Confrontation or Community? The Evolving Institutional Framework of North-South Relations

  • Jane Davis


North-South issues in the 1970s clearly revived interest in the fortunes of international institutions. Until then the United Nations, for example, threatened to become increasingly peripheral to the challenges posed by global changes. However, the evolving North-South relationship, reflecting the changing priorities on the international agenda, provided considerable raw material for emergent theories such as transnationalism, dependencia and developmentalism. These encouraged reassessment of the role of international organizations in the global system and therefore of traditional thinking about international politics. North-South relations may be long on expectations and short on achievements, inflicting a new polarization and paralysis on the United Nations, but they have revitalised traditional issues of international politics and given a new lease of life to academic writing on international organization.1 In this sense the North-South dialogue2 can at least claim to have had a rejuvenating effect. But caution dictates that we should perhaps question the perspicacity of those writers who faithfully pin the flag of international organization to the mast of North-South relations.3


Common Morality International Development Association Common Heritage International Economic Order General Assembly Resolution 
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. 1.
    For a useful introduction to the literature on international organizations see C. Archer, International Organizations (London: Allen & Unwin, 1983) chap. 3. See also the journals International Organization and Third World Quarterly.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    North-South negotiations were generated by the Third World’s call for a New International Economic Order in the wake of the oil crisis of 1973–4. For a recent assessment see R.L. Rothstein, ‘Is the North-South Dialogue Worth Saving?’, Third World Quarterly 6 (1984) pp. 155–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    See R. Jutte and A.-G. Jutte (eds), The Future of International Organization (London: Francis Pinter, 1981).Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    For an illuminating analysis of the development, merits and politics of international majoritarianism see I.L. Claude, Jr., Swords Into Plowshares (London: University of London Press, 1964) pp. 113–31.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    A. Wolfers, Discord and Collaboration (Baltimore: John Hopkins Press, 1962) p. 73.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    A.B. Bozeman, The Future of Law in a Multicultural World (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1971) p. 182.Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    For a development of this theme see R.A. Falk, ‘The Trend Toward World Community: An Inventory of Issues’, in A. Lepawsky, E.H. Buehrig, and H.D. Lasswell (eds), The Search for World Order (New York: Appleton-Century Crofts, 1971).Google Scholar
  8. 11.
    Claude, ‘The Growth of International Institutions’, in B. Porter (ed.), The Aberystwyth Papers (London: Oxford University Press, 1972) p. 297.Google Scholar
  9. 14.
    See the second Brandt Report, Common Crisis: North-South: Cooperation for World Recovery (London: Pan Books, 1983). Also relevant are the South’s demands for a new Bretton Woods at the Non-aligned Summit, March 1983, reported in The Guardian, 15 March 1983, and the call for reform of the international monetary system in a report submitted to the Commonwealth Finance Ministers, The Guardian, 9 September 1983.Google Scholar
  10. 17.
    D.A. Baldwin, ‘Interdependence and Power: a Conceptual Analysis’, International Organization 34 (1980) pp. 471–506;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. S. Hoffmann, Duties Beyond Borders (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1981) p. 176.Google Scholar
  12. 18.
    S.P. Varma, ‘ “Interdependence”: The Third World Perspectives’, in K. Misra and R.S. Beal (eds), International Relations Theory: Western and Non-Western Perspectives, (New Delhi: Vikas, 1980).Google Scholar
  13. 19.
    See H.W. Singer, The Brandt Report: a “Northwestern” Point of View’, Third World Quarterly 2 (1980) pp. 694–700.Google Scholar
  14. 28.
    For an elaboration of this argument see G.L. Goodwin, ‘The United Nations: Expectations and Experience’, International Relations 3 (1969–71) pp. 729–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 29.
    S.S. Ramphal, ‘Not By Unity Alone: The Case for a Third World Organization’, Third World Quarterly 1 (1979) pp. 43–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 34.
    H. Bull, ‘The Third World and International Society’, Yearbook of World Affairs 1979 pp. 15–31; S. Gupta, ‘Great Power Relations and the Third World’, in C. Holbraad (ed.), Superpowers and World Order (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1971).Google Scholar
  17. 39.
    I.L. Claude, Jr., ‘Collective Legitimization as a Political Function of the United Nations’, International Organization 20 (1966) p. 372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 45.
    K. Deutsch, ‘The Probability of International Law’, in K. Deutsch and S. Hoffmann (eds), The Relevance of International Law (Cambridge, Mass.: Schenkman, 1968) p. 61.Google Scholar
  19. 48.
    G. Gottlieb, ‘Global Bargaining: the Legal and Diplomatic Framework’, in N.G. Onuf (ed.), Law-making in the Global Community (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 1982) pp. 108–30. Gottlieb sees efforts to negotiate change between groups of states of equal standing with each acting on collectively agreed positions, as the beginning of a new phase in multilateral decision-making.Google Scholar
  20. 53.
    See B. Gosovic, UNCTAD: Conflict or Compromise (Leiden: A.W. Sijthoff, 1971) for a detailed analysis of the rivalry between UNCTAD and GATT.Google Scholar
  21. 55.
    R. Gardner, ‘The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’, International Organization 22 (1968) pp. 99–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 56.
    R. Rothstein, Global Bargaining,: UNCTAD and the Quest for a New International Economic Order (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979) p. 24.Google Scholar
  23. 57.
    S. Weintraub, ‘The Role of the UN in Economic Negotiations’, in D.A. Kay (ed.), The Changing United Nations (New York: Praeger, 1977) p. 100.Google Scholar
  24. 59.
    L. Henkin, How Nations Behave, 2nd ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1979) p. 198.Google Scholar
  25. 63.
    R. Gregg, ‘UN Decision-making Structures and the Implementation of the NIEO’ in E. Laszlo and J. Kurtzman (eds), Political and Institutional Issues of the New International Economic Order (New York: Pergamon Press, 1981) p. 105.Google Scholar
  26. 64.
    Gregg, The New International Economic Order as a Political Manifesto’, p. 25; I.F.I. Shihata, ‘The North-South Dialogue Revisited’, in A. Gauhar (ed.), The Rich and the Poor (London: Third World Foundation, 1983) pp. 81–100.Google Scholar
  27. 67.
    S.S. Rampai, ‘North-South Cooperation: Why and How the South Must Persist’, in A. Gauhar (ed.), The Rich and the Poor, pp. 101–38.Google Scholar
  28. 74.
    E.D. Brown, ‘Freedom of the High Seas Versus the Common Heritage of Mankind: Fundamental Principles in Conflict’, San Diego Law Review 20 (1983) p. 545.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Moorhead Wright 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane Davis

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations