Finnemore explicitly expressed her disagreement with both realists and liberalists, who might have noticed the influences of norms in international life, but only treated them as utility-maximizing tools and means towards Pareto-efficiency. Furthermore, the specifications of their deductive theories require strong assumptions that preferences are exogenously imputed on states. Finnemore sought to demonstrate her constructivism, ideational view of state interests, in which the normative shifts within international organizations play a vital role.
The case analyses were supposed to be complementary to neo-realists and neo-liberalists i.
National Interests in International Society
In the third part, I would try to raise several possible questions from multiple perspectives based on positions of constructivists, realists, and liberalists respectively.
The mean of a small sample no longer comfortably centers on the expected mean of population. Thus it has persistently befuddled the most well-trained scholars, that based on what criteria should a case or some cases be selected, and shield outcomes from criticism of cherry-picking or confirmation bias.
Meanwhile, the researchers should retain the causal leverage from the cases picked out. To make such causal inference, only variation on independent variables except for the independent variable essential to our interests is required. Suppose there are two cases that are significantly different on the set of independent variables X but one independent variable x' and the outcome Y.
Then the identical outcome in the two cases can be confidently attributed to x'. First of all, in all three cases, despite their functions and goals international organizations are all highly visible, active and initiative.
Besides, all the international organizations encountered major shifts of norms, emerging within themselves before disseminated to the international society. They are indicators of a good x'.
UNESCO enthusiastically imparted with poor countries the knowledge of effective governance on science and technology. The ICRC and the Geneva Convention — originally proposed by a few committed private individuals — successfully promoted humanitarian norms of war since s. The World Bank adopted new agenda of anti-poverty and effectively influenced LDC governments since s.
Second, except for the identical, essential role played by the international organizations, great variations on other aspects i. X can be observed. The organizations serve quite heterogeneous purposes, and were founded on different historical background. The international environment was significantly different to that in the midth century after WWII.
Finnemore admitted her selection of cases, however, did not include any variation in behavior i. And it is impossible, after all, to travel back in time and observe a different outcome without international organizations.
Yet idealistically, to complement the inherent shortcomings of the most-different design, it still worth doing some counterfactual thinking: would the outcome be significantly different in the absence of shifts directed by the international organizations? In the UNESCO and State Science Bureaucracies case, people might argue sooner or later those developing countries would realize the importance of organized science activities, imitate advanced industrialized countries e.
Britain and the US and set up their scientific bureaucracies.
Finnemore did not completely repudiate the claim in fact, it is ontologically impossible ; instead, she undermined the credibility of the demand-drive explanation by suggesting the promotion of norms by the UNESCO well preceded any signs of spontaneous domestic actions. Finnemore drew a sample of 44 countries that unanimously established the science bureaucracies but had diverse characteristics, especially the power of potential domestic constituencies in favor of science bureaucracies.
Finnemore also did a good job in eliminating alternative explanations in the case of the ICRC and the Geneva Convention. Britain would be automatically expanded to the captured soldiers of the enemy.
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Second, as Finnemore pointed out, multiple unilateral applications of the convention suggested that reciprocity was not a sufficient explanation. At last, domestic audiences were not pushing the states to sit together and adopt humanitarian norms internationally; some democratic countries were opponents while some autocratic countries were supporters for the initial proposal of ICRC and the convention. The case of the World Bank and its new poverty agenda, comparatively, is not that strong.
Most importantly, Finnemore suggested the LDCs were quite passive for the shift and only echoed with the new agenda forwarded by the World Bank, as signaled by increasing weight of lending to poverty-oriented sectors, especially rural development and agricultural sector P. But the first two reasons she gave — the elitism power structure and the politically negligible poor pp.
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Indeed, the third wave of democratization did not sweep the developing world until mids, but political elites still had incentives to be responsive to the major population, given their fragile position at the eve of revolution. In addition, on the donor side Finnemore might also improve her argument by contributing more attention to the interaction between the World Bank and other international organizations as well and bureaucracies of developed countries responsible for foreign aid, e.
It should be noted in the early s USAID also shifted its focus to basic human needs in developing countries: to what extent was the shift related to the new agenda proposed by the World Bank?
At last, though pointing out the contributions of Seers, Myrdal and some others p. In the overall view, building on the most-different design and selection of cases, Finnemore presented two effective cases, while the third case need further revision in ruling out other reasonable hypotheses.
Internal validity, nonetheless, might still be challenged by other sources of biasness. Those are the themes of the next section.
Selection Bias and External Validity Finnemore made an explicit statement that the case selection was based exclusively on the international organizations p. The first concern it raises is the self-selection problem, as Finnemore might probably create positive bias and overstate the impact of norms. Skeptics would argue that states must have perceived at least some outcomes of interacting with international organizations and predicted adoption of new norms.
They self-selected the trajectory of merging into the international society. External observers mistakenly view the international organizations as the only impetus driving the change of norms, while omitting evolving preferences of the genuine decisive actor, the state. It worth pointing out that the self-selection argument above does not reject constructivism; it admits the intersubjective role of norms in the international society but holds a more state-centric opinion.
Finnemore probably has realized the problem here, and she spared no efforts in explicitly declaring the initiative and innovative role played by the international organizations. The interests of states were primarily reshaped by the external structure.
Amid three cases, however, states were probably most positive in contriving the Geneva Convention. It is hard to decide, that states were not adjusting their preferences and voluntarily internalizing humanitarian norms, given widely-known bloodbath in Crimea.
Thereby, the emphasis on non-state actors in this case is not very well-rounded. The second concern is cherry picking cases in order to make observed outcomes fit predictions of the theory.
National Interest: Meaning, Components and Methods
What might explain the reversal of dependent variable from compliance to non-compliance, when the core independent variable — the international norms — should remain constant? The answer obviously lies outside the book.
In sum, Finnemore has probably over-estimated the role of international organizations by omitting evolving preferences of the states, which also participated in the socialization process of norms.