Deliberative Capacity Building through International Organizations

49 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2012 Last revised: 6 Aug 2012

See all articles by Karolina Milewicz

Karolina Milewicz

University of Oxford

Robert E. Goodin

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS)

Date Written: 2012 08, 06


International Organizations (IOs) are nowadays independent and central actors in global affairs. They are, however, faced with unprecedented challenges arising from the increasing interdependence in economic, political and financial affairs. Those new circumstances do not only call for novel institutional and procedural approaches that can offer efficient solutions to the problems, but must also satisfy the condition of public accountability and legitimacy. This paper explores the IOs’ deliberative capacity, and suggests that deliberative forms of communication can help IOs to make up for these shortcomings. It conceptualizes ‘deliberative capacity as the capability to engage in ‘high-quality deliberation with effect’. ‘High-quality’ deliberation refers to the process of making decisions in ways that allow for the inclusion of a wide range of interested actors and authenticity of arguments; deliberation ‘with effect’ means that the agreed outputs are of import. The paper illustrates IOs’ deliberative capacity in the fields of human rights and environment through two examples: the working practices of the newly-established Universal Periodic Review (UPR) operating under the auspices of the Human Rights Council (HRC) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) working in collaboration with the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).

Keywords: International Organizations, deliberative capacity, institutional design, decision making, accountability, human rights, sustainability

Suggested Citation

Milewicz, Karolina and Goodin, Robert E., Deliberative Capacity Building through International Organizations (2012 08, 06). APSA 2012 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN:

Karolina Milewicz (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Department of Politics and International Relations
Oxford, Oxfordshire
United Kingdom

Robert E. Goodin

Australian National University (ANU) - Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
61 2 6125 5111 (Phone)

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