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The international system is not only an expression of domestic structures, but a cause of them. Two schools of analysis exploring the impact of the international system upon domestic politics (regime types, institutions, coalitions, policies) may be distinguished: those which stress the international economy, and those which stress political-military rivalry, or war. Among the former are such arguments as: late industrialization (associated with Gershenkron); dependencia or core-periphery arguments (Wallerstein); liberal development model (much American writing in the 50s and 60s); transnational relation-modernization (Nye, Keohane, Morse); neo-mercantilists (Gilpin); state-centered Marxists (Schurmann). Arguments stressing the role of war include those which focus on the organizational requirements of providing security (Hintze, Anderson), the special nature of foreign relations (classical political theory), territorial compensation (diplomatic history), and strains of foreign involvement (analysis of revolutions). These arguments provide the basis for criticism of much of the literature which uses domestic structure as an explanation of foreign policy, in particular those which (such as the strong-state weak-state distinction) tend, by excessive focus on forms, to obscure the connection between structures and interests, and the role of politics. These arguments also permit criticism of the notion of a recent fundamental discontinuity in the nature of international relations.
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.
The international system of production, distribution and consumption of food is managed by states, corporations and international organizations. International organizations play minor roles in the food regime, principally as arenas for policy coordination among state bureaucracies and as agents for modest multilateral programs. All of these actors work within the framework of a set of norms, rules and practices that constitutes a global food regime. Currently, the regime is undergoing change. Growing demand for food, tighter connections among markets, and greater reliance on technology have increased the importance of international adjustments. American preponderance in shaping regime features and insuring food security through reserves has declined. The dramatic price rises and rationing of international food supplies that occurred during the “crisis” of 1973–74 exposed serious deficiencies in the existing regime. At least five world food problems—potential shortages, instability, insecurity, low productivity and malnutrition—continue as real or potential threats. To solve these problems the norms of the current regime that has existed since World War II are seriously under challenge. Re-evaluation and reform of the major principles characterizing the food regime are needed.
When the idea for this special number of International Organization first took shape, the theme was a rather general one, “asymmetric international relations.” I had hoped to encourage contributions from the areas of small state and client state behavior, dominance and dependence, imperialism, and great power—small power behavior. While all of these phenomena are tied together by a shared asymmetric property, this is a “bland common denominator” on which to launch a collection of articles. As the enterprise evolved, we decided to develop a clearer focus on dependence and dependency. It became clear that there were two different sets of theoretical concerns before us which were sometimes labeled identically and often treated indiscriminately for analytical purposes. We drew the distinction between dependence as external reliance on other actors and dependency as the process of incorporation of less developed countries (LDCs) into the global capitalist system and the “structural distortions” resulting therefrom. There are similarities between these two approaches. Both have a predominant focus on relational inequalities among actors and both are equally interested in the vulnerabilities of members of the global system resulting from these unequal relations. However, there are important differences too. In addition to basic theoretical differences, there are equally fundamental gaps in the supportive methodologies. The dependence orientation seeks to probe and explore the symmetries and asymmetries among nation-states. This approach most often proceeds from a liberal paradigm which focuses on individual actors and their goals and which sees power in decisional terms. The individual actors are usually internally unified states which confront the external environment as homogeneous units. With the nation-state as the basic unit of analysis, analysis of dependent relations can be carried out on any combination of states, from dyads up to larger groupings. The fact that dependence is a term which can be meaningfully discussed at the dyadic level allows one the luxury of dealing with large numbers of observations. Thus, dependence theory is easily linked to statistical modes of analysis.
Three different methods are used to estimate the loss and gain in fulfillment of basic needs, for industrial and less developed countries, from possible global transfers of income. Focusing on prospective changes in life expectancy and infant mortality rates, the gain attributable to a given income increment for a person in a very poor country is on the order of seventy-five times greater than the loss to be expected for the average person residing in a rich country. Benefits to the poor are greater if income is distributed relatively equally within poor countries. Income transfers designed to meet basic needs would help to reduce birth rates in poor countries. The prospective gains in basic needs from the transfers are sufficiently large to exceed prospective losses from disruption of the global economy caused by the transfers. Fundamental questions of justice are thus raised.
US food policy is a product of four legitimate but competing concerns: (1)farm policy; (2) domestic economic policy; (3) foreign policy; and (4) global welfare and development policy. Five major policy episodes in 1972–76 illustrate their interplay: the Soviet grain sales of 1972; the soybean embargo of 1973; the food aid debate of 1974; the food reserves proposal of 1975; and the Soviet grain sales of 1974 and 1975. Competing policy concerns were more explicitly and effectively balanced in 1974 and 1975 than in 1972 and 1973, and policy tended to shift toward protecting domestic food prices in 1973, and meeting world food needs in 1974. But it shifted too late to salvage important policy concerns. The 1972–75 experience suggests that the State Department cannot be the lead international food policy agency because domestic farm and economic concerns are too deeply engaged. But interagency committees based in the Executive Office of the President (EOP) lost their effectiveness as crises waned and their members' attention turned to other things. The best organizational strategy for food would therefore be to accept the day-to-day predominance of the Department of Agriculture and seek to broaden the orientation of the secretary and his staff. Reciprocal State sensitivity to non-foreign policy concerns can help protect international economic and political interests; so can monitoring and intermittent intervention by EOP staffs.
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.
Major decisions of the International Energy Agency (IEA), such as those that established the emergency management system or minimum selling price for imported oil, have been made through a process of interstate bargaining, in which the United States is the most influential actor. A core group, including the IEA secretariat and Germany as well as the United States, has dominated the politics of the organization. Policy implementation, however, has been carried out largely through the national review process of the IEA, which involves a good deal of transgovernmental politics: coalitions between the secretariat and national government agencies, or among those agencies, are frequently important. Transgovernmental networks in the IEA provide opportunities for the exercise of influence by the secretariat. Nevertheless, they are not an unmixed blessing for the organization, since its significance in world politics continues to depend on the support of powerful governments.
Although there is already a huge literature on dependence in international relations, many fundamental conceptual issues remain unresolved. Is the pattern of dependence of advanced industrial states on one another different in kind or only in degree from the dependence of peripheral capitalist societies on other members of the global system? What are the essential components of dependence that one must identify before constructing an adequate measure of it? What is the relationship between dependence and power? Since the answer to the first question is that the two patterns of dependence differ in kind, the first order of business is to provide the grounds for this distinction. Dependence is the pattern of external reliance of well-integrated nation-states on one another while dependency, which is closer to the dependencia tradition, involves a more complex set of relations centering on the incorporation of less developed, less homogeneous societies into the global division of labor. The conceptual components of dependence are the size of one's reliance on another, the importance attached to the goods involved, and the availability of these goods (or substitutes) from different sources. The components of dependency are the magnitude of foreign supply of important factors of production (technology, capital), limited developmental choices, and domestic “distortion” measures. Finally, the concept of dependence is most easily integrated into bargaining analyses while dependency is more fruitfully applied to analyses of the structure of relations among societies.
One of the intellectual precursors of contemporary dependency theory is Albert O. Hirschman's National Power and the Structure of Foreign Trade (1945) which examined the political potential inherent in the foreign trade sector. By focusing on the asymmetries in economic relations among countries, and on the possible manipulation of these asymmetries, Hirschman described the structural bases of power and influence in the international system. Like modern dependency theory, so does National Power and the Structure of Foreign Trade suffer from a conceptual shortcoming: neither one takes up the issue of the countervailing, dialectical forces generated by these asymmetrical structural relations. A preponderance of objective capabilities may be countered by an asymmetry of opposing desires, as when the “weaker” nation desires its freedom from domination more than the “stronger” nation is bent on dominating it. Another dialectical force may be found in the imbalance between the attentions of any two countries with the stronger country's global involvement diluting its attention while the weaker country is able to concentrate its diplomatic skill on only one or a few salient partners. Thus, calculations based solely on economic power, i.e., on the ability to inflict punishment through economic means, are bound to be inadequate guides to the understanding of evolving relations.
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.
In 1968, just ten years after the ill-fated West Indies Federation had been established, Caribbean regional integration was re-launched with the creation of the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA). By 1974, the twelve Commonwealth Caribbean member countries had adhered to the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) which had evolved out of CARIFTA. This progress in the evolution of Caribbean integration stopped with the failure to adopt the Draft Agreement on Foreign Investment and Development of Technology, and since that time regional negotiations have been undermined by conflicts over intraregional trade and bilateral arrangements at the expense of regional cooperation. Analysis of the politics of regional negotiations in the Caribbean provides an interesting example of the process of integration among developing countries.
Too often world food problems are viewed as North-South problems, as matters to be resolved between rich and poor. In fact, most world food trade takes place entirely among the rich. The industrial nations of the European Community, Japan, and the USSR import more food today than all of the poor countries combined. These industrial food importing nations make a dubious contribution to the stability and security of the world food system. In different measure, they seek to shift adjustment burdens onto others, to enjoy something of a free ride. All have subsidized production for export in times of world surplus, and all have stepped ahead of poor countries to purchase high priced imports in times of scarcity. To these burden-shifting trade policies, the USSR in particular adds its own troublesome nonparticipation in most multilateral efforts at world food policy management. Prospects for improved burden sharing in the future are dim. Fortunately, the world food system still gains most of its stability and security from separate production decisions within nations, rather than from collective storage, trade, or aid decisions among nations.
The concept of dependence is used in several different scholarly traditions to refer to aspects of relational asymmetry in international and transnational relations. In three such traditions, dependence refers to three quite different kinds of concepts with the result that possibilities are restricted for fruitful dialogue about dependence across these scholarly traditions of dependencia theory, systematic empiricism, and formal, analytical theory. To aggravate this problem of multiple “languages,” there are two basic conceptual notions generally associated with the term dependence. These two meanings have clearly distinct implications for the nature of a theory of dependence, the character of entities dependent on one another, and the assessment or measurement of dependence. Thus, if the “language” gap is to be bridged and fruitful dialogue is to occur among different scholarly traditions, attention must be directed to the basic conceptual meaning of dependence in each tradition. Dialogue between systematic empiricism and dependencia theory is possible if empiricists recognize the fundamentally historical and historicist character of the particular substance of dependencia theory. These principles are exemplified here.
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.
Barring the global catastrophe envisioned by the Club of Rome, poverty will prove a more intractable problem than low productivity in the Third World. Much greater attention will have to be paid to the distribution of income, jobs, and foodgrains in the future if increases in production are to actually reduce hunger. The failure of many countries to manage their food supplies adequately and to provide basic food security to their populations is explained both by an urban bias in planning and by the sheer administrative complications and costs of stabilizing the foodgrains markets. For many countries dependency was politically easier. Major efforts to increase basic food production are essential in most developing countries, but the political adjustments associated with that decision may be difficult. The institutional patterns required to induce an agricultural revolution will challenge existing patterns of power and social stratification.
The technology of warfare is in a constant state of flux. In recent years weather modification activities have been employed by military forces and other methods of environmental manipulation have been contemplated for military use. The development of the 1976 Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques and the negotiations in the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (CCD) which culminated in its adoption are focused upon. To date this treaty has generated little in the way of commentary in either the press or in academic journals. The treaty and the politics surrounding its drafting and adoption are considered and shown to be quite instructive on disarmament politics and the operation of the CCD. Further, they reflect the fact that the North-South polarity found in a number of issue areas in world politics is increasingly evident in the field of disarmament and arms control.