Establishing intergovernmental organizations:how founding treaty discourse creates collectivity among the member states

by R (Riina) Kilpelinen

Institution: University of Oulu
Year: 2017
Keywords: English Philology
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2154748
Full text PDF: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201704131499


Abstract The globalisation of politics has resulted in a myriad of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs). While the primary reason for a sovereign state to join such an organization may be based on national cost-benefit calculations, the durability and functionality of an IGO require a sense of collectivity and solidarity to be formed among the member states. Therefore, this study examines how the discourse in the founding treaties of IGOs can be used to establish collectivity among member states. To this end, this study focuses on the founding treaties of five globally significant intergovernmental organizations, the UN, NATO, OPEC, EU and AU. By using discourse-analytic research methods, these treaties are comparatively examined to determine the frequently occurring discourses that create and promote collective identity and collective mentality among the member states of the examined IGOs. Consequently, in the analysis of the research material, it appears that such discourse of collectivity is consistently present throughout all treaties and that the relevant discourses are quite similar in nature as well, regardless of the organizational focus areas. Collaborating national and organizational ethos, balancing competing interests, and protecting sovereignty seem to encourage a state agents identification with the collective. A promise of organizational egalitarianism and general normalization of unavoidable inequalities within the organizational framework in turn eases the potential conflicts between the members of the collectives and thus supports the sense of collectivity. Furthermore, the organizational attitudes towards the wider world and the challenges it presents is consistently used as a unifying feature, as it creates an ingroup and outgroup setting that can benefit the sense of collectivity. Since these features of discourse of collectivity appear to be consistent in all of the examined treaties, it may be assumed that similar discourses could be detectable in the founding treaties of other IGOs as well or could be utilized in potential future treaties. Essentially, the conclusions drawn in this study reveal the foundation of the collective identity formed among the member states of IGOs. Therefore, while the collective identity is mainly established in the everyday interaction and practical discourse of an IGO, the founding treaty framework offers a relevant comparison point and an explanation as to how this organizational collective identity is formed. Tiivistelm Poliittisen globalisaation seurauksena hallitustenvlisten yhteistyjrjestjen mr on kasvanut huomattavasti. Vaikka itsenisen valtion pts liitty kyseisiin jrjestihin voi ensisijaisesti pohjautua kansallistasolla suoritettuihin hyty- ja kustannuslaskelmiin, hallitustenvlisten