Peter Willetts: “Transnational actors and international organizations in global politics” (2008

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1. Introduction
-> international relations should no longer be regarded as ‘states’ interacting with each other: = from realist to pluralist approach = international relations and global politics as the interaction of: - states or governments - transnational companies (Nestlé, Shell, Ford, …) - national NGOs - IGOs (UN, NATO, EU, …) - INGOs (Amnesty International, WWF, …)

2. Problems with the state-centric approach
-> 4 main problems: 1) ambiguity between different meanings of ‘state’ = legal person? = political community? = apparatus of government? => this article: government point of view (disentangle state and its citizens) 2) lack of similarity between countries = legally equal but politically very different e.g.: difference in size, population, economy, governmental system, … = some transnational actors are bigger than countries in terms of members, GDP, … 3) state systems and international systems = false assumption that states are located in anarchic international system 4) difference between state and nation = nations cross state boundaries as do transnational actors = country-based political systems are thus not necessarily more coherent than global

3. Transnational companies as political actors
-> transnational companies as companies with subsidiaries outside the home country = increasingly more TNCs from developing countries = important consequences: - financial flows and loss of sovereignty e.g.: currency no longer national in EU, national policies don’t affect intra firm trade - triangulation and loss of sovereignty e.g.: indirect trade can’t be prevented - regulatory arbitrage and loss of sovereignty
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and national liberation movements: = all terms for movements or minorities that reject a governments’ legitimacy .national liberation by those who are in favor = only get international recognition when they don’t use violence = threat of transnational terrorism since 9/11 = °International Criminal Court + UN’s resolution of ‘collective responsibility to protect’ -> significance of criminals.activity that is considered criminal by the whole world . terrorism. NGOs and UN to recruit large TNCs in order to help implement UN principles of human rights etc.activity of which actors claim it legitimate political motives (dictatorial regimes. guerrillas.: TNCs with bases in different countries can cause clashes of sovereignty between those countries .guerrillas by those who are more neutral .criminal trade too diversified via triangulation . Non-legitimate groups and liberation movements as political actors -> transnational crime must be distinguished between: .criminal financial flows .police action displaces crime to other countries rather than stopping it .extraterritoriality and sovereignty e.: companies can threaten to close affiliates in a certain country and move to another one when conditions are not good anymore (Ryanair) . and guerrillas: = terrorism is not a single political force (though it shows transnational characteristics) = governments can’t respond to it as independent sovereign actors 2 .terrorists by those who disapprove .g.…) -> transnational criminals and their political impact: = same problems for sovereignty as with TNCs: .g.international drug trade involves extraterritorial jurisdiction BUT: High levels of international police cooperation ( TNCs) -> terrorists. terrorists.from domestic deregulation to global re-regulation = economic regulation is occurring at global level because of TNCs = 3 factors which lead to more globalization of politics: a) governments can only reassert control by acting collectively b) consumer pressure leads to global codes of conduct which are accepted by companies and implemented by NGOs c) global companies pushed to submit to environmental auditing => Leads to cooperation of governments.e. 4.

hybrid INGOs (< governments + transnational actors. like International Red Cross) 3 .governance networks (cooperation between many NGOs to make sure they are being allowed at intergovernmental meetings.5.caucuses (temporary networks to lobby specific issues at particular meetings) .intergovernmental organizations (< governments) .INGOs (< transnational actors) . International organizations as structures of global politics -> international organizations as systems: = accept existence of systems at all levels of world politics = international organizations transcend country borders and have major influence on countries’ governmental and transnational actors = 3 types: . NGOs are very easily formed transnationally = governments have no control over their citizens’ transnational communication -> NGO’s shift from local to global: = easy for NGOs to operate transnationally through communication = 4 possible structures: .international NGOs with rigid (infra)structure .advocacy networks via internet. officers. without necessarily having same policy ideals) 6. mostly led by one overarching NGO . … 3) can’t be profit-making body 4) can’t use or advocate violence 5) should respect of norm of ‘non-interference in internal affairs of states’ 6) an INGO is one that is not established by intergovernmental agreement -> globalization and the expansion of NGOs: = because of increased communication. NGOs as political actors -> international diplomacy can’t be understood without considering NGO influence -> consultative status at the UN for NGOs: = ECOSOC recognizes 3 categories of groups: 1) small number of high-status NGOs concerned with most of Council’s work 2) specialist NGOs concerned with few specific fields of activity 3) NGOs that make occasional contributions to Council -> UN definition of an acceptable NGO: 1) should support aims and work of the UN (but political purposes are rarely objected) 2) should be a representative body with HQ.

then NGOs can influence governments as well = influence is issue-specific -> distinct actors per policy domain enhances status/information/communication -> e.have access to communications .g. Conclusion: issues and policy systems in global politics -> from state-centric to pluralist model: = distinction high-low politics no longer valid = transnational organizations can exert same functions as governments: .have good speakers SO: If power is seen as combination of possessing status.possess specialist information .have high status . information and communication skills.7.: Greenpeace for environment.can spread their views in support of their goals . Amnesty International for human rights. … = ideas are born in civil society -> civil society = NGOs -> economics =TNCs => Major political changes in 20th century international relations have been effected by NGOs & TNCs 4 .

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