The International Atomic Energy Agency in the Changing Structure of International Organization Law: A Cold War Institution Facing an Age of Terror
CURSO DE DERECHO INTERNACIONAL, Vol. 32, pp. 509-62, 2005
43 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2007
This paper, which originated in lectures given at the Annual Course of the Inter-American Juridical Committee of the Organization of American State at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August 2005, reviews the origins, history, and future of the International Atomic Energy Agency (the IAEA). It describes the IAEA as the child of the Cold War, which now having grown to adulthood, faces the rigors and challenges of adulthood in a less hierarchical world, yet one filled with the possibilities and fears that now characterize a post-Cold War world in an age of terror. The analysis locates the study of the IAEA as an international organization in terms of its significance for the law of international organizations. Part I addresses the origins of the IAEA as a organization related to the UN, though not strictly one of its specialized organizations, but chiefly in terms of the rise of the Cold War international system during which states possessing nuclear weapons exercised hegemony not only through political, military and economic supremacy. The Atoms for Peace policy represented the grand strategy and political economy underlying the Statute of the IAEA during this period. Part II of the paper addresses how, with the fall of the Cold War system and the rise of new transnational threats and opportunities, the IAEA became more deeply enmeshed in the multilateral system, more deeply and actively cooperating with the UN, yet acquiring its own voice and, to a certain extent, autonomy as an international organization. In brief, therefore, one can view the evolution of the IAEA as a mirror the international system, including evidence that regional and global organizations for the control of nuclear materials and technology are in substantial competition, much as they are in other areas of international governance, such as private international law and trade.
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