January 23, 2012
In many cases, institutions continue to follow the power distribution that was agreed upon when they were created. This is particularly evident in the United Nations Security Council considering, the victors of the Second World War: the United States, Great Britain, France, China and Russia have the ability to veto propositions brought into the UN due to their heightened world status at the time of the inception of the institution. However, it is interesting to note that although these five powers hold a considerable amount of power within the institution, it is highly unlikely, given fundamental differences in interests that they will ever all agree on a matter of international security. For instance, in the case of the Iraq War, the United States’ proposition to invade the country was not supported by other Nation-States. Resulting in the unilateral actions carried out by the United States government in order to acertain if there were truly WMDs in the Middle East.
With this in mind, I would argue that although international institutions are vital to the cooperation of nations, their choices do not always represent each nations best interest. So, even if the UNSC power balance were to change, it might not make as large of a difference as people might think. The likelihood that states will agree is slim, no matter who has the power. Despite the inevitability of disagreement, International Institutions like the UN or IMF at least provide a forum in which these disputes can be resolved, in this sense, a shift in power within the instituion might provide an important change. If a smaller nation has the support of a more powerful nation on an issue that is particularly concerning, the supportive powerful nation could veto on behalf of another nation etc. Essentially, international institutions increase our sense of international interdependence, of course trade of goods is essential to most nations but the trade of diplomacy is something that is becoming increasingly important on the world stage. States are much more hesitant to act without the approval of other nations, alliances are key, even within institutions.
Posted by tfugate at January 23, 2012 08:01 PM