International Institutions

A definition of the dilemma of NATO enlargement is the setting of criteria that is used to determine the members who should or should not be admitted to NATO. The dilemma is pegged on the mistrust that using restrictive membership criteria, signals the strong cooperation of members. The more restrictive and demanding membership criteria explain NATO’s behavior, and are less convincing on getting Russia.

Conditions under which such dilemmas are likely to occur include policy dilemma, the expansion of NATO membership helped to worsen Western-Russian relations, and this has led to distrust; thus, strengthening Western elements in Russian political system. Alliances formations, these are similar to the one between the personal rapport of US President and the Czech President. The desire to join alliances of the East European states is seen as protection against Russia (Kydd, 2001). NATO’s commitment to defending new member states is seen when the U.S. sent troops to defend Eastern Europe from the Russian invasion. The level of trust and mistrust is another core dilemma of NATO enlargement in fostering trust among new allies, and the unwanted side effect is to lessen trust with Russia.

Democratization leads to levels of uncertainty about preferences between likely new members, the society, and the outside power. This brings into question the cost and benefits of trust building in fostering democracy and peace. The expansion, which is unconditional, is another issue causing a dilemma, as conditional expansion is reassuring in attempting to encircle Russia with a ring of hostile allies. Furthermore, a security dilemma is created by insinuation that mistrust causes a conflict where NATO-Russian relationship is jeopardized and the possible harm that would result if Russia stopped cooperating (Reiter, 2000). Cooperating in terms of strategic arms control, peacekeeping, and the financial costs of enlarging can weaken NATO’s military power and complicate decision making within the alliance. “Institutional design” may help overcome the dilemmas by improving political and economic status like in the case of Belarus and Ukraine. The consolidation of democratic systems, free market economies, and resolving ethnic and territorial disputes with each other and Russia are critical measures in resolving the dilemmas.

Members of the Executive Board are selected either by being appointed, or elected to the board by the Board of Governors’ who meet once a year. They are Directors themselves who serve as a member-country finance ministers or central bank governors appointed by the country’s government. They normally meet several times a week. Countries with strong democracies, large economic size, and massive influence on the IMF have the most votes on the Board of Governors. The authority of the IMF comes from the citizens who elect the IMF Governors. Important decisions are normally done by consensus or by voting rules, which are pegged on the member country’s economic size (Vreeland, 2003). The managing Director chairs the Executive Board, which leads the IMF meetings.

An individual country can dominate the Executive Board depending on the share of votes, which is normally pegged on the country’s economic size. They can use this advantage to dictate the IMF policies, by using the voting rules. The smaller the share of votes a member controls, the less influence a member state has. A country like the US has veto powers over the appointment and reappointment of the Managing Director; thus, it can dominate the Executive Board as the chair, and other countries cannot give it opposition. Therefore, smaller countries have little influence on the board, as they cannot vote, but must voice their opinions individually.

Smaller countries may increase their influence on the decision making process by the use of discretional rules. They can also do this by becoming “supplemental financers,” as this is vital for the success of an IMF program because, without it, the IMF loan may not be sufficient to bail a country out of economic crisis. This makes them be in a strong position to make demands to the IMF about the design of the programs they are undertaking. They have an interest in specifying the precise policy conditions that are attached to the IMF, and can push for weak conditionality as they exert direct pressure on the IMF.

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