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ECPR Standing Group on the European Union 10th Biennial Conference LUISS, Rome

Authority and Control in International Organisations

International relations
Workshop Number
Workshop Directors
Thomas Conzelmann
Maastricht Universiteit
Marcia Taylor
ECPR, Harbour House
Workshop Co-Director
Hylke Dijkstra
Maastricht Universiteit

International organisations (IOs) have become prominent actors in our political life. The European Union, in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, decisively shapes the budgetary terms in half-a-dozen of its member states. NATO is in charge of the currently largest overseas military deployment. The World Trade Organisation decisively shapes the external trading patterns of most countries and increasingly impacts upon domestic policies as well. And the World Health Organisation plays a vital role in coordinating responses to the outbreak of diseases. The vast majority of current policy issues have a cross-border dimension, and IOs play an increasingly important part in addressing them. In doing this, they are not just passive executors of a mandate given to them by the member states, but possess own agency.

While the study of the institutional rules of IOs is rather advanced, we know much less about the day-to-day processes of agenda-setting, decision-making and policy implementation within IOs. In particular, we still know too little about (a) who has authority in IOs and on what grounds, and (b) how authority in IOs is controlled. Authority – conceptualised as legitimate power – can be held by specific branches of an IO or specific actors or bodies within it. Its emergence results not only from acts of delegation and formal institutional rules, but also from actor's bureaucratic expertise, information, networks, and other sources of informal influence. Such authority is subsequently not only controlled through formal voting rights, but also through other forms of control and accountability. Therefore, both the emergence of authority in IOs and its control through formal and informal means form a necessary ingredient of the analysis of international organisations.

Papers in this workshop address questions of authority and/or control in IOs. They can have a theoretical / conceptual or empirical orientation. Empirical papers are ideally comparative, across or within individual IOs. Mixed-methods approaches are, in this regard, specifically encouraged. Papers with individual case studies remain welcome, as long as they have a clear theory-related purpose. The workshop will include papers addressing different policy fields (including, among others, trade, development, environment, and security issues).

Paper List

Title Details
(Not) in the Hands of the Member States: The Influence of the European Commission in EU Security and Defence Cooperation View Paper Details
Authority and Control Within Environmental Funding Mechanisms: A Case Study of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Funding of Biodiversity Conservation View Paper Details
Authority in International Organisations View Paper Details
Beyond Impact: Measuring the Authority of Peer Reviews Among States View Paper Details
Changing Course: How Do IOs Reconcile Inclusivity and Authority During Times of Change? View Paper Details
Controlling International Organisations: How States Use Control Mechanisms to Minimise Agency Losses View Paper Details
Expert Authority of International Public Administrations: Conceptual, Theoretical and Methodolgoical Considerations View Paper Details
Global Human Rights Governance and Orchestration: National Human Rights Institutions as Intermediaries View Paper Details
International Organisations' Quest for Information: The Politics of Secretariat Staffing View Paper Details
Measuring the Structural Autonomy of International Bureaucracies View Paper Details
Politics without Principals? The European Member States in External Trade Negotiations View Paper Details
Representative Institutions in International Organisations View Paper Details
Shadow Bureaucracies and the Control of International Organisations: Insights from UN Peacekeeping View Paper Details
The AHELO Effect: The Role of Private Authority in OECD Education Governance View Paper Details
The UN Secretariat's Authority in the Field of Peace Operations View Paper Details
When Do International Organisations Slack? View Paper Details
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