Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Intergovernmentalism is a method of decision-making in international organizations, where power is possessed by the member-states and decisions are made by unanimity. Independent appointees of the governments or elected representatives have solely advisory or implementational functions. Intergovernmentalism is used by most international organizations today.
An alternative method of decision-making in international organizations is supranationalism.
Intergovernmentalism is also a theory on European integration which rejects the idea of neofunctionalism. The theory, innitially proposed by Stanley Hoffmann (biography) suggests that governments control the level and speed of european integration. Any increase in power at supranational level, he argues, results in a direct decision by governments. He believed that integration, drive by national governments, was often based on the domestic political and economic issues of the day. The theory rejects the concept of the spill over effect that neofunctionalism proposes. He also rejects the idea that supranational organisations are on an equal level (in terms of political influence) as national governments.
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