2011 Princeton Workshop Report: Rivalry and Partnership – The Struggle for a New Global Governance Leadership

On January 14 and 15, 2011, global governance experts gathered at Princeton University for a workshop on “Rivalry and Partnership – The Struggle for a New Global Governance Leadership.” The workshop, which followed on a similar meeting in January 2010 about “New Foundations for Global Governance”, was co-sponsored by Princeton’s Project on the Future of Multilateralism, the Council on Foreign Relations’ International Institutions and Global Governance program, The Stanley Foundation, and the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

This year’s workshop, comprised of five panels, focused on the wide array of global governance challenges and opportunities confronting the international community as we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century. Participants reviewed the events, institutions, and analysis of global governance in order to identify the next stages of the scholarly and political agenda. Six dominant themes emerged in workshop discussions: (1) the future of U.S. leadership; (2) integrating emerging powers; (3) normative diversity; (4) global governance architecture; (5) assessing the Group of Twenty (G-20); (6) the legitimacy challenge.

 

The Future of U.S. Leadership

Throughout the workshop, participants wrestled with the implication of diminished American influence for global governance. Although many expressed, in the words of one speaker, “conditional pessimism about the continued applicability of U.S. leadership,” some saw the United States’ position as more dire than others.

To assess the severity of American decline, participants sought historical reference points that could be used to mediate America’s role today from its near leadership past. Setting the stage, one presenter offered a definition of hegemony: “the position of being the strongest and most powerful and therefore able to control others.” Most participants agreed that this concept of hegemony is not useful: if the United States ever enjoyed this degree of leverage, it was only for a brief period after the end of the Cold War. Nevertheless, from World War Two onward, the aspiration toward hegemony shaped American foreign policy and the United States did enjoy great influence. Using one participant’s astronomic metaphor, in the post-1945 world, the United States was the sun at the center of the geopolitical solar system: “wielder of power, economic engine, and bastion of free-world ideology.”

Today, most participants agreed, the United States has less power and influence—at least in relative terms. But if the United States is no longer the sun, it remains unclear whether and by whom it will be replaced. The current era is more globally competitive, characterized by more states vying for influence than in the last century; however, none of the emerging powers have offered positive, alternative visions of world order. Thus even if the United States does not have the majority say in world affairs, it retains a plurality: many states still orient their strategies around the United States’.

The United States requires rejuvenation and resocialization. One participant likened the United States to the car company General Motors: it is well-branded and has sprawling capacity, but is underperforming and in need of a revamp. The United States is encountering limits to its military strength, economic power, and moral leadership—it must attack its problems, particularly its economic woes, head on in order to maintain or even bolster its influence. Participants expressed varying degrees of skepticism about Washington’s ability to accomplish a renewal on the requisite scale, particularly due to the vitriol pervading American domestic politics. With or without a rejuvenation, the United States must learn to fully play by the rules of an international order it was instrumental in creating but has not always respected. As one speaker said, “gravity now affects America.” Several participants expressed concern that the Obama administration not been adequately realistic about the implications of American decline, and has oriented its strategy around an overly optimistic assessment of the potential for collective problems and goals in a multi-partner world.

It is not a foregone conclusion, though, that the United States should maintain the level of relative power that it possessed at its late-twentieth-century zenith. As one speaker pointed out, the United States has a long historical experience of coping with situations when it was not running the show. Whether the United States can and should be the “indispensible nation”—the nation that steps in to solve problems that no other state has the appetite or ability to address—in an era of trans-national challenges was the subject of some debate. Several participants agreed that the United States continues to insist that something be done about international crises, but it has become more selective in its prioritization of issues and more willing to allow other states to take the lead. Beneficially, such an approach discourages other states from free riding on the United States’ diplomatic and military expenditures.

Participants diverged over the fate of the liberal international order in a post-American world. One speaker affirmed the need for the United States to “backstop” the international order to show it is “robust and cannot be eroded.” Another suggested that the United States can ensure the continued centrality of the existing global governance architecture—which is based on the western order and serves U.S. interests—by strategically ceding influence to rising powers in international institutions. Still another interlocutor made an important distinction between material power distributions and political structure: because global governance is not reducible to the United States alone, the structure may evolve to reflect changing power distributions but maintain liberal characteristics. Others were far more pessimistic, arguing that new powers will introduce normative diversity that undermines the liberal democratic order enshrined in the post-1945 global governance landscape.

 

Integrating Emerging Powers

As they gain influence, emerging powers—such as China, Brazil, India, and South Africa—will have a growing say in global governance. Whether these states are stakeholders in the status quo institutional architecture or interested in rebuilding it will be a critical question. Most workshop participants agreed that emerging powers have benefited greatly from existing arrangements and therefore have little interest in upending them. One speaker pointed to Japan as precedent: although it was not present at the creation of international institutions, it became increasingly imbedded in the larger system and profited from operating within the world market, thereby creating a political impetus to support the status quo. Disagreeing somewhat, several speakers pointed to emerging nations’ different ideas about the appropriate state-market balance, which will affect the global economy over the long term. Even within a decade, one participant noted, emerging states may significantly impact systemic trends.

Emerging powers have a long way to go before they take up the mantle of global governance. One speaker explained, on the global stage, these states want to be powers first and governors next. (Illustrating this point, a participant told of Mexico’s discomfort at voting for a 2003 UN Security Council resolution sanctioning war against Iraq—Mexico ran for a Security Council seat to be important, they said, not to make war and peace decisions.) Underlying this dynamic is a disjuncture between national aspirations and the responsibilities of global governance—emerging states simply lack capacity for cooperation in areas such as energy and climate policy, legal enforcement, and military force. Further, given their ongoing internal challenges—such as maintaining domestic stability and rapid economic development—they have a greater interest in devoting their resources inward.

But even if emerging powers are stakeholders in the international system, will they be “responsible stakeholders”? Emerging powers seem uninterested in stewardship as such; their behavior will reflect their particular interests and priorities. In some cases, the result may be free riding, where emerging states benefit from a system that they do not invest in maintaining. With established powers like the United States prepared to uphold the system, emerging powers can avoid sharing the burden— but as western material and ideological primacy erodes, it is unclear whether new powers will step up to the plate.

As several participants reminded the workshop, emerging powers are not monolithic—rather than characterizing them with a broad brush, it is necessary to address state-specific perceptions and understandings. Even a state-level understanding is not adequate, one interlocutor said: “If you want to understand what drives emerging states’ foreign policy and how to inspire responsible leadership, you need to identify the societal drivers of government policy.”

China, as the most influential emerging power, was the subject of considerable discussion. If the United States is General Motors, China is the technology giant Google—China’s meteoric rise and stilllatent potential is the greatest contributor to fears of American decline. At the same time, Chinese strategic miscalculation could lead other Asian nations could seek security through alignment with the United States, which would bolster Washington’s position. Workshop participants disagreed over how bitterly contested the geopolitical competition between the United States and China will be in the coming decades: some saw a contest over naval hegemony in the South China Sea as highly likely and troubling (even the “biggest geopolitical flashpoint of the coming decade”), whereas others predicted that it would remain a lower-profile irritant. In any case, China is, as one speaker put it, “both friend and foe” (yi di yi you – 亦敌亦友) to the United States and there will be a high premium on G-2 cooperation. Indeed, one benefit the G-20 is its situation of the G-2 relationship within a more cooperative framework.

China is committed, it appears, to a “go-out” policy of building economic, diplomatic, and military partnerships that maintain stability and ensure continued access to resources that fuel economic growth. In the process of pursuing this policy, one speaker noted, “China has shaped the world”— especially African and South East Asian economies that have benefited from Chinese infrastructure building, industrial training, and medical care.

Whether China becomes the “responsible stakeholder” that the United States desires depends on the future direction of Chinese foreign policy. Currently, a participant stated, China “is not the best global actor it could be.” While China often expresses a willingness to “do the right thing” on issues like environmental protection or corruption, they do not have institutional capacity to follow through. If China develops this capacity quickly, it will likely be the result of internal demands for better governance. Indeed, the Chinese populace—particularly one empowered by the internet—is one of three factors that will shape the future of Chinese foreign policy. The second is the outcome of the ongoing debate about foreign policy among Chinese elite over whether to be more geopolitically aggressive or cooperative; and the third is the leadership succession in 2012, which could make an enormous difference – or no difference at all to their foreign policy.

Brazil, another member of the “BRICs” (Brazil, Russia, India, China) and a democracy, also received specific attention. Though its global aspirations are as-yet ambiguous, Brazil actively seeks leadership in Latin America. From the Brazilian perspective, one speaker explained, regional integration is as worthy of political and diplomatic energy as any other issue. Brazil has also focused on Africa, where its development projects play an important role. Nevertheless, another speaker noted, Brazil is a participant in every new international institutional arrangement, perhaps hedging its bets for the future. And, under former President Lula, Brazil adopted a more assertive foreign policy stance, for example taking on the United States by working with Turkey to propose a nuclear agreement with Iran—which was summarily rejected by the UN Security Council. Overall, participants agreed that Brazil is increasingly willing to stand up to the United States on specific issues (because, according to one speaker, Brazil sees the United States as “derelict in its responsibilities for managing global public goods and order”), but Brasilia does not want to challenge the United States’ international position.

 

Normative Diversity

In the twenty-first century, the world will be characterized by multiple centers of state and regionbased power interacting with each other in an intense fashion. As this interaction reaches historically unprecedented levels, the normative order associated with each node will also interact—and likely clash. Throughout the workshop, participants debated the degree of commonality that is extant, possible, or desirable.

Implicit in any discussion of emerging powers as responsible leaders is the question of who will define the norms of “responsibility” in the twenty-first century. Participants expressed markedly different views regarding the level of normative commonality between emerging and established powers, and along what lines there may be agreement. Speakers identified three areas where normative gaps may emerge: the balance between states and markets, sovereignty, and sources of domestic legitimacy.
Some were skeptical of the idea of normative divergence. One speaker argued that he saw no evidence for normative divergence beyond minor, short-term differences; rather, he saw remarkable normative consensus, particularly in the context of the financial crisis. Another opined that science has created a greater shared knowledge about how the world works, which diminishes disagreement about scientific problems’ causes and optimal responses.

Several participants were more pessimistic, expressing doubt that aspirant powers will accept the existing western acquis communitaire. Fissures in values will emerge, they predicted, on the three aforementioned issues, particularly the western notion of contingent sovereignty as expressed by norms like the responsibility to protect, separation of church and state, and norms governing the internet. The developing world equates the norm of intervention on a spectrum of issues—from pandemics to macroeconomic policy to failed states—with imperialism whereas western powers generally see intervention as a pillar of international order. While divergences are not yet glaringly obvious, they argued, fissures will increasingly manifest as emerging states develop more sophisticated strategic perspectives. Even in instances where common interests exists, there may be challenging difference in priorities; hence, what consensus does emerge will be shallower and therefore a weaker foundation for cooperation.

Normative diversity in today’s world is more complex than the west versus the rest, however; increasingly, fissures have emerged among western states. Europe is no longer seen as a default partner of the United States—the United States and Europe have deeply different views about the multilateral order, and European Union politics have renationalized. As emerging powers become more important players than Washington’s traditional transatlantic allies, democracy is losing currency as the organizing principle for global cooperation. While regime type may help to narrow the potential degree of difference in states’ world views, it is not a panacea for cooperation. Several speakers discouraged the United States from continuing to use democracy as an organizing principle for global cooperation because it is globally contentious, its superiority as a model is viewed uncertainly (particularly given political paralysis in Washington), and empirically democracies often disagree. One speaker argued that the United States should prioritize responsible governance over democracy as the litmus test of legitimacy.

Striking a more sanguine tone, one speaker reminded the group that diversity of norms may be a good thing. He questioned why U.S. norms are beneficial to the international community when the “end result is the global financial crisis.” A few other participants echoed this sentiment in questioning what the financial crisis implies about the limitations of American leadership.

To address whatever degree of normative divergence exists, or may develop in the future, participants agreed on the need for shared understandings between states. As one speaker suggested, the United States needs to “more extensively cultivate conversations with other countries about the nature of the world, the contours of where we are, and how we are enmeshed in a web of interactions.”

 

Global Governance Architecture

The international political changes afoot will have important impacts on the global governance landscape. In 2011, the architecture of global governance is comprised of formal international institutions (such as the UN and Breton Woods institutions), regional organizations (like the African Union and Organization of American States), informal institutions (the G-20 and Group of Eight (G-8) for example), and initiatives (such as the Proliferation Security Initiative). Participants discussed several different frameworks for understanding today’s international order, which most agreed is in a period of systemic transition with a high degree of uncertainty about the outcome. Indeed, as one speaker suggested, “we don’t even know who the emerging powers are yet.”

Perhaps the most defining feature of the present age is an unprecedented premium on consent: whereas coercion and war worked well in the past, today global governance is not possible without consent among an enlarged group of key actors. To some workshop participants, this dynamic suggested a return to multipolarity—though of a different character than pre-World War I Europe. Others saw more of a hybrid model with multipolar and unipolar elements: a more plural world with hierarchical, even somewhat hegemonic, characteristics. Practically, a more plural world may imply that multilateral cooperation will transpire less a la charte (or within formal, treaty-based international organizations) and more a la carte (based on ad hoc coalitions of states with similar interests in a given issue). One speaker made a case for building patterns of cooperation in issue spheres where cooperation is already deep and rich—namely, transnational security issues, where emerging powers such as India and China have demonstrated their willingness to cooperate through UN peacekeeping and other mechanisms. In building complex networks of cooperative, issue-based alliances, bilateral relations will also remain important.

As one speaker suggested, the result may be a “new look for global architecture” where existing universal multilateral institutions and informal groupings (like the Group of Twenty (G-20)) converge. Others questioned the utility of thinking about top-down architectural design for global governance, suggesting instead that governance will come from a variety of different—regional, functional, formal, informal—institutions and initiatives. One participant questioned the workshop’s working definition of global governance, reminding the group that global governance is a larger concept intended to transcend individual states and governments.

In addition to analyzing how the international order is changing, workshop participants sought to evaluate the success of the current system. Speakers diverged in their assessments of its effectiveness. Some metrics suggested for evaluation were: identifying tipping points for governance regimes (such as nonproliferation and climate change), the frequency of crises and adequacy of response to those crises, measurements of aggregate and dramatic power transitions since 2000, and state-by-state analysis of preferences and interests among the rising powers. One speaker pointed to non-compliance with UN Security Council resolutions in Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as evidence that the post-World War II system, anchored by the United Nations (UN), is not working well.

Others suggested evaluating effectiveness based on whether the supply of global governance meets demand. According to one speaker, international politics are going well: the United States has peaceful or at least decent relations with every great power, there are fewer interstate and civil wars, the United States is spending less on its military and getting more for it, there are forty countries backing the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan (which is more than Cold War-era interventions), there are more democracies, global health has made progress, trade has increased, and governments informally cooperate through network diplomacy to solve problems (as with the financial crisis). Thus, he argued, what remains are the toughest problems such as global warming, small-scale non-state violence, the Middle East peace process, intellectual property, and North Korea. For the most part, there is not urgent demand for cooperation on these hard issues; instead, they relate to a national concerns and likely lend themselves to domestic, rather than international, solutions over the long term. “It’s hard to imagine these as issues where the primary problem is that we don’t have the right institutional situation to deal with it,” he contended.

Others disagreed with this rosy assessment, arguing that the demand for international cooperation is not being met: the nonproliferation regime faces major changes with potential cascade effects; climate change is not at a point of crisis but it is a serious environmental problem that will become central to political life; there has been no progress on the trade system because of the stalled Doha round of talks; and there is a endemic discrepancy between economic growth and distribution of wealth as the global population grows disproportionately at the poorer end of the spectrum.

While several participants acknowledged flaws in the UN—the bedrock institution of the post- World War Two order—the workshop did not focus extensively on reform. A few participants questioned the continued utility of the UN, particularly absent reform; other affirmed the necessity of maintain the UN as the central global governing body. UN Security Council reform may be essential, but questions remain over the size of a possible expansion, whether new members would occupy a separate category, and which countries would be included. The United States is ambivalent about Security Council enlargement though, according to one speaker, reforming the Council now is essential to ensure that this body—in which the United States has veto power—remains relevant.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), one participant suggested, should be considered part of the global governance architecture. NATO is increasingly global, with an ambitious strategy concept, and partners around the world; further, NATO is the only organization with robust capacity to solve hard security problems. It derives effectiveness and legitimacy from the democratic character of the institution, although NATO has demonstrated willingness to partner with nondemocratic countries when strategically expedient. Several other speakers disagreed about NATO’s ability to play a significant role in global governance, noting uneven success and participation in Afghanistan as well as limited political appetite in NATO member countries for large-scale defense commitments. Additionally, even if NATO did have adequate capacity, non-NATO countries are unlikely to welcome NATO forces—unlike the UN, which is able to deploy with consent because of its universal membership.

 

Assessing the Group of Twenty (G-20)

As the most significant development in global governance since the end of the Cold War, future direction of the G-20 will have determinant consequences for the international order. Whereas the G20’s coordinated response to the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 caused great optimism about its contribution to governance, the group’s disappointing performance in 2010 inspired greater skepticism.

The G-20 rose to prominence as the off-the-shelf mechanism chosen by Washington to address the global financial crisis. Participants questioned whether the G-20 would be able to transcend its recent history as a financially focused “crisis committee” to become a more broadly focused “steering committee”; some contended the G-20 has already made this transition. If the G-20 were drawn into the broader global agenda, one speaker suggested, there would be three salutary consequences: it would open a more fluid era of multilateral cooperation with shifting subsets of states forming coalitions; it would offer a useful setting for established and emerging powers to reach agreement about responsibilities associated with power; and it would be a flexible pre-negotiation forum that would complement international institutions and compel reform. Already, the G-20 has been a venue for shifting coalitions among members based on national interests.

Looking in the rearview mirror, participants analyzed whether the G-20 has been effective and why. Most agreed that evaluating effectiveness is very difficult and the G-20’s record is mixed. As one speaker explained, the G-20 is still a “work in progress.” Several participants cautioned of the need to evaluate the G-20 against realistic expectations rather than “journalistic” expectations. Seen realistically, the G-20’s project of macroeconomic policy coordination is exceptionally difficult—perhaps impossible without a crisis as motivation—because states tend to see economic policy as a domestic issue. The G-20 is also subject to selection bias, whereby it only gets the hardest issues because others are solved elsewhere. Insofar as these issues must be discussed, however, the G-20 seems to be the best available venue because it brings together the systemically significant economies without the bureaucratic baggage of the UN and international financial institutions.

Two speakers offered quantitative assessments of the G-20’s performance. One speaker compared the G-20 with the G-8, finding that G-8 surpasses the G-20 on measures of deliberation, accountability, and delivery; the G-20 surpasses the G-8 on direction setting; and the G-20’s agenda has expanded over time while the G-8’s contracted. While the G-8 has decreased engagement with international institutions, the G-20 has enhanced its multilateral engagement. Most importantly, the G- 20’s average compliance performance is substantially lower than the G-8.

The issue of compliance is particularly important for understanding the value—and therefore the worthiness of investment—in institutions like the G-8 and G-20. According to one speaker, high compliance rates tend to result from short (about one year) timetables and commitments referencing core international organizations (although references to non-core international organizations tend to decrease compliance rates). Another interlocutor contended that the G-20 would function best if an independent arbiter (such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF)) assesses compliance, so as to avoid a prisoner’s dilemma. Compliance is difficult to measure, however, because of the disjuncture between the letter versus spirit of the law and willful noncompliance versus exigent circumstances; for these reasons, finding meaningful metrics is not straightforward. Measuring compliance also raises a debate about overpromising: although it is dishonest to commit to a goal that is clearly unrealistic, it may be better to partially fulfill an ambitious goal (say, for example, funding for maternal health) than to completely fulfill a modest one. In some cases, it may become clear that commitments were a bad idea, in which case they should be ignored. Finally, compliance does not always imply real world consequences: commitments may not be closely related to outcomes.

The most recent G-20 summit in Seoul, South Korea achieved limited success. Its headline achievements were an agreement on Basel III, IMF reform, and indicative guidelines. Some participants lauded these as major successes—one called developing indicative guidelines a “massive and substantial” accomplishment—but others questioned their true impact—for example calling Basel III a “relatively modest agreement” that will likely be outmoded by the time it comes into effect. Another speaker called Seoul an “unfinished success”—beneficially leaving room for further progress. It is unfair to measure success based on whether a summit “saves the world every six months,” he stated. Regardless of the substantive agreements reached in Seoul, the acerbic currency dispute—in which China refused to revalue the renminbi and the United States Federal Reserve announced a new round of quantitative easing on the eve of the summit—left a bitter aftertaste. Procedurally, Seoul was successful in its UN outreach efforts and, some participants felt, in further institutionalizing the G-20.

Looking ahead, workshop participants offered thoughts on the G-20’s future agenda and effectiveness. One participant outlined the unresolved issues raised by the Seoul summit: continued debate about exchange rates; greater recognition of global governance shifts, particularly the implications of IMF reform; crisis response; macroeconomic policy; changes to the global safety net; development; financial sector reform; and G-20 institutional consolidation. Because the G-20 has no institutional capacity or constitutional authority, and because its relationship with high-capacity formal institutions is contentious, it will likely serve primarily as an incubator of consensus. Implementation and accountability functions will fall either to individual states, international organizations, or perhaps non-governmental organizations. Whether the G-20 expands into security, climate change, and other issues remains an open question—though a few participants argued such an expansion is inevitable given the difficulty of controlling the agenda if an emergency arises during a leaders-level meeting. Based on past precedent, the G-20’s ability to impact climate change negotiations will occur through pre-negotiating political agreements before UN-sponsored conferences or in areas that do not compete directly with the UN process, such as the G-20 process on the reduction of energy subsidies.

Three factors may shape the G-20’s future effectiveness: shocks, agency, and democracy. The G- 20 tends to do best when responding to an economic shock—as with the summits in Washington, London, and Pittsburgh—but flounders without crisis-induced focus. One participant challenged this narrative, though, contending that Seoul occurred amidst the Irish Euro crisis and “struck out.” Agency also matters: diplomatically experienced western powers hosted the G-20’s summits in 2008 and 2009 with great success. It remains unclear whether less capable states will be able to host similarly successful summits. Finally, the issue of democracy: while the Seoul summit was the first one hosted by a non-G-8 state, South Korea is democratic. If “democracy does matter in the design and outcomes of G- 20 and G-8 governance,” as one speaker contended, what will happen when a country like Russia hosts?

According to one speaker, however, the G-20’s potential effectiveness is greatly circumscribed: it will make a “modest contribution, which is useful but not a panacea for global governance.” Instead, based on its comparative advantages, the G-20 should be an agenda-setting leadership forum in insulated technocratic areas where leaders matter, quickness counts, and globalization is involved. First, returning to the supply and demand trope, there are few areas where governments actively seek cooperation and the lack of a forum like the G-20 is the primary impediment. Second, the G-20 does not appear to solve an enforcement or credible commitment problem that hinders cooperation. Third, on many key policy issues, states lack domestic capacity to implement agreements, which the G-20 cannot solve. Moreover, this speaker echoed others in disputing the notion that the G-20 would socialize emerging powers into responsible stakeholders, stating that there is no evidence for this claim at the international level.

 

The Legitimacy Challenge

Legitimacy comes in many different flavors. When defining legitimacy, it theoretically breaks down into two categories: normative and sociological. Normative legitimacy derives from the right to rule (which is a moral question only answerable on the basis of a defensible account); sociological legitimacy is an institution believed to have the right to rule. In a post-hegemonic world, according to one speaker, sociological legitimacy is a fact that can be researched, whereas normative legitimacy is based on a certain view and rooted in moral theory. To assess normative legitimacy, the speaker proposed substantive and epistemic criteria. Substantively, an institution must: possess minimum moral acceptability, institutional integrity, and offer a comparative benefit or supply global goods. In order to make these substantive judgments, there must be reliable information and reasonable transparency, an accountable process for assessment and sanctions for not doing so, and the ability to revise goals and processes over time as required.

Within this framework participants identified sources of legitimacy: representativeness, membership, expertise, implementation/compliance, a reputation for success, transparency, and aggregated power of member governments. On the question of who confers legitimacy, one speaker pointed to outsiders—if they matter down the road, they need to think you are legitimate—but another speaker cautioned that outsiders who want to be insiders are not reliable judges of legitimacy. The global public also has some role in conferring legitimacy.

Even when an institution has legitimacy, however, it is not necessarily effective. Indeed, legitimacy and effectiveness have a complex and bidirectional relationship. The Kyoto Protocol, for example enjoys great sociological legitimacy but has not been effective. Universality may breed legitimacy and, therefore, effectiveness under the assumption that countries are more willing to accept scrutiny and rules of an institution of which they are members because it changes the domestic story line of international intervention. Less clear is whether membership alone inspires states to be more cooperative with an institution. Similarly, accountability can make an institution more or less effective. Effectiveness, for its part, may lead to legitimacy in sociological terms.

Summarizing the dilemma, one speaker explained that more “process” can decrease effectiveness and/or increase legitimacy; more power generally increases effectiveness; and more effectiveness may increase legitimacy. To address the central dilemma—a potential tradeoff between legitimacy and effectiveness—he proposed four institutional fixes: consultation that is mandated not voluntary; formal coordination with multilateral organizations; formal representation formulas (as with the IMF); and ratification of decision by informal institutions in formal institutions.

 
 

Share this Post