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Economic Internationalism for Non- and Governmental Organisations Essay

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Updated: Jan 25th, 2021

Difference between IGOs and NGOs: Analysis

The IGO, or an intergovernmental organization, is traditionally defined as the institution established by state authorities[1]. The NGO, in its turn, is deciphered as a non-governmental organization and is identified as the institution that was founded by individuals[2]. Herein the fundamental difference between the two lies – primarily, the line between the IGO and the NGO is drawn based on their relation to the organizations’ powers. Unlike the IGO, the NGO does not represent the state government and, therefore, cannot act on behalf of the latter. As a result, the powers of the NGO are significantly limited compared to those of the IGO.

Another essential difference between the two concerns their number. Unlike IGOs, the amount of which is restricted, NGOs are very numerous; thousands of NGOs exist at present and operate in the environment of the global economy and politics.

In addition, unlike NGOs, which are usually concerned with every major international event, no matter which aspect of social, economic, or political life it touches upon, IGOs fulfill a particular purpose and work toward a specific goal. In other words, the distribution of responsibilities based on the profile of the organization is a common phenomenon among the leaders of IGOs, yet it is far from being a common practice among NGO managers.

The ‘Tragedy of Commons’: A Conflict of Interests

Suggested by Garret Hardin in 1833, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’ is an economic theory that helps define the reasons for individuals to make specific choices in situations that threaten their financial status or economic wellbeing.[3] Though the introduction of innovative approaches for stabilizing the economy, particularly the development of sustainability principles, has been quite successful, the specified area still remains ridden with numerous problems and, therefore, vulnerable to financial and economic crises. Moreover, there is an imbalance in economic and environmental wellbeing rates in various states across the world. Joint ownership, which was supposed to resolve the issue in question, has only led to the deterioration of the situation.

This phenomenon can be explained from the tenets of the Theory of the Commons, which states that the personal needs of an individual often seem more important to the latter than the needs of the community; as a result, the abuse of common resources ensues: “resources under common ownership are prone to overuse and abuse for this very reason – the tragedy of the commons.”[4] The phenomenon, therefore, can be interpreted as the conflict between the needs of society and an individual. On a larger scale, the concept under analysis can be interpreted as the collision of the needs of the state and the people representing it, i.e., government authorities. In other words, the Theory of the Commons explains the reasons for the phenomenon of power abuse to exist.

Human Rights: Definition and Examples

Though the term “human rights” has become part and parcel of the vocabulary of an average American citizen and no longer belongs solely to the domain of law, defining the concept is a rather tricky task. The complexity of the subject matter can be explained by the fact that it is applicable to a range of domains. The traditional definition of human rights is “freedom from specific abuses or restrictions that are proscribed (forbidden).”[5] However, the phenomenon of human rights can be viewed from a different perspective.

The concept of human rights is often related to the creation of the UNO, and, therefore, its fundamental tenets share certain similarities with the postulates that the UNO is based on. Thus, it should be borne in mind that the term “human rights” has undergone significant changes together with the UNO. Therefore, the ideas that the concept of human rights represents nowadays were not included in the term several decades before, when the UNO only started its operations and the vital anti-segregation movements were only in their embryo stage. According to the present-day definition of the subject matter, human rights are the rights proclaiming that “everyone is entitled to a social and international order.”[6] However, seeing that the phenomenon has undergone three stages of evolution, it can be assumed that achieving a “clear consensus on the substance of basic human rights”[7] is barely possible.

Supranational Governance and Its Significance

Quite a recent addition to the methods of addressing significant problems developing in individual states on a global level, the phenomenon of supranational government can be defined as the union of state governments that works towards solving the issues that the states involved face. In a certain way, IGOs can be viewed as supranational organizations, as they operate on an international level and address global concerns as well.[8]

On the one hand, the idea of introducing IGOs, which have a supranational power within a range of states, seems somewhat reasonable. First, the introduction of international norms and rules that will help coordinate the operation of the state justice system and, therefore, reduce crime rates in the states involved is a rather alluring prospect.

On the other hand, the introduction of a single supranational government will entail significant threats for the entire world to face. As the supranational government works as a single entity, every single element within its system must work impeccably. Otherwise, the whole system will collapse. Indeed, with the development of a particular economic, political or financial issue in one of the states, the unified system of financial transactions and economical operations will transport the problem to all the states integrated into the system, thus, making every single threat for the stability of the state increasingly contagious. Moreover, eliminating the issue in question is going to take very long, as in the specified scenario, “the central government has quite limited powers.”[9] Therefore, introducing the supranational government worldwide will pose a threat to the entire world population. While certain IGOs can be viewed as supranational organizations, their decisions do not affect the world as a whole. However, as soon as the supranational organization defining the course of economy and politics of the world as a whole is created, the possibility for a global crisis will increase significantly.

Economic Nationalism, Internationalism or Structuralism: Making a Choice

Economic nationalism is considered to be “more than a theory,”[10] as it encompasses the political and economic changes, identifying a link between them. Internationalism, in its turn, is usually defined as a form of liberalism and a belief that “free economic interchange without political interference can bring prosperity to all countries,”[11] whereas structuralism is usually viewed as the approach that gives economics the “key, perhaps dominant role in determining politics.”[12] Personally, I am inclined to believe that political references are not necessary for carrying out economic activities. Political relationships between individual states may decline, yet the economic ones may still sustain these states and make them depend on each other. It seems unreasonable that the citizen of the conditions that are no longer in good political relationships should suffer from the lack of certain products, job opportunities, etc. Therefore, I tend to support the internationalist principle.

Bibliography

Griffiths, Martin, Terry O’Callaghan, and Steven C. Roach. International Relations, the Key Concepts. 2nd ed. London: Routledge. 2008.

Nau, Henry R. Perspectives on International Relations: Power, Institutions, Ideas. Washington, DC: CQ Press. 2012.

Pease, Kelly-Kate S. International Organisations: Perspectives on Governance in the Twenty-First Century. 4th ed. New York: Longman. 2010.

Rourke, John T, and Mark A Boyer. International Politics on the World Stage. 8th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education. 2010.

Kelly-Kate S. Pease, International Organisations: Perspectives on Governance in the Twenty-First Century (4th ed. New York: Longman, 2010), p. 2.

Kelly-Kate S. Pease, International Organisations: Perspectives on Governance in the Twenty-First Century (4th ed. New York: Longman, 2010), p. 4.

Kelly-Kate S. Pease, International Organisations: Perspectives on Governance in the Twenty-First Century (4th ed. New York: Longman, 2010), p. 219.

Martin Griffiths, Terry O’Callaghan, and Steven C. Roach, International Relations, the Key Concepts, 2nd ed. (London: Routledge. 2008), p. 313.

John T, Rourke, and Mark A Boyer, International Politics on the World Stage, 8th ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2010), p. 453.

Martin Griffiths, Terry O’Callaghan, and Steven C. Roach, International Relations, the Key Concepts, 2nd ed. (London: Routledge. 2008), p. 143.

Henry R. Nau, Perspectives on International Relations: Power, Institutions, Ideas, (Washington, DC: CQ Press. 2012), p. 320.

John T, Rourke, and Mark A Boyer, International Politics on the World Stage, 8th ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2010), p. 200.

John T, Rourke, and Mark A Boyer, International Politics on the World Stage, 8th ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2010), p. 204.

John T, Rourke, and Mark A Boyer, International Politics on the World Stage, 8th ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2010), p. 400.

John T, Rourke, and Mark A Boyer, International Politics on the World Stage, 8th ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2010), p. 29.

John T, Rourke, and Mark A Boyer, International Politics on the World Stage, 8th ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2010), p. 29.

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IvyPanda. "Economic Internationalism for Non- and Governmental Organisations." January 25, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/economic-internationalism-for-non-and-governmental-organisations/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Economic Internationalism for Non- and Governmental Organisations." January 25, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/economic-internationalism-for-non-and-governmental-organisations/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Economic Internationalism for Non- and Governmental Organisations'. 25 January.

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