Category Archives: IOs as bureaucratic actors

ICBL– Inspiration for New Human Rights Campaigns? Chiara Gabellieri

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines was the result of a rigorous effort from the international community that came together to address a human rights issue of global importance. Landmines and cluster munitions, which are a large threat to the developing world, were addressed in the Ottawa Treaty that resulted from this determined campaign. Continue reading ICBL– Inspiration for New Human Rights Campaigns? Chiara Gabellieri


The EU: A League of its Own?– Chiara Gabellieri

The European Union is truly an anomaly in the world of international relations and global governance. Many other international organizations are separate entities from domestic governing institutions, typically with marginal leverage when it comes to the internal affairs of member states. In the case of the European Union; however, all 28-member states have given up aspects of their sovereignty in order to make way for a centralized government with its own distinct powers. Continue reading The EU: A League of its Own?– Chiara Gabellieri

UNHCR: What about climate refugees?

Between 12-45 million environmental refugees are displaced from their homes each year by sudden onset disasters such as tsunamis and still more from slow onset disasters. From the conflicts in Sudan that erupted as a result of scarce resources due to climate change, to an ever-increasing rise in sea level that threatens low-lying islands such as the Maldives, the need to address climate refugees and migrants resulting from these disasters is becoming more and more critical. Continue reading UNHCR: What about climate refugees?

Are Members in International Organizations Powerful? – Ilka Vanessa Walker-Vera

During World War I, states created organizations “to promote international cooperation, peace, and security.” International organizations were established to improve communication between states and enter into agreements fairly. States are the main components of international organizations because international organizations are mainly made up of members from different parts of the world looking out for their state’s interests. However, international organizations are bureaucracies that make rules to address current issues concerning international interests. Its decisions and actions reflect both the interests of the members and staff working at the organization. On the other hand, fundamental organizations, such as the World Bank, which manages money from all over the world, are expected to act fairly and justly, pursuing international interests and not solely their states interests.  Continue reading Are Members in International Organizations Powerful? – Ilka Vanessa Walker-Vera

The Interests of the States are the Interests of the Staff–Evelyn Lumish

When I look at the questions posed in regards to the readings on the bureaucratic actions of international organizations (IOs), I find myself facing, as with my previous time, a primarily semantic argument. When one asks question of whether an IO’s decisions reflect the interests of the members, it implies that the interests overlap, or at least that they overlap enough that a single decision can reflect all or even a large fraction of them; at a further stretch, it asks whether individual decisions reflect an interest or interests of individual states or groups of states, so as to have the overall set of decisions be said to reflect the overall interests, with “states” being used in place of “members” as, in this case, they are synonymous. The intent of the question, especially when juxtaposed with the following question, appears to be asking to compare between the binary ideas of the decisions reflecting on one hand members’ interests or on the other hand the staff’s interests. Continue reading The Interests of the States are the Interests of the Staff–Evelyn Lumish

Why the great powers are silent in Ukraine

In regards to whether the great powers are finding it harder to cooperate, I that that it is necessary to examine them more closely. For the past three centuries, the world has predominately been ruled by Europe or it’s colonies (and their successor states). There have of course been exceptions, and my mind floats to Japan first. When it defeated Russia in the Russo-Japanese war, it marked a moment that other great powers were emerging from none european culturally dominated parts of the world. Indeed, since than, other states have emerged that are arguably great powers, such as India or China. But going back to my main point, for the last three centuries, Europe has been the seat of most of the major world powers, and as such the actions of one has always tied into the response of another. Trade relations, cultural exchanges, and the constant forming and reforming alliances over the years have proven this. Many great actions on the continent naturally warranted response, often militarily from many of the great powers. However, with the end of the second world war, and the fallback to the United States for military assistance, Europe has waned in it’s global political influence. Furthermore, with globalization, other great powers have emerged, and the reason they are not meddling in the Ukrainian crisis is clear: they don’t see any reason too. When Europe was the land of power, nearly every great power had to be ready to respond to another state, such as was the case in the napoleonic wars, or the World Wars. However, the other great powers of today are farther away, and do not have the same history, economic interdependence, or security reasons that European powers would have to get involved with this crisis. Without the same incentives, they have little reason to want to go against another global power in the region, such as the Crimean Crisis right now. Continue reading Why the great powers are silent in Ukraine

Are we living in Semi-Sovereignty?

Globalization cannot stop. State interdependency cannot stop. This dirties up the lines of autonomy but underneath the mud, nation states continue to exist but with a broader regional and global community. Decisions are made through centralized independent, governments, which control their own laws, govern their own people, as well as protect their constituents. Just as Krasner describes, “One states does not have a right to intervene in the internal affairs of another,” one state cannot govern another. But with the rise of international organizations that take on power that can override a states decision, it is no longer borderlines and a constitution that defines a nation-state. Continue reading Are we living in Semi-Sovereignty?