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Explaining the Transnational Design of International Organizations

Forthcoming in International Organization.

64 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2012 Last revised: 11 Jul 2013

Jonas Tallberg

Stockholm University - Department of Political Science

Thomas Sommerer

Stockholm University, Department of Political Science

Theresa Squatrito

University of Oslo - Department of Public and International Law

Christer Jönsson

Lund University

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Past decades have witnessed a shift in international cooperation toward growing involvement of transnational actors (TNAs), such as non-governmental organizations, multinational corporations, and philanthropic foundations. This article offers a comprehensive theoretical and empirical account of TNA access to IOs. The analysis builds on a novel dataset, covering formal TNA access to 298 organizational bodies from 50 IOs over the time period 1950 to 2010. We identify the most profound patterns in TNA access across time, issue areas, policy functions, and world regions, and statistically test competing explanations of the variation in TNA access. The central results are three-fold. First, the empirical data confirm the existence of a far-reaching institutional transformation of IOs over the past sixty years, pervading all issue areas, policy functions, and world regions. Second, variation in TNA access within and across IOs is mainly explained by a combination of three factors: functional demand for the resources of TNAs, domestic democratic standards in the membership of IOs, and state concerns with national sovereignty. Third, existing research suffers from a selection bias that has led it to overestimate the general importance of a new participatory norm in global governance for the openness of IOs.

Keywords: international organizations, transnational actors, institutional design, global governance, civil society, NGO

Suggested Citation

Tallberg, Jonas and Sommerer, Thomas and Squatrito, Theresa and Jönsson, Christer, Explaining the Transnational Design of International Organizations (2013). Forthcoming in International Organization.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2106660 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2106660

Jonas Tallberg (Contact Author)

Stockholm University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10
Stockholm, Stockholm SE-106 91
Sweden

Thomas Sommerer

Stockholm University, Department of Political Science ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10F
Stockholm, SE-106 91
Sweden

Theresa Squatrito

University of Oslo - Department of Public and International Law ( email )

P.O. Box 6706 St. Olavs plass
N-0130 Oslo
Norway

Christer Jönsson

Lund University ( email )

Box 117
Lund, S221 00
Sweden

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