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Explaining Patterns in IO Openness: Governance Problems, Policy Approaches, and Institutional Design

Politischen Vierteljahresschrift, Special Issue 49 (2014), “Internationale Organisationen: Autonomie, Politisierung, interorganisationale Beziehungen und Wandel", Forthcoming

36 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2014  

Jonas Tallberg

Stockholm University - Department of Political Science

Theresa Squatrito

University of Oslo - Department of Public and International Law

Thomas Sommerer

Stockholm University, Department of Political Science

Date Written: April 8, 2014

Abstract

International organizations (IOs) have undergone a profound institutional transformation over past decades, dramatically expanding the opportunities for transnational actors (TNAs) to participate in global policy-making. At the same time, significant differences remain, as TNA involvement continues to vary in distinct and durable ways. In this article, we argue that a neglected source of patterns in openness is the policy approaches of IOs, understood as organizational styles of problem-solving. Policy approaches matter because the one and the same governance problem may be tackled in multiple ways. Policy approaches thus function as an intervening variable, shaping the effect of underlying governance problems on the demand for particular design solutions. Introducing a distinction between centralized and decentralized policy approaches, we argue that IOs which pursue a centralized approach to problem solving are less likely to involve TNAs, whereas IOs that pursue a decentralized approach are more likely to seek the involvement of TNAs in policy formulation, implementation, and enforcement. Empirically, the article combines descriptive statistics on variation in TNA access across and within issue areas, and two case studies that show the varying impact of policy approaches on TNA access in two specific IOs – the Asian Development Bank and the Commonwealth.

Keywords: international organizations, transnational actors, openness, policy approach, governance problem, institutional design

Suggested Citation

Tallberg, Jonas and Squatrito, Theresa and Sommerer, Thomas, Explaining Patterns in IO Openness: Governance Problems, Policy Approaches, and Institutional Design (April 8, 2014). Politischen Vierteljahresschrift, Special Issue 49 (2014), “Internationale Organisationen: Autonomie, Politisierung, interorganisationale Beziehungen und Wandel", Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2423700

Jonas Tallberg (Contact Author)

Stockholm University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10
Stockholm, 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

Thomas Sommerer

Stockholm University, Department of Political Science ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10F
Stockholm, SE-106 91
Sweden

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