For over sixty years now, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has served as a key instrument of the liberal international economic order (LIEO). Free trade, loans to aid development, and the decline of command economies have all been results of this institution—much to the delight of countless actors across the international stage. Yet the past decade has hosted a particularly strong wave of criticism. The 2007-08 financial crisis, as Eric Helleiner shows us, damaged the legitimacy of both IMF policies and leadership. From that time through today, many have insisted that a “new Bretton Woods” occur as to totally begin again in our structuring of global finance. Helleiner and I are, at our cores, opposed to such a move. This is largely because a “new Bretton Woods” is almost impossible, but also because a “new Bretton Woods” seems rather counterintuitive.
This week’s readings have lent themselves—quite well, might I add—to the notion that not much has changed on the international stage in terms of power relations. Granted, many of the more ostentatious trappings of the Cold War are now gone. Our palate of key actors has seen some considerable transformations as well. And many of the issues we now confront are arguably inherent to a world of more globalization, more accessible information, and more powerful non-state actors. Nonetheless, our work this week has strong-armed me into recognizing that international organizations are indeed competing with the age-old politics of balances-of-power. Furthermore, these same international organizations may be proving inflammatory to those politics. Continue reading Nothing New to See Here: Questioning Today’s Major Power Relations –Anthony DeSantis
It is possible to say by now, that we are living in a time where we can see the prolongation of some states as Great Powers, but also the rise of others in the international system. We can see rising powers trying to gain more voice in the international system in the G4, where Brazil, Germany, India and Japan are united and supporting each other for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. All these prominent states, however, have different policies in mind, since we can see that the BRICS members are much more a revisionist group, while Germany and Japan are mostly satisfied with the order the way it is. The arrival of these new states in the international arena are making the actors most involved in the system have different interests, what makes cooperation difficult between them. Continue reading THE COLLISION OF THE NEW AND OLD WORLD – MARCELLE MARINS
Major Powers have been hesitant to intervene, cooperate or even to show the same view points as other Major Powers when it comes to major international crises. This has been especially true in the cases of Ukraine and Syria. As international attention has been drawn to these locations in the last few years and especially in the last few months, we have seen several Major Powers propose many solutions to the issues, most if not all receiving very mixed responses. Major Powers are either fighting with each other over how this issue should be handled, while others are not even participating in the discussion. This leads me to believe that Major Powers are not just finding it hard to cooperate but that for some differentiation viewpoints were so distinct that cooperation was not even an option. Continue reading A CONFLICT OF INTERESTS – FRANCISCO DIAZ
When the question is asked regarding whether great powers are finding it more difficult to cooperate, my immediate response is that perhaps the wrong question is being asked. Difficulty in cooperation implies a desire for cooperation, an effort being made that is somehow failing due to inability despite action or an outside force that is intervening. This, arguably, isn’t the case. While the clear divide of the bipolar system that existed during the Cold War is gone, that is no reason to claim that all countries, even all great powers, now have the same interests. Given these differing interests, cooperation may not always be in the best interest of the great powers. Continue reading Change in the System or Competing Interests — Evelyn Lumish
When the major international crisis occurs, the role of international institution often questioned because it solves nothing. Just like crisis in Ukraine, there is merely no effect from the international institution, especially in the major crisis. Continue reading Flaws in International Institution Theories that lead Imperfection of International Institution -SeungMin Song