International Organizations: Required Adjustments and New Opportunities for Change
The international organizations (IOs) that underpin global relations today originate from another time and place – a place when the world’s center of economic gravity was overwhelmingly located in the West. As is obvious to all, this center has been shifting both east and south. This not only means that emerging countries are getting richer, but that they are also becoming more powerful in political and military terms. Not surprisingly, these countries are demanding more of a say in international politics and economics. In particular, they want to correct what they see as continued Western dominance in organizations such as the IMF, the World Bank, the G20, and in forums like the UN Security Council.
In this dossier, we examine the most important challenges IOs face today, as well as the reforms and opportunities for change they need to pursue. We start by asking how rising powers – especially China – perceive existing IOs and whether they are willing to integrate into the current order (or create a new one). We then move on to question whether IOs, as currently constituted, are indeed bound to fail in a world of shifting power dynamics. Finally, the remainder of the dossier looks at case studies; specifically, the studies look at how the UN, the WTO, and NATO are coping with (or not) a changing political and economic international landscape.
10 Jan 2012 / Special Feature