In the previous guides you read how the world has become increasingly interconnected. Countries are relying more on other countries for the wellbeing of their political and economic statuses, and there are structures that help them navigate these challenges. In this guide we will analyze how both International and Supranational organizations affect domestic policies and national sovereignty. For this topic, it is important for you to understand the role of these organizations and how nations handle their power meanwhile trying to maintain their sovereignty.
International Organizations consists of organizations that operate across boundaries and have the participation of multiple countries.
International organizations are important to promote diplomacy and coordination between countries. But, it is important to note that they can also push an agenda that promotes a predominant ideology, which can highly affect the nations involved, especially the developing ones.
Here are a couple of the most important International Organizations (you have probably heard about most of them!):
United Nations (UN) - Organization that serves to promote cooperation between countries and promote international security, human rights, and development
World Bank - Organization that provides loans to developing countries to help them promote growth and development.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Works to promote financial stability and the conditions for nations to grow economically.
For countries to enjoy the benefits of certain International Organizations, they have to abide by the different conditionalities established by them. For example, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund played and important role in promoting economic liberalization policies, such as the privatizations of state-owned companies, reductions of tariffs, reduced subsidies, etc. These conditions serve to ensure that benefitting nations are cooperating with the goals of the organizations. They must play by "the rules of the game" 👩⚖️ to be in good terms with these organizations.
In response to the failure of liberalist economic ideology, several nation adopted the Import Substitution industrialization model, which emphasizes the strengthening of domestic industries to reduce imports from other nations. Countries that follow this strategy engage in the implementation of tariffs, promotion of government subsidies and nationalization of industry - the opposite of economic liberalization.
ISI is a model in which nations can increase their self-sufficiency and pursue specific domestic/economic goals. It can also break their co-dependence on International organizations. For example, by having the government own some of the oil Industries in Nigeria 🇳🇬 allow for more control over the process and expansion of this specific market in the nation.
There are benefits both to ISI or economic liberalization, it only depends on the specific objectives of each nation.
Supranational Organizations consist of a large body of different nation members that operates over these individual nations through the establishment of rules and agreements. They are NOT sovereign states.
Here are some examples of Supranational Organizations:
Economic Community of West African States - It was created to promote economic integration and growth among west African states. Common policies adopted by the group include reduction of tariffs to increase trade between the member states.
World Trade Organization (WTO) - Organization that promotes international trade and facilitates it through the adoption of rules.
European Union - One of the oldest and largest supranational organizations, this organization was created to promote union and economic growth between nation states. It has its own currency (the Euro) and it has its own political structure that serves to create and reinforce laws on these European states, which include the European Parliament, European Commission, and European Council.
It is important to remember that, although International and Supranational organizations do not have sovereignty nor the legitimacy to rule, they often times disrupt the sovereignty of other individual states in the perspective of certain governments. It is important to recognize that governments that praise more nationalistic ideas, are often bothered by the way that these organizations exercise power. This is a common viewpoint from authoritarian nations. On the other hand, other regimes are more receptive of International rules because they believe in the importance of coordination and harmony between nations for their own nation's success.