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The Politics, Power, and Pathologies of International Organizations (Book Review Sample)


the task here was to give a critique of the article that i had earlier reviewed ''Michael N. Barnett and Martha Finnemore (2017): The Politics, Power, and Pathologies of International Organizations''

Michael N. Barnett and Martha Finnemore (2017): The Politics, Power, and Pathologies of International Organizations.
Critique by Finney Israel
This article points out to an in depth and enlightening discussion on the discourse around power, politics and pathology of International Organizations. The article gives insight on the ways IOs perform their roles, how their work is hindered and it brings to light certain theoretical aspects of IOs. The authors have done a remarkable job by using a number of literatures including journal articles and books for their references. This has made an attempt of exhausting fundamental aspects in a beautiful way. However, there were some inefficiencies in a number of claims and there are aspects that I differ with and agree with at the same time.
Despite basing their arguments from diverse sources, the authors have highlighted and discussed a number of factors. Unfortunately, they have not given solutions to a variety of issues that were raised. It is not in order to oppose structures such as bureaucracies and propose nothing to guide it from its inefficiencies. The authors have highlighted bureaucratic inefficiencies that enhance it dysfunctionality. They have argued that IOs have mechanisms such as insulation, cultural contestation, normalization of deviance that all produce pathology in those organizations. However sensible and on point their arguments are, it may be disregarded and taken on a light note since they offer no alternative solution to such dysfunctional agents.
An in depth analysis of this scholarly work brings to broad daylight the fact that the authors of this article are sociologists. Critically analyzing the sociologist views, there is a sense in which they can withstand a debate as pertaining to the same. However, I differ with the sociologist claim on the notion that IOs are not passive and have independent agendas of their own. This is to suggest that IOs are independent actors and make independent decisions. Come on! Do we really need an empirical study to see sense in this? I ask for us to be practical rather than theoretical in this aspect. History has all the evidence required. IOs, with reference to UN, has always served the interest of the powerful states. Karl Marx’s common phrase states “he who controls the means of material production controls the means of mental production.” IOs have been given mandate by these powerful states, and it is always guaranteed that it will promote the ideology and preference...
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