Monday, 20 November 2000

From "International Regimes, Transactions, and Change [...]"

By John Gerard Ruggie.

International regimes have been defined as social institutions around which actor expectations converge in a given area of international re1ations. Accordingly, as is true of any social institution, international regimes limit the discretion of their constituent units to decide and act on issues that fall within the regime's domain. And, as is also true of any social institution, ultimate expression in converging expectations and delimited discretiongives international regimes an intersubjective quality. To this extent, international regimes are akin to language -- we may think of them as part of "the language of state action" [...]

The analytical components of international regimes we take to consist of principles, norms, rules, and procedures. As the content for each of these terms is specified, international regimes diverge from social institutions like language, for we do not normally attribute to language any specific "consummatory" as opposed to "instrumental" values [...] Insofar as international regimes embody principles about fact, causation, and rectitude, as well aspolitical rights and obligations that are regarded as legitimate, they fall closer to the consummatory end of the spectrum, into the realm of political authority. Thus, the formation and transformation of international regimes may be said to represent a concrete manifestation of the internationalization of political authority [...]

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