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Interests, power, and multilateralism

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  • Martin, Lisa L.

Abstract

Multilateralism characterizes, to varying degrees, patterns of interaction among states and the formal organizations they construct. The utility of multilateral norms or organizations varies with the type of cooperation problem states confront. Thus, the functional logic of international cooperation leads to hypotheses about the conditions under which the institution of multilateralism may be a feasible and efficient solution, as in coordination problems, and those under which it will not, as in collaboration problems. Within these constraints, powerful states choose institutions that will serve their interests, with multilateral arrangements becoming more attractive as the future is valued more highly. Multilateral institutions should be stable in circumstances of changing distributions of power, relative to more hierarchical institutions. The vulnerability of patterns of international cooperation to various exogenous changes depends on the type of strategic interaction underlying state behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin, Lisa L., 1992. "Interests, power, and multilateralism," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(04), pages 765-792, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:46:y:1992:i:04:p:765-792_03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Neda A. Zawahri & Ariel Dinar & Getachew Nigatu, 2016. "Governing international freshwater resources: an analysis of treaty design," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 307-331, April.
    2. Reinsberg,Bernhard Wilfried & Michaelowa,Katharina & Knack,Stephen, 2015. "Which donors, which funds ? the choice of multilateral funds by bilateral donors at the World Bank," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7441, The World Bank.
    3. de Coninck, Heleen & Fischer, Carolyn & Newell, Richard G. & Ueno, Takahiro, 2008. "International technology-oriented agreements to address climate change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 335-356, January.
    4. William Phelan, 2008. "Open International Markets without Exclusion: Encompassing Domestic Institutions, Excludable Goods, and International Public Goods," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp245, IIIS.
    5. Diana Panke, 2017. "Speech is silver, silence is golden? Examining state activity in international negotiations," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 121-146, March.
    6. Mayntz, Renate, 2009. "Sozialwissenschaftliches Erklären: Probleme der Theoriebildung und Methodologie," Schriften aus dem Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung Köln, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, volume 63, number 63.
    7. Todd Allee & Manfred Elsig, 2016. "Why do some international institutions contain strong dispute settlement provisions? New evidence from preferential trade agreements," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 89-120, March.
    8. William Phelan, 2008. "Why do EU Member States Offer a 'Constitutional' Obedience to EU Obligations? Encompassing Domestic Institutions and Costly International Obligations," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp256, IIIS.

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