The Efficacy of International Institutions
Keep doing what you’re doing, keep getting what you got
At the recent West Point graduation, President Obama took the opportunity to say something many already knew: he wants diplomacy and ‘international institutions’ to play a more prominent role in the world. Just what are the challenges the President wants addressed? It’s a long and humbling list including countering nuclear proliferation and terrorism; countering violent extremism and insurgencies; securing nuclear materials; combating changing climate; sustaining global growth; helping countries feed themselves and care for their sick; and preventing conflict and healing wounds.
‘International institutions’ in the context of the President’s speech are largely existing multi-and inter governmental arrangements and to a lesser extent, non-governmental organizations. A distinction is needed because without it, multi-national businesses, nationalized for-profits, and the likes could all be considered as ‘international institutions’ even as it’s clear they aren’t the general focus of the President’s comments. This means the International House of Pancakes, while a noble institution in its own right, will not be considered as pertinent to the conversation.