Prior to the beginning of the twenty first century, the state of world politics was one in which, some may argue, the world underwent the most changes, and was thus at its most unstable. From the Manhattan Project and the Welfare State, the Great Depression and inflation, World War I and World War to the Cold War and terrorism, social issues were viewed as insignificant in comparison.
State actors had much bigger problems to address and as a result an emergence and proliferation of non-state actors willing to address social issues that where put on the back burners of state actors came into fruition. These non-state actors, known as nongovernmental organizations (Nags), are non-profit, comprised of voluntary members that organize on local, national and/or international levels and address social issues specific to the common interests of its members.
Nags specialize in gathering information and analyzing that information in order to solve a social issue either on its own or with the assistance of a state actor. This act, coupled with either the exchanging of information or financial aid with state actors are hat Nags strive for, and one realm in which this has proved to have been a great success is within the realm of environmental politics. This is because the information being exchanged and publicly released is for the betterment of society as a whole and doesn’t pose a threat to any state power.
When the exchange of information cannot occur, however, the success rate of Nags drops significantly. One realm in particular where this proves true is within the realm of international security. Because of the sensitivity of the information that is being gathered and exchanged between states and Nags ND the possibility of the information being leaked or being used as leverage against states proves too great, making the exchanging of information in regards to international security between states and Nags a threat to state power.
Because this is the case, I will argue that the exchanging of information back and forth between Nags and state actors determines the success or failure of Nags, and that this exchange can only occur when state power is not at risk. Environmental Argument: Rather than states and Nags trying to undermine each other in order to rather each of their own agendas, as is the case with other global issues, when it comes to environmental politics in particular, MONGO participation “enhances the abilities of states to regulate globally” (Irrational, 719).
Since the sass, the influence of environmental Nags has evolved significantly as the larger scientific, economic, institutional, and political contexts of environmental policy have changed. With the growing problem that the deterioration of the environment was and still is presenting has essentially caused the role Of Nags in international environmental policy to change significantly over the past thirty or so years. As a result environmental advocacy groups have moved from a posture of confrontation and adversarial relations with state actors and industry to one characterized by professionalism and cooperation.
As previously mentioned, the major reason as to why Nags are successful is because of their ability to gather, analyze, and provide information to state actors with the hope that state actors will, in return, aid the Nags in achieving their overall goal. What makes environmental policy so distinct from other global issues is that the overall AOL of the Nags is shared by most, if not all state actors, thus making the possibility of Nags potentially threatening state powers null and void.
Without this threat to state powers, Nags can work in tandem with state actors to try and solve the difficult issue that is the environment. Nags have the ability, unlike state actors, to focus only on issues of the environment and to devote all of their time and resources to the issue at hand. As a result, Nags possess the ability to provide a plethora of information to state actors that would normally be unattainable by the actors themselves.
They can provide information on policy research that could help alleviate the strain that states put on the environment, monitor state commitments and compliance to policies enacted for the betterment Of the environment as well as raise “fire alarms” when it comes to outside parties whom plan to violate policies enacted by states. States benefit from this because they receive information in regards to the solving of a major issue through Nags at the very low cost of granting Nags greater access and participation in international discussions, but at the discretion of state actors.
Because this is he case, “The state remains the leading form of political organization, and Nags need the coercive power of states to realize the behavioral and policy changes they seek” (Irrational, 726). This allows for the delivering of information to states via Nags to occur without the worry of this information threatening state power because with the issue of environmental politics, the information being provided to states refers to a problem that is universal to all. Because this exchange of information occurs, MONGO goals are ultimately being achieved, proving them to be successful as a result of the successful exchanging of information.
International Security Argument: Unlike environmental politics, MONGO and state intelligence agency partnerships have “rarely been the harmonious encounter envisioned by some theorists of early warning and conflict prevention” (Demark, 193). While there have been instances in which the partnerships have worked on an international security level, more often than not these instances have been met with conflict be;en the two parties. The reason for this essentially lies within the fundamental principle of Nags: transparency and reciprocity.
When dealing with sensitive information that directly relates with state security, secrecy is of the utmost importance. As a result, there can be no transparency or releasing of information to the public that can potentially pose a threat to state power and security. This is where the conflict of interest between state intelligence agencies and Nags come into play. Intelligence agencies use Nags to gather sensitive information that they themselves could not gather because of their association with another state and because Nags gather the information at a much cheaper rate.
They do this for the ole goal of national security, state building, and the pursuit of national interest. The Nags, in return expect to receive information from intelligence agencies that will aid them in their quest to provide humanitarian aid and relief to all people. While the secrecy of the information is usually upheld by Nags, the problem often arises when intelligence agencies cannot provide information in return to Nags, which happens more often than not. When this exchange of information cannot occur, the threat that Nags pose to state power and security grows exponentially.
As a result of no reciprocity on the art of the intelligence agency, Nags gain leverage over the state and can turn against it by threatening to release the information that they gathered on the behalf of the intelligence agency. The fact that the potential for Nags to have this power over states exists when it comes to international security poses a huge threat to state power. It is this threat alone that prevents the exchanging Of information to Occur between States and Nags, resulting in their failures when it comes to international security.
Conclusion: In sum, the exchanging of information between state actors and Nags involved in environmental politics do not pose a threat to state power, whereas the reciprocation of information between state actors and Nags involved in international security has the potential to pose an immense threat to state power. Since this is the case, Nags tend to be more successful when it comes to environmental politics because states are more willing to work with Nags and provide them with information because of the fact that it is information that would never potentially threaten state power.
On the other hand Nags are less successful when it comes to issues as sensitive as international security because states are less willing to deal with Nags when sensitive information is being exchanged for fear that the information being traded has the potential of being leaked or being used as a way fro Nags to have leverage over states. This lack of information exchange thus makes Nags working within the realm of international security less successful than Nags working within the realm of environmental politics. As a result, the exchanging of information between Nags and state actors determines the success or failure of an MONGO.