroloverinformationhandsIOsabasisof
autonomy.SusanStrange,attheforefrontamongrealistsinclaimingthat
informationispower,hasemphaticallystatedthatIOsaresimplytheagentsof
states.Neoliberalshavetendedtotreatinformationinahighlytechnocraticand
depoliticizedway,failingtoseehowinformationispower.AsIOscreate
transparenciesandlevelinformationasymmetriesamongstates(acommon
policyprescriptionofneoliberals)theycreatenewinformationasymmetries
betweenIOsandstates.GiventheneoliberalassumptionthatIOshavenogoals
independentofstates,suchasymmetriesareunimportantbutifIOshave
autonomousvaluesandbehavioralpredispositions,thensuchasymmetriesmay
behighlyconsequential.
ExamplesofthewaysinwhichIOshavebecomeautonomousbecauseoftheir
embodimentoftechnicalrationalityandcontroloverinformationarenothardto
find.TheUNspeacekeepersderivepartoftheirauthorityfromtheclaimthat
theyareindependent,objective,neutralactorswhosimplyimplementSecurity
Councilresolutions.UNofficialsroutinelyusethislanguagetodescribetheir
roleandareexplicitthattheyunderstandthistobethebasisoftheirinfluence.
Asaconsequence,UNofficialsspendconsiderabletimeandenergyattempting
tomaintaintheimagethattheyarenottheinstrumentofanygreatpowerand
mustbeseenasrepresentativesoftheinternationalcommunityasembodiedin
therulesandresolutionsoftheUN.TheWorldBankiswidelyrecognizedto
haveexercisedpoweroverdevelopmentpoliciesfargreaterthanitsbudget,as
apercentageofNorth/Southaidflows,wouldsuggestbecauseoftheexpertise
ithouses.Whilecompetingsitesofexpertiseindevelopmenthaveproliferatedin
recentyears,fordecadesafteritsfoundingtheWorldBankwasamagnetfor
thebestandbrightestamongdevelopmentexperts.Itsstaffhadand
continuestohaveimpressivecredentialsfromthemostprestigiousuniversities
andtheelaboratemodels,reports,andresearchgroupsithassponsoredover
theyearswerewidelyinfluentialamongthedevelopmentexpertsinthefield.
Thisexpertise,coupledwithitsclaimtoneutralityanditsapolitical
technocraticdecisionmakingstyle,havegiventheWorldBankanauthoritative
voicewithwhichithassuccessfullydictatedthecontent,direction,andscopeof
globaldevelopmentoverthepastfiftyyears.Similarly,officialstanding
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:21:01 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page166
Thatpurposemaybenormativelygood,asWeberbelievedthePrussian
nationalismaroundhimwas,buttherewasnoapriorireasontoassumethis.
Inadditiontoembodyingculturalvaluesfromthelargerenvironmentthatmight
bedesirableornot,bureaucraciesalsocarrywiththembehavioraldispositions
andvaluesflowingfromtherationalitythatlegitimatesthemasaculturalform.
Someofthese,likethecelebrationofknowledgeandexpertise,Weber
admired.Othersconcernedhimgreatly,andhisdescriptionsofbureaucracyas
anironcageandbureaucratsasspecialistswithoutspiritarehardlyan
endorsementofthebureaucraticform.Bureaucracycanunderminepersonal
freedominimportantways.Theveryimpersonal,ruleboundcharacterthat
empowersbureaucracyalsodehumanizesit.Bureaucraciesoftenexercisetheir
powerinrepressiveways,inthenameofgeneralrulesbecauserulesaretheir
raisondtre.Thistendencyisexacerbatedbythewaybureaucraciesselectand
rewardnarrowedprofessionalsseekingsecurecareersinternallypeoplewho
arelackinginheroism,humanspontaneity,andinventiveness.
3
Following
Weber,weinvestigateratherthanassumethegoodnessofbureaucracy.
Webersinsightsprovideapowerfulcritiqueofthewaysinwhichinternational
relationsscholarshavetreatedIOs.Thelegitimacyofrationallegalauthority
suggeststhatIOsmayhaveanauthorityindependentofthepoliciesand
interestsofstatesthatcreatethem,apossibilityobscuredbythetechnicaland
apoliticaltreatmentofIOsbybothrealistsandneoliberals.Norhaverealists
andneoliberalsconsideredhowcontroloverinformationhandsIOsabasisof
autonomy.SusanStrange,attheforefrontamongrealistsinclaimingthat
informationispower,hasemphaticallystatedthatIOsaresimplytheagentsof
states.Neoliberalshavetendedtotreatinformationinahighlytechnocraticand
depoliticizedway,failingtoseehowinformationispower.AsIOscreate
transparenciesandlevelinformationasymmetriesamongstates(acommon
policyprescriptionofneoliberals)theycreatenewinformationasymmetries
betweenIOsandstates.GiventheneoliberalassumptionthatIOshavenogoals
independentofstates,suchasymmetriesareunimportantbutifIOshave
autonomousvaluesandbehavioralpredispositions,thensuchasymmetriesmay
behighlyconsequential.
ExamplesofthewaysinwhichIOshavebecomeautonomousbecauseoftheir
embodimentoftechnicalrationalityandcontroloverinformationarenothardto
find.TheUNspeacekeepersderivepartoftheirauthorityfromtheclaimthat
theyareindependent,objective,neutralactorswhosimplyimplementSecurity
Councilresolutions.UNofficialsroutinelyusethislanguagetodescribetheir
roleandareexplicitthattheyunderstandthistobethebasisoftheirinfluence.
Asaconsequence,UNofficialsspendconsiderabletimeandenergyattempting
tomaintaintheimagethattheyarenottheinstrumentofanygreatpowerand
mustbeseenasrepresentativesoftheinternationalcommunityasembodiedin
therulesandresolutionsoftheUN.TheWorldBankiswidelyrecognizedto
haveexercisedpoweroverdevelopmentpoliciesfargreaterthanitsbudget,as
apercentageofNorth/Southaidflows,wouldsuggestbecauseoftheexpertise
ithouses.Whilecompetingsitesofexpertiseindevelopmenthaveproliferatedin
recentyears,fordecadesafteritsfoundingtheWorldBankwasamagnetfor
thebestandbrightestamongdevelopmentexperts.Itsstaffhadand
continuestohaveimpressivecredentialsfromthemostprestigiousuniversities
andtheelaboratemodels,reports,andresearchgroupsithassponsoredover
theyearswerewidelyinfluentialamongthedevelopmentexpertsinthefield.
Thisexpertise,coupledwithitsclaimtoneutralityanditsapolitical
technocraticdecisionmakingstyle,havegiventheWorldBankanauthoritative
voicewithwhichithassuccessfullydictatedthecontent,direction,andscopeof
globaldevelopmentoverthepastfiftyyears.Similarly,officialstanding
Page167
andlongexperiencewithreliefeffortshaveendowedtheUNHCRwithexpert
statusandconsequentauthorityinrefugeematters.Thisexpertise,coupledwith
itsroleinimplementinginternationalrefugeeconventionsandlaw(therules
regardingrefugees),hasallowedtheUNHCRtomakelifeanddeathdecisions
aboutrefugeeswithoutconsultingtherefugees,themselves,andtocompromise
theauthorityofstatesinvariouswaysinsettinguprefugeecamps.Notethat,as
theseexamplesshow,technicalknowledgeandexpertiseneednotbe
scientificinnaturetocreateautonomyandpowerforIOs.
ThepowerofIOs
IfIOshaveautonomyandauthorityintheworld,whatdotheydowithit?A
growingbodyofresearchinsociologyandanthropologyhasexaminedwaysin
whichIOsexercisepowerbyvirtueoftheirculturallyconstructedstatusassites
ofauthoritywedistillfromthisresearchthreebroadtypesofIOpower.We
examinehowIOs(1)classifytheworld,creatingcategoriesofactorsand
action(2)fixmeaningsinthesocialworldand(3)articulateanddiffusenew
norms,principles,andactorsaroundtheglobe.Allofthesesourcesofpower
flowfromtheabilityofIOstostructureknowledge.
Classification
Anelementaryfeatureofbureaucraciesisthattheyclassifyandorganize
informationandknowledge.Thisclassificationprocessisboundupwithpower.
Bureaucracies,writesDonHandelman,arewaysofmaking,ordering,and
knowingsocialworlds.Theydothisbymovingpersonsamongsocial
categoriesorbyinventingandapplyingsuchcategories.
4
Theabilitytoclassify
objects,toshifttheirverydefinitionandidentity,isoneofbureaucracys
greatestsourcesofpower.Thispowerisfrequentlytreatedbytheobjectsof
thatpowerasaccomplishedthroughcapriceandwithoutregardtotheir
circumstancesbutislegitimatedandjustifiedbybureaucratswithreferenceto
therulesandregulationsofthebureaucracy.Consequencesofthisbureaucratic
exerciseofpowermaybeidentitydefining,orevenlifethreatening.
Considertheevolvingdefinitionofrefugee.Thecategoryrefugeeisnotatall
straightforwardandmustbedistinguishedfromothercategoriesofindividuals
whoaretemporarilyandinvoluntarilylivingoutsidetheircountryoforigin
displacedpersons,exiles,economicmigrants,guestworkers,diaspora
communities,andthoseseekingpoliticalasylum.Thedebateoverthemeaning
ofrefugeehasbeenwagedinandaroundtheUNHCR.TheUNHCRslegal
andoperationaldefinitionofthecategorystronglyinfluencesdecisionsabout
whoisarefugeeandshapesUNHCRstaffdecisionsinthefielddecisionsthat
haveatremendouseffectonthelifecircumstanceofthousandsofpeople.These
categoriesarenotonlypoliticalandlegalbutalsodiscursive,shapingaview
amongUNHCRofficialsthatrefugeesmust,bydefinition,bepowerless,and
thataspowerlessactorstheydonothavetobeconsultedindecisionssuchas
asylumandrepatriationthatwilldirectlyanddramaticallyaffectthem.GuyGran
similarlydescribeshowtheWorldBanksetsupcriteriatodefinesomeoneasa
peasantinordertodistinguishthemfromafarmer,daylaborer,andother
categories.Theclassificationmattersbecauseonlycertainclassesofpeopleare
recognizedbytheWorldBanksdevelopmentmachineryashavingknowledge
thatisrelevantinsolvingdevelopmentproblems.
5
Categorizationand
classificationareaubiquitousfeatureofbureaucratizationthathaspotentially
importantimplicationsforthosebeingclassified.Toclassifyistoengageinan
actofpower.
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EBSCO Publishing - NetLibrary; printed on 9/13/2010 1:21:02 PM via Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Library
eISBN:9780203682753; Little, Richard; Smith, Michael : Perspectives On World Politics
Account: -239358089
Page167
andlongexperiencewithreliefeffortshaveendowedtheUNHCRwithexpert
statusandconsequentauthorityinrefugeematters.Thisexpertise,coupledwith
itsroleinimplementinginternationalrefugeeconventionsandlaw(therules
regardingrefugees),hasallowedtheUNHCRtomakelifeanddeathdecisions
aboutrefugeeswithoutconsultingtherefugees,themselves,andtocompromise
theauthorityofstatesinvariouswaysinsettinguprefugeecamps.Notethat,as
theseexamplesshow,technicalknowledgeandexpertiseneednotbe
scientificinnaturetocreateautonomyandpowerforIOs.
ThepowerofIOs
IfIOshaveautonomyandauthorityintheworld,whatdotheydowithit?A
growingbodyofresearchinsociologyandanthropologyhasexaminedwaysin
whichIOsexercisepowerbyvirtueoftheirculturallyconstructedstatusassites
ofauthoritywedistillfromthisresearchthreebroadtypesofIOpower.We
examinehowIOs(1)classifytheworld,creatingcategoriesofactorsand
action(2)fixmeaningsinthesocialworldand(3)articulateanddiffusenew
norms,principles,andactorsaroundtheglobe.Allofthesesourcesofpower
flowfromtheabilityofIOstostructureknowledge.
Classification
Anelementaryfeatureofbureaucraciesisthattheyclassifyandorganize
informationandknowledge.Thisclassificationprocessisboundupwithpower.
Bureaucracies,writesDonHandelman,arewaysofmaking,ordering,and
knowingsocialworlds.Theydothisbymovingpersonsamongsocial
categoriesorbyinventingandapplyingsuchcategories.
4
Theabilitytoclassify
objects,toshifttheirverydefinitionandidentity,isoneofbureaucracys
greatestsourcesofpower.Thispowerisfrequentlytreatedbytheobjectsof
thatpowerasaccomplishedthroughcapriceandwithoutregardtotheir
circumstancesbutislegitimatedandjustifiedbybureaucratswithreferenceto
therulesandregulationsofthebureaucracy.Consequencesofthisbureaucratic
exerciseofpowermaybeidentitydefining,orevenlifethreatening.
Considertheevolvingdefinitionofrefugee.Thecategoryrefugeeisnotatall
straightforwardandmustbedistinguishedfromothercategoriesofindividuals
whoaretemporarilyandinvoluntarilylivingoutsidetheircountryoforigin
displacedpersons,exiles,economicmigrants,guestworkers,diaspora
communities,andthoseseekingpoliticalasylum.Thedebateoverthemeaning
ofrefugeehasbeenwagedinandaroundtheUNHCR.TheUNHCRslegal
andoperationaldefinitionofthecategorystronglyinfluencesdecisionsabout
whoisarefugeeandshapesUNHCRstaffdecisionsinthefielddecisionsthat
haveatremendouseffectonthelifecircumstanceofthousandsofpeople.These
categoriesarenotonlypoliticalandlegalbutalsodiscursive,shapingaview
amongUNHCRofficialsthatrefugeesmust,bydefinition,bepowerless,and
thataspowerlessactorstheydonothavetobeconsultedindecisionssuchas
asylumandrepatriationthatwilldirectlyanddramaticallyaffectthem.GuyGran
similarlydescribeshowtheWorldBanksetsupcriteriatodefinesomeoneasa
peasantinordertodistinguishthemfromafarmer,daylaborer,andother
categories.Theclassificationmattersbecauseonlycertainclassesofpeopleare
recognizedbytheWorldBanksdevelopmentmachineryashavingknowledge
thatisrelevantinsolvingdevelopmentproblems.
5
Categorizationand
classificationareaubiquitousfeatureofbureaucratizationthathaspotentially
importantimplicationsforthosebeingclassified.Toclassifyistoengageinan
actofpower.