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International bureaucrats and the formation of intergovernmental organizations: Institutional design discretion sweetens the pot

dc.contributor.author Johnson, T
dc.contributor.author Urpelainen, J
dc.date.accessioned 2013-05-01T18:29:21Z
dc.date.issued 2014-01-01
dc.identifier.issn 0020-8183
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10161/6991
dc.description.abstract Bureaucrats working in international intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) regularly help states design new IGOs. Sometimes international bureaucrats possess limited discretion in institutional design; sometimes, they enjoy broad discretion. In fact, they gain discretion even when they openly oppose state preferences. This contravenes conventional thinking about delegation: discretion should decrease as preference divergence between states and international bureaucrats increases. We develop a principal-agent theory of how much discretion states grant to international bureaucrats in the design of new IGOs. This is novel: while principal-agent theories of international delegation are common, scholars have not analyzed principal-agent relationships in the creation of new IGOs. We argue that even an international bureaucracy that disagrees with states' design preferences may enjoy substantial design leeway, because of states' need for bureaucratic expertise. In developing this argument, we employ a formal principal-agent model, case studies, and an original data set. © 2014 by The IO Foundation.
dc.relation.ispartof International Organization
dc.relation.isversionof 10.1017/S0020818313000349
dc.title International bureaucrats and the formation of intergovernmental organizations: Institutional design discretion sweetens the pot
dc.type Journal article
pubs.begin-page 177
pubs.end-page 209
pubs.issue 1
pubs.organisational-group Duke
pubs.organisational-group Political Science
pubs.organisational-group Sanford School of Public Policy
pubs.organisational-group Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
pubs.publication-status Published
pubs.volume 68
dc.identifier.eissn 1531-5088


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