Functionalism , an approach to the formation of international organizations that advocates international cooperation on scientific, humanitarian, social, and economic issues. Functionalists argue that mutual trust and habits of cooperation between governments are more likely to develop through the sharing of discrete public-sector responsibilities, or functions e. The central feature of the functional approach is the creation of international agencies with limited and specific powers defined by the function that they perform. Functional agencies operate only within the territories of the states that choose to join them and do not therefore threaten state sovereignty.

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David Mitrany — was a Romanian-born, naturalized British scholar, historian and political theorist. Earle , Winfield W. Riefler , Walter W. Stewart , and Robert B. He left the IAS in Mitrany worked on international relations and on issues of the Danube region. He is considered as the creator of the theory of functionalism in international relations , also classified as a part of liberal institutionalism see Liberalism.

Mitrany pioneered modern integrative theory. This discipline is the third main liberal approach to international relations along with international liberalism and idealism.

Its basic principle maintains that international not only economical cooperation is the best means of softening antagonism in the international environment. The idea of this international cooperation was elaborated upon by Leonard Hobhouse , and then by Leonard Woolf and G. Following a series of conferences held at Harvard and Yale, he published two of his theoretical studies concerning the international system, The Political Consequences of Economic Planning and The Progress of International Government.

The first public presentation of his functionalist approach to international relations occurred during a series of conferences held at Yale University in Mitrany got famous eventually with his pamphlet A Working Peace System of Anti-Federalism: Mitrany controverted illusionary federation projects according to Coudenhove-Kalergi and others, which could hinder a quick and effective re-establishment of peace.

Claim for functional agencies: Instead of those federation projects Mitrany recommended lean functional agencies for the execution of international cooperation on all issue-related, mainly technical and economic sectors. And Mitrany listed private cartels, e. In his argumentation it can be noticed the presence of elements inspired by his liberal pluralist contemporaries. The working peace system was built around international agencies. They had functional responsibilities in managing those problems for which there was a consensus to cooperate.

These international agencies were to assume some of the attributions of nation-states, within the so-called ramification process which involved a constant transfer of functions and authority from states to agencies. The phenomenon in question made no distinction between protagonists. The consequence of ramification was a domino effect, as cooperation in one field could lead to a new cooperation in another field.

The best known tenet of political functionalism form follows function does actually not originate from Mitrany, but from the functionalism of industrial design.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Joseph S. Nye Jr. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, , p. Categories : births deaths Institute for Advanced Study faculty International relations scholars English people of Romanian descent. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Contribute Help Community portal Recent changes Upload file.

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Working for Peace: the Functional Approach, Functionalism and Beyond

David Mitrany — was a Romanian-born, naturalized British scholar, historian and political theorist. Earle , Winfield W. Riefler , Walter W. Stewart , and Robert B. He left the IAS in


David Mitrany

Functionalism is a theory of international relations that arose during the inter-War period principally from the strong concern about the obsolescence of the State as a form of social organization. Rather than the self-interest of nation-states that realists see as a motivating factor, functionalists focus on common interests and needs shared by states but also by non-state actors in a process of global integration triggered by the erosion of state sovereignty and the increasing weight of knowledge and hence of scientists and experts in the process of policy-making Rosamond, Functionalism is a pioneer in globalisation theory and strategy. States had built authority structures upon a principle of territorialism. State-theories were built upon assumptions that identified the scope of authority with territory Held , Scholte: , , , aided by methodological territorialism Scholte Functionalism proposed to build a form of authority based in functions and needs, which linked authority with needs, scientific knowledge, expertise and technology, i.


Functionalism (international relations)


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