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ECPR Joint Sessions 2020 Sciences Po Toulouse

In the Engine Room: Linking Perspectives in the Study of Intergovernmental Organisations as Actors

Public Administration
International relations
Workshop Number
Workshop Director
Per-Olof Busch
Universität Potsdam
Workshop Co-Director
Thomas Sommerer
Stockholm University

Intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) are increasingly perceived as important actors in contemporary governance. Many problems confronting today’s societies are transboundary, leading states to increasingly rely on IGOs for policy solutions. Yet, research on IGOs as actors has for a long time been neglected in social sciences.
The session therefore seeks to advance this research by inviting contributions from scholars in International Relations, Public Administration, and Organisational Sociology that analyse IGOs as actors and, in doing so, devote their attention to the interior of IGOs, e.g. their organisational structure, institutional design, autonomy, bureaucratic practices, administrative styles, outputs, behavior, preferences, culture, or normative orientations. We are particularly interested in papers that adopt one of the two basic analytical perspectives that have been identified in existing research and have so far existed largely isolated from each other. On the one hand, we welcome scholars who seek to assess and explain certain aspects of the interior of IGOs, which indicate that IGOs are indeed actors in their own right. On the other hand, we invite scholars who use such aspects as starting point when assessing and explaining the effectiveness or performance of IGOs as actors.
By bringing together these scholars, we intend to stimulate a discussion between both perspectives about opportunities (and obstacles) to develop a common or at least comparable conceptual and empirical understanding of the interior of IGOs. Ultimately, this could be used to establish a unified research framework that allows tracing the causal chain from the determinants of the interior of IGOs to its consequences on effectiveness or performance of IGOs. As intended byproduct, we also expect the discussions to contribute to a consolidation of concepts and empirical findings within each group of scholars on which future research can draw.

Paper List

Title Details
A Matter of Routine? Administrative Styles in International Organisations View Paper Details
An Investigation of the Theoretical Dimension of Actorness: Definition, Scope and Significance View Paper Details
Balancing as a Trustee and Agent: A Case of the WTO DSM View Paper Details
Budgeting in International Organisations: What Role for Administrations? View Paper Details
Comparing and Explaining the Autonomy International Secretariats – An Ideal Type Approach View Paper Details
Framing Public Governance Reforms: A Comparison of the OECD and the World Bank View Paper Details
Identifying the Hidden Influence of International Treaty Secretariats on Environmental Policy-Making View Paper Details
International Organisations as Order-Making Practices: Towards Practice Understanding of the Post-Cold War Transformation of International Security Organisations View Paper Details
Measuring Expert Authority of International Public Administrations View Paper Details
Norms, Experts and the EU Budget: The European Court of Auditors and the International Architecture of Standard-Setting View Paper Details
Strategic Planning in Intergovernmental Organisations View Paper Details
The Role of OSPAR and Institutional Interlinkages in Achieving Sustainable Oceans View Paper Details
When Can Intergovernmental Organisations Become Viable Actors? View Paper Details
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