Industry Lobbying and 'Interest Blind' Access Norms at International Organizations
111 AJIL Unbound 119 (2017)
6 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2017
Date Written: June 27, 2017
The standard approach of many international organizations (IOs) to non-governmental associations makes no formal distinctions between nonprofit private sector groups, known as trade or industry associations, and public interest groups. Thus, most IOs offer accreditation and access to both kinds of group on equal terms, without differentiating between them. I call this approach “interest blind” and use this short essay to examine its origins and consequences. Specifically, the approach has resulted in robust participation in international governance by industry and trade lobbying groups, which can affect the quality of deliberation at IOs and of the information that international officials and lawmakers receive. At the same time, eliminating for-profit participation is neither possible nor prudent. A successful reform will accept the premise that participating groups will advance a diversity of special interests, and regulate accordingly.
Keywords: International Organizations, International Law, NGOs, Trade Associations, Industry Associations, Global Governance, Global Administrative Law, World Health Organization, United Nations, Non-State Actors, Lobbying
JEL Classification: F23, F53, F55, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation