The Limits of Pragmatism in American Foreign Policy: Unsolicited Advice to the Bush Administration on Relations with International Nongovernmental Organizations
American University - Washington College of Law
Chicago Journal of International Law, Vol. 2, No. 2, Fall 2001
The Bush Administration has tended to see international nongovernmental organizations in a pragmatic way, as functionally the international equivalent of domestic "volunteer" organizations. This article argues that the Bush Administration ought to see international nongovernmental organizations as organizations seeking to substitute so-called "international civil society," on the one hand, and public international organizations, on the other, for the authority of democratically sovereign states. Looking beyond the particular issues on which international NGOs press political agendas - human rights, environmentalism, etc. - the function of international NGOs is to delegitimize democratic sovereignty in favor of liberal internationalism. The article argues that the Bush Administration, rather than merely battling with international NGOs over particular issues, ought to aim to change the culture of the "international community" to recognize the virtues of democratic sovereignty over utopian internationalism.
Keywords: Nongovernmental organizations, international NGOs, international nongovernmental organizations, liberal internationalism, sovereignty, democratic sovereignty, democracy, international civil society, international criminal court, Kyoto Protocol, foreign policy, civil society, United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, globalization
JEL Classification: C3, F1
Date posted: July 30, 2002