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Japan and the International Whaling Commission: The Curse of Bilateralism in Multilateral Organizations
Unformatted Document Text:  3 than two of them should not be a long stretch of the imagination. This would help build a new group of ‘soft multilateral organizations’ [i.e. including a degree of reciprocal-bilateralism]. Furthermore, given that in the case of the IWC Japan is not bound by membership and could simply leave the organization to circumvent the whaling ban, an interesting dynamic in state-IGO relationships emerges. Perhaps states are working within IOs to an increasing extent to affect change, and using “bribery” as a tool. 3 This potential necessitates a rethinking of the traditional classification of international organizations to account for such behavior. Our categorization is as follows: Multilateralism • Hard multilateralism: used to provide every member with the same level of information, and involve everybody – possibly equally – in the decision process. It is resistant to reciprocal bilateralism i.e. bribery and rent seeking. An example of a hard multilateral organization is the World Bank. Although countries are not allotted equal votes, the incentive for quid pro quo agreements is minimal because states can simply buy more voting power with larger contributions to the World Bank Fund. • Soft multilateralism: used to provide every member with the same level of information, and involve everybody – possibly equally – in the decision process. It includes a degree of reciprocal bilateralism, and is “multilateralism cursed by bilateralism.” An example is the International Whaling Commission where reciprocal bilateralism is found. Bilateralism • Reciprocal bilateralism: Reciprocal bilateralism includes cases of quid pro quo arrangements between two states, e.g. increased aid for voting a certain way on the U.N. security council or “bribery and rent-seeking” by the donor and recipient respectively. • Bilateralism: bilateralism is a direct relationship between two countries, a donor and a recipient, with no reciprocity for the donor. 2. Aid, UN Security Council Seats, and Vote Buying at the IWC: Towards a New Categorization of IGOs. Intergovernmental organizations have varied membership rules, and these rules are particularly important with respect to ‘soft multilateralism.’ In open membership organizations within which a country can join or exit at its pleasure (e.g. the IWC), soft-multilateralism may be a function of either member-recruitment (which Japan is accused of), or vote buying. In closed membership organizations (e.g. the WTO and EU) new members, whose terms of membership may or may not be fixed, must be approved by existing members. We hypothesize that soft multilateralism in closed membership is a function of vote buying alone. We base this on the assumption that member recruitment

Authors: Donahue, Kenneth. and Warin, Thierry.
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than two of them should not be a long stretch of the imagination. This would help build a
new group of ‘soft multilateral organizations’ [i.e. including a degree of reciprocal-
bilateralism]. Furthermore, given that in the case of the IWC Japan is not bound by
membership and could simply leave the organization to circumvent the whaling ban, an
interesting dynamic in state-IGO relationships emerges. Perhaps states are working
within IOs to an increasing extent to affect change, and using “bribery” as a tool.
3
This
potential necessitates a rethinking of the traditional classification of international
organizations to account for such behavior.

Our categorization is as follows:

Multilateralism
Hard multilateralism: used to provide every member with the same level of
information, and involve everybody – possibly equally – in the decision process.
It is resistant to reciprocal bilateralism i.e. bribery and rent seeking. An example
of a hard multilateral organization is the World Bank. Although countries are not
allotted equal votes, the incentive for quid pro quo agreements is minimal because
states can simply buy more voting power with larger contributions to the World
Bank Fund.
Soft multilateralism: used to provide every member with the same level of
information, and involve everybody – possibly equally – in the decision process.
It includes a degree of reciprocal bilateralism, and is “multilateralism cursed by
bilateralism.” An example is the International
Whaling Commission where reciprocal bilateralism is found.
Bilateralism
Reciprocal bilateralism: Reciprocal bilateralism includes cases of quid pro quo
arrangements between two states, e.g. increased aid for voting a certain way on
the U.N. security council or “bribery and rent-seeking” by the donor and recipient
respectively.
Bilateralism: bilateralism is a direct relationship between two countries, a donor
and a recipient, with no reciprocity for the donor.


2. Aid, UN Security Council Seats, and Vote Buying at the IWC: Towards a New
Categorization of IGOs.

Intergovernmental organizations have varied membership rules, and these rules are
particularly important with respect to ‘soft multilateralism.’ In open membership
organizations within which a country can join or exit at its pleasure (e.g. the IWC), soft-
multilateralism may be a function of either member-recruitment (which Japan is accused
of), or vote buying. In closed membership organizations (e.g. the WTO and EU) new
members, whose terms of membership may or may not be fixed, must be approved by
existing members. We hypothesize that soft multilateralism in closed membership is a
function of vote buying alone. We base this on the assumption that member recruitment


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