Multilateralism as an Institution v. Organizational Form
- Cooperation among 3 or more states
- Most IOs are generically multilateral
o US criticized for evading restrictions in formal multilateral orgs: Int’l Criminal Court, UNSC
“Institutional form that coordinates relations among 3 or more states on the basis of “generalized” principles of conduct — i.e., principles which specify appropriate conduct for a class of actions, without regard to the particularistic interests of the parties or the strategic exigencies at the time. (Ruggie, 1992)”
Opposite of multilateralism is ‘bilateralism’ – in which policy coordination reflects is not generalized and is based on specific interests and strategic exigencies.
Corollaries of Qualitative Multilateralism
GPCs entail indivisibility with respect to the range of behavior specified.
(“An attack against one is an attack against all”; MFN)
- multilateralism generates expectation of “diffuse reciprocity”(Keohane 1986): benefits will yield rough equivalence over time.
of relative gains diminished
- e.g., sovereignty, law-of-the-sea and environmental regimes are qualitative multilateral institution
Formal Multilateral Organizations
Organizations may be organized as generic multilateral institutions or as qualitative multilateral institutions
- most of UN system, NATO, GATT/WTO as formal QMI
- UNSC is a generic multilateral institution (GMI); permanent 5 members have veto-power
- Most political debates over multilateralism focus on generic/formal def. rather than on qualitative def.