Extenuating The Institutionalization For Modernization Of International Organizations – Analysis


International Organizations: Augmentation

Alliances and international organizations should be understood as opportunities for leadership and a means to expand our influence, not as constraints on our power as aptly opined by Charles Timothy Hagel aka Chuck Hagel, former US Defense Secretary in Obama Administration.

One of the few aftermaths of WWI and WWII has been advent and upsurge of international organizations, multilateral and bilateral alliances at international and regional levels to address the special and general geostrategic and geopolitical issues.

The proliferation of international organizations through arrangements evolved among the states is a reflection of the fact that politics existing between the states has been institutionalized. However, the matter is of such importance that it is now considered as a separate fragment of international law in a larger debate of fragmentation of international law commonly bracketed under the name of the “Laws of International Organization” in the contemporary world of legal pluralism. The modern nation-states in a Globalizing World do take steps to integrate themselves with an architecture of world governance under the rubrics of international organizations that bestow upon spaces to negotiate multilateral, bilateral and intergovernmental trajectories of global concerns.

The spark of its evolution is not without any explanation; rather it had significant causes attached to it. It had brought certain uniformity in the relations between states which were more or less amorphous in the wake of the Montevideo Convention where under the Rights and Duties of States had been agreed upon at Montevideo in Uruguay on December 26, 1933, during the 7th International Conference of American States. The chances of war had been minimized and the future generation has undoubtedly been saved from the scourge of deadly or ghastly wars which world witnessed in the 20th century. It had opened more forums for settlement of disputes and thereby minimized confrontation amongst the states. Most importantly it had brought countries and their leaders to the table for cooperation and mustered their commitments towards global harmony. It is not as if there was no international organization prevailing before world wars, but lately, it had sculpted itself as the savior of international politics which suffered a significant blow during world wars. Therefore, it would be in the fitness of things to assume that there had been a major shift in the paradigm of international organization post-World Wars.

Mutability and Modernization

The idea of mutability in the architectural and structural transformation of international institutions in terms of their mandate while addressing time, space and requirements are germane to their existentialism. Thus, scholars have always observed international organization as phenomena while calculating its magnitude and contours. Their approach towards the study of international organization indicates the fact that it had been subject to various changes. These changes range from membership to subjects dealt by such organizations. These changes also attest that international organization does take into account certain changing elements of international politics existing between the member states. Therefore it indoctrinates a dire need to appreciate the consequences of such vicissitudes and variations.

First and the foremost aspect is an enhancement in the subject or field which international organization deals with. It would not come as amazement that in the contemporary world order, international organization is almost dealing with every aspect of international law. It had broadened its ambit to govern and entrench the policies on security, environment, territory, diplomatic privileges, human rights, and trade, etc. The second facet is changed in the dimension of membership resulting into the birth of various actors of international law apart from nation-states. Lots of Non-Governmental Organizations and the Inter-Governmental organization have been brought into the limelight due to it. Following which there has been an increasing participation in international organizations. The third factor is the birth of various principal and subsidiary organs which have diversified the functioning of such international organization.

These vicissitudes have in larger context contributed to the modernization of international organization. The modernization was in its own turn, dependent on various factors, like globalization, international cooperation, and diplomatic ties, technological advancement, facilitating management of common problems of state’s, etc. The concerns of under-developed nations, developing countries, countries with colonial legacy were highlighted and it became a major showcase of this portent. But the institutional growth of these organizations, in the form of modernization, has not been even. It had eventually raised certain eyebrows due to its conduct in a manner which was contrary to the expectation of some nation. Therefore some concerns relating north-south divide, the democratic legitimacy of United Nation Security Council, accountability of highly industrialized country in the environmental regime, etc. remain in a vacuum.

Understanding Institutionalization: Justifications

In the midst of these narratives, it becomes inevitable to establish a substantial jurisprudence for deciphering relevance of institutionalization, its functional aspect, norms and value so fostered and fixing the responsibility to remain committed towards it. The term institutionalization denotes to a process of establishing particular conception, in the form of norms or belief or convention or mode of behavior or value, within an organization or an institution.

Institutionalisation is largely a sociopolitical phenomenon through which a particular structure either in the form of organization or institution experiences positive growth. This increase is a direct outcome of that conception which are furthered in the form of values, norms, belief, convention, etc. within a particular structure. e.g.: During 20th and 21st-century world had witnessed institutionalization in the form of growth and development of the role of an international organization which includes namely; decision-making, adjudication, research work, collective security, providing a platform for the multilateral trading system, providing financial assistance, etc. These values had significantly added to the laudable growth of an international organization like United Nations, WTO, NATO, SAARC, World Bank & IMF, etc.

However, it needs special mention over here that jurists dealing with this process are more concerned about “what law ought to be” as against “what law is.” It instills absolute moral values to deal with. To structure this uneven growth of the international organization, it becomes necessary that such organization must further those values and norms which shall enhance its proficiency. The body, of any nature, which is prone to this process, is bound to be impacted severely, as it cannot grow in the longer period and thereby affecting the participation of its member. The process insulates those values, which regarding an international organization, could not be compromised. Hence, establishing the relevance of institutionalization.

When it comes to the functional aspect, one can broadly divide the whole process into two stages, namely: creation and introduction of those norms or values and internalization. The inception of this phenomenon begins with creation and presentation of those norms or values which ought to be studied in respect of its establishment in an international organization. It is a job of a researcher or academician to explore those concepts, which are to an extent very vague. Professor Galit Sarfaty says that when a new norm is introduced into an organization, different professional groups visit the standard from various perspectives and evaluate the norm and its relevance to their work from various points of view.

The next step in this process is the internalization of those norms into an organization. Whether norms will be internalized in an organization or not depends a lot on the way they are framed. An essential condition for the internalization of a standard is finding an ‘institutional fit’ with the organizational culture. Finding the institutional fitness that requires models become vernacularized so that they resonate with preexisting understandings within an organization. Proponents of a rule should act strategically – for example, through norm framing, cutting, or persuasion – to ensure the congruence with the organizational culture.

It is for the organization to decide, by vetting its existing regime, which values ought to be fostered. It will differ for every organization, given its nature and function. These values and norms must have few things in common: that they must not be ultra vires the charter or covered agreement itself, they must cater to the changing need of such organization, it should be in coherence with other norms or conventions, and it should reflect the growth potential of such organization. While furthering these standards, the process of making institutionalization functional ought to be kept in mind as it brings certain sense into carrying out of these norms systematically.

The responsibility of carrying out this process lies undoubtedly on the actors of an international organization. They are states in general and the member states have to shoulder this responsibility to conduct this process. The states form organization, it architect its structure, perform its function, oversees its implementation and defends its value in one or the other way. Therefore it’s the responsibility of those member states to conduct research and further those norms which shall promote an institutional reform within that organization, lest it will lead to stall mate as it occurs today in many of the international organizations. Therefore state must remain committed towards it.

Peacekeeping Force: The Pragmatic Application

The principle discussed in this article is not alien to international organization existing around the globe. Rather, its practical significance is realized and appreciated every moment because it furthers their growth.

One such example is Peacekeeping force within the domain of United Nation Charter, 1945. It is a function of UNSC to keep order about international peace and security, as per the charter. It also augurs their inherent responsibility within United Nation organization.

Though peace-keeping is just another method or mode to further peace and security aspect, yet its uniqueness lies in this fact that it doesn’t find any mention of any provision of the charter. It is largely developed through the process of institutionalization. It encompasses a peaceful method of deploying security forces in the disturbed region by UNSC. The responsibility of those forces is mostly established and regulated by UNSC and is mainly to ensure a ceasefire. The ambivalence of its legality in the application was a matter of debate once, but now it is regarded as part of Chapter 6 ½ of the UN Charter. Though there is no such chapter within the framework of the UN Charter it is considered as a “deemed chapter.” The inception and its promulgation are to be credited to these socio-political phenomena of institutionalization. But the wars are still going on without deciding their numbers and status in the present world scenarios. Therefore, the influence of institutionalization upon international organizations and their place in the scheme of international law as contemplated by the UN system might change the forms, content and context of international organizations. However, the influence of institutionalization takes the sovereign actions, institutional interventions rendered by the UN Security Council, UNGA, UN Special Tribunals, UN Specialized Agencies, WHO, and TRCs etc. raises the challenges to institutionalization process within the socket of legal positivism, customary notions of sovereignty and rule of law enveloped in the transcendental institutionalism to escape the false pretentions of international institutions.

Note: This article is an extensive work in the field of law of international organisation. It brings about a scenario justifying the need for institutionalisation of an international organisation. The article is jointly produced and co-authored by Nafees Ahmed and Saurabh Sharma.

*About the authors:
Nafees Ahmad,
Ph. D., LL.M, Faculty of Legal Studies, South Asian University (SAARC)-New Delhi, Nafees Ahmad is an Indian national who holds a Doctorate (Ph.D.) in International Refugee Law and Human Rights. Author teaches and writes on International Forced Migrations, Climate Change Refugees & Human Displacement Refugee, Policy, Asylum, Durable Solutions and Extradition Issus. He conducted research on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Jammu & Kashmir and North-East Region in India and has worked with several research scholars from US, UK and India and consulted with several research institutions and NGO’s in the area of human displacement and forced migration. He has introduced a new Program called Comparative Constitutional Law of SAARC Nations for LLM along with International Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law and International Refugee Law. He has been serving since 2010 as Senior Visiting Faculty to World Learning (WL)-India under the India-Health and Human Rights Program organized by the World Learning, 1 Kipling Road, Brattleboro VT-05302, USA for Fall & Spring Semesters Batches of US Students by its School for International Training (SIT Study Abroad) in New Delhi-INDIA [email protected], [email protected]

Saurabh Sharma, LL.M. (International Law), Faculty of Legal Studies South Asian University-New Delhi, Saurabh Sharma is an Indian national who is pursuing his Master’s in International Law. Author has a core research interest in the field of Public International Law and also has made academic contributions in this regard. Author is thankful to Dr. Nafees Ahmed for guiding and collaborating for this article. Author could be reached at [email protected] [email protected].

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