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A distinct subfield of international relations, IPE, has emerged over the last thirty years, largely in the pages of International Organization. IPE began with the study of international political economy, but over time its boundaries have been set more by a series of theoretical debates than by subject matter. These debates have been organized around points of contestation between specific research programs, reflecting fundamental differences among the generic theoretical orientations in which these research programs are embedded. The fate of specific research programs has depended on their ability to specify cause and effect relationships and to operationalize relevant variables. Scholarship in IPE has become more sophisticated both methodologically and theoretically, and many of its insights have been incorporated into policy discussions. Past points of contestation, including those between realism and its liberal challengers and between various conceptions of domestic structure and international relations, help us to understand recent debates between rationalism and constructivism.
This special issue of International Organization looks back on the first fifty years, and especially the last thirty, of this journal. As former editors, we were asked by the editorial board in 1996 to create a special fiftieth anniversary issue. In good academic style, the thought came late and the issue is tardy: you will notice that this is volume 52 of International Organization (founded in 1947). Like many a graduate student over these decades, we hope that the quality of our product will compensate for our long-standing “incomplete.”
The institutions of global governance have changed dramatically in recent years. New organizational forms—including informal institutions, transgovernmental networks, and private transnational regulatory organizations (PTROs)—have expanded rapidly, while the growth of formal intergovernmental organizations has slowed. Organizational ecology provides an insightful framework for understanding these changing patterns of growth. Organizational ecology is primarily a structural theory, emphasizing the influence of institutional environments, especially their organizational density and resource availability, on organizational behavior and viability. To demonstrate the explanatory value of organizational ecology, we analyze the proliferation of PTROs compared with the relative stasis of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs). Continued growth of IGOs is constrained by crowding in their dense institutional environment, but PTROs benefit from organizational flexibility and low entry costs, which allow them to enter “niches” with limited resource competition. We probe the plausibility of our analysis by examining contemporary climate governance.
To be criticized for not laboring the obvious should perhaps be regarded as a compliment. As careful readers of my article will undoubtedly be aware, I do not assume that governments enter into the United Nations political process “only as objects or implementors of United Nations action after the outputs have been determined by the Organization.” (Kay, p. 952.) My point is quite different: that outcomes in international organizations such as the General Assembly depend not only on governmental interaction but also on the context within which such interaction takes place. Organizational variables help to define that context. Since so many writers have ignored organizational variables in analyzing international organizations, I have attempted, as I said, to “redress the balance”—”without denying the less-onesided formulations of realist theory.” (Keohane, footnote 3.)
Systematic investigation of attitudes expressed in Arabic on Twitter towards the United States and Iran during 2012–13 shows how the analysis of social media can illuminate the politics of contemporary political discourses and generates an informative analysis of anti-Americanism in the Middle East. We not only analyze overall attitudes, but using a novel events-based analytical strategy, we examine reactions to specific events, including the removal of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt, the Innocence of Muslims video, and reactions to possible U.S. intervention in Syria. We also examine the Boston Marathon bombings of April 2013, in which the United States suffered damage from human beings, and Hurricane Sandy, in which it suffered damage from nature. Our findings reinforce evidence from polling that anti-Americanism is pervasive and intense, but they also suggest that this animus is directed less toward American society than toward the impingement of the United States on other countries. Arabic Twitter discourses about Iran are at least as negative as discourses about the United States, and less ambivalent. Anti-Americanism may be a specific manifestation of a more general phenomenon: resentment toward powerful countries perceived as interfering in national and regional affairs.
This article outlines the concept of Global Experimentalist Governance (GXG). GXG is an institutionalized transnational process of participatory and multilevel problem solving, in which particular problems (and the means of addressing them) are framed in an open-ended way, and subjected to periodic revision by various forms of peer review in light of locally generated knowledge. GXG differs from other forms of international organization and transnational governance, and is emerging in various issue areas. The Montreal Protocol on ozone-depleting substances is used to illustrate how GXG functions. The conditions for the emergence of GXG are specified, as well as some of its possible benefits.
According to our constitutional conception, modern democracy is multidimensional: it incorporates the values of faction control, minority rights protection, and informed deliberation, as well as political accountability. The impact of multilateral organizations (MLOs) on democracy is often not straightforward: it requires careful analysis of how particular MLOs interact with preexisting domestic political institutions within specific issue-areas. Thus we reject the conventional wisdom that MLOs are necessarily democracy-degrading simply because they are not directly participatory. Gartzke and Naoi's critique misstates our views on some fundamental issues. We clarify our analyses of the multidimensional nature of constitutional democracy; the relationship between democracy and multilateralism; the Madisonian distinction between interest groups that support the general interest and those that do not; and our understanding of the current state of research. We suggest possibilities for further elaborating our argument, theoretically and empirically.