Collusion in International Organizations: How States Benefit from the Authority of Secretariats
Global Governance, Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 601-618, 2017
20 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2016 Last revised: 5 May 2018
Date Written: October 1, 2017
In the theoretical literature on the authority of international secretariats, academics often dichotomise between states and secretariats. Even when they account for the fact that states are often divided, they normally adopt a two-step approach: states first resolve their own differences before they entertain relations with secretariats. This article provides an alternative perspective. It argues that individual or groups of states may collude with like-minded secretariats to achieve outcomes at the expense of other states. Working informally together is beneficial. States can benefit from the rational-legal, delegated, moral and expert authority of secretariats. States and secretariats can also exchange resources. The article illustrates this perspective through two case studies: the NATO intervention in Libya in 2011 and the EU military operation in Chad in 2008.
Keywords: international secretariats, authority, principal-agent model
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