International Relations Organizations: state and non-state
International relations is a discipline that focuses on the study of international politics. Except for relations between states, the discipline also studies both state and non-state international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Amnesty International. Robert Keohane focuses on international organizations because play an important role in international relations as they influence political, social economic issues at the international arena. For example, the United Nations has a branch that deals with peacekeeping operations in war-torn places (Robert O, 45). By its endeavors to maintain peace in such regions, the organization influences political situation in these places of the world. Along with state and non-state organizations, the author discusses non-governmental organizations which act as advocates for different ideologies.
The actors of international relations include non-state actors, multinational corporations, and non-governmental organizations. Non-state actors comprise all the non-sovereign entities that practice essential economic, social or political power. They have considerable influence at national and international levels. The organizations that are found in this category are trade unions, community organizations, religious institutions, and ethnic groupings. For example, UNESCO belongs to non-state actors as it does not depend on any particular state. Due to diverse interests among the members of this group, it is hard for non-state actors to reach consensus. The effect of non-state actors is context-dependent. This group has a role that they play in the society and their influence depends on the economic, political and social context (Gloannec A. 35).
Multinational corporations are companies that have offices in more than one country. Such companies as NESTLE, Coca Cola, Marriott are considered to be multinational. Often the headquarters of such companies are located in one country while the production sites can be located in many other countries.
Non-governmental organizations are privately managed and voluntary, they do not make any profit and serve various humanitarian purposes. Such organizations usually perform various functions depending on the focus of an organization. They are independent of the governmental or any other external influence. They receive funding from international donors and have the mandate of providing services. They provide and promote particular causes, and at some point, they seek to influence policies (Jeffry 50). Greenpeace and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) belong to non-governmental organizations.
The most influential type among all these actors are non-state actors. In the issues of international relations, they are considered to be opinion makers. These organizations are responsible for aiding in opinions that are used in the international affairs, for instance, the Human Rights Commissions. When in need of implementing partners, non-governmental organizations rely on non-state actors. Non-state actors act as the fundamental agent in assisting in achieving both the international and national development objectives like the issues of climatic change.
As a conclusion, international arena nowadays is not limited to states as the only actors. Different types of international state and non-state organizations also have a great influence at the international level. Having analyzed various types of organizations, it became evident that non-state actors play the most influential role among organizations. They play an important role in decision-making processes and assist other organizations such as NGO’s.
Frieden, Jeffry A. “Actors and preferences in international relations.” Lake, David A. and Powell, Robert (Eds.), Strategic Choice and International Relations 39-76. Princenton University Press, 1999.
Le, Gloannec Anne-M. Non-state Actors in International Relations: The Case of Germany. Manchester : Manchester Univ. Press, 2011.
Keohane, Robert O., and Lisa L. Martin. “Institutional theory as a research program.” The Realism Reader (2014): 320.