DELPOWIO

Delegation and Empowerment of International Organizations

In recent decades, there has been a steady increase in the number of international Organizations (IOs). At varying levels states have transferred some authority to IOs, giving them different levels of power. While there has been a steady extension of competences of the EU, IMF, and World Bank, in the GATT/WTO, UNESCO, and WHO the level of delegated authority has remained constant. We argue that IO empowerment (IOE) is a function of temporal dynamics, the degree of cohesion among principals, and the design of the delegation contract. On the theoretical side, the aim of this interdisciplinary project is to develop a theory of IOE that integrates a temporal dimension into the principal-agent approach. We do this by resorting to four different disciplines: political science, economics, law, and organizational sociology. On the empirical side, the main novelty of the project consists in adopting a comparative research design and a longitudinal perspective. We analyze the empowerment of six IOs (EC/EU, GATT/WTO, IMF, UNESCO, WHO, and World Bank) over a period of 65 years (1950-2015). Given the aim and scope of this research, the project is to be regarded as theory-building and hypothesis-testing research. It is based on extensive qualitative work conducted in the archives of these six IOs as well as on elite interviews with national and international officials. With this project, we gain new insights into the following fields: consequences of power delegation to IOs; the temporal dimension of the interaction between states and IOs; the preference formation of states; the comparison of different types of IOs. This allows us to answer the broader and more general question of the conditions under which IOs can operate as independent actors in world politics and to advance theoretical insights and empirical research in International Relations.

www.delpowio.eu

This project is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)

Project duration: 2013-2019



Publications

  • (2017) Measuring the Empowerment of International Organizations: The Evolution of Financial and Staff Capabilities, Global Policy 8 (S5): 51-61, (with Henning Schmidtke).

  • (2017) Multiple Principals’ preferences, Types of Control Mechanisms, and Agent’s Discretion in Trade Negotiations, in Delreux, Tom and Adriaensen, Johan (eds.) The Principal Agent Model and the European Union, Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming).
  • (2017) Regaining Control of Errant Agents? Agency Slack at the European Commission and the World Health Organization, Cooperation and Conflict, online first.
  • (2017) Shaping Global Trade Governance Rules: New Powers’ Hard and Soft Strategies of Influence at the WTO, European Foreign Affairs Review, Special Issue EU and US Regulatory Power under Strain? Emerging Countries and the Limits of External Governance (edited by Sandra Lavenex et al.).
  • (2016) Why the European Commission is not the “unexpected winner” of the euro crisis?  A comment on Bauer and Becker, Journal of European Integration 38 (1): 95-100, 2016.

  • (2015) Verantwortungszurechnung im EU-Mehrebenensystem während der Eurokrise: Wer kontrollierte die Troika-Institutionen?, Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft, Sonderheft Gewaltenteilung und Demokratie in der EU 26(1): 115-29, 2016.

  • (2014) Autonomiekonzeptionen internationaler Organisationen im Vergleich, Politische Vierteljahresschrift Sonderheft 2014 Internationale Organisationen, Band 49: 28-53, 2015. (with Michael W. Bauer und Jörn Ege).

  • (2014) When Speaking with a Single Voice Isn't Enough: Bargaining Power (A)symmetry and EU External Effectiveness in Global Trade Governance, Journal of European Political Policy 21(7): 980-95.

  • (2013) Emerging Powers in WTO Negotiations: The Domestic Sources of Trade Policy Preferences, The International Trade Journal 27(5): 431-49.

Invitations for project-related talks

  • Conceptualization and Operationalization of Empowerment, Workshop Resourcing International Organizations, University of Munich, 23.06.2016

  • Measuring and Explaining Empowerment of International Organizations, University of Leipzig, 11.05. 2016

  • Empowering International Organizations, Temple University, Philadelphia, 13.04.2016

  • Empowering International Organizations over Time, Center for European Studies, Harvard University, 18.11.2015

  • Emerging Powers Preferences towards Empowerment of International Organizations, Free University Berlin, 22.06.2015

  • Delegation of Power to International Organizations and Institutional Empowerment over Time, University of Bonn, 10.07.2013

Project papers presented at international conferences and workshops

  • Explaining the Empowerment of International Organizations, paper presented at 58th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, Baltimore, February 22-25, 2017.
  • Exploring the Paradox of Increasing Transparency in TTIP Negotiations, paper presented at the Council for European Studies 23rd International Conference for Europeanists, Philadelphia, April 14-16 and at the Interdisciplinary Conference on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) at the University of Gothenburg March 14-15, 2016.

  • Empowering International Organizations, paper presented at the 57th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, Atlanta, March 16-19, 2016 and University of Munich Workshop on “Resourcing International Organizations”. (with Henning Schmidtke)

  • Partisan Orientation of Old and New Power Governments towards Empowerment at the World Bank, paper presented at the 57th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, Atlanta, March 16-19, 2016. (with Laura Mahrenbach)

  • Variation Without Influence? (In)formal Policy-making in EU Development Cooperation, paper presented at the Council for European Studies 23rd International Conference for Europeanists, Philadelphia, April 14-16. (with Gastinger, M.)

  • How Effective are Informal Coalitions in Global Governance? Rising Powers as shapers of global health rules, paper presented at the 57th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, Atlanta, March 16-19, 2016. (with Isidro, A.)

  • The World Health Organization’s adaptive capacity in a complex inter-organizational environment" paper presented at the 57th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, Atlanta, March 16-19, 2016. (André Isidro)

  • Lost in Internal Evaluation: Accountability and Insulation at the World Bank, Paper presented at the workshop, “The Transformative Power of Regulatory Governance”, Copenhagen Business School, February 4-5, 2016.

  • Negotiating Styles of Rising Powers in Global Economic Governance, paper presented at the Workshop “From Rule-Takers to Rule-Makers: Emerging Powers in the Regulation of International Trade”, University of Geneva February 9-10, 2016.

  • Emerging Power Preferences towards Institutional Empowerment of International Organizations, paper presented at the ISA 2015 Annual Convention, New Orleans, February 18-21, 2015. (with Laura Mahrenbach)

  • Acting on Behalf of Collective and Multiple Principals: The European’s Commission Discretion after Lisbon, paper presented at the at the European Union Studies Association, Boston March 5-7, 2015.

  • Accountable to Whom and How? Logics of Accountability in EU Governance during the Sovereign Debt Crisis, paper presented at the European Union Studies Association, Boston, 5-7, 2015.

  • Acting on Behalf of Collective and Multiple Principals: The European’s Commission Discretion after Lisbon, paper presented at the Workshop The EU in International Negotiations, Global Governance Program, European University Institute, 23-24 June 2014.

  • The Perils of Delegation: Using Oversight Mechanisms to Minimize Agency Slack. Paper presented at the ECPR Joint Sessions, Salamanca, 11-14 April 2014.

  • When Speaking with a Single Voice Isn't Enough: Bargaining Power (A)symmetry and EU External Effectiveness in Global Trade Governance, paper presented at the Council for European Studies, Washington DC, 14-16 March 2014.

  • Delegation of Power to International Organizations and Institutional Empowerment over Time, paper presented at the ECPR Joint Sessions, Mainz, 12-15 March 2013.

  • Delegation of Power to International Organizations and Institutional Empowerment over Time: A Research Design, paper presented at the International Studies Association Annual Convention, San Francisco, 3-6 April 2013.

  • A Cacophony of Voices? The EU’s Cohesiveness in the Negotiation of Bilateral and Multilateral Trade Agreements, paper presented at the International Studies Association Annual Convention, San Francisco, 3-6 April 2013 and at the European Union Studies Association, Baltimore, 9-11 May 2013.

  • The EU as a Global Actor: The Impact of Asymmetrical Bargaining Power and BATNAS on Trade Agreements, paper presented at the Conference for European Union Studies Association, Boston, 22-24 March 2012.