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III

The Actors in International Politics

States, Institutions, and Individuals

18. J. David Singer

The Level-of-Analysis Problem in International Relations

19. Ole R. Holsti Models of International Relations and Foreign Policy

20. Graham T. Allison Conceptual Models and the Cuban Missile Crisis

The Rise of Non-State Actors

21. Richard Mansbach, Yale, H. Ferguson, and Donald E. Lampert Towards a New Conceptualization of Global Politics

22. Michael N. Barnett and Martha Finnemore The Politics, Power and Pathologies of International Organizations

23. Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink Advocacy Networks in International Politics

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2 The Actors in International Politics

INTRODUCTION

One of the perennial issues facing scholars of international relations concerns their focus of attention. Should it be on the macro-level of the international system or the micro-level of the national state? The answer will, of course, vary both for different scholars and for the same scholars at different times. Each approach, however, has certain advantages and weaknesses. These are outlined in J. David Singer’s classic examination of the level-of-analysis prob- lem in international relations. As well as warning of the dangers of moving too easily from one level to another, Singer—whose subsequent work has included a long-term project (the correlates of war) employing quantitative approaches to the study of war—identifies some problems that occur when focusing at each level. Keeping Singer’s warning in mind, this section focuses not on the interna- tional system as a whole but on the units operating within the system. Even when one focuses on the unit level, however, there are still several outstanding issues, the most important of which concern the nature of the major units or actors. One possible focus is on the state and its major attributes as an actor in international relations. It is equally important, however, to focus on the decision-making process within states as well as the rise of non-state actors.

THE STATE AS ACTOR

Although the nation-state emerged as the dominant actor in the international system, to do so it had to triumph over several other forms of social and polit- ical organization: the city-state, the empire, and feudalism. 1 The contempo- rary nation-state is characterized by jurisdiction over territory, a political and administrative apparatus, and the state recognizes no higher constitutional authority than itself. 2 Although often treated as synonymous with in dependence, there is an important difference: sovereignty is essentially a legal concept whereas indepen- dence is a political matter. States can be formally sovereign even though they may heavily depend on others in practice. At the same time, the principle of sov- ereignty is essential to the functioning of the society of states and the mainte- nance of international order. Once a state is recognized as a sovereign entity, then others are obligated to refrain from intervention in its affairs. Indeed, the counterpart to the notion of sovereignty is the norm of non-intervention. 3 And although this norm is frequently breached, this cannot be done unless extraordinary justifications or rationales are provided. Sovereignty does not prevent intervention or interference in the internal affairs of states, but it does at least inhibit this kind of activity. The idea of the state as the dominant actor in international relations also has an intellectual appeal—it leads to a focus on the capabilities of the state and the interactions of states with one another. This approach, sometimes

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termed the billiard ball approach, has been elaborated most succinctly by Arnold Wolfers, one of the major theorists of international relations in the 1950s and early 1960s, and is encapsulated in the short excerpt from his col- lected works entitled Discord and Collaboration. One of the great strengths of the billiard ball approach is parsimony; another is that it captures the con- stants in state behavior—the concern with power and security—that tran- scend the particular political incumbents at any one time. Yet, these considerations have been seen in some quarters as the main weakness of an exclusive focus on states as actors. Indeed, the most important source of the challenge to state dominance as the predominant mode of discourse in inter- national relations, has been a fundamental dissatisfaction with analysis which treats the state as a unitary monolithic actor.

INSTITUTIONS AND INDIVIDUALS AS ACTORS

One difficulty with an exclusive focus on the state is that this encourages reifi- cation and ignores the existence of decision makers who act on behalf of the state. Certain actions are attributed to France, to the United States, to Russia, to Nigeria, or to Israel, for example, rather than to the governments and indi- viduals who made the decisions and the organizations that implemented them. One reaction to this focus was the development of the foreign policy decision- making approach to the study of international politics. This began in the 1950s with the work of Snyder, Bruck, and Sapin. 4 By focusing not on the state as actor, but on those acting on behalf of the state, the decision-making approach opened the way was open for a much fuller examination of politi- cal, psychological, and sociological variables. This is reflected in the selections we have chosen. The analysis by Ole R. Holsti, a distinguished political scientist, highlights several challenges to the dominant state as actor approach (which is also embedded in realism and neo- realism). Holsti looks at liberal theories which emphasize that the issue-areas facing states have broadened beyond the traditional issues of war and peace; surveys world systems theory which emphasizes the capitalist economy rather than the nation-state as the focus of attention; and highlights decision-making perspectives which offer a more finely granulated approach to foreign policy than does the state as actor perspective. As he puts it in the article we have included in our selections, “decision-making models challenge the premise that it is fruitful to conceptualize the nation as a unitary rational actor whose behav- ior can adequately be conceptualized by reference to the system structure because individuals, groups and organizations acting in the name of the state are also sensitive to pressures and constraints other than international ones, including elite maintenance, electoral politics, public opinion, pressure group activities, ideological preferences, and bureaucratic politics”. Holsti subse- quently surveys three models of decision-making—individual, group dynamics, and bureaucratic politics. Significantly, in some of his other work, he focused on

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4 The Actors in International Politics

cognitive dynamics and other psychological variables highlighting the ways in which they impacted on foreign policy. Indeed, in the previous edition of this volume we included a piece by Holsti showing how the views of the Soviet Union held by Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, led him to dismiss Soviet overtures as tricks rather than as serious offers to negotiate. 5 If the emphasis by Hoslti and others on cognitive and psychological vari- ables challenged the idea that states or governments act rationally and according to simple calculations of costs and gains, this notion was contested even more vigorously by Graham Allison, in a famous and often quoted article published in the American Political Science Review in 1969 (parts of which are reproduced here) and in his subsequent hook, Essence of Decision. 6 In both of these studies, Allison, who subsequently be came dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, disaggregated government, suggesting that concepts based on the presumption of a single monolithic actor in rational pursuit of a coherent set of objectives were fundamentally flawed. As an alternative to the rational actor model of state behavior, Allison suggested two approaches. The first was the organizational process model, a model that focused on organiza- tional routines and argued that the implementation of policy could often be under- stood only in terms of standard operational procedures developed and carried out by large, complex bureaucratic organizations. The second was a governmental politics model that emphasized that government consisted of multiple players in particular positions in the bureaucracy. From this perspective, decisions are reached as a result of an intense bargaining process in which the stance of the participants is determined largely by their governmental or bureaucratic respon- sibilities. Consequently, foreign policy decisions are not the product of rational calculation about what is good for the state; rather, they are a compromise—and sometimes compromised— product of the internal bargaining process.

THE RISE OF NON-STATE ACTORS

One of the underlying premises of the decision-making approach in its vari- ous manifestations concerned the necessity of efforts to un-package the “black box” of the state as actor. Another challenge to the dominance of the state- centric model, however, came from critics who saw the focus on the state as missing many aspects of international activity and ignoring not only non-state actors but also other dimensions of international relations. Sonic of the selec- tions we have reproduced here develop this theme. Those who point to the emergence of non-state actors also tend to empha- size the interconnections between the international economic system and the international political system. They also argue that many of the new transna- tional actors in international relations, whether terrorist groups or economic corporations, are rarely under the control of nation-states. This is not to ignore the support that terrorist groups receive from certain states; nor is it to deny that many of the corporations with far-flung economic activities are based predominantly in the United States, Japan, and Western Europe. It is simply to

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note that such groups and corporations act not only independently of the host government but, on occasion, even against the will of this government. The rise of non-state actors such as multinational corporations is part of a broader pattern discussed by Mansbach, Ferguson, and Lampert largely in terms of the growth of complex interdependencies in the international system. As the selection makes clear, the basic premise of these authors is that “individ- uals and groups become functionally linked as they discover that they share common interests and common needs that transcend existing organizational frontiers.” From this, they go on to argue that the inability of nation-states to satisfy the demands of their populations or to cope with problems not solely under their jurisdiction, is partly the result of the growing expectations of these populations and partly the result of “the growing complexity and specializa- tion of functional systems.” Not surprisingly, therefore, other actors have emerged to complement and supplement the activities of the nation-state. In this selection, six types of international actor are identified by the authors, who contend that the traditional stare-centric model of the international system needs to he replaced by what they call the “complex conglomerate system.” One of the categories identified by Manshach, Ferguson, and Lampert is that of the “interstate governmental actor.” This encompasses such regional security organizations as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as well as global actors like the United Nations. International organizations are the subject of the article by Michael N Barnett and Martha Finnemore, parts of which we have excerpted in this section. In some respects, the analysis by Barnett and Finnemore incorpo- rates an imaginative extension of the bureaucratic politics model enunciated by Graham Allison, while developing a novel and unconventional approach to the analysis of international organizations. Unlike many analysts of international relations, they do not simply extol the virtues of organizations such as the United Nations. On the contrary, they use an approach based on sociological institution- alism to explain the power of international organizations—which they see as far greater than do most liberal institutionalists—as well as their capacity for dys- functional or pathological behavior. In their view, international organizations can exercise power independently of the states that created them. Yet some of the things that help to endow international organizations with power also create pathologies that inhibit or distort the way power is exercised. Another kind of non-state actor—the transnational advocacy network—is discussed in the excerpt from the work of Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sickink. These authors focus on what they describe as a subset of issues “characterized by the prominence of principled ideas and a central role for nongovernmental organizations” which tend to form transnational networks to maximize their impact. The global movement to ban land-mines, the work of NGOs to com- bat trafficking in women and children, and the transnational activities of envi- ronmental activists are all examples of the kind of networks on which Keck and Sickink focus. Indeed, they explain why these transnational networks have emerged and explore the techniques and strategies they use. Overall, this section highlights the diversity of approaches and key con- troversies about what the primary focus of attention should he in terms of

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6 The Actors in International Politics

identifying and analyzing international actors. Several observations can he made about this issue. First, diversity of approach should he regarded primar- ily as a sign of intellectual health in the discipline. International relations is a vast and complex subject that can be fully understood only through a variety of analyses with different approaches and emphases. Second, and following on from this, different approaches should not be regarded as mutually exclusive. International relations continues to be domi- nated both by states and by a variety of non-state actors. Many transnational interactions are not under the control of states but will nevertheless be affected by decisions taken by states. Conversely, the state in turn will be affected by the actions of other actors and by the complex web of transnational interactions that has become an increasingly important element in international relations. Third, it is worth emphasizing that not all these non-state actors are benign. Keck and Sickink focus on transnational advocacy networks that are part of global civil society; it is equally important to focus on transnational criminal and terrorist networks which are part of an uncivil society, are malev- olent in intent, and impact adversely on international security and stability. Not all Hobbesian or Machiavellian actors are states, and not all non-state actors adhere to Kantian or Grotian principles. It would be a mistake, there- fore, for liberal institutionalists to assume that non-state or sovereignty-free actors are always positive in intent or effect. Indeed the impact of the transna- tional advocacy networks could well be outweighed by the impact of subter- ranean networks which challenge global norms, undermine global governance, and seek to neutralize rather than mobilize the power of states. The fourth observation concerns the other challenge to the state-centric model: a focus on decision making by governments and policymakers. Although this approach has illuminated both psychological and organizational variables, which often have a profound impact on foreign policy, it is worth emphasizing that those who act on behalf of states are compelled to fulfill cer- tain roles and responsibilities. One difficulty with the governmental politics model of Graham Allison is that it largely ignores the imperatives that propel decision-making groups toward agreement. Moreover, Allison’s bureaucratic politics model, in effect, replaces the rational statesman who attempts to maxi- mize the interests of the state in the international game with a rational bureau- crat who attempts to maximize personal and organizational interests in the domestic governmental game. While it would be foolish to deny that calcula- tions of domestic political advantage often intrude into the foreign policy pro- cess, it is equally foolish to ignore the pressures from the international system or the responsibility upon policymakers to act as the custodians of state inter- ests in the international strategic game. Policymakers in international politics, for example, cannot he oblivious to challenges to national security. This imposes a degree of uniformity on states or those who act on their behalf regardless of their personal preferences and predilections. 7 As the reader exam- ines the selections dealing with the nature of the actors in international rela- tions, the extent to which these actors have to respond to their environment

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should be borne in mind. The nature of that environment and the patterns of conflict and cooperation within it are explored more fully in Section IV.

Notes

1.

For a fuller analysis, see Robert Gilpin, War and Change in World Polities (Cambridge: Cam bridge University Press, 1981).

2.

Alan James, Sovereign Statehood (London: Allen and Unwin, 1986)

3.

This is developed in John Vincent, Nonintervention and International Order (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974).

4.

R. C. Snyder, H. W. Bruck, and B. M. Sapin, Foreign Policy Decision-Making: An Approach to the Study of International Politics (New York: Free Press, 1962).

5.

A

similar approach was also used to study other decision-makers. See, for example,

Harvey Starr, Henry Kissinger: Perceptions of International Politics (Lexington:

University Press of Kentucky, 1984).

6.

Graham Allison, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis (Boston:

L

Brown, J 971).

7.

This issue is examined in a very interesting way in Arnold Wolfers, Discord and Collaboration (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1962), Pp. 3—24.

23

RICHARD

MANSBACH,

Y ALE

H.

FERGUSON,

AND

DONALD

E.

LAMPERT

Towards a New Conceptualization of Global Politics

THE EMERGENCE AND DISAPPEARANCE OF ACTORS

Individuals and groups become functionally linked as they discover that they share common interests and common needs that transcend existing organizational fron- tiers. They may then develop common views and even cooperative approaches to the problems that they confront. The complexity of contemporary modes of

Source: From The Web of World Politics: Nonstate Actors in the Global System (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1976), pp. 32–45. © 1976. Reprinted by permission of Prentice- Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

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8 The Actors in International Politics

industrial production, for example, may generate a linkage between business firms in different countries that depend upon each other for raw materials, parts, expertise, or marketing facilities. Industrialists in several countries may discover that they share problems with which they can cope more effectively by pooling their resources; they may seek, for instance, common tax and pric- ing policies from the governments of the states in which they reside. In the course of collaborating, their common or complementary interests may grow and deepen beyond mere economic expediency. “There is,” argues Werner Feld, “an emotive side to such efforts which produces in the staff members concerned with collaboration a distinct feeling of being involved in a ‘united or cooperative’ endeavor.” 1 When one begins to identify the many functional systems that link men, the world appears “like millions of cobwebs superimposed one upon another, covering the whole globe.” 2 Functional systems themselves tend to be interde- pendent and related to each other in complex ways. Each system requires the existence of others to perform effectively; in this respect systems, too, may be said to be linked. In J. W. Burton’s words:

Linked systems create clusters that tend to be concentrated geographically

Linked systems tend to consolidate into administrative

solidated

tity and a legitimized status within their environment. 3

Once con-

linked systems and their administrative controls acquire an iden-

From this perspective, governments of nation-states may be seen as func- tional (administrative) systems whose central function since the seventeenth century has been to regulate and manage clusters of other functional systems. More accurately perhaps, in their function as administrators for many func- tional systems, states have been essentially multifunctional actors organizing collective efforts toward objectives which could not be realized by individuals in their private capacity. The boundaries of nation-states have tended to coin- cide with the boundaries of other functional systems, and therefore political frontiers have seemed to represent “marked discontinuities in the frequency of transactions and marked discontinuities in the frequency of responses.” 4 States were able to control and limit the transactions which crossed their frontiers as well as those that occurred within their borders. As long as states remained relatively impermeable, they were able, for example, to regulate the economic or cultural relations of their citizens with those living abroad and with foreign nationals. The question of human loyalties is not one that can be settled once and for all; loyalties constantly shift as men perceive that their interests and aspi- rations are more fully represented by new groups. As Arnold Wolfers noted some years ago, “attention must be focused on the individual human beings for whom identification is a psychological event.” 5 To the degree that human loyalties are divided between states and other groups, the latter can become significant global actors. Several major trends have contributed to these developments.

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The proliferation and increasing potential destructiveness of thermonu- clear weapons have made the prospect of war between the superpowers “unthinkable” and have contributed to the erosion of the great postwar ideological blocs.

Conventional military force and intervention have become less effective in coping with certain problems, as evidenced by the French defeat in Algeria and the American debacle in Vietnam.

As nuclear and conventional warfare have become more expensive to con- template and less effective, new means of gaining infiuence, including guerrilla warfare, political terrorism, economic boycott, and political pro- paganda, have become more common, thereby permitting actors lacking the traditional instruments of power to exercise considerable influence and enjoy considerable autonomy.

Even more frightening is the possibility that such actors may gain access to modern technology.

In addition, the diminution of the central ideological cleavage, the resurgence of Europe, China, and Japan, and the independence of a multitude of small and poor nation-states in Africa and Asia have led to the emergence of other cleavages, some global and many of a regional and local scope, and have there- fore encouraged the “regionalization” or “localization” of international con- flict. “The structure of the international system,” Jorge Domínguez declares, “has been transformed through a process of fragmentation of the linkages of the center of the system to its peripheries and of those between the continental subsystems of the peripheries.” 8 The new conflicts that have surfaced revolve around questions such as national self-determination, local border adjust- ment, economic inequality and exploitation, and racial or ethnic discrimina- tion. These are questions that encourage the shifting of people’s loyalties away from institutions that formerly held their affections. At root, the twentieth-century emergence of new actors in the global sys- tem reflects the inability of territorially-limited nation-states to respond to, cope with, or suppress changing popular demands.

Popular demands can be suppressed (and often are) by existing authori- ties; they can be fulfilled by them

Or they can lead to the emergence of new political structures designed to fulfill them.

Thus, when a state can no longer guarantee the defense of its subjects, it may be conquered and eliminated as happened to eighteenth-century Poland. Conversely, the integration of existing units, like the merger of two corpora- tions, or the creation of new nation-state actors such as the United States in 1776, Biafra (temporarily) in 1968, and Bangladesh in 1971, are partly the consequence of demands for a more capable and responsive performance of certain tasks—demands that were neither suppressed nor fulfilled.

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Today the global system is complexly interdependent owing in part to improved communications and transportation. People’s lives are being touched and affected ever more profoundly by decisions made outside their own national states. Their demands for justice, equality, prosperity, and inde- pendence tend to increase and further tax the capacity of existing nation- states. We are in the midst of a revolution of “rising expectations” in which the achievements of people in one corner of the system generate demands for similar achievements elsewhere. When these demands remain unanswered, they may lead to intense frustration. Thus, the frustration of large numbers of Arabs at continued Israeli occupation of Palestine and the failure of Arab gov- ernments to satisfy their claims have led to the creation of Palestinian terrorist and liberation groups, the organization and behavior of which are in part pat- terned after successful movements in Algeria, Cuba, and Vietnam. In the contemporary world demands such as those for defense, full employment, or social reform place overwhelming burdens on the resources of poor states. Others, increasingly, are beyond the capacity of any single nation-state to fulfill. As Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye observe:

It is clear that most if not all governments will find it very difficult to cope with many aspects of transnational relations in the decade of the 1970s and Outer space, the oceans, and the internationalization of pro- duction are only three of the most obvious areas in which intergovernmental control may be demanded in the form of new international laws or new orga- nizations or both. 9

One way in which national governments may seek to deal with transnational pressures is through the creation of specialized intergovernmental actors which acquire limited global roles. The emergence of regional agencies and organizations and those associated with the United Nations attests to the growth of large-scale functional systems with their own administrative overseers. Such organizations reinforce pre-existing linkages or create new ones. 10 Intergovernmental organiza- tions that have achieved some measure of autonomy, however, are often engaged in highly technical and relatively nonpolitical tasks. In those areas where govern- ments resist transnational pressures, other groups may emerge.

GLOBAL TASKS

There are at least four general types of tasks that can be performed by actors:

1. Physical protection or security which involves the protection of men and their values from coercive deprivation either by other members within the group or by individuals or groups outside it.

2. Economic development and regulation which comprise activities that are intended to overcome the constraints imposed on individual or collective capacity for self-development and growth by the scarcity or distribution of material resources.

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3. Residual public interest tasks which involve activities that are designed to overcome constraints other than economic, such as dis- ease or ignorance, that restrict individual or collective capacity for self-development and growth.

4. Group status which refers to the provision of referent identification through collective symbols that bind the individual to others, provide him with psychological and emotional security, and distinguish him in some manner from others who are not members of the group. Such symbols are often grounded in ethnicity, nationality, class, religion, and kinship.

The behavior of actors in the global system involves the performance of one or more of the foregoing tasks in cooperation or competition with other actors responding to the actual or anticipated demands of their “constituencies.” Although governments of nation-states customarily perform these tasks “domestically,” tasks become relevant at the “international” level when a government acts to protect its citizens from externally-imposed change or to adapt them to such change. For example, the regulation of the domestic econ- omy to create and sustain full employment is not itself an internationally-rele- vant task. When, however, tariffs are imposed on imports or the currency is devalued, the behavior acquires significance for the global system. Others out- side the state are affected and made to bear the burdens of the “domestic” economic adjustment. The increasing size and complexity of systems and institutions threaten individuals with a sense of helplessness in a world dominated by large imper- sonal forces where rapid change and “future shock” are common. Many small and new nation-states are only barely (if at all) able to provide physical secu- rity, economic satisfaction, or social welfare for their citizens. On the other hand, often they do provide their citizens with an emotionally-comforting sense of national identity and “in-group” unity. In this respect these states (as well as some nonstate units) can be seen as rather specialized actors in an increasingly interdependent world.12

The Panoply of Global Actors

We can identify at least six types of actors in the contemporary global system. The first type is the interstate governmental actor (IGO) composed of gov- ernmental representatives from more than one state. Sometimes known as “international” or “supranational” organizations, depending upon their degree of autonomy, they include as members two or more national govern- ments. Since the beginning of the nineteenth century, the number of such orga- nizations has increased even more rapidly than has the number of nation-states.13 Examples of this type of actor include military alliances such as NATO and the Warsaw Pact, universal organizations such as the League of Nations or the United Nations, and special purpose organizations such as the

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12 The Actors in International Politics

European Economic Community (EEC) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU).

In 1972 there were at least 280 such actors in the international system. 14

Second Type of Actor (Sample Three Head)

A second type is the interstate nongovernmental actor. Sometimes referred to

as “transnational” or “crossnational,” this type of actor encompasses individ- uals who reside in several nation-states but who do not represent any of the governments of these states. According to the Yearbook of International Organizations, there were at least 2,190 such organizations in 1972 as com- pared to under 1,000 in 1958. 15 These groups are functionally diverse and include religious groups such as the International Council of Jewish Women, the Salvation Army, and the World Muslim Congress; trade unions such as the Caribbean Congress of Labor and the World Confederation of Labor; and social welfare organizations such as the International Red Cross or Kiwanis International. (The Yearbook may, in fact, not include the most significant of these groups because it omits multinational corporations and terrorist and revolutionary groups.) While many of these actors seek to avoid involvement

in politically-sensitive questions, some behave autonomously and do become

so embroiled. This is illustrated by the role of the International Red Cross in the Nigerian-Biafran civil war 16 and the confiict culminating in 1968 between Standard of New Jersey’s subsidiary, the International Petroleum Corporation, and the government of Peru. The multinational corporation in particular is becoming a major transnational actor, rendering more obsolete the state-cen- tric model of international interaction. 17

ANOTHER TYPE OF ACTOR (SAMPLE FOUR HEAD)

A third type of actor is commonly known as the nation-state. It consists of

personnel from the agencies of a single central government. Though often regarded as unified entities, national governments are often more usefully

identified in terms of their parts such as ministries and legislatures. On occa- sion, the “parts” may behave autonomously with little reference to other gov- ernment bureaucracies. “The apparatus of each national government,” declares Graham Allison, “constitutes a complex arena for the intranational game.” 18 The ministries that make up large governments bargain with each other and regularly approach “national questions with parochial or particu- larist views; each may view the “national interest” from a different stand- point. For instance, it has been alleged that the American Central Intelligence Agency has, on occasion, formulated and carried out policy independently and without the complete knowledge or approval of elected officials. No More Actors There is the governmental noncentral actor com- posed of personnel from regional, parochial, or municipal governments within

a single state or of colonial officials representing the state. Such parochial

bureaucracies and officials generally are only peripherally concerned with world politics or, at most, have an indirect impact on the global political system.

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TABLE 1 The Realist Paradigm and Integrationist Findings

Assumptions of Political Realism as Applied to International Relations

Findings of Integration Studies in the 1950s and 1960s

Impacts on the Discipline of International Relations

States and nation-states are the only consequential actors in international relations International relations

results from foreign policies result from foreign

directed toward enhancing national security

States and nation-states are not the only consequential actors in international relations International relations

policies directed toward enhancing national welfare International relations are fundamentally collaborative processes played out in positive sum matrices

International relations are fundamentally conflict processes played out in zero-sum matrices

Orthodoxy was brought into question

Orthodoxy was brought into question and theoretical analyses were initiated

Orthodoxy was brought into question and theoretical and empirical inquiries were inititated

Source: From R. L. Merritt and Bruce M. Russett (eds.)., From National Development to Global Community (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1981), p. 149.

Occasionally, however, they have a direct impact when they serve as the core of secessionist movements or when they establish and maintain direct contact with other actors. In this context, the provincial officials of Katanga, Biafra, and in the 1860’s the American South come to mind. A fifth type is the intrastate nongovernmental actor consisting of non- governmental groups or individuals located primarily within a single state. Again, this type of actor is generally thought of as subject to the regulation of a central government, at least in matters of foreign policy. Yet, such groups, ranging from philanthropic organizations and political parties to ethnic com- munities, labor unions, and industrial corporations may, from time to time, conduct relations directly with autonomous actors other than their own gov- ernment. In this category, we find groups as disparate as the Ford Foundation, Oxfam, the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the Jewish Agency, and the Irish Republican Army. Finally, individuals in their private capacity are, on occasion, able to behave autonomously in the global arena. Such “international” individuals were more common before the emergence of the nation-state, particularly as diplomatic or military mercenaries. More recently, one might think of the American industrialist Andrew Carnegie who willed ten million dollars for “the speedy abolition of war between the so-called civilized nations,” the Swedish soldier Count Gustaf von Rosen who was responsible for creating a Biafran air force during the Nigerian civil war, or the Argentine revolutionary Ché Guevara. Figure 2 relates actors to the tasks mentioned above and suggests the range of actors that exist in the global system and the principal tasks they perform.

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Figure 2 Actors Defined by Membership and Principal Task

 

physical

public

group

protection

economic

interest

status

interstate

     

British

governmental

NATO

GATT

WHO

Commonwealth

interstate

 

Royal

   

nongovernmental

Al Fatah

Dutch

International

Comintern

Petroleum

nation-state

Turkish Cypriot

U. S.

   

Government

Dept. of

HEW

Biafra

Officials

Commerce

governmental

       

noncentral

Confederacy

Katanga

New York City

Quebec

intrastate

Jewish

     

nongovernmental

Defense

CARE

Ford

Ibo tribe

League

Foundation

individual

Gustav von Rosen

Jean Monnet

Andrew Carnegie

Dalai Lama

The entries in the matrix are illustrative and indicate that these actors at some point in time have performed these functions in ways relevant for the global system. Some categories may have many representatives; others only a few.

THE COMPLEX CONGLOMERATE SYSTEM

Our analysis up to this point enables us to return to the question of the struc- ture and processes of the global political system. The contemporary global system defies many conventional descriptions of its structure as bipolar, multi- polar, or balance of power. 19 These descriptions account only for the number of states and their distribution of power. “In particular,” declares Oran Young, “it seems desirable to think increasingly in terms of world systems that are heterogeneous with respect to types of actor (i.e. mixed actor systems) in the analysis of world politics.” 20 We propose an alternative model of the contemporary global system which we shall call the complex conglomerate system. 21 The concept of “con- glomerate” refers to “a mixture of various materials or elements clustered together without assimilation.” 22 In economics the term is used to describe the grouping of firms of different types under a single umbrella of corporate leadership. Figure 3 further suggests the range of alignments that characterize the complex conglomerate system.

TL_Williams 3/16/05 6:42 PM Page 15

Figure 3

Towards a New Conceptualization of Global Politics

15

 

interstate

govern-

intrastate

 

interstate

non-

mental

non-

govern-

govern-

nation-

non-

govern-

mental

mental

state

central

mental

individual

interstate

 

UN–

EEC–

 

Arab

Grand Mufti

govern-

UN–NATO

International

Francophone

OAU–

League–

of Jerusalem–

mental

(1950)

Red Cross

African

Biafra

Al

Arab

(Palestine)

states

Fatah

League

interstate

UN–

Shell

   

ITT–

 

non-

International

Oil–

USSR–

IBM–

Allende

Sun-Yat sen–

govern-

Red Cross

ESSO

Comintern

Scotland

opposition

Comintern

mental

(Palestine)

(1972)

(1920’s)

(Chile)

EEC–

     

North

 

nation-

Francophone

USSR–

“traditional

Belgium–

Vietnam–

U.S.–

state

African

Comintern

alliances”

Katanga

Viet

James

states

(1920’s)

(NATO)

(1960)

Cong

Donovan

govern-

       

Algerian rebels

South

mental non-

OAU-

IBM–

Belgium–

N.Y. Mayor–

–French

African

central

Biafra

Scotland

Katanga

Moscow Mayor

Socialists

mercenaries–

(1960)

(1973)

(1954)

Katanga

       

Communist

 

intrastate

Arab

North

Ulster–

Party-USSR–

George

non-

League–

ITT–Allende

Vietnam–

Protestant

Communist

Grivas–

govern-

Al

Opposition

Viet

Vanguard

Party-German

Greek

mental

Fatah

(Chile)

Cong

(1970)

Democratic

Cypriots

Republic

     

South African

George

Louis of Conde –Gaspard de Coligny

Grand Mufti

Sun-Yat-sen–

U.S.–James

mercenaries–-

Grivas–

individual

of Jerusalem–

Comintern

Donovan

Katanga

Greek

Arab League

(1960)

Cypriots

(1562)

In summary, we should stress that the complex conglomerate system exhibits several other characteristics in addition to the primary one relating to the existence of many autonomous actors of different types and their group- ing into diffuse, flexible, and situationally-specific alignments.

NOTES

1. Werner Feld, “Political Aspects of Transnational Business Collaboration in the Common Market,” International Organization 24:2 (Spring 1970), p. 210. For an elaboration of the thesis that transnationalism promotes complementary views among elites, see Robert C. Angell, Peace on the March (New York: Van Nostrand,

1969).

TL_Williams 3/16/05 6:42 PM Page 16

16 The Actors in International Politics

2.

J. W. Burton, Systems, States, Diplomacy and Rules (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1968), pp. 8–9.

3.

Ibid., p. 8.

4.

Karl W. Deutsch, “External Influences on the Internal Behavior of States,” in R. Barry Farrell, ed., Approaches to Comparative and International Politics (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1966), p. 15.

5.

Arnold Wolfers, Discord and Collaboration (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1962), p. 23.

6.

Burton, Systems, p. 10.

7.

See Oran R. Young, “The Actors in World Politics,” in James N. Rosenau, Vincent Davis, and Maurice A. East, eds., The Analysis of International Politics (New York: Free Press, 1972), p. 132.

8.

Jorge I. Domínguez, “Mice that Do Not Roar: Some Aspects of International Politics in the World’s Peripheries,” International Organization 25:2 (Spring 1971), p. 208.

9.

Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye, Jr., “Transnational Relations and World Politics: An Introduction,” in Keohane and Nye, eds. “Transnational Relations and World Politics,” special edition of International Organization 25:3 (Summer 1971), p. 348.

10.

For a summary of many contemporary intergovernmental organizations, see John Paxton, ed., The Statesman’s Yearbook 1973–1974 (London: Macmillan, 1973), pp. 3–61; and Richard P. Stebbins and Alba Amoia, eds., Political Handbook and Atlas of the World 1970 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1970), pp. 437–513.

11.

For an explanation of the difference between “collective” and “private” goods, see Mancur Olson, Jr., The Logic of Collective Action (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1965).

12.

Occasionally, states may fail to provide even group status for inhabitants. Thus, in 1969–1970, it appeared that guerrilla organizations such as Al Fatah were largely providing physical protection and group states for many Palestinians in Jordan. When one prominent guerrilla leader was asked why his commandos permitted Jordan’s King Hussein to remain on the throne and did not themselves seize the reins of government, he replied: “We don’t want to have to take care of sewers and stamp the passports.” Eric Pace, “The Violent Men of Amman,” The New York Times Magazine, 19 July 1970, p. 42.