Integration forms of international activity - Sociology...

Integration forms of international activity

One of the first definitions of integration belongs to Emile Durkheim, describing it as a phenomenon associated with "the existence of a certain number of beliefs and customs common to all, traditional and, so way, binding. The wider and stronger this collective attitude of the mind, the stronger the integration of society. " In American sociology of the middle of the last century, integration was already considered as an opportunity for a more complete study of "democracy as a system", as a condition and "empirical indicator of political consensus in society" (Seymour Lipset). In international relations, the concept of integration arose in the theory of functionalism to describe the Western European version of supranationality in terms of the collective function of multi-level management of world economic relations.

The idea of ​​a functional approach to international relations was formulated at the height of the Second World War by the British scientist David Mithrani (in 1943). Therefore, the author, on the one hand, does not hide his doubts that the state-nation and even the federations are not able to fight against each other, and on the other - suggests that the organization of new (social and economic) functions that will be carried out by international organizations with the purpose of meeting human needs, will ultimately lead to the formation of supranational mechanisms for cross-border cooperation. Thus, D. Mitrani proposed the idea of ​​interstate cooperation to improve the system of continental railways, sea and air transport. Its basic concept of Ramification was a tool for creating a network of UN infrastructure facilities that provide communication between the social spheres of development of participating States. The innovative approach of functionalism to the sphere of international cooperation was expressed in the formation of supranational organizational structures of interstate and non-governmental formats, in attracting engineering solutions to the problem of civilizational complexity. Functionalism sought to depoliticize and de-ideologize international cooperation, but this was precisely its weak point, since international relations are primarily relations between political entities.

The appearance of an updated version of the functional approach - neofunctionalism - is associated with the need to explain the activities of political supranational institutions of the European Communities (the prototype of the European Union), the first of which was the European Parliament.

By now, neofunctionalism took shape in a direction whose main task is to study integration processes - the leading trend in world politics. One of the founders of the neo-functionalist approach, professor of the University of Berkeley Ernst Haas, applying this approach to the analysis of the work of the European Coal and Steel Community, focuses on the construction resources of integration associations. In this logic, the main resource of integration processes are political forces (groups) operating in different countries and orienting the political activity of their states in accordance with the jurisdiction of the supranational center. E. Haas refers to political forces the leaders of parties, trade unions, trade and business, government officials and politicians, who are related to the sphere of decision-making at the national level. He insisted that, by participating in international organizations, the bureaucracy acquires the skills of functional cooperation, changing their behavior.

The neo-functionalist approach is interesting by its attempt to identify and describe some elements of the social structure of states that influence the formation of supranationality - the distinctive feature of political integration. In addition to E. Haas, K. Deutsch appeared from such positions, and then J. Rosenau and J. Nye, who noted that in each state there are groups that contact the relevant groups in other countries through the channels of international organizations and non-governmental structures.


Subsequently, these views took shape in the concept of

transnational relations. The methodology of transnationalism is described in the work "Transnational relations and world politics" J. Nye and R. Cohen. According to the authors, transnational structures, to which they refer "multinational enterprises, secretariats of international trade unions, religious organizations of a global scale, foundations with a wide geography of action", are mainly associated with some particular national society. In some cases, the researchers recommend, the government can use these relationships to influence the government of another country in the desired direction.

The difference between integration and transnationalism is in their main subjects. So, transnational corporation is the main subject of transnational relations. In integration, it is the state and social groups that create sociocultural contexts, regional communication formats - the original connections of the global scenario and cultural practices. However, in both cases it is a question of territorially configured systems of collective behavior that may not coincide with the established boundaries between the internal and external, the obvious and the unknown. But it is they who give a more accurate picture of international relations as "human activity, which is the interaction of individuals of more than one nation" (Eduard Batalov).

At the same time, integration theorists mainly consider the economic aspects - the markets for goods and services, leaving out institutional and political factors. The theory of political integration E. Haas, which grew out of the empirical analysis of European integration, limited the increment of theoretical knowledge about the phenomenon of integration. However, it identifies the conditions for political integration, shows the role of the individual, political parties and governments in the formation of a supranational political community. In its interpretation, the elite is the decisive political factor in the implementation of integration tasks. This thesis makes it possible to understand the motives of the behavior of Western politicians and their assessment of the political crisis of 2014 in Ukraine. Ukrainian events confirmed E. Haas's assumption that as a symbol of political unification, a united Europe can be acceptable to representatives of different ideological directions, but as an integration tool it is ineffective.

Currently in the international environment there is a kind of "industry" international cooperation, which includes mechanisms different from the European model of integration.

According to United States researcher Yekaterina Valeryevna Koldunova (MGIMO), ASEAN countries, building their regional order, did not set the goal of creating transnational or supranational structures. The ASEAN strategy was initially based on the principles ensuring the maintenance of its autonomous position vis-à-vis the major extra-regional powers in order to prevent the emergence of a large-scale conflict with their participation in the region. Thus, the real aspiration of ASEAN was not to integrate as much as possible, but to reduce the risk of interstate confrontation with external participation.

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