Received Ideas and International Institutions

  • James H. Mittelman
  • Mustapha Kamal Pasha
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


Years ago, an African reminded fellow diplomats of the practical limitations of the UN in dealing with conflicts which the contestants do not wish to resolve: ‘When there is a dispute between small countries,’ he said, ‘the dispute in question disappears. When there is a dispute between a large country and a small country, the small country disappears. When there is a dispute between two large countries, the United Nations disappears.’


International Institution Security Council World Country Development Assistance Private Bank 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and References

  1. The quip by an African diplomat is drawn from ‘Invasion Debate: U.N. Weakness Displayed’, New York Times, 5 March 1979.Google Scholar
  2. Commentary on the UN by various US delegates can be found in John E. Stoessinger, The Might of Nations: World Politics in Our Time (New York: Random House, 1975) p. 301;Google Scholar
  3. William F. Buckley, Jr, United Nations Journal: A Delegate’s Odyssey (Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1977) p. 237; andGoogle Scholar
  4. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, A Dangerous Place (Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown, 1978) p. 188.Google Scholar
  5. In criticizing these views, we are summarizing arguments that have been made elsewhere: James H. Mittelman, ‘American Double Standards on African Issues at the UN’, New York Times, 22 January 1977.Google Scholar
  6. The relationship between international organization and capital accumulation is explored by Robert W Cox, ‘Production and Hegemony: Toward a Political Economy of World Order’, in Harold K. Jacobson and Dusan Sidjanski (eds), The Emerging International Economic Order: Dynamic Processes, Constraints and Opportunities (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1982) pp. 37–58.Google Scholar
  7. The passage from the Independent Commission on International Development issues (also known as the Brandt Commission) appears in North-South: A Program for Survival (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1980) p. 264.Google Scholar
  8. A sequel to this report is the Brandt Commission, Common Crisis, North-South: Cooperation for World Recovery (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  9. For recent data on Tanzania, see George Thomas Kurian, The New Book of World Rankings, 3rd edn (New York: Facts on File, 1991).Google Scholar
  10. On the pitfalls of foreign aid, see Yashpal Tandon (ed.), Technical Assistance Administration in East Africa (Stockholm: Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, 1973).Google Scholar
  11. Apart from the information drawn from personal experience, the sources on Tanzania are ‘Third World Saga: Tanzania’s Case Shows the Pluses and the Many Minuses of Big Foreign-Aid Programs’, Wall Street Journal, 27 August 1982, andGoogle Scholar
  12. Andrew Coulson, ‘The Automated Bread Factory’, in Coulson (ed.), African Socialism in Practice: The Tanzanian Experience (Nottingham: Spokesman, 1979) pp. 179–83.Google Scholar
  13. The conventional view on the role of modern technology in a developing economy is exemplified by W W Rostow, The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1960) pp. 4; 32–3.Google Scholar
  14. The need to understand the context for technology transfer is stressed by Harvard professors Robert H. Hayes and Modesto A. Maidique, ‘The Technology Gap’, New York Times, 2 June 1981.Google Scholar
  15. Two historical treatises explore this theme in depth: Perry Anderson, Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism (London: New Left Books, 1974), especially pp. 203–4, andGoogle Scholar
  16. Maurice Dobb, Studies in the Development of Capitalism (New York: International Publishers, 1963) pp. 22–3.Google Scholar
  17. On expenditures on research and development, see UNESCO, Statistical Yearbook (Paris: UNESCO, 1994).Google Scholar
  18. Excellent studies of technology and the changing international division of labour are Folker Fröbel, Jurgen Heinrichs and Otto Kreye, ‘The New International Division of Labour’, Social Science Information, 17, 1 (1978), pp. 123–42;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Charles Bergquist (ed.), Labor in the Capitalist World Economy (Beverly Hills: Sage, 1984); andGoogle Scholar
  20. Joseph Grunwald and Kenneth Flamm, The Global Factory: Foreign Assembly in International Trade (Washington, DC: Brookings Institute, 1985).Google Scholar
  21. Transnational-driven research and development efforts in the Third World and India’s technology policy are discussed by Helge Hveem, ‘Selective Dissociation in the Technology Sector’, especially pp. 280, 298–303, in John Gerard Ruggie (ed.), The Antinomies of Interdependence: National Welfare and the International Division of Labor (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  22. The argument that technology transfer is leakage from TNCs is advanced by Charles-Albert Michalet, ‘From Unequal Industrial Development to Unequal Scientific and Technological Development: Toward the New International Economic Order?’ (paper presented to the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, St Louis, 1977).Google Scholar
  23. On why TNCs forestall the emergence of centres of innovation and technology in the Third World, see Stephen Hymer, ‘The Multinational Corporation and the Law of Uneven Development’, in Jagdish N. Bhagwati (ed.), Economics and World Order: From the 1970s to the 1990s (New York: Macmillan, 1972).Google Scholar
  24. Some of the data cited here on TNCs is derived from John Cavanagh and Frederick F. Clairmonte, ‘From Corporation to Conglomerates: A Review of Multinationals over the Last Twenty Years’, Multinational Monitor, January 1983, pp. 16–19 andGoogle Scholar
  25. ‘Fortune’s Global 500: The World’s Largest Corporations’, Fortune, 7 August 1994, pp. F1-F4.Google Scholar
  26. The quotation by Kissinger appears in Seymour M. Hersh, The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House (New York: Summit, 1983) p. 265.Google Scholar
  27. Dr Yudkin’s report is summarized in ‘Western Drugs and Third World Markets’, The Guardian (London), 21 August 1977.Google Scholar
  28. On Balasubramaniam’s statement and the example of Pakistan, see ‘Health Policy for the Third World,’ Multinational Monitor, December 1992, pp. 25–9.Google Scholar
  29. On the example of pesticide use, see ‘U.S. Pesticide Kills Foreign Fruit Pickers’ Hopes,’ New York Times, 6 December 1995.Google Scholar
  30. The lessons of the Bhopal tragedy are discussed in ‘Disaster in India Sharpens Debate on Doing Business in Third World’, New York Times, 16 December 1984.Google Scholar
  31. The figures on the ratio of loans to unpaid debt were compiled by Mark Hulbert, ‘Will the US Bail Out the Bankers?’, The Nation, 235, 12 (16 October 1982), p. 365.Google Scholar
  32. Dimensions of the debt crisis are examined in Lester B. Thurow, ‘America’s Banks in Crisis’, New York Times Magazine, 23 September 1984;Google Scholar
  33. ‘Records Show Citicorp Acted to Skirt Foreign Bank Rules’, New York Times, 13 September 1982;Google Scholar
  34. Anthony Sampson, The Money Lenders (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1981) andGoogle Scholar
  35. Citicorp Worldwide (New York: Citicorp, 1989).Google Scholar
  36. The emergence of a secondary market which trades international loans at discount is reported in ‘The Market for Latin Debt’, New York Times, 17 July 1985, andGoogle Scholar
  37. Richard S.Weinert, ‘Swapping Third World Debt’, Foreign Policy, 65, Winter 1986–7, pp. 85–97.Google Scholar
  38. On debt figures, see World Debt Tables 1991–1992 Volume 1 (Washington, DC: World Bank, 1991), p. 23.Google Scholar
  39. Discussion of Mexico’s bail-out is based on ‘NAFTA Disaster: The Fall of the Peso and the Mexican “Miracle”’, Multinational Monitor, April 1995, pp. 8–15.Google Scholar
  40. Information on the Brady Plan comes from The Economist, especially the issue of 5 January 1991.Google Scholar
  41. An appraisal of the IMF’s record is provided by John Loxley, The IMF and the Poorest Countries: The Performance of the Least Developed Countries under IMF Stand-by Arrangements (Ottawa: North-South Institute, 1984).Google Scholar
  42. The increasing frequency of debt rescheduling is documented by the Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, ‘Foreign Indebtedness to US Government’ (October 1983), n.p.Google Scholar
  43. The debt rescheduling figures for 1990–1994 are drawn from Jonathon E. Sanford, ‘Issue Paper: Debt Relief for African Countries’ (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 1995).Google Scholar
  44. Analysis of the effects of adjustment in Ecuador is based on World Development Report 1990 (Washington, DC: Oxford University Press, 1990), p. 104.Google Scholar
  45. The quotation by the former Brazilian president appears in Jeff Freiden, ‘On Borrowed Time’, North American Congress on Latin America, or NACLA, Report on the Americas 19, 2 (March–April 1985), p. 2.Google Scholar
  46. The political economy of debt is the subject of a special issue of International Organization, 39, 3 Summer 1985.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© James H. Mittelman and Mustapha Kamal Pasha 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • James H. Mittelman
    • 1
  • Mustapha Kamal Pasha
    • 1
  1. 1.School of International ServiceAmerican UniversityWashington, DCUSA

Personalised recommendations