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International Organization Based on the Assumption of Liberalism and Realism

Essay Topic: ,

Different theories explain why international organizations are created

Which are basically a response to problems of incomplete information, transaction costs, and other barriers to efficiency and welfare improvement for their members. But different questions like; do international organizations really do what their creators intend them to do?

Do they really support member states in achieving their basic interests mutually? These critical questions and others of their likes can be analyzed to some extent by several theories proposed by different scholars in the field of international relations.

Such theories are liberal, realism and constructivism but the concern of this work is on realism and liberal theory.

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International organization is a union or association of States, or of enterprises or of other national entities set up across national boundaries.

Examples are Of States, are the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) of enterprises: Transnational Corporations (TNCs); include The Coca-Cola Company, Sony, McDonalds, Toyota, etc. Of other national entities; are like Amnesty International; International Olympic Committee, World Organization of the Scout Movement, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Around 30000 such organizations are active in about 300 countries and territory over the world. International organizations progressed after the Second World War, the gulf between the international politics and formal organizational arrangement which began to open in ways that were not easy to reconcile. This organization seemed to strengthen in dealing with rising problems such as the extension of property right, environment protection and formal supernatural authority. The international organization was the answer on solving collective problems.

Public interest

Refers to the net benefits derived for, and procedural rigor employed on behalf of, all society in relation to any action, decision or policy. Public may include the widest possible scope of society, example of individuals and groups sharing a market place for goods and services (included those provided by government), as those seeking sustainable living standard and environment quality for themselves and future generations. Interests are all things valued by individual and society such as economic freedom, political power access to government property right.

Those things we seek to acquire and control are interest like ideas we aspire to and protections that are harmful. Realism theory views that world politics is driven by competitive self-interest; they believe that decisive dynamic among countries is a struggle for power in an effort by each to preserve or, preferably, improve its military security and economic welfare in competition with other countries.

As an approach to international politics, realism can be traced to such ancient practitioners and thinkers as Sun Tzu (544-496 B. C) the Chinese general and the author of The Art of War; Thucydides (460-399 B.C), a Greek historian and author of The History of the Peloponnesian War, and more recently statesmen such as Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) the Iron Chancellor who engineered the unification of Germany under Prussian control. (Rourke 2012b; p20)

Liberal theory

States are not simply ‘black boxes’ seeking to survive and prosper in an anarchic system. They are configurations of individual and group interests who then project interests into the international system through a particular kind of government. Survival may very well remain a key goal. But commercial interests or ideological beliefs may also be important.

The conventional wisdom is that states create and delegate to IOs because they provide essential functions. They provide public goods, collect information, establish credible commitments, monitor agreements, and generally help states overcome problems associated with collective action and enhance individual and collective welfare.

Notable philosopher advocating liberalism including Thomas Hill Green, John Rawls, John Lock, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill. Emanuel Kant, Jean Jacque Rousseau and the former USA presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt.

It is true saying that international organizations based on the assumption that ‘’government aims at public interest’’, this is because international organizations sees that the government at a large extent is the best solution for solving public problems and a representation of public interest at the same time. This connotation can be analyzed through the use of liberal and realism theories as follows. Realism theory as the first theory of international organization is used to prove right the above quotation as they assume that, survival is the principal goal of every State. Realists hold states to be the main actors.

It means that state control each and everything. Even if domestic interests, strategic culture, or commitment to a set of national ideals would dictate more benevolent or co-operative international goals, the anarchy of the international system requires that States constantly ensure that all states posses some military capacity, and they have sufficient power to defend themselves and advance their material interests necessary for survival. Survival of the state is important for every individual for example United States normally employs military power for the survival and to defend her national interests (Gulf war and Iraq war). (Wolfrum,2011)

Realists believe in the anarchic structure of the international system as the most important determinant of state behavior. Realists believe that the international system exists in a state of anarchy a term that implies not chaos or absence of structure and rules, but rather the lack of a central government that can enforce rules. Therefore order for the state to maintain public interest, a state makes use of the economic prosperity and military might to make decisions that are of much importance to the public.

States will also act as best as they can in order to maximize their likelihood of the public and continuing to exist. (Ibid) Realists hold states to be rational actors. This means that given the goal of survival, States will act as best they can in order to maximize their likelihood of continuing to exist. Thus States may create international law and international institutions, and may enforce the rules they codify. However, it is not the rules themselves that determine why a State acts a particular way, but instead the underlying material interests and power relations.

A country’s foreign policy may reflect broad national objectives and the strategies governments use to guide their actions in the international arena. Also a government extends the domestic interests to the international environment through the use of foreign policy that will guide the interaction of the state with other international actors like the international organizations. For example the foreign policy of Tanzania is aimed at developing the country through economic diplomacy, regional cooperation and multilateral relations.(ibid)

Realism assume that all state posses military capacity and no any other state knows about neighbor intend precisely, thus the world is uncertain and dangerous, the only purpose of state is to defend the interest of the state, enable state to survive while promoting public interest against foreign invasion and occupation. Through government organs like judiciary, legislature and executive enforce laws to ensure achievement of public interest, where people have surrender their authority to the government to protect their liberty, life and property.

People may ensure their safety through government from internal and external invasion or threats. (ibid) Liberal theory on the other hand is another theory of international relation which tries to explain the truth of international organization on the assumption that government aims at public interest. This theory analyzes how government aims at providing public interest in several ways using its key assumptions as follows. Liberalism believes on democratic stability theory which rests on the observation that no two democratic states have ever gone to war with one another, and that democratic states rarely strike first.

Liberals argue that democracies identify with one another because of their shared norms and values like the United States doesn’t want to take Canada partly because each country believes that citizens have the right to choose their own government and consequently believe that conquering another country and enslaving its citizen is wrong. Moreover democracies are not dominated by the military and lie in the hands of an individual or a small group; leaders are accountable to their people, who are often reluctant to see their children go to war.

A variety of issues can dominate the international agenda. Unlike realist, liberals believe that national security does not always have to be of paramount importance economic, environmental issues, and human rights can all become the most important goal of a nation. Also in liberalism the ideas was international and they depend each other to solve certain problems for example the problems of hunger is not to Africa only but it is global while they provide deferent aids to African.

Also the problem of economic crises is the western countries problems but shacked till African due to lose aids and loans. The state acts in the liberal of law, and not acts outside the law. Liberals contend that people and the countries that represent them are capable of finding mutual interests and cooperation to achieve them at least in part by working through International organizations and according to International law. On the other hand liberals do not dismiss power as a factor, but they add morality, ideology, emotions (such as the friendship and mutual identity) and habit of cooperation.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1718), he argued that in social contract (1762), that human had to join together in civil societies because they found it easier to improve their existence through cooperation than competitive self reliance. So in contemporary liberals in where each government aims at public interests they apply this notion to global society and argue that people and their countries can better their existence by joining together to build a cooperation and peaceful global society.

In policy prescriptions liberals urges on creating norms of justice and peace, promoting and strengthening International Organizations in achieving people’s interests. Both classical and neo Liberals like Jean Jacques Rousseau and Wilson Woodrow on nature of politics, principles and cooperation as standards of international standards argue that people are not inherently political predators and are capable of achieving less conflictive relations either through current government structures or new models of government.

And on principle emphasis is on states to formulate their foreign policy according to cooperative and ethical standards to improve social, economic and political needs of each member country; they are not forced into organizations but according to their willingness and global challenges they face in providing public’s social, political and economic needs, thus different states join organizations like UN, AU and EU which enables member states in achieving such interests. (Rourke 2005a, pp 17-22)

Liberal international relation theory believes that government represents some segments of domestic society, whose interest are reflected in state policy. Consistent with the view that society, understood as an aggregate of autonomous individual and voluntary groups, is prior to the state. Liberal theories of politics accord a central place to the domestic institution that link state and society. Liberals analyze such institutions primarily as mechanisms for the representation of social interests.

The state is assumed to be representative to some set of social groups, although not all governments represents the entire population. For liberals, the principal agent relationship between the population and the state is thus a central issue. (Moravcsik,2010)

In recommending the quotation that international organization based on the assumption that government aims at public interests; in realism point of view states act as main actor on the insurance of public interest within international system, still on its loneliness seem to fail on defending public interest fulfillment a hundred percent due to series of challenges, threats or obstacles that fade upon state survive on maintaining public interest.

Example hunger, issue of security, outbreak of diseases, as well as economic recession problem that is common to third world countries. Therefore state regardless of its potentiality role on public interest it must cooperate with non state actor be it international organization like UN or be it regional organization like NGOs, civil society for maximum public interest achievement.

Under liberal perspective state seems to be with great role in public interest since it cooperate with another actors on making the availability of conducive environment for public interest attainment within their respective boundary. Although most of this cooperation is not two way traffic in such a way that only one which is powerful side benefit from this cooperation either bilateral or multilateral.

Example north-south, Therefore cooperation is inevitable for proper prosperity of public but should be win-win or two way traffic cooperation. Therefore principal actors of the world politics remains nation-states, though they are not the only actors. The international system consists of nation-states, international organizations, and private actors, thousands of international organizations were established during the post-World War II era.

The increasing number of international organizations is parallel to the increasing levels of economic, political, social and cultural transactions between individuals, societies and states in today’s world which are significant in their respective fields reflecting preferences of states albeit non-state actors challenges and even weakens weaker states favor preferences of stronger states.