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Multilateralism: the anatomy of an institution

  • John Gerard Ruggie


In 1989, peaceful change, which a leading realist theorist had declared a very low-probability event in international politics less than a decade before, accommodated the most fundamental geopolitical shift of the postwar era and perhaps of the entire twentieth century: the collapse of the Soviet East European empire and the attendant end of the cold war. Many factors were responsible for that shift. But there seems little doubt that multilateral norms and institutions have helped stabilize their international consequences. Indeed, such norms and institutions appear to be playing a significant role in the management of a broad array of regional and global changes in the world system today.



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1. See Gilpin, Robert, War and Change in World Politics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981), p. 15: “Although… peaceful adjustment of the systemic disequilibrium is possible, the principal mechanism of change throughout history has been war, or what we shall call hegemonic war (i.e., a war that determines which state or states will be dominant and will govern the system).”

2. See Clarke, William M., “The Midwives of the New Europe,” Central Banker 1 (Summer 1990), pp. 4951; and Stokes, Bruce, “Continental Shift,” National Journal, nos. 33 and 34, 08 1990, pp. 19962001.

3. See Waltz, Kenneth N., Theory of International Politics (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1979), especially the references to a united Europe on p. 180 and the discussion on pp. 201–2.

4. Moreover, Hungary and Czechoslovakia have already joined the Council of Europe, and both have raised the issue of forging some type of affiliation with NATO. See “Prague Courts NATO,” Los Angeles Times, 19 March 1991, p. Ml.

5. Mearsheimer and others who discount the efficacy of institutions have drawn dire inferences from the end of the cold war for the future of European stability. In contrast, Snyder, Van Evera, and others who take institutions seriously have been much more prone to see an adaptive political order ahead. See Mearsheimer, John J., “Back to the Future: Instability in Europe After the Cold War,” International Security 15 (Summer 1990), pp. 556; Snyder, Jack, “Averting Anarchy in the New Europe,” International Security 14 (Spring 1990), pp. 541; and Evera, Stephen Van, “Primed for Peace: Europe After the Cold War,” International Security 15 (Winter 19901991), pp. 757.

6. In 1989, according to Weber, “some foreign policy thinkers in Paris reverted to old ideas, suggesting a new alliance with Poland, the emerging Eastern European states, and perhaps the Soviet Union as well in opposition to Germany. These flirtations with bilateral treaties and a new balance of power have been mostly left by the wayside.” See Weber, Steve, “Security After 1989: The Future with Nuclear Weapons,” in Garrity, Patrick, ed., The Future of Nuclear Weapons (New York: Plenum Press, forthcoming). By comparable historical junctures, I mean 1848, 1919, and 1945. After 1848, what was left of the Concert of Europe system rapidly degenerated into a system of competitive alliances; after World War 1, France in particular sought the protection of bilateral alliances against Germany; and after World War II, several West European countries sought bilateral alliances with the United States and with one another. Among the useful sources for the two earlier periods are the following: Albrecht-Carrie, Rene, A Diplomatic History of Europe Since the Congress of Vienna (New York: Harper & Row, 1958); Carr, E. H., International Relations Between the Two World Wars (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1961); Degenhardt, Henry W., Treaties and Alliances of the World, 3d ed. (Essex: Longmans, 1981); and Taylor, A. J. P., The Struggle for Mastery of Europe, 1848–1918 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1971).

7. Some proposals along these lines are offered by Harris, Stuart in “‘Architecture for a New Era’ in Asia/Pacific,” Pacific Research 3 (05 1990), pp. 89.

8. Latin America seems to fall somewhere in between. According to one recent assessment, “While the United States was ignoring and undermining multilateralism in the Western hemisphere, the Latin American nations themselves were moving towards greater co-operation, or concertacion, as they call it, to some degree as a response to United States policy.” See Bloomfield, Richard J. and Lowenthal, Abraham F., “Inter-American Institutions in a Time of Change,” International Jhumal 45 (Autumn 1990), p. 868.

9. This refrain was begun by Bergsten, C. Fred in “The New Economics and U. S. Foreign Policy,” Foreign Affairs 50 (01 1972), pp. 199222. For a recent rendition, see “Echoes of the 1930s,” The Economist, 5 January 1991, pp. 15, 16, and 18.

10. On recent developments in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), see Winham, Gilbert R., “GATT and the International Trade Regime,” International Journal 45 (Autumn 1990), pp. 796882. One real problem is that the variety of extant trade arrangements today is well beyond the scope of the traditional GATT terminology and that no new consensus exists about what types of unilateral, bilateral, and other measures are compatible or incompatible with the underlying multilateral character of GATT. This gives added relevance to the type of conceptual clarification I am proposing here.

11. Regarding these predictions, see Reiss, Mitchell, Without the Bomb: The Politics of Nuclear Nonproliferation (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), pp. 336.

12. See Thomas W. Graham and A. F. Mullins, “Arms Control, Military Strategy, and Nuclear Proliferation,” paper presented at a conference entitled Nuclear Deterrence and Global Security in Transition,” Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California, La Jolla, 21–23 02 1991, p. 3. As Graham and Mullins point out, states have left the “problem” list more rapidly than they have joined it in recent years. See also Pilat, Joseph F. and Pendley, Robert E., eds., Beyond 1995: The Future of the NPT Regime (New York: Plenum Press, 1990).

13. As Heisbourg has suggested, it is also quite possible, though difficult to prove, that “without the decisions of the U. N. Security Council, there would have been no [international] coalition capable of weathering close to seven months of crisis and war [and] the U. S. Congress would not have approved offensive military operations in the absence of the Security Council's Resolution 678, which authorized the use of force.” See Heisbourg, Francois, “An Eagle Amid Less Powerful Fowl,” Los Angeles Times, 10 03 1991, p. M5.

14. See Keohane, Robert O., “The Theory of Hegemonic Stability and Changes in International Economic Regimes, 1967–1977,” in Holsti, Ole R., Siverson, Randolph M., and George, Alexander L., eds., Change in the International System (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1980), pp. 131–62; Stein, Arthur A., “The Hegemon's Dilemma: Great Britain, the United States, and the International Economic Order,” International Organization 38 (Spring 1984), pp. 355–86; Snidal, Duncan, “The Limits of Hegemonic Stability Theory,” International Organization 39 (Autumn 1985), pp. 579614; and Conybeare, John A. C., Trade Wars: The Theory and Practice of International Commercial Rivalry (New York: Columbia University Press, 1987).

15. I mean to include here both strands of theorizing identified by Keohane: the rationalist and the reflectivist. See Keohane, Robert O., “International Institutions: Two Approaches,” International Studies Quarterly 32 (12 1988), pp. 379–96.

16. See Krasner, Stephen D., ed., International Regimes (Ithaca, N. Y.: Cornell University Press, 1983); Oye, Kenneth A., ed., Cooperation Under Anarchy (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1986); and Keohane, Robert O., After Hegemony (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1984).

17. See Keohane, Robert O., “Multilateralism: An Agenda for Research,” International Journal 45 (Autumn 1990), p. 731. After introducing the concept of multilateralism and defining it in this manner, Keohane essentially goes on to discuss international institutions in the generic sense. See also Keohane, After Hegemony, in which there are but two fleeting references to multilateralism, both to specific agreements in trade; and Keohane, , International Institutions and State Power (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1989), which contains no entry under multilateralism in its index. I must admit that these criticisms apply as well to my own writings on the subject of institutions. Keohane has kindly referred to a 1975 paper of mine as having “foreshadowed much of the conceptual work of the next decade.” Alas, it also foreshadowed this blind spot, having been concerned primarily with differentiating the study of international organization from the study of formal international organizations-hence, the introduction of the concept of “regimes.” See Keohane, , “Multilateralism,” p. 755, fn. 44, referring to Ruggie, , “International Responses to Technology: Concepts and Trends,” International Organization 29 (Summer 1975), pp. 557–83.

18. In the UN context, what Keohane defines as multilateral is called multinational—for example, the multinational (non-UN) observer team in the Sinai. In the UN, only that is considered multilateral which is duly authorized by a multilateral forum. But if Keohane's definition is analytically too loose, the UN conception is too limiting, as I discuss later in my article.

19. See Diebold, William Jr, “The History and the Issues,” in Diebold, William Jr, ed., Bilateralism, Multilateralism and Canada in U. S, Trade Policy (Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger, 1988), p. 1. Diebold seeks to formulate some principled basis for distinguishing what kind of recent trade measures-unilateral, bilateral, and what he calls plurilateral-are consistent with, and what kind undermine, the principles of multilateralism on which the GATT regime is based.

20. See ibid.; Gardner, Richard N., Sterling-Dollar Diplomacy in Current Perspective, rev. ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1980); Viner, Jacob, “Conflicts of Principle in Drafting a Trade Charter,” Foreign Affairs 25 (07 1947), pp. 612–28; Feis, Herbert, “The Conflict over Trade Ideologies,” Foreign Affairs 25 (01 1947), pp. 217–28; and Pollard, Robert, Economic Security and the Origins of the Cold War (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985).

21. See Dallek, Robert, Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979); Gaddis, John Lewis, The Long Peace (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), pp. 347; and Pollard, Economic Security and the Origins of the Cold War.

22. Bush, George, cited in “President Bush's Address to Congress on End of the Gulf War,” The New York Times, 7 03 1991, p. A8.

23. See the following articles in this issue of IO: James A. Caporaso, “International Relations Theory and Multilateralism: The Search for Foundations”; Miles Kahler, “Multilateralism with Small and Large Numbers”; and Steve Weber, “Shaping the Postwar Balance of Power: Multilateralism in NATO.” See also the contributions to Ruggie, Multilateralism Matters.

24. Diebold, “The History and the Issues.”

25. The classic and appropriately titled study of the Nazi system is Hirschman's, Albert O.National Power and the Structure of Foreign Trade (1945; reprint, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980). See also Yeager, Leland B., International Monetary Relations: Theory, History, and Policy (New York: Harper & Row, 1976), pp. 357–76.

26. Several major states, including Great Britain and the United States, had limited agreements with Germany involving Sondermarks—marks which foreigners could earn through the sale of specified products to Germany but which Germany in turn restricted to particular purchases from Germany.

27. Taylor, The Struggle for Mastery of Europe, chap. 12.

28. Salter, Arthur, Security (London: Macmillan, 1939), p. 155; emphasis in original.

29. See Hudson, G. F., “Collective Security and Military Alliances,” in Butterfield, Herbert and Wight, Martin, eds., Diplomatic Investigations (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968), pp. 176–77. See also Kupchan, Charles A. and Kupchan, Clifford A., “Concerts, Collective Security, and the Future of Europe,” International Security 16 (Summer 1991), pp. 114–61.

30. Contrary to folklore, Woodrow Wilson was not prepared to commit the United States to specific and automatic military obligations under the League of Nations; his collective security scheme would have relied on public opinion, arms limitations, and arbitration more than on enforcement mechanisms. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge's fundamental objection to the League of Nations was that its permanence and universalism would entail limitless entanglements for the United States. Lodge in turn favored stronger and more specific security guarantees to France and against Germany. See Ambrosius, Lloyd E., Woodrow Wilson and the American Diplomatic Tradition (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987), pp. 51106.

31. The key shortcoming of collective security UN style is, of course, that the UN has no means of its own to implement a military response to aggression, since no state has ever negotiated an Article 43 agreement making standby forces available. After the war in the Persian Gulf, the U. S. ambassador to the UN, Thomas Pickering, proposed the reconsideration of Article 43 provisions in speeches before the Veterans of Foreign Wars on 4 March 1991 and before the American Bar Association on 26 April 1991 in Washington, D. C.

32. French absence from the unified command and U. S. control over nuclear weapons complicate matters further.

33. Keohane, , “Multilateralism,” p. 732.

34. See Doyle, Michael, Empires (Ithaca, N. Y.: Cornell University Press, 1986), pp. 1947. Some of the more predatory expressions of the Nazi arrangements came very close to if they did not actually constitute the imperial form.

35. Obviously, the existence of nuclear weapons, economic interdependence, externalities, or other technical factors can and probably does affect the social constructions that states choose. I am not imputing causality here, simply clarifying a concept.

36. Keohane, Robert O., “Reciprocity in International Relations,” International Organization 40 (Winter 1986), pp. 127.

37. Bilateral balancing need not imply equality; it simply means establishing a mutually acceptable balance between the parties, however that is determined in practice. For an extended discussion of this difference, see Polanyi, Karl, “The Economy as Instituted Process,” in Polanyi, Karl, Arensberg, Conrad M., and Pearson, Harry W., eds., Trade and Market in the Early Empires (Glencoe, 111.: Free Press, 1957), pp. 243–70.

38. Keohane, “International Institutions.”

39. Krasner, International Regimes.

40. Steve Weber predicted the emergence of a superpower security regime in Realism, Detente, and Nuclear Weapons,” International Organization 44 (Winter 1990), pp. 5582. Jervis, Robert discussed the possibility in two of his works: “Security Regimes,” in Krasner, , International Regimes, pp. 173–94; and From Balance to Concert: A Study of International Security Cooperation,” World Politics 38 (10 1985), pp. 5879.

41. See Borkenau, Franz, World Communism: A History of the Communist International, with an introduction by Aron, Raymond (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1962).

42. See Holden, Gerard, “The End of an Alliance: Soviet Policy and the Warsaw Pact, 1989–90,” PRIF Reports (Peace Research Institute, Frankfurt), no. 16, 12 1990.

43. The distinction between coordination and collaboration was proposed by Stein, Arthur in “Coordination and Collaboration: Regimes in an Anarchic World,” in Krasner, , International Regimes, pp. 115–40. See also Snidal, Duncan, “IGO's, Regimes, and Cooperation: Challenges for International Relations Theory,” in Karns, Margaret P. and Mingst, Karen A., eds., The United States and Multilateral Institutions (Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1990), pp. 321–50; and Lisa Martin, “Interests, Power, and Multilateralism,” International Organization, forthcoming. The international property rights of states invariably are taken for granted, however, even though their stable definition is logically and temporally prior to the other two collective action problems. I have therefore added this dimension.

44. For a brief review of this subject and an interesting discussion of how global warming and rising sea levels may affect these practices, see Caron, David D., “When Law Makes Climate Change Worse: Rethinking the Law of Baselines in Light of a Rising Sea Level,” Ecology Law Quarterly, vol. 17, no. 4, 1990, pp. 621–53.

45. It took until the early eighteenth century before piracy, frequently state-sponsored, came to be generally defined as being inherently damaging to the legitimate interests of states. See Ritchie, Robert C., Captain Kidd and the War Against the Pirates (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1986).

46. Mattingly, Garrett, Renaissance Diplomacy (Baltimore, Md.: Penguin Books, 1964), p. 244.

47. On the emergence of the perception that extraterritoriality played a systemic role, see Bozeman, Adda B., Politics and Culture in International History (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1960), especially pp. 479–80.

48. Note in this connection that UN Security Council Resolution 667 “strongly condemns” Iraq for “aggressive acts perpetrated… against diplomatic premises and personnel in Kuwait,” whereas Resolution 660, passed in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, merely “condemns” the invasion, without embellishment. The full texts are contained in UN Security Council, S/RES/667, 16 September 1990, and S/RES/660,2 August 1990; emphasis added.

49. Stein, “Coordination and Collaboration.”

50. International Telecommunications Union (ITU), From Semaphore to Satellite (Geneva: ITU, 1965), p. 45.

51. Chamberlain, J. P., The Regime of International Rivers (New York: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1923).

52. Haas, Ernst B., Beyond the Nation State (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1964), pp. 1417.

53. See Kupchan, and Kupchan, , “Concerts, Collective Security, and the Future of Europe,” p. 120. Note also the following analysis of the Treaty of Paris (1815) offered by historian Langhorne, Richard in “Reflections on the Significance of the Congress of Vienna,” Review of International Studies 12 (10 1986), p. 317: “There appeared at clause 6, in what was certainly Castlereagh's drafting, [a shift in] emphasis from a specific guarantee to a scheme for the continuous management of the international system by the great powers.”

54. See Kissinger, Henry A., A World Restored (New York: Universal Library, 1964), p. 5. Kissinger concentrates on the Congress system, a subset of the Concert of Europe, which ended by about 1823, but my commentary holds for the entire concert system.

55. See Jervis, Robert, “Security Regimes,” p. 178. See also Jervis, “From Balance to Concert”; and Elrod, Richard B., “The Concert of Europe: A Fresh Look at an International System,” World Politics 28 (01 1976), pp. 159–74.

56. Holsti, Kal, “Governance Without Government: Modes of Coordinating, Managing and Controlling International Politics in Nineteenth Century Europe,” paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Vancouver, Canada, 03 1991.

57. The term is used by Craig, Gordon A. and George, Alexander L. in Force and Statecraft (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983), p. 31.

58. Albrecht-Carrie, Rene, The Concert of Europe (New York: Walker, 1968), p. 22.

59. Holsti, , “Governance Without Government,” p. 4.

60. The French official is cited by Hinsley, F. H. in Power and the Pursuit of Peace (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1963), p. 243.

61. Peel, Robert, in Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, London, 29 06 1846; cited by Bhagwati, Jagdish N. and Irwin, Douglas A. in “The Return of the Reciprocitarians,” The World Economy 10 (06 1987), p. 114.

62. For an excellent heterodox treatment of these developments, see Stein, “The Hegemon's Dilemma.”

63. See Viner, Jacob, “The Most-Favored-Nation Clause,” in Viner, Jacob, International Economics (Glencoe, 111.: Free Press, 1951). The United States continued to reject unconditional MFN provisions in its trade treaties until 1923.

64. Eichengreen, Barry, “Conducting the International Orchestra: Bank of England Leadership Under the Classical Gold Standard,” Journal of International Money and Finance, vol. 6, no. 1, 1987, pp. 529.

65. According to Briggs, “The key equations of multilateralism were that the United Kingdom itself had a credit balance in its dealings with the primary producing countries, and that they settled their balance of indebtedness by an export surplus to the continental countries and to the United States. The continental countries in their turn financed import surpluses with the primary producing countries and with the United States by export surpluses to the United Kingdom.” See Briggs, Asa, “The World Economy: Interdependence and Planning,” in The New Cambridge Modern History, 2d ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968), vol. 12, p. 42.

66. Stein, “The Hegemon's Dilemma.”

67. Bloomfield, Arthur I., Monetary Policy Under the International Gold Standard (New York: Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 1959), p. 23.

68. Gourevitch, Peter, Politics in Hard Times (Ithaca, N. Y.: Cornell University Press, 1986), chap. 3.

69. Keohane, “Reciprocity in International Relations.”

70. Jervis, , “Security Regimes,” p. 180.

71. Kennedy, David, “The Move to Institutions,” Cardozo Law Review 8 (04 1987), pp. 841988.

72. For a brief though excellent review, see Rittberger, Volker, “Global Conference Diplomacy and International Policy-Making,” European Journal of Political Research, vol. 11, no. 2, 1983, pp. 167–82.

73. Ibid., pp. 167–68.

74. The counter to my argument, of course, would be that “systemic factors” determine or at least shape the preferences and behavior of hegemons. That, too, is plausible as a hypothesis. As it concerns this particular instance, however, I attach greater credibility to the actual postwar plans of the Third Reich and to what, since 1917, we knew Leninist world order designs to be than I do to the explanatory or predictive value of systemic theory. For general methodological discussions of counterfactuals, see Nash, Philip, “The Use of Counterfactuals in History: A Look at the Literature,” Newsletter of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, no. 22, 03 1991; and Fearon, James D., “Counterfactuals and Hypothesis Testing in Political Science,” World Politics 43 (01 1991), pp. 169–95.

75. he consensus on the basic contours of a desirable postwar monetary order was quite strong and widespread beyond the Axis powers and the Soviet Union. See League of Nations [Ragnar Nurkse], International Currency Experience: Lessons of the Inter-War Period (Geneva: League of Nations, 1944), especially pp. 66112.

76. Gardner, Sterling-Dollar Diplomacy in Current Perspective, chaps. 5–8.

77. This is quite clear from the provisions of the Anglo-American Atlantic Charter, promulgated in August 1941.

78. Clayton, William, cited by Pollard, in Economic Security and the Origins of the Cold War, p. 2.

79. Gardner, Sterling-Dollar Diplomacy in Current Perspective, part 1.

80. For a depiction of the subsequent economic regimes along these lines, see Ruggie, John Gerard, “International Regimes, Transactions, and Change: Embedded Liberalism in the Postwar Economic Order,” in Krasner, , International Regimes, pp. 195231. For additional documentation, see Ikenberry, G. John, “A World Economy Restored: Expert Consensus and the Anglo-American Postwar Settlement,” International Organization 46 (Winter 1992), pp. 289321. The historian of the Marshall Plan, Michael Hogan, similarly has argued that U. S. postwar planners “married Hull's free-trade dictums to the new theories of economic regulation and countercyclical stabilization.” See Hogan, Michael J., “One World into Two: American Economic Diplomacy from Bretton Woods to the Marshall Plan,” unpublished manuscript, Ohio State University, Columbus, n. d., p. 7.

81. See Dallek, , Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, pp. 406–11. Woodrow Wilson had confronted a similar dilemma at the end of World War I-though, unlike Roosevelt, Wilson sought to transcend what he termed “the evil machinations” of balance-of-power politics in the process of resolving it. “We still read Washington's immortal warnings against ‘entangling alliances’ with full comprehension and an answering purpose,” he proclaimed in a 1918 speech. “But only special and limited alliances entangle; and we recognize and accept the duty of a new day in which we are permitted to hope for a general alliance which will avoid entanglements and clear the air of the world for common understandings and the maintenance of common rights.” Wilson, is cited by Ambrosius, in Woodrow Wilson and the American Diplomatic Tradition, p. 46.

82. See Gaddis, John Lewis, Strategies of Containment (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), p. 9. See also Dallak, , Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, p. 508. According to Dallek, for Roosevelt “a United Nations would not only provide a vehicle for drawing Russia into extended cooperation with the West, but would also assure initial American involvement in postwar foreign affairs.”

83. For a good discussion of this compromise, see Dallek, , Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, pp. 442–82. On the Kupchans' continuum (as outlined in their “Concerts, Collective Security, and the Future of Europe”), the UN design may be described as a concert placed within a collective security organization.

84. The UN with U. S. support acquired a more modest collective security role in the form of peacekeeping in the 1950s and acquired a nuclear nonproliferation role via International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards and the nonproliferation treaty in the 1960s.

85. Weber, “Shaping the Postwar Balance of Power.”

86. Pollard, Economic Security and the Origins of the Cold War.

87. The requirement that the Europeans cooperate in reconstruction on a multilateral basis produced the Organization for European Economic Cooperation in 1948; it eventually became the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)—the chief mechanism through which economic bureaucrats of all the advanced capitalist countries coordinate the conduct of day-to-day policies. As for European integration, by 1947 the idea had gained strong support in U. S. media and political circles. Senator Fulbright and Representative Boggs went so far as to introduce identical resolutions into the Congress that year, asking it to endorse “the creation of a United States of Europe within the framework of the United Nations.” The bills were passed overwhelmingly. European integration was seen as a more promising idea for European economic recovery than individual national efforts alone, and it offered safeguards for the reindustrialization of Germany, which in turn was increasingly seen as being necessary for European recovery and for the success of the newly articulated U. S. policy of containing the Soviet Union. See Hogan, Michael J., The Marshall Plan: America, Britain, and the Reconstruction of Europe (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987).

88. Howard, Michael, “Introduction,” in Riste, Olav, ed., Western Security: The Formative Years (Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1985), p. 14.

89. Gaddis, , The Long Peace, pp. 4871.

90. Folly, Martin H., “Breaking the Vicious Circle: Britain, the United States, and the Genesis of the North Atlantic Treaty,” Diplomatic History 12 (Winter 1988), pp. 5977.

91. Henrikson, Alan K., “The Map as an ‘Idea‘: The Role of Cartographic Imagery During the Second World War,” The American Cartographer 2 (04 1975), pp. 1953 and 88.

92. Howard, , “Introduction,” p. 16.

93. On Article 51, see Tillapaugh, J., “Closed Hemisphere and Open World? The Dispute over Regional Security at the U. N. Conference, 1945,” Diplomatic History 2 (Winter 1978), pp. 2542. On the Vandenberg resolution, which paved the domestic political way for the eventual negotiations of the North Atlantic Treaty, and its explicit link to Article 51, see Hudson, Daryl J., “Vandenberg Reconsidered: Senate Resolution 239 and American Foreign Policy,” Diplomatic History 1 (Winter 1977), pp. 4663.

94. Arthur Vandenberg, cited by Hudson in “Vandenberg Reconsidered.” Those who assume that Vandenberg's expressed concerns amounted to nothing more than window dressing have not made a case for why a Republican senator, who had only recently been converted from isolationism, should have thought it necessary to expend so much energy for so puny a purpose.

95. See Gallicchio, Marc S., The Cold War Begins in Asia (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988); Gaddis, , The Long Peace, pp. 72103; and Pollard, Economic Security and the Origins of the Cold War, chap. 8.

96. For example, The New York Times described the April 1943 Hot Springs conference on food and agriculture, a conference that led eventually to the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, as “a prologue-a kind of dress rehearsal-preparatory to the world organization [Washington] hoped to set up after the war.” Cited by Wilson, Craig Alan in “Rehearsal for a United Nations: The Hot Springs Conference,” Diplomatic History 4 (Summer 1980), p. 264.

97. While the work of Robert Gilpin exemplifies the first, that of Kenneth Waltz exemplifies the second.

98. Gowa, Joanne, “Bipolarity, Multipolarity, and Free Trade,” American Political Science Review 83 (12 1989), pp. 1245–56.

99. Fox, William T. R., The Super-Powers: The United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1944).

100. Dallek, Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, chaps. 14–15.

101. For a discussion of Kennan's strategy, see Gaddis, , Strategies of Containment, pp. 2553.

102. See Viner, “Conflicts of Principle in Drafting a Trade Charter”; and Feis, “The Conflict Over Trade Ideologies.”

103. See Smith, Jean Edward, Lucius D. Clay: An American Life (New York: Henry Holt, 1990), especially pp. 423–49. Smith's overall assessment of U. S.-Soviet relations as seen on the ground in Germany is this: “The question of erecting a counterpoise to the Soviet Union did not enter Clay's thinking until late 1947, and until then his relations with the Russians were warm and cordial” (p. 7).

104. Jervis has pointed out that the decisive event in instituting the peculiar form of bipolarity known as the cold war was the Korean War. High U. S. defense budgets, a large U. S. armed presence in Europe to back the North Atlantic Treaty security guarantees, and anticommunist commitments all across the globe took hold only after that war. What is more, Jervis argues, “there were no events on the horizon which could have been functional substitutes for the war”—and which, therefore, would have been capable of producing those features of the international security environment. See Jervis, Robert, “The Impact of the Korean War on the Cold War,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 24 (12 1980), p. 563.

105. The so-called Gang of Four (Chalmers Johnson, Clyde Prestowitz, Karel van Wolferen, and James Fallows) has insisted that Japan is different in this regard; see “Beyond Japan-Bashing: The ‘Gang of Four’ Defends the Revisionist Line,” Business Week, 1 May 1990. For a dispassionate empirical analysis, which does not reach radically different conclusions, see Lincoln, Edward J., Japan's Unequal Trade (Washington, D. C: Brookings Institution, 1990).

106. See Hogan, Michael J., “Revival and Reform: America's Twentieth-Century Search for a New Economic Order Abroad,” Diplomatic History 8 (Fall 1984), pp. 287310; and Anne-Marie Burley, “Regulating the World: Multilateralism, International Law, and the Projection of the New Deal Regulatory State,” in Ruggie, Multilateralism Matters. While Hogan stresses the economic interest group dimension, Burley focuses on the administrative and legal dimensions.

107. Burley, “Regulating the World.”

108. See Dallek, Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy.

109. See Paterson, Thomas G., Meeting the Communist Threat: Truman to Reagan (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), pp. 3158.

110. Peter F. Cowhey, “Elect Locally, Order Globally: Domestic Politics and Multilateral Cooperation,” in Ruggie, Multilateralism Matters.

111. The debate was triggered by Kindleberger's, Charles book, The World in Depression, 1929–1939 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973), which also made popular the analogy between the 1930s and subsequent decades-first the 1970s, then the 1980s, and now the 1990s?

112. See, for example, Mearsheimer, “Back to the Future.”

113. See Krasner, International Regimes; and Keohane, After Hegemony.

114. In his contribution to our project, Garrett analyzes the most far-reaching instance of multilateralism ever: the EC members' adoption and implementation of the Single European Act. He describes his story as being entirely consistent with a “rationalist” view of institutions. If he is correct, it would suggest that, given a certain set of incentives to collaborate and given a certain institutional framework for collaboration, beyond some point no extra push from any “extraneous” forces, symbols, or aspirations may be necessary to achieve integrative solutions. See Garrett, Geoffrey, “International Cooperation and Institutional Choice: The European Community's Internal Market,” International Organization 46 (Spring 1992), pp. 533–60.

115. See Feis, Herbert, 1933: Characters in Crisis (Boston: Little, Brown, 1966).

116. See Schlesinger, Arthur M., The Coming of the New Deal, vol. 2 of The Age of Roosevelt (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1958), p. 229. For a game-theoretic rendering of this case, which not only supports Schlesinger's conclusion but also sheds considerable light on the broader debate, see the following works of Oye, Kenneth A.: “The Sterling-Dollar-Franc Triangle: Monetary Diplomacy, 1929–1937,” World Politics 38 (10 1985), pp. 173–99; and “On the Benefits of Bilateralism: Lessons from the 1930s,” paper prepared for the Workshop on Change in the International System, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 5–6 May 1989.

117. Gilpin raises this, correctly in my judgment, as one potential factor that could undermine the embedded liberalism compromise on which the postwar economic regimes have rested. See Gilpin, Robert, The Political Economy of International Relations (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1987).

118. See Snidal, , “The Limits of Hegemonic Stability Theory”; and Hardin, Russell, Collective Action (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982).

119. Kahler, “Multilateralism with Small and Large Numbers.”

120. Buzan, Barry, “Negotiating by Consensus: Developments in Technique at the U. N. Conference on the Law of the Sea,” American Journal of International Law 75 (04 1981), pp. 324–48.

121. See Western Europe Moves to Expand Free-Trade Links,” The New York Times, 8 12 1989, pp. 1 and D5; “All Europe's a Stage,” The Economist, 16 March 1991, p. 48; and “Inner Space,” The Economist, 18 May 1991, pp. 53–54.

122. See Patrick M. Morgan, “Multilateralism and Security Prospects in Europe,” in Ruggie, Multilateralism Matters. See also Kupchan and Kupchan, “Concerts, Collective Security, and the Future of Europe.”

123. Haas, Peter M., Saving the Mediterranean (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990).

124. See Haas, Peter M., “Banning Chlorofluorocarbons: Epistemic Community Efforts to Protect Stratospheric Ozone,” International Organization 46 (Winter 1992), pp. 187223; Sebenius, James K., “Crafting a Winning Coalition: Negotiating a Regime to Control Global Warming,” in Benedick, Richard Elliot et al. , Greenhouse Warming: Negotiating a Global Regime (Washington, D. C: World Resources Institute, 1991); and Mark W. Zacher, “Multilateral Organizations and the Institution of Multilateralism: The Development of Regimes for the Non-Terrestrial Spaces,” in Ruggie, Multilateralism Matters.

125. This has been Waltz's standard response; see, for example, Waltz, Kenneth, “Reflections on Theory of International Politics: A Response to My Critics,” in Keohane, Robert O., ed., Neorealism and Its Critics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), pp. 322–45.

126. See Caporaso, “International Relations Theory and Multilateralism”; and Friedrich V. Kratochwil, “Multilateralism and the Rationalist/Reflectivist Divide: A Unilateral Plea for Communicative Rationality,” in Ruggie, Multilateralism Matters.

This article was prepared as the background discussion paper for the Ford Foundation West Coast Workshop on Multilateralism. Several other papers prepared for that workshop are being published in this and other issues of International Organization, and the entire set will be presented in John Gerard Ruggie, ed., Multilateralism Matters: The Theory and Praxis of an Institutional Form (New York: Columbia University Press, forthcoming). I thank the Ford Foundation for making the project possible and the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation for orchestrating it. I am also very grateful to the other participants in the workshop for proving that multilateral cooperation under anarchy is not only feasible but can also be mutually profitable and fun; to Robert O. Keohane for his extensive and helpful critiques of an earlier draft of this article, which forced me to rethink and clarify several key issues; to Ernst B. Haas for his constructive comments; and to David Auerswald for research assistance.

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International Organization
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