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Global Bargaining: UNCTAD and the Quest for a New International Economic Order

Global Bargaining: UNCTAD and the Quest for a New International Economic Order

Robert L. Rothstein
Copyright Date: 1979
Pages: 304
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    Global Bargaining: UNCTAD and the Quest for a New International Economic Order
    Book Description:

    Negotiations on an international commodity policy have been the central issue on the North-South agenda for the past three years. They also can be seen as the first major effort to give substantive meaning to the Third World's desire not only for a new regime for the world's raw commodity trade but also for a New International Economic Order. Yet various obstacles have impeded successful North-South bargaining, and the negotiations remain at a stalemate. Focusing on the bargaining process between developed and developing countries in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Robert Rothstein analyzes the factors that have inhibited successful negotiation and suggests ways in which these obstacles might be removed.

    The first part of the book focuses on the specifics of the commodity debate, while in the second part the author attempts to explain the causes of delay, misunderstanding, and mistrust within the negotiating process. Assessing the possibility of devising an effective bargaining policy among unequal parties with conflicting values and interests, Professor Rothstein suggests a number of structural, institutional, and conceptual reforms.

    Originally published in 1979.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6854-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    Robert L. Rothstein
  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-2)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 3-8)

    The attempt to negotiate a new commodity order within the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was the central issue on the North-South agenda from mid-1974 to late 1977. These negotiations could be justifiably perceived as the first major effort to give substantive meaning to the Third World’s desire to construct a New International Economic Order (NIEO). In a less controversial sense, they might also be perceived as the first major attempt to deal with the resource universe in the aftermath of OPEC’s radical reorientation of our political, economic, and psychological perceptions. In short, these were critically and...

  6. Chapter 1 The Quest for Settlements in the North-South Arena
    (pp. 9-36)

    This is a book about commodities, about bargaining between unequal partners, and about institutions. On a deeper level, it is a book about the process of change within the international system. Ultimately, however, it is a book about the decisional system in one important part of the international system. Whatever goals we seek, they cannot be achieved unless the integrity of the decisional system is established and maintained. In this sense the political is clearly prior to the economic. There is no doubt that the decision-making process in the North-South arena is badly flawed, and some of the defects seem...

  7. PART ONE Commodities and the Quest for a New International Economic Order

    • Chapter 2 The Commodity Debate
      (pp. 39-57)

      The struggle to establish a new order in commodity trade has been the central issue in the North-South debate for the past three years. The terms of the debate have been set by UNCTAD’s Integrated Program for Commodities (IPC), whose most contentious element has been the Common Fund, a financing mechanism (for buffer stocks and perhaps for “other measures”) designed to link—to integrate—a series of individual commodity agreements. The attempt to negotiate the IPC and especially the Common Fund has been beset by history, ideology, a difficult mixture of shared and conflicting interests and values, intellectual uncertainties, tacit...

    • Chapter 3 The Integrated Program for Commodities
      (pp. 58-102)

      Neither the principles, the objectives, nor the techniques of the Integrated Program were really original. Even the idea of a central fund to finance a series of buffer stocks had been foreshadowed at UNCTAD-III in Santiago when staff papers had advocated a multicommodity approach that would require the “mobilization of international financial and technical assistance.”¹ Indexation, the attempt to preserve the purchasing power of commodity exports, was also not new, for it had been employed in various domestic contracts and in some long-term commodity supply agreements (for example, between Japan and Australia). In effect, one might argue that there has...

    • Chapter 4 Commodity Bargaining
      (pp. 103-166)

      There have been five factors that significantly influenced the bargaining process over the IPC,¹ and in a narrow sense, the success or failure of a particular negotiation has usually been attributed to two of these factors.² The first is the skill of the bargainers. How competent are they, how dedicated and tireless, how persuasive in defending their own positions and undermining the position of their adversaries, how skilled in knowing just when and what to concede? Care has to be taken not to place too much emphasis on this factor because there are many additional factors that can affect the...

  8. PART TWO Global Bargaining:: Reforming the Process of Settlement

    • Chapter 5 UNCTAD and the Institutional Crisis
      (pp. 169-216)

      Declining confidence in the UN system is widespread among the industrial countries. A persuasive indictment of what the United Nations has become is well within reach, and it cites as evidence such factors as: the increasing dominance of a Third World coalition that is occasionally irresponsible and narrowly self-interested; the politicization of even apparently technical issues (that is, differently politicized than when the industrial countries were in effective control of process and outcome); resolutions that patch together everyone’s demands, that are masterpieces in the phraseology of ambiguity, and that result in uncertainty about what, if anything, has been decided; the...

    • Chapter 6 Institutional Reform: Is What is Possible Sufficient?
      (pp. 217-239)

      The group system is unlikely to disappear because it responds rather well to two imperatives: the need to aggregate and order individual demands, and the psychic and political need for unity on the part of the developing countries. I shall thus suggest only two kinds of reform, the first dealing with measures that might diminish the likelihood of persistent stalemate and confrontation after and while group unity is established, and the other suggesting a few tactics designed to help play the game better. The latter rests on the presumption that the reforms may not be undertaken or, if undertaken, will...

    • Chapter 7 The Quest for Rules In the North-South Arena
      (pp. 240-280)

      The quest for settlements in the North-South arena has been markedly unsuccessful. This is not a judgment that reflects the manifest failure to implement the New International Economic Order (NIEO) or to convert all the players to a shared vision of proper ends and acceptable means. Rather, the judgment reflects even more costly failures: the failure to attain ends in reach, or to diminish obstacles that were not immovable, or to reduce unnecessary suspicions and uncertainties. Success on either side’s terms has never been probable; even so, the gap between what might have been achieved and what has been achieved...

  9. Index
    (pp. 281-286)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 287-287)