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