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The recent growth in Italian Communist party (PCI) influence on national policy making has been accompanied by a reversal of the party's traditional opposition to Italian participation in NATO and the European Communities. Why? Most fundamentally, this reversal is due to Italy's increasingly irreversible involvement in the network of economic interdependence that links the Western economies. PCI leaders have come to recognize and accept the political consequences of interdependence. Other important factors contributing to the policy shift are: 1) changes in Italian public opinion that made opposition to Italy's Western alignment increasingly costly for the PCI; and 2) constraints imposed by the PCI's need to seek alliances with non-Communists, both in Italy and elsewhere in Western Europe. Serious problems lie ahead for Italy's relations with her allies, but these problems would only be exacerbated by an apocalyptic assessment by Western leaders of the PCI's foreign policy line.
As part of the Marshall Plan, the United States Government developed a state-sponsored program of insurance against currency inconvertibility in Western Europe, which grew slowly into a worldwide program insuring US-based multinational corporations against expropriation, war and revolution as well as inconvertibility. Two hypotheses—one based on corporate preferences, the other on state initiatives—can be used to predict the program's development between 1948 and 1974. While there is some independent scope for state policy, corporate preferences appear to be crucial: state policy on this issue has served corporate interests, and state initiatives on expropriation insurance are constrained by private investment decisions. The basic harmony between private investors and the state on expropriation insurance issues is explained by their shared goal of private capital accumulation.
Since 1973 the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has emerged as a working governmental cartel with formidable leverage over international economic relations and Middle Eastern politics. Over the next decade, OPEC will continue to operate as an effective cartel able to maintain real oil prices at least at or near the levels achieved in 1973–74. Expected world oil demand levels will be high enough to obviate substantial economic threats to the Organization's cohesion. Nor are potentially contentious political or ideological issues likely to be pursued by major OPEC members with sufficient vigor to jeopardize the cartel. Of cardinal importance is the fact that only Saudi Arabia is in a position to break the cartel unilaterally. Such Saudi action is highly improbable in the medium term, though after 1980 Saudi leverage will increase and raise with it the utility of oil-production rates as a diplomatic weapon.
In October 1975, all twenty-five Latin American and Caribbean nations created a new, exclusively Latin American regional economic organization, the Latin American Economic System (SELA). The organization's two general goals are: (1) to promote regional cooperation for economic development, mainly through the creation of Latin American multinational enterprises; and (2) to establish a system of consultation for the adoption of common economic positions vis-à-vis third countries and international organizations. This paper is an exploratory inquiry into the prospects for SELA. The method of analysis employed is to draw from the literature on Latin American integration five problem areas common to integration efforts (weak institutional structures, an unequal distribution of the benefits of integration, nationalism, competing ideologies, and external pressures) to use in assessing SELA's probable evolution. SELA has the potential to further regional integration, but faces an uphill struggle to gain the active support of key countries; it is more likely to achieve its objective of coordinating the policies of Latin American states on international economic issues.
Over the period from 1950 to 1975, regional cooperation increased dramatically in Asia. Expansion in the scope and capabilities of regional organization proceeded through the establishment of 24 IGOs primarily concerned with technical and economic problems. With institutions characteristically specific in function and making decisions through consensus and intergovernmentalism, the structure and growth in Asian organization may be described from the theoretical perspective of classic international functionalism. The more politicized IGOs have not been successful and politicization has been most influential in retarding organizational growth. The rate of growth in Asian organization increased only as politicization from East-West, North-South, and developmental and power differences among participants was avoided by limiting participation to compatible nations. A rising rate of growth in Asian organization was correlated with an increasing concentration of cooperative activity among nations in Southeast Asia compatible in policies on East-West and North-South issues and similar in power and level of development.
Proponents of multilateral aid have generally assumed that such aid is less responsive than bilateral aid to the political characteristics of recipient countries. Many critics of foreign aid have challenged this assumption, arguing that US influence ensures that multilateral programs serve the same interventionist purposes as bilateral. This study of per capita aid allocations to Latin American countries confirms that there are strong similarities in the distribution of aid. However, when the relationships between aid data and data on national attributes are examined, the results do not support the notion that political characteristics account for the similarities. For some multilateral agencies, there is little or no association between aid and recipient political attributes. For others, there are associations with political features, but the associations are not identical with those of US bilateral aid. In short, whatever the determinants behind decisions on the allocation of bilateral and multilateral aid, the same considerations with regard to the politics of potential recipients do not appear to be operating. All of this does not mean that US interests are not being served by multilateral programs. They may be served in a variety of ways, and still be consistent with the results reported here. That important issue is beyond the scope of this very limited study.
Staffing the Commission civil service with nationals from all nine European Community member states is necessary for pragmatic and political reasons, but multinational staffing also creates serious problems for the organization. Requirements for nationality balance in the Commission civil service have negative repercussions for personnel policy as well as the civil servants' career prospects and morale; nationality-based informal organization often interferes with organizational performance; multinational staffing results in a multilingual civil service and thus creates language and communication problems; the interaction of persons from nine member states creates a potential for nationality-related friction; and civil servants may have divided loyalties to the Commission on the one hand and to their member states on the other. National representation in the ranks is taken most seriously in those Commission units that have important policy concerns. Hence expanding the Commission's powers will increase the saliency of the nationality issue in that organization.