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Governance Without Government: Order and Change in World Politics.

The two books under review approach the matter of conflict resolution in the twenty-first century in quite different ways. Taken together, they demonstrate the wide range of challenges and opportunities facing the world's statesmen in the evolving international system. Thomas Princen's Intermediaries in International Conflict accepts this system much as it is today and makes a number of original contributions to the understanding of the dilemmas facing mediators and those who accept their services. In contrast, James Rosenau and Ernst-Otto Czempiel's Governance without Government: Order and Change in World Politics provides contrasting perspectives on a far broader subject: international governance. Ten scholars, who have met periodically over four years to delineate with greater precision the shape of the coming multicentric world, present their diverse ways of approaching this important - and elusive - subject.

The Rosenau-Czempiel volume considers the most difficult question facing scholars of international politics: What will be the likely contours of the post-cold War world? Five of the papers in Governance Without Government consider how different the world will be from the present system; others are more empirically grounded, comparing three or more cases of incipient or established governance as lessons for the future. Most of the authors believe that the international system is undergoing a transformation far more profound than changes resulting from the collapse of the Soviet Union, fundamental as they may be. Taken together, these diverse papers suggest that the governance of the emerging system was of less-focused concern than the authors' efforts to understand past approximations of governance and the sources and shape of the transformation that is underway.

According to Rosenau, the idea of governance focuses on those arrangements that bring a certain degree of predictability and regularity to international relationships. He argues that governance necessarily depends upon mutual acceptance of norms, rules and modes of behavior. Governance thus appears to differ from the term international regime as presently used in the international organization literature, mainly by its broader scope and greater purpose than the more specialized, particular usage of regime that has recently become conventional.

In the introductory essay, "Governance, Order and Change in World Politics," and in the last chapter, "Citizenship in a Changing Global Order," Rosenau argues that state sovereignty, the hallmark of the Westphalian system that underlies the realist model, is being undermined from both above and below. Interdependence has become so marked that certain tasks can only be dealt with globally. At the same time, states are fragmenting from within; peoples and less ready to acquiesce to central government policies, are increasingly challenging government legitimacy and are pressing for greater state decentralization.

A number of the authors agree that, in the future, the international system will include many more actors, more articulate small states, interest groups that transcend international frontiers and regional or other groups of states that will want to be heard. Old patriotisms will not hold; demands for decentralized authority will become more insistent. There will be many more voices, more demands and new constraints upon states. Under such conditions, achieving the necessary consensus for adequate governance will be very difficult. These difficulties are already apparent in the European Community, where French and German farmers challenge the international commitments their governments prefer; in the Balkans, where longstanding frontiers are in dispute; and in Central Asia, where succession states'approaches to substantial minorities risk provoking their neighbors.

One is almost nostalgic then for the relatively simple days that J.K. Holsti writes about in "Governance Without Government: Polyarchy in Nineteenth-Century European International Politics," when only five primary actors had to accommodate each other. In this chapter, he examines the preconditions for the successful polyarchy following the Napoleonic wars. Technically, the European system was an anarchy; nevertheless, a kind of governance emerged - a "halfway house" between anarchy and hierarchy. Holsti looks to the structural, prudential, shared leadership goals as well as other elements that made this polyarchy workable. Even though no single state could dictate the terms for governance of the continent, a number of definitions and operational principles evolved. The leading states together were often able to preempt unilateral actions. They were also able to create new players and leading actors; for example, they established and recognized Belgium as a sovereign state in 1830, selected the King of Greece in 1862 and admitted the Ottoman Empire into the Concert in 1865. They established new international regimes and mechanisms for conflict-resolution based largely on consultation and intermediation. Holsti's illuminating analysis, like Hedley Bull's before him, recalls how the rival powers of the period overcame the worst aspects of anarchy.(1) Holsti urges us to consider these arrangements as a possible model for the structure of the emerging global system.

Logically moving from Holsti's analysis of the nineteenth-century order, Mark Zacher's discussion of the "Decaying Pillars of the Westphalian Temple: Implications for International Order and Governance" analyzes the changes now undermining the realist-based system. Zacher contends that war can no longer be considered a plausible way to handle differences, at least not between economically developed states. In contrast to the Westphalian emphasis on state sovereignty, states today are far more enmeshed in collaborative self-regulation than ever before. International organizations are now sources of consequential regulations on environmental or trade practices. Global information flows contradict what governments tell their peoples. Changing political and social identities and the wider distribution of democracy preclude the old logic of presumably cool assessments of the distribution of power as sufficient grounds for prudent statesmanship. Statesmen are more willing to relinquish their autonomy to achieve values other than those allowed by the old paradigm. These changes must be considered to fully analyze the emerging world system.

In his characteristically stimulating paper, "Towards a Post-hegemonic Conceptualization of World Order: Reflections on the Relevancy of Ibn Khaldun," Robert Cox examines the new demands on statesmen to adjust to rapid and widespread changes such as those described by Zacher. Cox recalls that the concepts, assumptions and theories familiar to policy makers together form their ontology and provide the framework for their perception of the state of the global system. In times of rapid change, the reality statesmen and laymen confront is likely to evolve more rapidly than the embedded structures of thought and practice they use to comprehend and deal with that reality. Faced with dramatic changes in the international system, the task now is not to devise a framework useful for all time but to develop "a set of viable working hypotheses ... useful for framing and working on the present."

Cox's most profound - yet not widely accepted - point is that the world ahead is unlikely to embrace a single dominant civilization but will instead encompass a number of distinct sociopolitical systems that will have to learn to coexist. For example, Islamic and Confucian societies propose notions very different from Western views of the expected relationship between individual, polity and economy. For global governance to emerge, all societies will have to grope beyond mutual recognition and toleration toward "a kind of supra-subjectivity that would have to provide a bridge among the distinct and separate subjectivities of the different coexisting traditions and civilizations." For most American international relations scholars, secure in their Anglo-European assumptions, this new perception of the global system will take some getting used to!

Adding to these new demands on statesmen, Cox believes that the role of the state will change in the new system. The state is already being viewed as an institution that should "help to adjust the domestic economy to the ... exigencies of the world economy," rather than act as a "bulwark or buffer protecting the domestic economy" against the outside world. The fragmentation of states, and the emergence of transnational groups with shared or parallel interests that countervail state policies, are already changing the nature of interstate relations. Cox expects there to be new grounds for conflict and, necessarily, new techniques for their resolution. He then uses the times and works of Ibn Khaldun to illustrate these themes.

It seems an enormous distance from Khaldun's era to the twenty-first century. By leading us into Khaldun's world, however, Cox reminds us of the inevitability of profound historical change in our perceptions of world order as well as in the state-centered political structures themselves. Khaldun lived at a time of marked divergence between the "macro-societies" of Christendom and Islam, a divergence that once more may be crucial to world order. Although conflicts existed, a constructive relationship between the two religions was able to develop. For all his stress on political prudence, Cox writes:

Ibn Khaldun could not conceive of such macro-societies based on different moral principles co-existing without losing, each of them, their internal conviction and dynamism and without one coming to dominate and absorb the other....this is the essence of our problem of conceiving of a post-hegemonic world on the threshold of the twenty-first century.

In contrast to Cox's spacious historical vision - an analysis that is more suggestive than precise - Oran Young's "Effectiveness of International Organizations" explores better ways of building a body of empirical observations to compare the relative utility of existing international institutions. Because of the ease with which international institutions can be side-stepped or even opposed, he chooses three hard cases, arguing that if international institutions made a difference in these instances, then in more benign cases one may then legitimately expect further success. Analyzing the regime of Spitsbergen,(2) the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, Young assesses these institutions' effectiveness and identifies a set of critical variables to explain their relative influence. These variables include: the visibility or transparency of their activities; the social choice mechanisms they employ for defining regulations and sanctions for non-compliance; the stringency of rules governing substantive provisions; the capacity of governments to implement commitments; the distribution of power among members; and the intellectual substructure justifying the arrangement. According to Young, the more interdependent the participants are on other issues, the more likely it is that a regime will survive. Indeed, the increased diffusion of power and the growing interdependence of states suggest that international institutions are likely to continue to grow in number, scope and consequence.

In an examination of one such international institution, Linda Comett and James Caparoso's essay "'And Still it Moves!' State Interests and Social Forces in the European Community" assesses the utility of four different theories for understanding the evolution of E.C. institutions.

The authors apply four theoretical perspectives - neoclassical economic theory, neorealism, neoliberal institutionalism and functionalism and neofunctionalism - to understand critical turning points. In examining the complex and intricate processes of the E.C. experience, these different theoretical perspectives on questions of political economy can provide both scholars and practitioners with a more sophisticated understanding of the explanatory strengths and weaknesses of each. Unlike other scholars during the contentious 1970s and 1980s, Cornett and Caparoso do not attempt to show the superiority of one theory over the other; rather, they point out that each theory "offers a different 'cut' or 'angle of vision'....The same subject matter is addressed by all four theories, yet different parts are highlighted, others are allowed to recede."

Neoclassical economics, for instance, attempts to explain the drive toward a single, larger European market through the expectation of long-run economic efficiencies. The Treaty of Rome outlined these expectations, and the E.C. institutions developed since then have reduced barriers to exchange and other

transaction costs. Neorealist analysis, by contrast, focuses on the structure of the anarchical global system. The threat to European states from the Soviet Union impelled the E.C. to an unprecedented degree of cooperation as member-states pooled their limited power resources - with U.S. assistance - in an effort to respond to this threat. Such cooperation was a political prerequisite for the plausibility of moving toward a single market.

At the same time, neoliberal institutionalism stresses the way in which transnational institutions can encourage the development and interaction of like-minded individuals in different countries, and can eventually alter statesment's views of their national interests. The rules that these statesmen develop in concert can in turn shape one another's behavior and mitigate the worst effects of anarchy. Finally, neofunctionalists, like Jean Monnet, have questioned not only the function of diplomats and politicians but also the necessity of the central role of states themselves. They find common interests within many sectors that cross national borders, and argue that by promoting important aspects of transnational cooperation, certain facets of international relations will eventually enter the sphere of domestic politics.

In contrast to Comett and Caparoso's reliance on established political theory, Czempiel argues in his chapter, "Governance and Democratization,- that the unforeseen end of the Cold War, and the fact that the security reahn was transformed without a shot fired by the major protagonists, poses a major theoretical challenge to the international community. Drawing on Kantian expectations of the peaceful nature of a liberal world, Czempiel takes issue with the realist notion that the international system, with its anarchic structure, is inherently dangerous. In what appears to be an overly simple dichotomous distinction, he argues instead that liberal governments can tolerate the anarchic international structure without worrying about the possibility of war, since the decision to go to war is shared by the government and participating citizens, who, he holds, are loath to take such action. Autocratic regimes, by contrast, tend to evoke a dangerous world since they require external enemies in order to sustain their rule. Thus they are prone to international adventure.

Czempiel's insistence that theorists of international politics should focus more on peoples confirms one of Rosenau's concerns and reopens an important policy debate: Had Western states been more responsive to the needs and yearnings of the peoples in East Central Europe and less preoccupied with the possibility of a military confrontation with the Soviets, internal political weaknesses in that region might have surfaced far sooner.

In sum, the prerequisites for effective governance as sketched in the introductory chapter call for consensus and mutually accepted norms and rules. Yet the transformations discussed by the authors - changes in the character of governments; the decline in state authority structures; the growing importance of more numerous democratic governments with presumably more knowledgeable citizens; the thrust toward decentralization; the rise of intense, often parochial nationalisms; and the diversity of cultural realms - raise far deeper questions about the difficulties of evolving governance than most of the papers addressed. In fact, the evolving world order appears to this reviewer far more turbulent than the one foreseen by the authors. Indeed, bringing governance to such a disorderly world defines a problematique most of the writers do not yet address.

Furthermore, Rosenau, Czempiel and several other authors are trying to learn too much from experience observed in Western Europe that is not reflected elsewhere in the global system, except among certain states of Southeast Asia. In that region, formerly quarreling states have indeed shaped a very close approximation of collective, voluntary governance in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as discussed in Muthiah Alagappa's article elsewhere in this issue. The authors' Eurocentric orientations are evident in that this vivid example is not even mentioned.

Several questions arise as a result of the Western focus of most of the authors. Is the Westphalian system weakening as much outside Western Europe as appears to be the case within? Are Japan, China or the newly industrialized countries of Southeast Asia likely to follow European or American patterns so closely? Do alert and sophisticated citizens really exert the constraints and analytic good sense that Czempiel suggests they do? Does the Maastricht treaty or Serbian ethnic cleansing more accurately symbolize the future of the Balkans or the former Soviet Central Asia? Cox also reminds us that beyond the Atlantic states there may be deeply embedded cultural resistances to the market disciplines of Western-style classical economics.

Rosenau and Czempiel have usefully sketched certain probabilities for the new world they foresee and have enlarged the agenda for a redefinition of international politics. They have not, however, persuaded this reviewer that the more familiar problems of the state system - security dilemmas, mutual suspicion and historic hatreds, and governments unable to control the way their peoples impinge upon their neighbors - will disappear; these difficulties and the established ways of coping with them also need to be better understood and practiced.

One characteristic is shared by all the essays, either explicitly or by implication: All of the authors foreswear the search for one superior and parsimonious explanation of the contours and requirements of the emerging global system. This new world, however, appears too complex: Too many variables are involved for precise prediction and no single paradigm or level of analysis will serve.

In contrast to Czempiel and Rosenau's broad examination of the international system, Thomas Princen's Intermediaries in International Conflict provides a careful, more focused study of one conflict reduction process: mediation. As bitter conflicts surface where repressive governments had imposed a kind of peaceful order, mediation appears to be the peacemaking method of choice. Prince's seeks to "identify the peculiar effects of intermediary intervention - however subtle and unanticipated - and to show how they may lead to agreement." First, he considers "The Nature of Intermediary Intervention," and asks: What is special about the intermediary's role? Second, he compares four cases of interstate mediation in detail. The conclusion combines the two approaches, elaborating the propositions developed in the first half and developing nuanced qualifications from the case studies.

In part deductive and in part drawing on numerous illustrations, Princene originality lies in his effort to "put himself in the shoes of the intermediary," entering into the thought processes and unavoidable choices that mediators and disputants must make in their triangular dealings with one another. He analyzes the key decision points faced by a mediator and the disputants, and identifies the paradoxes and inherent tensions in the mediator's role.

In exploring theoretical models that would be appropriate to explain the mediator's role, Princen rightly holds that mediation between management and labor on such issues as wages and working conditions in a domestic context provides a poor analogy. The anarchic character of the international system demands self-help on the part of the actors; it typically calls for the substantial defenses and maximum suspicion that together gravely complicate low-profile communication and mutual accommodation. According to Princen, game theoretic models also do not normally apply, since the parties are not acting on their own behalf and are usually beset by domestic politics and a leader's need to retain a constituency. Sounding out the opposing party without giving the appearance of weakness, either to the opponent or to an oftentimes intransigent constituency, is a major hurdle. A principal task of mediators is to assist the parties in overcoming this difficulty.

History has shown that mediators and disputants have unpredictable relationships. Some questions to consider in examining these relationships include the following: Are the disputants hurting enough to accept the mediator and concede sufficient procedural control to ensure confidentiality and serious negotiation? Or has the conflict escalated so far that neither disputant can afford to show any interest in negotiation? Will they use the mediator's presence mainly to stall, to maximize pressure on the opponent or as a source of information? More importantly, can the mediator be an inconspicuous, and therefore more prudent, channel for exploring the possibility of negotiation?

Princen considers the decision points of the mediator - whether and when to enter into a dispute - and the contrasting effects of entering early or late. He examines the decision by the disputants to accept third-party participation as well as their choice of the type of mediator. Princen looks at the mediator's sources of influence other than the threat to quit; he identifies additional subtle influences and considers circumstances where each type may be useful. The entry of a third party may so restructure relationships between the disputants as to induce each to adjust previous positions enough to begin or reactivate negotiation. If disputants have demonstrated persuasively to each other that their own proposals are mutually unacceptable, a neutral third party's proposal may become a focal point for renewed bargaining. As a mediator explores each position, he or she may gain information about the other's fallback position, which, if used judiciously, might persuade the other that opening or continuing negotiation may be worthwhfle. Above all, the mediator may be the only low-risk channel for parties to communicate a willingness to seriously explore a settlement. Princen holds that the plausible weight of these mediatory moves should not be exaggerated, compared to the pressures bearing upon the disputing leaders from the wider international system, indispensable constituents or domestic zealots. However, Princen reminds the reader that

the subtlety and importance of an intermediary's effect is analogous to the tipping phenomenon. When balancing a one-ton weight, each ounce is trivial. But the last one is critical. Similarly, each non-strategic proposal can have little obvious effect. But when strategic behavior prevails in a bargain, when all interaction is manipulative, when trust is rare and escalation constantly a risk, just a bit of non-strategic behavior in the way of a neutral proposal or mere third-party presence may be enough to keep negotiations going.

Princen also contrasts the roles of principal and neutral mediators. In so doing, he is seeking not a parsimonious simplification but a richer understanding of the dynamics of two contrasting types of mediation, which can only be understood by looking at the subtle nuances of specific cases. Principal mediators, possessing substantial power in military, financial or other conventional forms of power, seek to enhance incentives to accommodation because their own interests would be affected by how the conflict is resolved. Their involvement tends to reduce the intensity of interaction between the disputants as each actively bargains with the mediator, seeking to make him or her an ally.

Neutral mediators, however, lack such forms of power. Their sole interest is in seeing the conflict brought to an end; they remain outside the contentious issues and are not subject to bargaining with the disputants. Successful mediation may enhance their international reputations or may be expressions of their religious or philosophical commitments. Their principal operational goal is to induce dialogue between the disputants in order to create "realistic empathy" as a base for problem solving by the disputants themselves. While these are ideal-type contrasts, they provide a useful framework for Princen's discussion.

The author's analysis of the two types of mediation usefully applies this approach, exploring the decisions facing the would be mediators and the disputants in very different cases. As examples of prindpal mediators, Princen examines Jimmy Carter's experience with the Nhddle East peace talks at Camp David and Theodore Roosevelt's role at the Portsmouth mediation that ended the Russo-Japanese war. The Vatican mediation between Argentina and Chile on the Beagle Channel dispute and the Quakers carrying messages between the Biafran secessionists and the Nigerian government provide instances of neutral mediation. The author makes clear from his analysis of these cases that the underlying motivation of a mediator will affect the entire effort. Non-extractive mediations, such as the Vatican's efforts in the Beagle Channel case, produce only limited bargaining leverage with the disputants compared to the infimate and hard bargaining that took place among the participants at Camp David. As Princen shows in both the Beagle Channel and Nigerian cases, however, the neutral mediator can make a difference - despite the fact that mediation in Nigeria was not enough to avoid civil war.

Princen provides enough detail to reveal each side's expectations about the relative power of its opponent and the subtleties and typical limitations of third-party influence. The analysis of Camp David showed unusual understanding of Carter's dilemmas as time pressures bore down on the president and traditional power resources and hard bargaining had to be applied. In the Beagle Channel case, the Vatican's protracted negotiation deterred military action long enough for domestic political changes to take effect. The discussion of the Biafra case shows how, through inconspicuous channels, both sides expressed a mutual readiness to explore negotiations. Unfortunately, according to Princen's sources, inadequately coordinated activities of other intermediaries confused the signals and the agreed-upon negotiations never took place.

Princen's study is a lucid and original contribution to the growing literature on mediation. He is careful not to exaggerate the influence of mediators. He does, however, see the human and other costs of conflict as sufficiently high to justify a serious effort to pinpoint and explain likely sources of mediators' influence. In short, this is an original, intellectually interesting and well-organized contribution to studies of conflict resolution processes. It should warn would-be mediators of the dilemmas and contradictions inherent in such a role. It will also serve to remind disputants of the type of mediator that can be useful, depending on the disputants circumstances and goals.

Together these two books illustrate the multidimensional reality that scholars and policy makers now seek to comprehend in international politics. Not only must they grasp the direction in which the international system is moving, but they must also understand the myriad techniques for mitigating the potentially damaging consequences of its evolution.

(1.) Hedley Bull, The Anarchic Society: A Study of Order in World Politics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977). (2.) In 1920, Norway granted sovereignty over the Svalbard peninsula on three conditions. It had to provide equal access to the area's natural resources to Norwegian, Russian and Swedish nationals alike; it had to limit taxes on business enterprises; and it had to maintain demilitarization of the area.
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Author:Wriggins, W. Howard
Publication:Journal of International Affairs
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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