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Multilateralism cursed by bilateralism: Japan’s Role at the International Whaling Commission


  • Kenneth S. Donahue
  • Thierry Warin



We propose a new categorization of international organizations to account for the fact that within multilateral international organizations, states may engage in “enticement” strategies in order to advance their policy preferences. Thus, to the traditional multilateral/bilateral categorizations we substitute a hard multilateral/soft multilateral and reciprocal bilateral/bilateral taxonomy. For illustration purposes, we use the well-known case study of Japan and the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Using a modified gravity model to analyze Japan’s Official Development Assistance from 1973-2005, we find that Japan has a very traditional – and generous – assistance policy broadly defined, but when it comes to the IWC, some of the general principles driving the aid policy are put aside to possibly influence vote outcomes. Given this finding, we conclude that the IWC is best categorized as a soft multilateral organization.

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  • Kenneth S. Donahue & Thierry Warin, 2009. "Multilateralism cursed by bilateralism: Japan’s Role at the International Whaling Commission," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0904, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0904

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    1. Peter Egger & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2004. "Foreign Direct Investment and European Integration in the 1990s," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 99-110, January.
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    3. Robert C. Feenstra, "undated". "Facts And Fallacies About Foreign Direct Investment," Department of Economics 98-04, California Davis - Department of Economics.
    4. Mongelli, Francesco Paolo & De Grauwe, Paul, 2005. "Endogeneities of optimum currency areas: what brings countries sharing a single currency closer together?," Working Paper Series 468, European Central Bank.
    5. Söderberg, Marie, 2002. "Changes In Japanese Foreign Aid Policy," EIJS Working Paper Series 157, Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies.
    6. M. J. Gagen, 2003. "Japanese Public Support For Official Development Assistance," Econometrics 0310002, EconWPA.
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