Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Based on your reading of Richard Little’s Chapter on International Regimes explain the concept of regimes state how they promote international coopera

The prominence of international regimes functions of the modern world has increased such that the world countries are now highly reliant on these regimes for state operations politically ,economically and socially; the aspect of globalization is promoting the existence of these regimes in the world. This essay is going to explain the concept of regimes and state how they promote international cooperation and delineate the factors impeding their formation.

International regimes according to Baylis and Smith (373:2005) regimes are sets of implicit and explicit principles, norms, rules and decision making procedures around which actor’s expectations converge in a given area of international relations. Regimes a bound by the four fundamental elements as according to Baylis and Smith(373;2005) which are princilples,norms,rules and decision making procedures. These elements are inessential to the existence of the regimes and are the necessary elements for the formation of regimes. Baylis and Smith (374:2005) also elaborates that they are types of regimes which are the tacit regime which exist with absence of rules but they is an expectation that informal rules will be observed, a dead-letter regime has formal rules inexistence but they is no expectation that the rules will be observed and lastly they are the full blown regimes were they is high expectation that all the formal rules will be observed. The presence of these international regimes can be shown by the regional cooperation and integration of activities through out the world whether political, economic and social activities.

To understand the existence of regimes globally the political schools of thoughts which are realism, liberalism and social constructivists play the pivotal role to explain why these regimes exist internationally. The social constructivists according to Smith and Baylis (371:2005) assume that the existence of rules can help to shape how actors define their identity and interests and demonstrate that they have a common view of the world and the liberal approach focus on the way regimes allow states to overcome obstacles to collaboration imposed by the anarchic structure of the international system and lastly the realists are interested by the way the states use their power capabilities in situations requiring coordination to the influence the nature of regimes and the way of costs and benefits derived from the regime formation. These political schools of thought explain why they are regimes internationally as the actors wants to achieve different objectives.
According to Rourke and Boyer (167:2000) the idea o regimes is based on the theory that comprehensive cooperation will evolve through the process that gradually merges the initially separated rules of international law and treaties .The interdependence between countries through out the world which is being agitated by the process of globalization has resulted in the formation of regimes. Russett, Starr and Kinsell (395:2006)elaborates that international interdependence has grown and is out pacing the ability of states to control it, regimes are now controlling the problems being faced by countries regionally or internationally. The integration of the world economies has to a larger extent been influential to the regimes formation the existence of free trade and economic diplomatic relations in the world has been of major prudence to the existence of regimes.

Regimes are created as result of common interest between countries the establishment of the UN as the global regimes there to maintain international peace was of interest of all the countries to avoid the effects of the World War II. The existence of other IGOs require multilateral cooperation between states which leads to the formation of these regimes the SADC,OPEC,EU,EEC(European Economic Community) and the COMESA are some of the international regimes created to enhance cooperation and integration of the world activities.

Regimes have promoted cooperation in international relations as cooperation between different actors politically, economically and socially can be noticed. The establishment of the security regimes in international relations to govern states functions and defend the states from outside interference for the to enjoy their sovereignty has promoted cooperation among states as they cooperate in issues that affect their security matters. According to Baylis and Smith (375:2005) the Partial Test Agreement of 1963 has undoubtedly encouraged a prohibition of atmospheric testing and the 1986 Nonproliferation Agreement continuous to act as a restraint on any increase in the number of nuclear weapons this agreement was signed by many countries for security reasons.

International cooperation between actors on security has been influenced by UN, being the supernatural body governing and enforcing this agreements and treaties imposing sanctions to those countries that hinder progress of the operation of the regimes. Security regimes have made it possible for international cooperation however actors usually violate this treaties in pursue of the own interests as state interests are more important than international interests the refusal by the North Korea to disenable their nuclear programmers and rocket launching has caused a major concern to the world security.

The increase in international contact between actors has promoted cooperation as the formation of communication regimes has made interaction of the world states possible. With the state of anarchy decreasing in the international order communication regimes have become of vital importance. Baylis and Smith (375:2005) elaborate that the resulting network of regimes can be seen to provide an essential part of the infrastructure underpinning the modern international economy. Free movement of communication systems which is advocated by the communication regimes has encouraged great cooperation between countries as diplomatic relations strengthens between actors.

Baylis and Smith (376:2005) elaborate that 1865 the International Telegraph Union was there to regulate telegraphic communication and the 1932 International Telecommunications Union to cope with the increasing technological developments in communications, International Maritime Organization and the International Aviation Organization are there to govern areas of shipping and aircraft all these were regimes formed to encourage cooperation. The violation of the regimes rules and norms results in the international outcry on the disobedient actor, with economic strict measures or war being imposed on the state. According to Kegley and Wittkopf (318:2004) by providing more information, establishing mechanisms for monitoring and generating shared expectations institutions can create an environment in which interstate cooperation is possible even without a single dominant leader.

The environment has been of global concern ever since the beginning of the industrial revolution as major consequences are caused by environment pollution, degradation and distraction. The formation of environmental regimes has allowed international cooperation as the states and non states actors are working together to avoid the distraction of the environment. According to Baylis and Smith (375; 2005) oil pollution, global warming and the damage of the ozone layer are the issues that have attracted most public attention but regimes have been established in a wide range of areas in the attempt to protect global environment, Convention on Biological Diversity December 1993, Basle Convention March 1993 and the United Nation Environmental Programme are some of the regimes established to encourage international cooperation on the issues of environmental management.

The economic regimes are of the most fundamental importance in the world as states globally tries to strengthen their economies as the strength of the economy shows how much power the states has. The establishment of the economic regimes has enhanced international cooperation globally. Economic regimes have been the major catalyst in regulating the international relations. According to Kegley and Wittkopf (319:2004) the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was designed to promote and protect free trade in the post war LIEO, the WTO was for free trade management and enhanced dispute settlement procedures as well a guard against trade wars. The trade regimes promote countries to work together in trade without any hindrance as the trade is bound by rules and procedures that are internationally recognized. The international Monetary fund and the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development are also some of the international regimes that allows international cooperation between countries as Baliys and Smith (376:2005) elaborates that they were established in 1945 to promote an environment where trade flourish.

They are various factors that impend the formation of regimes in international regimes according t o Little and Smith (113:1991) sovereignty and self help mean that the principles and values of international regimes will necessary be weak than that of the domestic society. The sovereignty of a country is more important as well as the national interests these factors limit the degree of confidence to be placed in international agreements that are advocated for by the regimes. In addition Little and Smith (114:1991) in a world political economy is characterized by the growing interdependence the governments my wish to solve common problems and pursue complementary purposes without subordinating themselves to hierarchical systems of control. The survival of the states is the fist goal of every nation the rules, principles, decision making and norms which are advocated by the regimes are not of major concern to the actors hence the formation of regimes is bound with common interests and formal agreement without that the regime is nonexistent.

The anarchical structure in international relations impend the formation of international regimes as they hinder cooperation in the world some of the states in the world like North Korea on the nuclear development and the United States on the attacks on Iraq have violated the regimes principles, norms and rules making the formation of the regimes uncertain. According to Baylis and Smith (377:2005) the liberal institutionalists assume that the anarchic structure of the international system poses a significant problem were competition is likely to cause market failure, at the global context the failure of states to collaborate and rather compete will likely result in the impending of the formation of regimes. The development of the Prisoners Dilemma as according to Baylis and Smith (379:2005) indicates that market failure occur because of the anarchic system there is an expectation that states will compete rather than collaborate.

According to Kegley and Wittkopf (49:2004) the existence of a hegemonic power as the United States a clearly predominant state in the global arena with exercises leadership and control of the global system by setting and enforcing the rules governing international trade, finance, investment and other issues prohibit the formation of regimes. The hegemonic of the United States has not yet declined in the international order as it still control the world as it is the power house of the world economy the presence of a hegemonic power will result in the impending of the formation of international regimes.

The establishment of international regimes has promoted international cooperation to with states and no state actors working together in areas of common interests. The attainment of global peace and security as well as a sound global economy is the attributes of the international regimes. Globalization process has encouraged states to cooperate and collaborate together in all aspects through the formation of regimes although they are factors that hinder the formation of regimes, regimes have been the catalyst of increasing cooperation as the world in no highly interdependent.


Baylis J and Smith S 2005 The Globalization of world Politics 3rd edition Oxford University Press USA

Little.R and Smith M. 1991. Prospective on World Politics 2nd edition. Open University Press and Groom Helm. London

Rourke J.T and Boyer M.A 2000 ;World Politics international Politics on the World stage Brief The Duskin Publishing Group Inc USA

Russett B, Starr H and Kinsell D 2006 International regimes, World Politics the Menu for Choice:
Thomson Wadsworth: USA

Wittkopf E.R and Kegley C.W Jr: 2004: World Politics trend and Transformation: Thomson Learning Inc USA

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