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Cambridge University Press International Organization Foundation

The Politics, Power, and Pathologies of International Organizations Author(s): Michael N. Barnett and Martha Finnemore Source: International Organization, Vol. 53, No. 4 (Autumn, 1999), pp. 699-732 Published by: The MIT Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2601307 Accessed: 13/09/2010 08:05
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The Politics, Power,and Pathologies ofInternational Organizations


MichaelN. Barnett andMartha Finnemore

Do international organizations really do what their creators intend them todo? In the thenumber ofinternational pastcentury organizations (1Os) has increased exponenand we have a variety of vigorous to explainwhytheyhave been tially, theories created. Most of thesetheories explainIO creation as a response to problems of transaction andother barriers toPareto incomplete information, costs, efficiency and welfare improvement for their members. Research flowing from these theories, howhaspaidlittle attention tohowIOs actually behaveafter arecreated. ever, they Closer wouldrevealthat from theefficiency scrutiny manyIOs stray goals thesetheories and thatmanyIOs exercise in waysunintended and impute powerautonomously creation. how thisis so requires a unanticipated by statesat their Understanding reconsideration ofIOs andwhat do. they In thisarticle we developa constructivist rooted in sociological instituapproach tionalism to explainboththepowerof IOs and their fordysfunctional, propensity evenpathological, on long-standing behavior. Weberian about Drawing arguments and sociological institutionalist to organizational bureaucracy approaches behavior, we argue that the that rational-legal authority IOs embody givesthem power independent ofthestates that created them andchannels directions. that powerin particular make rules,but in so doingtheyalso createsocial Bureaucracies, by definition, international tasks(like "development"), create and shared knowledge. Theydefine define newcategories ofactors create newinterests for actors (like "refugee"), (like andtransfer ofpolitical the "promoting human rights"), models organization around world(like markets and democracy.) the same normative valuation on However, rules that defines andmakes them in impersonal, generalized bureaucracies powerful
We aregrateful toJohn Keith Boli,Raymond Duvall,Ernst Haas,Peter Haas,Robert Keohane, Krause, M. J.Peterson, MarkPollack,Andrew Thomas Jeffrey Legro,John Malley,CraigMurphy, Moravcsik, ThomasWeiss,andtwoanonymous referees for their comments. We Risse,DuncanSnidal,SteveWeber, are especially ofInternational verforthecareful attention of theeditors Earlier grateful Organization. sionsofthis article werepresented atthe1997APSA meeting, the1997ISA meeting, andatvarious fora. We also acknowledge financial assistance from theSmith Richardson Foundation and theUnited States ofPeace. Institute International Organization 53, 4, Autumn 1999,pp. 699-732 ? 1999byThe 10 Foundation ofTechnology andtheMassachusetts Institute

700 International Organization lifecan also makethem to their modern unresponsive environments, obsessedwith their ownrulesattheexpense ofprimary missions, andultimately lead toinefficient, behavior. We are notthefirst to suggest thatIOs are morethanthe self-defeating reflection of state preferences andthat they can be autonomous andpowerful actors in globalpolitics.1 Norarewe thefirst tonotethat 1Os,likeall organizations, can be dysfunctional andinefficient.2 However, ouremphasis onthewaythat characteristics ofbureaucracy as a generic cultural form shapeIO behavior provides a different and very broad basisfor thinking about howIOs influence world politics.3 an alternative to thinking aboutIOs is onlyworthwhile Developing approach ifit produces significant insights andnewopportunities for research on major debates in Ourapproach on at leastthree thefield. allowsus to weigh in with newperspectives suchdebates. itoffers a differ'ent viewofthepower ofIOs andwhether orhow First, in worldpolitics. This issue has been at the core of the neoliberaltheymatter We showin thisarticle howneoinstitutionalists' debatewith neorealists foryears.4 liberal-institutionalists actually disadvantage themselves intheir argument with realatonlyonefacet ofIO power. do more than istsbylooking Globalorganizations just states toovercome market collective action facilitate cooperation byhelping failures, and problems dilemmas, associatedwithinterdependent social choice.They also andauthority thework create actors, specify responsibilities among them, anddefine these actors should itmeaning andnormative value.Evenwhen lack do,giving they thesocial material resources, IOs exercise poweras theyconstitute and construct world.5 a theoretical Secondandrelated, ourperspective basisfor provides treating IOs as a to the autonomous actors inworld and thus statist ontolpolitics presents challenge in international relations theories. attention to interogyprevailing Despiteall their ofthetheoretical orientation ofneoliberal institutionnational institutions, oneresult the treat the state. alistsandregimes theorists is that treat they IOs waypluralists IOs are not are mechanisms which others through (usuallystates)act; they purposive The regimes is particularly clearon thispoint. are "prinactors. literature Regimes Weber's anddecision-making arenotactors.6 ciples, norms, rules, procedures;" they that bureaucracies aboutthenormative insights poweroftherational-legal authority forthewaysbureaucracies and control and itsimplications social embody produce a basisforchallenging thisviewandtreating not knowledge provide IOs as agents, justas structure.
1995.ForSociety ofStates 1. ForGramscian approaches, see Cox 1980,1992,and 1996;andMurphy see Hurrell andWoods1995.Fortheepistemic communities see Haas 1992.ForIO literature, approaches, 1977;Cox 1996;andNess andBrechin decision-making literature, see Cox etal. 1974;Cox andJacobson 1988.Fora rational choiceperspective, see Snidal1996. 2. Haas 1990. 3. Because theneorealist and neoliberal arguments we engagehave focusedon intergovernmental rather from which we draw arguments organizations than nongovernmental ones,andbecauseWeberian inthis with we toofocus organizations article and dealprimarily public bureaucracy, onintergovernmental international use theterm organizations inthat way. 4. Baldwin1993. 5. See Finnemore 1993and 1996b;andMcNeely1995. 6. Krasner 1983b.

Pathologies ofInternational Organizations701 vantage pointfrom whichto assess the Third, ourperspective offers a different have taken up thisissue, desirability of 1Os.Whilerealists and somepolicymakers or of their performance surprisingly fewother students of IOs have been critical stems from central tenets of classicalliberalism, desirability.7 Partofthisoptimism change waytomanage rapid technological which has longviewedIOs as a peaceful andglobalization, farpreferable to theobviousalternative-war.8 Also contributing judgment aboutIOs thatis builtintothe to thisuncritical stanceis thenormative theoretical and regimes scholars and theeconomic assumptions of mostneoliberal on which in thisview,onlybecausethey theories draw. IOs exist, organization they it arePareto andsolveproblems forstates. Consequently, ifan IO exists, improving be becauseitis more than axiom, must useful other alternatives since, bytheoretical willpull theplugon any10 that We find thisassumption states does notperform. outcomes repeatundesirable andevenself-defeating unsatisfying. IOs often produce wantto muchless dismantlement, and we, as theorists, edly,without punishment scholarsare familiar withprincipal-agent understand why.International relations politics cancompromise organizational problems andthewaysinwhich bureaucratic been appliedto 1Os. Further, these buttheseapproaches have rarely effectiveness, no means sources of We examine one such source dysfunction. approaches by exhaust that characteristics that makeIOs authoritative flowsfrom thesame rational-legal and we showhow andpowerful. from research in sociology anthropology, Drawing can also be their thevery features that makebureaucracies weakness. powerful The claimswe makein thisarticle of flowfrom an analysis ofthe"social stuff" about which is made.We are asking a standard constructivist question bureaucracy what theworld Wendt makes or,as Alexander putsit,"howarethings hangtogether our do."9In thissense, intheworld so that havetheproperties they they puttogether anddiffers from mostother international ofIO behavior is constitutive explanation "meredescripThis approach does notmakeourexplanation relations approaches. in explainofthings does essential work theconstitution tion,"sinceunderstanding how Just as understanding behaveand whatcausesoutcomes. inghowthosethings makes causalarguthedouble-helix DNA molecule is constituted materially possible how so understanding ments aboutgenetics, biological processes, disease,andother of about thebehavior allowsus tohypothesize bureaucracies areconstituted socially Thistype ofconstimight havein world politics. IOs andtheeffects thissocialform law-like statements suchas "ifX haptutive does notallowus to offer explanation of follow." a morecomplete understanding by providing pens,thenY must Rather, kindsof bureauof how certain whatbureaucracy explanations is, we can provide 10 andwhy. cratic behavior arepossible, orevenprobable, oforganitheassumptions different branches We beginbyexamining underlying of 1Os. We arguethat their forthestudy zationtheory and exploring implications treatand neorealist drawn economics that neoliberal from undergird assumptions
7. See Mearsheimer 1994;andHelms1996. 1979,1; andDoyle 1997. 1995;Jacobson 8. See Commission on GlobalGovernance 1998. 9. See Ruggie1998;andWendt 10. Wendt 1998.

702 International Organization ments of IOs do notalwaysreflect theempirical situation of mostIOs commonly studied bypolitical scientists. Further, they provide research hypotheses aboutonly someaspectsofIOs (likewhythey arecreated) andnotothers (likewhatthey do). We then introduce sociological arguments that helpremedy these problems. In thesecondsection we develop a constructivist approach from these sociological thepowerwielded oftheir arguments to examine byIOs andthesources influence. Liberalandrealist theories onlymakepredictions about, andconsequently onlylook a very limited ofwelfare-improving effects caused for, range by1Os.Sociological theories, however, expect andexplain a much broader range ofimpacts organizations canhaveand their specifically highlight rolein constructing actors, interests, and socialpurpose. to showhowIOs do,infact, We provide illustrations from theUN system havesuch incontemporary Inthe third the world section weexplore powerful effects politics. dysfunctional of1Os,which we define that thestated behavior as behavior undermines goals of theorganization. International theorists are familiar withseveraltypes of relations Some locatethesourceof dysfunction theories that in might explainsuchbehavior. material others focuson cultural factors. Some theories locatethesourceof factors, dysfunction outside theorganization, others locateitinside. We construct a typology, thesetheories to thesourceof dysfunction and mapping according they emphasize, showthat cultural forces thesameinternally that and generated giveIOs their power canalsobe a source ofdysfunctional behavior. Weusethe term to autonomy pathologies describe when canbe traced suchinstances to bureaucratic culture. We IO dysfunction howour towiden for conclude the research 1Os. bydiscussing perspective helps agenda

Theoretical Approachesto Organizations


Within socialsciencethere aretwobroadstrands oftheorizing aboutorganizations. of instrumental and effiOne is economistic and rooted in assumptions rationality theother is sociological and focused on issuesof legitimacy and ciencyconcerns; focusattenThedifferent embedded within eachtype oftheory power.11 assumptions tionon different kinds ofquestions andprovide on difaboutorganizations insights ferent kinds ofproblems. The economistic outofeconomics approach comes,notsurprisingly, departments andbusiness whom thefundamental theoretical laidoutfirst schoolsfor problem, by RonaldCoase and morerecently is whywe have business by OliverWilliamson, firms. Within to standard microeconomic logic,it shouldbe muchmoreefficient or organizations. conduct markets rather than"hierarchies" all transactions through thefact that lifeis dominated economic Consequently, byhugeorganizations (busitoexplain theexistence and nessfirms) is an anomaly. Thebodyoftheory developed as efficient focuseson organizations solutions to contracting powerof firms probmarket andother lems, incomplete information, imperfections.12
1993. 11. See PowellandDiMaggio1991,chap.1; andGrandori 12. See Williamson 1975and 1985;andCoase 1937.

Pathologies ofInternational Organizations703 This bodyof organization theory informs neoliberal and neorealist debatesover international institutions. Following Kenneth Waltz, neoliberals andneorealists understand worldpolitics to be analogousto a market filled withutility-maximizing competitors.13 Thus,liketheeconomists, they see organizations as welfare-improving solutions to problems of incomplete information and hightransaction costs.14 andrealists Neoliberals disagree about thedegree towhich constraints ofanarchy, an in relative interest versus absolute gains,and fears of cheating will scuttle international institutional arrangements orhobble their effectiveness, butboth agree, implicorexplicitly, itly that IOs helpstates further their interests where they areallowedto Statepowermaybe exercised work.15 in political battles insideIOs overwhere, on theParetofrontier, political thatIOs are instruments bargains fall,butthenotion created to servestateinterests is notmuchquestioned by neorealist or neoliberal scholars.16 After else wouldstates andcontinue to all,why setup these organizations them ifthey didnotservestate support interests? from Approaches sociologyprovideone set of answers to thisquestion. They provide reasons why, infact, organizations that arenotefficient oreffective servants ofmember In so doing, interests might exist. lead us to lookfor kinds ofpower they and sourcesof autonomy in organizations that Different economists overlook. approaches within sociology treat in different organizations ways,butas a group they in sharp stand contrast to theeconomists' in at leasttwoimportant approaches respects: a different they offer oftherelationship between andtheir conception organizations environments, andthey provide a basisforunderstanding organizational autonomy. assumed IOs and theirenvironment.The environment byeconomic approaches anddevoidof socialrules, or to organizations is socially thin cultural very content, even otheractorsbeyondthoseconstructing the organization. exCompetition, andconsequent for arethedominant environmental charchange, pressures efficiency theformation andbehavior oforganizations. acteristics driving Sociologists, byconina wider world ofnonmarket trast, study organizations situations, and,consequently, aretreated as "social facts"to no suchassumptions. they beginwith Organizations do whatthey is an empirical be investigated; whether claimor do itefficiently they nota theoretical of theseapproaches. question, assumption Organizations respond in theenvironment butalso to notonlyto other material interests actors pursuing andconcepnormative andcultural forces that see theworld shapehoworganizations for tualizetheir own missions. Environments can "select" or favororganizations orresponsive behavior. For example, reasons other than efficient organizations may fitrather than be created and supported forreasonsof legitimacy and normative notforwhat what are-for efficient do butfor output; they maybe created they they 17 what andthevaluesthey they represent symbolically embody.
13. Waltz1979. 1991. 14. See Vaubel1991,27; andDillon,Ilgen,andWillett 15. Baldwin1993. 1991. 16. Krasner 17. See DiMaggioand Powell 1983; Scott1992; Meyerand Scott1992, 1-5; Powell andDiMaggio 1996a. 1991;Weber 1994;andFinnemore

704 International Organization Empirically, organizational environments can takemanyforms. Some organizationsexistin competitive createstrong environments that pressures forefficient or responsive behavior, butmany do not.Someorganizations operate with clearcriteria for"success" (like firms thathave balancesheets), whereas others (like political with sciencedepartments) operate much vaguer with fewclearcriteria missions, for successorfailure andno serious threat ofelimination. is simply Ourpoint that when we choosea theoretical framework, we shouldchooseone whoseassumptions approximate theempirical conditions oftheIO we areanalyzing, andthat we should be awareof thebiases created Economistic make by thoseassumptions. approaches certain abouttheenvironment thatdrive assumptions in whichIOs are embedded researchers whouse them tolookfor certain kinds ofeffects andnotothers. Specifyormore ingdifferent varied enviro'nments for IOs wouldlead us to lookfor different varied andmore effects in world politics.18 IO autonomy. Following economistic logic,regime theory andthebroadrange of to furscholars within itgenerally treat of states working IOs as creations designed ther stateinterests.19 Analysis of subsequent IO behavior of focuseson processes member within thestrucaggregating state preferences through interaction strategic ture of state oftheJO.1Os,then, are simply epiphenomena interaction; they are,to ofreductionism, "understood theattributes and quoteWaltz'sdefinition byknowing theinteractions of [their] parts."20 Thesetheories thus treat IOs as empty shellsorimpersonal tobe policy machinery at itscreation, Political manipulated by other actors. bargains shapethemachinery hard themachinery inpursuit oftheir states within maypolitick policy goals,andthe whatstates norms and rulesmayconstrain can do, butthemachinery machinery's in their andhaveno itself is passive.IOs arenotpurposive actors ownright political To theextent that takeon a lifeof their ontological independence. IOs do, in fact, the breach the"limits ofrealism" as wellas ofneoliberalism own,they byviolating structures ofthese theories.21 ontological a hugeliterature on interstate that is The regimes concept spawned cooperation Muchof rather than consistent initstreatment ofIOs as structure remarkably agents. thewaysin literature to exploring theneoliberal institutionalist has been devoted between states' which regimes (and1Os) can actas intervening variables, mediating ofopportunioutcomes thestructure ofself-interest andpolitical pursuit bychanging control overinformation, in particutiesand constraints states their facing through accordsIOs some causal status lar.22 thisline of scholarship Although (sincethey andpurpose itdoesnotgrant them indedemonstrably change outcomes), autonomy
havebecomeincreasingly awareof themisapproaches 18. Researchers applying theseeconomistic models andtheempirics of1Os.See Snidal1996. match theassumptions oftheir between 1Os. See Shanks, by other 19. Note that empirically thisis notthecase; mostIOs now are created Jacobson, andKaplan1996. 20. Waltz1979,18. 1993. 1996b;andRittberger 21. Krasner 1983a,355-68; butsee Finnemore 22. See Keohane1984;andBaldwin1993.

Pathologies ofInternational Organizations705 pendent of thestates that comprise them. Another branch of liberalism has recently divorced itself from thestatist ontology and focusesinstead on thepreferences of social groupsas thecausal engineof worldpolitics, but,again,thisview simply argues for attention toa different group ofagents involved intheconstruction ofIOs andcompeting for accesstoIO mechanisms. Itdoesnotoffer a fundamentally differentconception ofIOs.23 Therelevant question to ask aboutthis conceptualization is whether itis a reasonable approximation oftheempirical condition of most1Os. Ourreading of detailed empirical case studies ofIO activity suggests not.Yes,IOs areconstrained bystates, butthenotion that arepassivemechanisms they with no independent agendas oftheir ownis notborne outby anydetailed of an JOthat empirical study we have found. Field studiesof the EuropeanUnion provideevidenceof independent roles for "eurocrats."24 Studiesof theWorld culBankconsistently an independent identify ture andagendas for ofrecent action.25 Studies UN peacekeeping andreconstruction efforts similarly document a UN agendathat with leadsto conflict memfrequently berstates.26 oftheUN HighCommission Accounts on Refugees (UNHCR) routinely notehow its autonomy and authority has grown overtheyears.Not onlyare IOs with independent actors their ownagendas, butthey mayembody multiple agendas andcontain sources ofagency-a problem multiple we takeup later. whichhas been increasingly Principal-agent analysis, employed of by students international relations toexamine organizational couldpotentially dynamics, provide JOautonomy.27 a sophisticated to understanding approach on theories of Building rational choiceand of representation, theseanalysts understand IOs as "agents"of states The analysis is concerned with whether areresponsible ("principals"). agents oftheir whether inandpursue delegates principals, their ownpreferagents smuggle ences,and how principals can construct variousmechanisms to keep their agents honest.28 This framework a meansof treating provides own IOs as actorsin their with right independent interests andcapabilities. action Autonomous byIOs is tobe in thisperspective. It wouldalso explaina number of thenonresponsive expected andpathological behaviors that concern us becausewe knowthat and monitoring in these these arepervasive andthat shirking problems principal-agent relationships can often at suboptimal relationships getstuck equilibria. The problem withapplying it to thestudy of IOs is that principal-agent analysis a priori theoretical requires specification ofwhat IOs want. Principal-agent dynamics arefueled between what want andwhat want. To bythedisjuncture agents principals thosetwosetsof interests In economics produce anyinsights, cannot be identical. this of analysis is usually and principals type appliedto preexisting agents (clients
23. Moravcsik 1997. 24. See Pollack1997;Ross 1995;andZabusky 1995;butsee Moravcsik 1999. 25. See Ascher1983; Ayres1983; Ferguson1990; Escobar 1995; Wade 1996; Nelson 1995; and Finnemore 1996a. 26. Joint Evaluation ofEmergency Assistance toRwanda1996. 27. See Pollack1997;Lake 1996;Vaubel1991;andDillon,Ilgen, andWillett 1991. 28. See Pratt andZeckhauser 1985;andKiewit andMcCubbins 1991.

706 International Organization hiring lawyers, patients visiting doctors) whoseongoing independent existence makes of independent interests specification relatively straightforward. The lawyer or the doctor wouldprobably be inbusiness evenifyouandI didnottakeourproblems to them. 1Os,on theother hand,are often created by theprincipals (states)and given written mission statements bytheprincipals. How,then, can we impute independent preferences a priori? in producing Scholars ofAmerican havemadesomeprogress politics substantive theoretical propositions about what U.S. bureaucratic agencies want. Beginning with thepioneering work ofWilliam scholars theorized Niskanen, that bureaucracies had interests defined bytheabsolute orrelative size oftheir budget andtheexpansion or protection of their turf. At first theseinterests wereimputed, andlater they became andinsomecases modified more orrejected altoclosely investigated, substantiated, no basisforasserting Realismandliberalism, however, provide independent utilfor 1Os.Ontologically, these aretheories aboutstates. no ityfunctions Theyprovide to IOs beyond thegoals states basis forimputing interests (that is, principals) give them. the rather battered Niskanen seemslessthan Simply adopting hypothesis promisinggiventheglaring anomalies-for example, theopposition ofmany NATO and in Europe)bureaucrats forSecurity and Cooperation OSCE (Organization to those recent and institutionalization. Thereare good reasonsto organizations' expansion assumethatorganizations care abouttheir resource base and turf, butthere is no reason topresume that suchmatters exhaust orevendominate their interests. Indeed, ofIOs describe a world inwhich studies ethnographic organizational goalsarestrongly thebureaucracy oftheprofession that dominate interandinwhich shaped bynorms in flux, and worked eststhemselves are varied, often outthrough interacdebated, between thestaff of thebureaucracy andtheworldin whichthey are embedtions
ded.30
gether.29

ofsociological canhelpus investigate thegoalsandbehavVarious strands theory a verydifferent orientation thantheone used by ior of IOs by offering analytical haveexplored thenotion that bureaueconomists. with Beginning Weber, sociologists certain modern cultural form that embodies valuesandcanhave is a peculiarly cracy Rather thantreating itsown distinct agendaand behavioral dispositions. organizawhichother tionsas merearenasor mechanisms actorspursueinterests, through of theorganization-its manysociologicalapproaches explorethesocial content norms thatgovern its legitimacy dominant behavior and shape culture, concerns, of theseto a larger normative environand therelationship and cultural interests, to efficiency ment. Rather thanassuming behavior that criteria corresponds alone, thatorganizations also are boundup withpowerand theseapproaches recognize inwaysthat can eclipseefficiency concerns. socialcontrol

andMoran1983; Moe 1984; and Sigelman 29. See Niskanen 1971; MillerandMoe 1983;Weingast 1986. 1995;Barnett 1997b;andWade 1996. 30. See Ascher1983;Zabusky

Pathologies ofInternational Organizations707 The Power of IOs IOs can becomeautonomous sitesof authority, independent from thestate"principals"whomay havecreated them, becauseofpower flowing from atleasttwosources: (1) thelegitimacy of therational-legal authority they embody, and (2) control over technical The first expertise andinformation. ofthese is almost entirely neglected by thepolitical scienceliterature, andthesecond, we argue, has beenconceived ofvery narrowly, leadingscholars to overlook some of themostbasic and consequential ofIO influence. forms Takentogether, these twofeatures provide a theoretical basis fortreating IOs as autonomous actors in contemporary world politics byidentifying of support forthem, sources independent of states, in thelarger socialenvironment. Sincerational-legal andcontrol authority overexpertise arepart ofwhat defines and constitutes anybureaucracy (a bureaucracy would not be a bureaucracy without them), theautonomy thatflowsfrom them as a constitutive an is bestunderstood effect, of thewaybureaucracy effect is constituted, in turn, makespossible(and in which, that sensecauses)other andeffects inglobalpolitics. processes SourcesofIO Autonomy andAuthority To understand howIOs can becomeautonomous we turn sitesofauthority toWeber and his classicstudy of bureaucratization. Weber was deeplyambivalent aboutthe bureaucratic world in which he livedandwas well-attuned to thevices increasingly as wellas thevirtues ofthis newsocialform ofauthority.3" Bureaucracies arerightly a grand considered he thought. achievement, Theyprovide a framework forsocial interaction canrespond that totheincreasingly technical demands ofmodern lifeina and nonviolent and are technistable, predictable, way;they exemplify rationality toprevious forms ofrulebecausethey callysuperior bring precision, knowledge, and to increasingly But suchtechnical and rational continuity complexsocial tasks.32 toWeber, arepolitical comeata steep Bureaucracies achievements, according price. creatures that can be autonomous from their andcan cometo dominate the creators werecreated toserve, thenormative societies becauseofboth they appealofrationalin modern lifeandthebureaucracy's control overtechnical legalauthority expertise andinformation. We consider eachinturn. Bureaucracies a form ofauthority, embody that rational-legal authority, modernity viewsas particularly and good. In contrast to earlier forms of authority legitimate that wereinvested in a leader, modern is invested legitimate in legalities, authority andrulesand thus rendered in Thisauthority is "rational" procedures, impersonal. that itdeploys relevant tocreate rulesthat determine socially recognized knowledge The very howgoalswillbe pursued. fact that is what makes they embody rationality bureaucracies andmakespeoplewilling to submit tothis kindofauthority. powerful

31. See Weber 1978,196-97;Weber1947;Mouzelis1967;andBeetham 1985and 1996. 32. See Schaar1984,120;Weber 1978,973; andBeetham 1985,69.

708 International Organization According toWeber, in legalauthority, submission does notrest uponthebelief anddevotion to charismatically gifted persons... oruponpiety toward a personal lordand master whois defined byan ordered tradition....Rather submission under legal bondto thegenerally authority is baseduponan impersonal defined and ofoffice." functional "duty The official duty-likethecorresponding right to the"jurisdictional exercise authority: competency"-isfixed byrationally established norms, byenactments, decrees, andregulations in sucha manner that oftheauthority thelegitimacy becomesthelegality ofthegeneral which is rule, with purposely thought out,enacted, andannounced formal correctness.33 Whenbureaucrats do something contrary to yourinterests or that you do notlike, themselves thoseare therules"or "just doingmy they defend by saying' "Sorry, ofgreat Itis inmodem job." "Therules"and "the job" arethesource power society. inIOs areperforming becausebureaucrats "duties ofoffice" andimplementing "ranorms" that tionally established they arepowerful. A secondbasis of autonomy to thefirst, and authority, intimately connected is A bureaucracy's control overinformation debureaucratic andexpertise. autonomy rivesfrom specialized technical knowledge, training, andexperience that is notimmediately availableto other actors. Whilesuchknowledge might helpthebureaucracycarry outthedirectives of politicians moreefficiently, Weberstressed that it also givesbureaucracies It invites and at poweroverpoliticians (and other actors). not it.34 times bureaucracies to shapepolicy, requires justimplement The irony in bothof thesefeatures of authority is that makebureaucracies they ofdepoliticization. Thepower of1Os, theappearance powerful precisely bycreating andbureaucracies themselves technois that as impersonal, generally, they present butinstead thepresencratic, andneutral-asnotexercising power as serving others; to their and authority.35 tation and acceptance of theseclaimsis critical legitimacy tohim, thedepoliticized charsaw through these claims. Weber, however, According thatlegitimates "Behindthefunctional acterof bureaucracy it could be a myth: Bustand."36 ofcourse, 'ideas ofculture-values' purposes [ofbureaucracy], usually orsetofcultural values.Thatpurpose reaucracies alwaysservesomesocialpurpose thePrussian nationalism around him believed maybe normatively "good,"as Weber was no a priori reason toassumethis. was,butthere In addition thelarger environment that to embodying cultural valuesfrom might with them and be desirable or not,bureaucracies also carry behavioral dispositions form. Some of from therationality that them as a cultural valuesflowing legitimates conofknowledge andexpertise, Weber admired. Others likethecelebration these, andhisdescriptions as an "iron cerned himgreatly, ofbureaucracy cage" andbureauan endorsement of thebureaucratic without are hardly cratsas "specialists spirit"
inoriginal). 33. Gerth andMills 1978,299 (italics 1985,74-75; andSchaar1984,120. 34. See Gerth andMills 1978,233; Beetham 1997; 1990;ShoreandWright Also see Fisher1997;Ferguson Boli for this insight. John 35. Wethank andMattli 1993. andBurley 36. Gerth andMills 1978,199.

ofInternational Organizations709 Pathologies in important freedom ways.The very can undermine personal form.37 Bureaucracy it. also dehumanizes bureaucracy character that empowers impersonal, rule-bound ways,in thenameofgeneral exercise their powerin repressive Bureaucracies often Thistendency is exacerbated bytheway rulesbecauserulesaretheir raison d'etre. secure careers internarrowed seeking selectandreward professionals bureaucracies and inventivehumanspontaneity, nally-people who are "lackingin heroism, thanassumethe "goodness"of Weber, we investigate rather ness."738 Following bureaucracy. of thewaysin whichinternational critique Weber'sinsights provide a powerful of rational-legal authority sughave treated 1Os. The legitimacy relations scholars of of thepoliciesand interests independent geststhatIOs mayhave an authority a possibility and apolitical treatthat createthem, by thetechnical states obscured considNorhaverealists andneoliberals ment realists andneoliberals. ofIOs byboth at SusanStrange, eredhowcontrol overinformation hands IOs a basisofautonomy. in claiming that information is power, has emphatically theforefront realists among havetended infortheagents ofstates. Neoliberals totreat stated that IOs aresimply ina highly anddepoliticized way, failing tosee howinformation mation technocratic among and levelinformation asymmetries transparencies is power.39 As IOs create states(a common of neoliberals) theycreatenew information policyprescription that IOs have Giventheneoliberal assumption IOs andstates. asymmetries between butif IOs have are unimportant; of states, suchasymmetries no goals independent then suchasymmetries maybe predispositions, autonomous valuesand behavioral highly consequential. becauseof their Examplesof thewaysin whichIOs have becomeautonomous arenothard tofind. andcontrol overinformation rationality embodiment oftechnical theclaimthat are they The UN's peacekeepers derive authority from partof their neutral whosimply Councilresoimplement Security actors independent, objective, their todescribe roleandareexplicit lutions. routinely usethis language UN officials that thisto be thebasis of their influence. As a consequence, UN understand they theimagethat attempting to maintain timeandenergy officials spendconsiderable arenottheinstrument be seenas representatives of andmust ofanygreat power they as embodied intherules andresolutions oftheUN.40 "theinternational community" The World Bank is widelyrecognized to have exercised poweroverdevelopment as a percentage ofNorth/South aid flows, would than itsbudget, policiesfargreater becauseof theexpertise it houses.Whilecompeting sitesof expertise in suggest in recent fordecades after its founding have proliferated the years, development exWorldBank was a magnet forthe "bestand brightest" among"development themost Itsstaff hadandcontinues tohaveimpressive from prescredentials perts.?"
37. See Weber [1930] 1978,181-83;andClegg 1994a,152-55. ofthisbureaucratic charactermanifestation 38. Gerth andMills 1978,216,50, 299. Fortheextreme istic, seeArendt 1977. 39. See Strange 1997;andKeohane1984. 12February 1996,19-24; "The Institution that Saw No Evil,"TheNewRepublic, 40. See David Rieff, andBarnett 1997b.

710 International Organization and research groupsit has tigiousuniversities and theelaborate models,reports, the"development overtheyears werewidely influential among experts" sponsored inthefield. andits"apolitical" Thisexpertise, coupled with itsclaimto "neutrality" Bankan authoritative voice technocratic decision-making style, havegiven the World withwhichit has successfully dictated thecontent, direction, and scope of global standing and longexperidevelopment overthepastfifty years.41 Similarly, official encewith relief efforts haveendowed theUNHCR with"expert" status andconseinrefugee with matters. Thisexpertise, coupled itsroleinimplementquent authority refugees), has inginternational refugee conventions andlaw ("the rules"regarding decisions about refugees without consultallowed theUNHCR tomakelifeanddeath theauthority of states in various ingtherefugees, themselves, and to compromise Note that, as theseexamplesshow,technical waysin setting up refugee camps.42 in nature to create and andexpertise neednotbe "scientific" autonomy knowledge 1Os. for power ThePowerofIOs IfIOs haveautonomy intheworld, do they do with it?A growing andauthority what in sociology and anthropology has examined waysin whichIOs bodyof research status as sites exercise oftheir constructed ofauthority; we power byvirtue culturally thisresearch three broadtypes of IO power. We examine how IOs (1) distill from in the theworld, of actors and action;(2) fixmeanings classify creating categories newnorms, and(3) articulate anddiffuse andactors around principles, socialworld; theability of IOs to structure theglobe.All of thesesourcesof powerflowfrom knowledge.43 is thattheyclassify and feature of bureaucracies Classification. An elementary and knowledge. This classification information processis boundup with organize "are waysof making, writes Don Handelman, ordering, power."Bureaucracies," socialcategoandknowing socialworlds." persons among Theydo this by "moving The ability andapplying suchcategories."44 to classify riesorbyinventing objects, andidentity, is one ofbureaucracy's sources of to shift their definition greatest very treated ofthat Thispower is frequently poweras accomplished power. bytheobjects but is legitimated and to their circumstances through capriceand without regard to therulesand regulations of thebureauwithreference justified by bureaucrats exercise ofpower ofthis bureaucratic maybe identity defining, cracy. Consequences orevenlifethreatening. Thecategory definition of "refugee." is notatall Consider theevolving "refugee" be distinguished from other ofindividuals who andmust categories straightforward
1996b;andNelson1995. 1983;Ascher1983;Finnemore 41. See Wade 1996;Ayres 1989. 1992;andHarrell-Bond 42. See Malkki1996;Hartigan disrerelations theory typically 43. See Foucault1977,27; and Clegg 1994b,156-59. International Foran example, see Haas 1992. andpower equation. gards thenegative sideoftheknowledge 1994,22. 1992;andWright 44. Handelman 1995,280. See also Starr

Pathologies ofInternational Organizations711 are "temporarily" and "involuntarily" livingoutsidetheircountry of origindisplaced persons, exiles, economic migrants, guest workers, diaspora communities, and thoseseeking political asylum. The debateoverthemeaning of "refugee" has beenwagedin andaround theUNHCR. The UNHCR's legalandoperational definitionofthecategory strongly influences decisions aboutwhois a refugee andshapes UNHCR staff in thefield-decisions decisions that havea tremendous effect on the lifecircumstance of thousands of people.45 These categories are notonlypolitical andlegalbutalso discursive, shaping a viewamong that UNHCR officials refugees must, bydefinition, be powerless, andthat as powerless actors they do nothavetobe indecisions consulted suchas asylum andrepatriation willdirectly that anddramatithem.46 callyaffect GuyGransimilarly describes howthe World Banksetsupcriteria to define someoneas a peasantin orderto distinguish themfrom a farmer, day andother laborer, categories. The classification matters becauseonlycertain classes of people are recognized by theWorldBank's development as having machinery that is relevant in solving knowledge and development problems.47 Categorization classification area ubiquitous feature ofbureaucratization that haspotentially importantimplications forthosebeingclassified. is to engagein an act of To classify power. The fixing ofmeanings. IOs exercise power byvirtue oftheir ability to fixmeanwhich is related ings, toclassification.48 orlabeling Naming thesocialcontext establishestheparameters, thevery of acceptable boundaries, action. Because actors are oriented toward andobjectives that objects on thebasisofthemeaning havefor they a particular them, beingable to invest situations with an impormeaning constitutes tant sourceof power.49 buttheir IOs do notact alonein thisregard, organizational resources contribute tothis end. mightily Thereis strong evidence ofthis studies. Arturo powerfrom development Escobar how theinstitutionalization of theconcept after explores of "development" World WarII spawned a hugeinternational andhowthis hasnowspread apparatus apparatus in domestic itstentacles andinternational thediscourse ofdeveloppolitics through ment. The discourse of development, created and arbitrated in largepartby 1Os, determines notonlywhat constitutes theactivity (what development is) butalso who andprivileged, that (orwhat)is considered powerful is, whogetsto do thedevelopthestate ing(usually or1Os) andwhois theobjectofdevelopment (local groups).50 theendoftheColdWarencouraged a reexamination ofthedefinition of Similarly, ofthis that security.51 IOs havebeenattheforefront debate, arguing security pertains notonlyto statesbutalso to individuals and thatthethreats to security may be
45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. See WeissandPasic 1997;Goodwin-Gill 1996;andAnonymous 1997. See Harrell-Bond 1989;Walkup 1997;andMalkki1996. Gran1986. See Williams 1996;Clegg 1994b;Bourdieu 1994;Carr[1939] 1964;andKeeley1990. Blumer 1969. andPackard See Gupta 1998;Escobar 1995;Cooper 1998;Gran 1986;Ferguson 1990;andWade1996. See Matthews 1989;andKrauseandWilliams 1996.

712 International Organization In forwarding these economic, environmental, and politicalas well as military.52 from various IOs areempowering a differalternative definitions ofsecurity, officials setof practices. Specifically, when entsetof actors and legitimating an alternative itprivileged meant national armies, state officials and security safety from invading invested These alternative definitions of security powerin military establishments. theindividuals whoarefrequently threatshift attention awayfrom states andtoward owngovernment, enedby their military practices and toward other feaawayfrom a moreimmediate tures of social lifethat and dailydanger to the might represent livesofindividuals. One consequence meanings ofdevelopment andsecurity is that ofthese redefined inthedomestic andevenrequire, increased levelsofIO intervention they legitimate, affairs of states-particularly Third World states. Thisis fairly obviousin therealm TheWorld Fund(IMF), andother ofdevelopment. Monetary Bank,theInternational have established a web of interventions that affect institutions nearly development in many develandpolity Third World states. As "rural every phaseoftheeconomy "basic human becameincorporated adjustment" opment," needs,"and "structural intothemeaning even required, to become of development, IOs werepermitted, in thedomestic of developing polities by posting inintimately involved workings reorganizing thepolitical economy ofenhouse"advisors"to runmonetary policy, and reproductive betirerural and mediating practices, regions, regulating family in a variety tween andtheir ofways.53 governments citizens maybe similar. Democratization, human The consequences ofredefining security and theenvironment have all now becometiedto international peace and rights, in member andIOs justify their interventions states on thesegrounds, parsecurity, indeveloping theanti-apartheid inSouth states. Forexample, during struggle ticularly threats humanrights abuses came to be classified as security by theUN Africa, for UN involvement there. Councilandprovided Now,that linkage Security grounds Warenvibetween human and security has becomea stapleofthepost-Cold rights arenowcausefor UN intervenronment. human abusesanywhere Widespread rights missions without theUN cannot outpeacekeeping carry protion, and,conversely, inEastern human environmental disasters Europeandthe moting rights.54 Similarly, in allocations states oftheformer SovietUnionandwater rights newly independent of "environmental theMiddleEast havealso cometobe discussed under therubric TheUnited for Nations andarethus Development security" grounds IO intervention. linkbetween that is an important human and sustainthere security Program argues in themanagement able development andimplicitly forgreater intervention argues as a meanstopromote human ofenvironment security.55 rulesandnorms, Diffusion of norms. Havingestablished IOs areeagerto spread thetransmission of thebenefits andoften actas conveyor beltsfor oftheir expertise
52. 53. 54. 55. 1995. Program 1994;andBoutros-Ghali See UN Development 1998. 1990;andFeldstein See Escobar1995;Ferguson 1993. on Human Rights World Conference Program 1994. UN Development

Pathologies ofInternational Organizations713 norms and modelsof "good" political behavior.56 Thereis nothing accidental or unintended aboutthis role.Officials in IOs often insist that part oftheir mission is to andenforce spread, inculcate, globalvaluesandnorms. Theyarethe"missionaries" ofourtime. Armed with a notion ofprogress, an idea ofhowtocreate thebetter life, and some understanding of theconversion process, manyIO eliteshave as their stated purposea desireto shape statepractices by establishing, articulating, and transmitting norms that define what constitutes acceptable andlegitimate state behavior.To be sure, their successdepends on morethantheir persuasive capacities, for their rhetoric must be supported sometimes bypower, (butnotalways)state power. intandem and Buttooverlook howstate power andorganizational missionaries work theways in whichIO officials channeland shape states'exerciseof poweris to a fundamental feature disregard ofvaluediffusion.57 an intent The UN Charter announced to Consider decolonization as an example. at a time universalize as a constitutive of thesociety of states sovereignty principle an when overhalf theglobewas under somekind ofcolonial rule;italso established institutional apparatus toachieve that end(most prominently the Trusteeship Council and the Special Committee on Colonialism).These actionshad severalconsecertain of acceptable actionforpowerful quences.One was to eliminate categories thatattempted their states. Those states to retain colonialprivileges wereincreasingly viewedas illegitimate by other states. Another consequence was to empower for international bureaucrats (at theTrusteeship Council)to setnorms andstandards the theUN helpedto ensurethatthroughout decolonization "stateness." Finally, of thesenew states Colonial was coupledwithterritorial sovereignty inviolability. andtribal andtheUN was quiteconcerned boundaries often divided ethnic groups, thatin theprocessof "self-determination," "multhesegovernments containing tocreate a wholepersonality territotiple"or "partial" selvesmight attempt through The UN rialadjustment-a fearshared of thesenewly decolonized states. bymany theacceptance ofthenorm ofsovereignty-as-territorial-integrity encouraged through and one famous resolutions, monitoring devices,commissions, peacekeeping episodeinCongoin the1960s.58 JOpowers, norm Notethat, as with other diffusion, too,has an expansionary dyfornorm diffusion namic.Developing states continue to be popular targets by 1Os, areindependent. The UN andtheEuropean Unionarenow actively evenafter they innon-Western states believe Western involved inpolicetraining becausethey policandtheestablishwillbe more conducive todemocratization ingpractices processes a professional But having assumesthat ment of civil society. police establishment can be tried andpenalsystem where criminals and there is a professional judiciary that that in turn, there are lawyers jailed; and a professional judiciary, presupposes a code oflaw.The result is a can comebefore thecourt. Trained lawyers presuppose societies non-Western packageofreforms sponsored by IOs aimedat transforming
1996b;andLegro1997. 1996;Finnemore 56. See Katzenstein 57. See Alger1963,425; andClaude 1966,373. 1993. 58. See McNeely1995;andJackson

714 International Organization intoWestern societies.59 Again,whileWestern states areinvolved in theseactivities andtherefore their valuesandinterests arepart ofthereasons for this process, international bureaucrats involved in these activities maynotsee themselves as doingthe bidding for these states butrather as expressing theinterests andvaluesofthebureaucracy. Other examples of thiskindof norm diffusion arenothardto find. The IMF and theWorld Bankareexplicit abouttheir ofnorms roleas transmitters andprinciples from advanced market economies toless-developed economies.60 TheIMF's Articles ofAgreement specifically assignitthistaskofincorporating less-developed economiesintotheworldeconomy, which turns outto meanteaching them how to "be" market economies. The WorldBank,similarly, has a majorrole in arbitrating the meaning ofdevelopment andnorm's ofbehavior tothetaskofdeveloping appropriate as was discussed earlier. The end of theCold Warhas openedup a whole oneself, new set of states to thiskindof norm diffusion taskfor1Os.According to former of DefenseWilliam one of thefunctions ofNATO expansion is to Secretary Perry, inculcate "modern" valuesandnorms intotheEastern European countries andtheir militaries.61 TheEuropean Bankfor andDevelopment Reconstruction has,as part of its mandate, thejob of spreading democracy and private enterprise. The OSCE is to createa community based on sharedvalues,amongtheserespect for striving andhuman Thislinkage attheUN as evident in The democracy rights. is also strong andTheAgenda and Agenda forDemocratization forPeace.62Oncedemocratization human rights are tiedto international peace and security, thedistinctions between international and domestic governance becomeeffectively erasedand IOs have liin an authoritative censetointervene almost andlegitimate manner.63 anywhere Realists andneoliberals andargue that maywelllookat theseeffects theclassifiand norms associated withIOs are mostly favored catory schemes, meanings, by states. we attribute wouldargue, thepower to IOs is simstrong Consequently, they ofstate Thisargument is certainly onetheoretical plyepiphenomenal power. possibilbutit is nottheonlyone and must be tested others. Ourconcern is that ity, against becausethesetheories no ontological for1Os,they have no provide independence for causeorinclination for norhavethey totest waytotest autonomy anytheoretical it since, in cannot exist. The one empirical domain by theoretical axiom,autonomy whichthestatist is theEuropean view has been explicitly challenged Union,and there havehardly obviousvictory forthe"intergovernstudies empirical produced mentalist" Recent in theareasofhuman approach.64 empirical studies rights, weapons taboos,and environmental also castdoubton thestatist practices approach by evidence aboutthewaysin which andintergovernmenproviding nongovernmental
59. Call andBamett forthcoming. 60. Wade 1996. 61. See Perry 1996;andRuggie1996. 62. Boutros-Ghali 1995and 1996a,b. that organizations andIOs can be thelong63. Keen andHendrie, however, suggest nongovernmental 1997. term beneficiaries ofintervention. See Keen 1994;andHendrie 64. See Burley 1993. andMattli 1993;Pollack1997;andSandholtz

Organizations715 Pathologies ofInternational suptal organizations successfully promote policiesthatare not(or notinitially) strong states do drive IO ported bystrong states.65 Certainly there areoccasions when that eclipseorsignifibehavior, butthere arealso times when other forces areatwork produce which cantly dampen theeffects ofstates on 1Os.Which causalmechanisms only by effects under which conditions is a setofrelationships that canbe understood do their businessintensive empirical study of how theseorganizations actually by research that wouldtrace theorigins and evolution of IO policies,theprocesses which areimplemented, between andpolicy, and they discrepancies implementation overall effects ofthese policies.

The Pathologies ofIOs


Bureaucracies arecreated, andvaluedinmodem society becauseoftheir propagated, in carrying andeffectiveness outsocialtasks. Thesesameconsupposed rationality thefolkwisdom about siderations also applyto 1Os.Ironically, presumably though, is that and unresponsive. Bureaucracies are infabureaucracies they are inefficient logic,foracting in mousforcreating and implementing policiesthat defy rational stated and forrefusing requests of and ways thatare at odds withtheir mission, their are officially responsible.66 Scholarsof turning backson thoseto whomthey enhaverecognized thisproblem andhave devoted considerable U.S. bureaucracy a behavto wide of undesirable and inefficient bureaucratic ergy understanding range andslackandto exploring theconditions under iorscausedbybureaucratic capture inorganizational which structures. scholSimilarly, "suboptimal equilibria" mayarise thoseinterested arsresearching foreign policydecision making and,morerecently, that in learning in foreign have dynamics produce policy investigated organizational in and behavior those contexts.67 inefficient self-defeating butinternational relations scholars todysfunctional 1Os,too,areprone behaviors, in because the have rarely we theoretical apparatus investigated this, part, suspect, The stateJObehavior.68 undesirable use provides forexpecting fewgrounds they haveborcentric frameworks most relations scholars international utility-maximizing to state rowedfrom economics assumethat responsive simply IOs are reasonably than otherwise states wouldwithinterests more (or,atleast, responsive alternatives), axiomofthese them. is a necessary theoretical draw from Thisassumption, however, it is rarely to empirical investigation.69 frameworks; treated as a hypothesis subject in 1Os, or self-defeating With little theoretical reason to expect behavior suboptimal thesescholars do notlook forit and have had little to say aboutit. Policymakers, andaddress these andareputting havebeenquicker to perceive problems however,

65. 66. 67. 68. 69.

forthcoming. 1998;Wapner 1996;Price1997;andThomas See KeckandSikkink MarchandOlsen 1989,chap.5. See Nye 1987;Haas 1990;Haas andHaas 1995;andSagan 1993. 1991;andSnidal1996. Twoexceptions areGallaroti Snidal1996.

Organization 716 International Internal Material Bureaucratic politics External Realism/ neoliberal institutionalism Worldpolity model

Cultural

Bureaucratic culture

FIGURE

1.

organization dysfunction ofinternational Theories

these too,to beginto explore them agenda.It is timeforscholars, on thepolitical fully. issuesmore explain dysfuncthat might bodiesoftheorizing In thissection we present several theJO's stated thatundermines as behavior whichwe define tionalIO behavior, is pathology) dysfunction (and later point for judging Thusourvantage objectives. Theremaybe occasionswhen of theorganization. proclaimed mission thepublicly functional forcertain members orothoverall is, in fact, dysfunction organizational in the1O's work, butgivenouranalysis ofthewayclaimsofefficiency ersinvolved in our culture, whether authority and effectiveness act to legitimate rational-legal their claimandaccomplish missions is a particudo what they actually organizations somebasis for provide Severalbodiesof theory issue to examine. larlyimportant a different behavior emphasizes by1Os,each ofwhich understanding dysfunctional a typology these causes,we construct suchbehavior. Analyzing for locusofcausality on that in relation to one another. locatesthem Then,drawing oftheseexplanations MarchandJohan Powell,and theworkofJames Olsen,Paul DiMaggioandWalter we elaborate how thesame sourcesof bureauother institutionalists, sociological behavior. this cancausedysfunctional Weterm particucratic sketched earlier, power, that fivefeatures We identify of bureaucracy lar typeof dysfunction pathology.70 the theUN system we illustrate andusingexamples from pathology, might produce in 1Os. work might waythese canbe categorized intwodimensions: (1) whether Extant theories about dysfunction theorganization, and (2) insideor outside locatethecause of JOdysfunction they forces. on or cultural Mappingtheories whether theytracethecauses to material inFigure1. thetypology shown creates these dimensions familiar to a representative each cell we have identified Within bodyof theory that ofJOdysfunction scholars. relations international emphasize most Explanations within an organization examine howcominterests ofmaterial thepursuit typically leadstheorganization tomakedeciresources overmaterial subunits among petition
Alker Hayward toourusage.We thank ina waysimilar ofpathology usedtheconcept 70. KarlDeutsch this Deutsch1963,170. for point.

Pathologies ofInternational Organizations717 that are inefficient sionsand engagein behaviors or undesirable as judgedagainst someidealpolicythat wouldbetter allowthe10 to achieveitsstated goals.Bureaucratic politics is thebest-known theory here, andthough current scholars ofinternational politics havenotwidely adopted thisperspective 10 behavior, to explain itis relatively welldeveloped in theolderIO literature.71 Graham Allison'scentral argument is that the"nameofthegameis politics: bargaining alongregularized circuits among players positioned hierarchically within thegovernment. Government behaviorcan thus be understood as .. . results ofthese bargaining games."72 In thisview, decisions arenotmadeafter a rational decision butrather a competiprocess through tivebargaining processoverturf, budgets, and staff thatmaybenefit partsof the attheexpense organization ofoverall goals. 10 dysfunctional Another bodyofliterature traces behavior to thematerial forces located outside theorganization. Realist andneoliberal theories might positthat state 10 dysfunctional preferences andconstraints areresponsible for behavunderstanding ior.In this viewIOs arenottoblamefor badoutcomes, states are.IOs do nothavethe theoptimal are frequently luxury of choosing forced to chosebepolicybutrather thebad andtheawful tween becausemoredesirable policiesaredeniedto them by states whodo notagreeamong themselves do notwishto see the10 fulfill and/or its in someparticular mandate As Robert instance. Keohaneobserved, IOs often engage inpoliciesnotbecausethey arestrong andhaveautonomy butbecausethey areweak 10 dysfuncandhavenone.73 The important ofthese point theories is that trace they tionalbehavior backto theenvironmental conditions established by,or theexplicit preferences of,states. Cultural theories also have internal and external variants. We shouldnotethat advocates of cultural wouldreject theclaimthat an organization many theories can be understood from itsenvironment orthat culture is separable from themateapart rialworld. Instead wouldstress they howtheorganization is permeated envibythat inboth defined material andcultural in which itis embedded. ronment, terms, Many are also quitesensitive to thewaysin whichresource constraints and thematerial will shapeorganizational culture. actors Thatsaid,theseargupowerof important in their ments differ from theprevious twotypes clearly on ideational and emphasis cultural factors inthe andclearly differ themselves motors ofbehavior among emphatheories towhether sized.Foranalytical we divide cultural see clarity according they theprimary causesofthe10's dysfunctional behavior as deriving from theculture of theorganization oroftheenvironment (internal) (external). Theworld modelexemplifies theories that culture looktoexternal tounderpolity stand an 10's dysfunctional behavior. Therearetworeasons to expect dysfunctional behavior here.First, a searchforsymbolic because10 practices reflect legitimacy 10 behavior rather than be onlyremotely connected to theefficient efficiency, might that ofitsgoalsandmore tolegitimacy criteria come implementation closely coupled
71. See Allison1971;Haas 1990;Cox etal. 1974;andCox andJacobson 1977. 72. See Allison1971,144; andBendor andHammond 1992. 73. Personal communication totheauthors.

718 International Organization from thecultural environment.74 For instance, manyarms-export control regimes nowhavea multilateral character notbecauseofanyevidence that this architecture is themost efficient waytomonitor andprevent arms exports butrather becausemultilateralism hasattained a degree oflegitimacy that is notempirically connected toany efficiency criteria.75 Second,theworld polity is fullofcontradictions; for instance, a liberal world polity has several defining principles, including market economics and human that equality, might conflict atanyonemoment. Thus,environments areoften ambiguous aboutmissions and contain varied, often conflicting, functional, normative, andlegitimacy imperatives.76 Becausethey areembedded in that cultural environment, IOs canmirror andreproduce those contradictions, which, inturn, canlead tocontradictory andultimately dysfunctional behavior. Finally, organizations frequently develop distinctive internal cultures that canpromotedysfunctional behavior, behavior that we call "pathological." The basic logic of thisargument flows ourprevious from observations aboutthenature of directly areestablished as a socialform. Bureaucracies as rationalized meansto bureaucracy collective values.To do this, bureaucracies accomplish goalsandtospread particular create socialknowledge anddevelopexpertise as they actupontheworld(and thus Butthewaybureaucracies exercise areconstituted to accomplish these ends power). create a cultural can,ironically, disposition toward undesirable andultimately selfbehavior.77 Two features ofthemodern bureaucratic form areparticularly defeating in this The first fact that important regard. is thesimple bureaucracies areorganized andstandard a stanaround totrigger rules, routines, operating procedures designed canbe formal dardandpredictable toenvironmental stimuli. Theserules or response inresponse butineither tellactors which case they action is appropriate to informal, a specific ordemand. Thiskind ofroutinization stimuli, request, is,after all,precisely whatbureaucracies are supposedto exhibit-itis whatmakesthemeffective and in performing socialtasks. thepresence of suchrules competent complex However, drives also compromises theextent to whichmeans-ends rationality organizational overall missions andlarger social behavior. Rulesandroutines maycometoobscure a very and construct behavior"in bureaucrats goals. Theymaycreate"ritualized within theorganization whoseconnection to the normative environment parochial atbest.78 socialenvironment is tenuous larger a division of andcompartmentalize. Second,bureaucracies specialize Theycreate haveonlyso much and becauseindividuals laboron thelogicthat time, knowledge, a rational decisionwill allow theorganization to emulate expertise, specialization inthat itprovides a this is oneofthevirtues ofbureaucracy making process.79 Again, andknowledge thelimitations ofindividual wayofovercoming rationality byembedin a structure that takesadvantage withindividuals oftheir dingthose competencies
74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 1996a. andRowan1977;Meyer andZucker1989;Weber1994;andFinnemore See Meyer Lipson1999. McNeely1995. 1995. See Vaughan 1996;andLipartito andRowan1977. See MarchandOlsen 1989,21-27; andMeyer See MarchandOlsen 1989,26-27; andMarch1997.

Pathologies ofInternational Organizations719 conseouthaving to relyon their weaknesses. However, it,too,has somenegative as rules caneclipsegoals,concentrated can quences. Just expertise andspecialization within (and perhaps must)limit bureaucrats' fieldof visionand createsubcultures trainbureaucracy that aredistinct from those ofthelarger environment. Professional ingplaysa particularly strong roleheresincethis is onewidespread waywe dissemigivesexnatespecialized knowledge andcredential "experts." Such training often worldview and normative perts,indeedis designedto give them,a distinctive in a subunit can have commitments, which, whenconcentrated of an organization, effects pronounced on behavior.80 Once in place,an organization's rituals, andbeculture, understood as therules, conseliefsthat are embedded in theorganization (and itssubunits), has important makesense of the who inhabit thatorganization quencesfortheway individuals frames thatindividuals use to generate meaning.81 world.It provides interpretive Thisis morethan in thisview,actors' itself, the justbounded rationality; rationality culture.82 verymeansand ends thattheyvalue,are shapedby theorganizational Divisionsand subunits within theorganization may developtheir own cognitive withbutstilldistinct from thelarger frameworks thatare consistent organization, further this complicating process. All organizations behavior. have their own culture (or cultures) thatshapetheir The effects Indeed, speofbureaucratic culture, however, neednotbe dysfunctional. cificorganizational cultures maybe valuedand actively promoted as a sourceof "good" behavior, as students of businessculture knowverywell. Organizational culture is tiedto "good" and "bad" behavior, alike,andtheeffects oforganizational culture on behavior arean empirical tobe researched. question To further we drawfrom studies in sociology andanthropology to suchresearch, in1Os: five bureaucratic culture canbreed mechanisms explore bywhich pathologies ofrationalization, normalization ofdeviance, organizatheirrationality universalism, and cultural three of thesemechanisms all tionalinsulation, contestation. The first we expect them to flowfrom features ofbureaucracy itself. defining Consequently, in anybureaucracy to a limited Theirseverity be present degree. maybe increased, oftheorganization. weak conditions however, by specific empirical Vaguemission, all havethepotential to andstrong feedback from theenvironment, professionalism and to create two insulation and exacerbate these mechanisms others, organizational Our claim,therefore, is cultural we describe later. contestation, through processes ofwhich itis made-creates thevery nature ofbureaucracy-the "social stuff" that thatmakebureaucracy behavioral predispositions proneto thesekindsof behavand pathological behavior is iors.83 But theconnection between thesemechanisms not deterministic, and is consistent withour constitutive analysis. probabilistic, condiin fact,mission-defeating behavior occursdependson empirical Whether,
80. See DiMaggioandPowell1983;andSchien1996. andLuckman 1966,chap.1. 81. See Starr 1992,160;Douglas 1986;andBerger andMorgan1979;Dobbin 1994; andImmergut 82. See Campbell1998,378; Alvesson1996;Burrell 1998,14-19. 1998. 83. Wendt

720 International Organization important (mission, thatare particularly tions.We identify three such conditions inherent predispoandprofessionals) anddiscuss howthey intensify these feedback, andactivate orcreate additional ones. sitions prorecognized that the"rationalization" Irrationality ofrationalization. Weber and ultimately cesses at whichbureaucracies excelledcould be takento extremes to do their iftherulesandprocedures that enabled bureaucracies becomeirrational and Rather thandesigning themostappropriate jobs becameends in themselves. rules bureaucracies often tailor efficient andprocedures toaccomplish their missions, rulebook.84 Thus, well-known, and comfortable their missions to fittheexisting, thatthey maybecomeso embedded and powerful means(rulesand procedures) of the determine endsandthewaytheorganization defines itsgoals.One observer Banknoted World level,thebankdidnotdecideon develophow,at an operational it continued to pursue them. Rather, to use ment goals and collectdata necessary andformulated plansfrom data-collection goalsanddevelopment existing procedures instance wheremeans UN-mandated elections maybe another thosedata alone.85 in themany becomeendsin themselves. The "end" pursued troubled states where in reconstruction theUN has been involved is presumably somekindof peaceful, Toward that theUN hasdeveloped a repertoire ofinstruend, stable, justgovernment. andresponses that arelargely intended topromote something akinto a demoments cratic elections have becomeprivigovernment. Amongthosevariousrepertoires, successful conclusion. ofan operation's legedas a measure of "success"anda signal evenwheneviUN (andother haveconducted elections 10) officials Consequently, suchelections areeither orperhaps evencounterprodencesuggests that premature andUN officials).86 In placeslike as much acknowledged bystate ductive (frequently had theoutcome theUN andoutside powers precisely Bosniaelections haveratified elections arecritiintervened toprevent-ethnic cleansing-andinplaceslikeAfrica wereostensibly toquell. thevery ethnic tensions designed cizedas exacerbating they As theUN begantoinvolve itself also provide UN peacekeeping examples. might that entailed themanagement andreconoperations" in various"second-generation was readily ofdomestic conflicts itturned totheonlyinstrument that availciliation aremilitary units. ablein sufficient however, numbers-peacekeeping Peacekeepers, twocontendconflict andtobe interposed between trained tohandle interstate troops, state and with their consent. SomeUN staff, officials, ingnational armies, operating be inappropriate for thedescholars worried that peacekeepers might peacekeeping that wouldtransfer ofhandling domestic mands security. Theyfeared peacekeepers to another without that hadbeenhonedforone environment theskillsand attitudes tosomeobservers, theadjustments peacekeeprequired. According fully considering new into carried their interstate conflict andmindset ersdidjustthat: equipment they minded than and so created a moreaggressive and offensively situations posture
1985,76. 84. Beetham 1990;andNelson1995. 85. See Ferguson 86. Paris1997.

Pathologies ofInternational Organizations721 wouldotherwise havebeenthecase. The result was operations that undermined the objectives ofthemandate.87 Bureaucratic universalism. A secondsource ofpathology inIOs derives from the fact that bureaucracies "orchestrate numerous local contexts atonce."88 Bureaucrats necessarily flatten diversity becausetheyare supposed to generate universal rules and categories that are,by design, inattentive to contextual conandparticularistic cerns. ofthe Part justification for ofcourse, is thebureaucratic viewthat this, technical knowledge is transferable across circumstances. Sometimes this is a goodassumption,but not always; whenparticular circumstances are not appropriate to the generalized knowledge beingapplied, theresults canbe disastrous.89 oftheIMF's ha'ndling oftheAsianfinancial that Manycritics criseshaveargued theIMF inappropriately of budget applieda standardized formula cutsplus high interest rates to combat rapid without theunique currency depreciation appreciating andlocal causesofthisdepreciation. Thesegovernments werenotprofligate spendto reassure ers,and austerity policiesdid little investors, yettheIMF prescribed that thesameremedy ithadinLatinAmerica. The result, roughly bytheIMF's later was tomakematters admission, worse.90 in peacekeeping in Cambodia Similarly, manyof thosewho worked operations weretransferred topeacekeeping inBosniaorSomaliaon theassumption operations that theknowledge wouldbe applicable to others. gainedin one location Although sometechnical skillscanbe transferred acrosscontexts, notall knowledge andorganizational lessonsderived from onecontext areappropriate elsewhere. The UN has a commitment to neutrality, which longstanding operationally translates intotheview thattheUN shouldavoid theuse of forceand theappearance of partiality. This was employed with somesuccessbyUN envoy Yasushi Akashiin Camknowledge bodia. After his stint in Cambodia,he becametheUN Special Representative in As manycritics of Akashihave argued, his commitment to Yugoslavia. however, theserules,combined withhis failure to recognize thatBosnia was substantially different from led himtofailtouse force todefend thesafehavens when Cambodia, itwas appropriate andlikely tobe effective.91 Normalizationof deviance. We derivea third fromDiane typeof pathology in which the ofthespaceshuttle disaster shechronicles Vaughan's study Challenger torules(deviance) overtime becomeroutinized andnormal wayexceptions of parts Bureaucracies establish toprovide a predictable toenvirules procedures.92 response ronmental in waysthat stimuli decisions that lead to accisafeguard against might dents andfaulty decisions. Attimes, bureaucracies makesmall, calculated however,
87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. See Featherston andNordbo1995;andHirsch andOakley1995,chap.6. 1995;Chopra, Eknes, Heyman 1995,262. Haas 1990,chap.3. See Feldstein 1998;Radelet andSachs 1999;andKapur1998. Rieff 1996. Vaughan 1996.

722 International Organization or institutional dedeviations from established rulesbecauseofnewenvironmental thatbending therulesin thisinstance does not velopments, explicitly calculating Overtime, theseexceptions can becomethe create excessiveriskofpolicyfailure. at all: they can becomeinstitutionalized rule-theybecomenormal, notexceptions Theresult ofthis process is that what at tothepoint where deviance is "normalized." be weighed anddebated as a potentially unacceptable risk or time t1might seriously at timetn. as normal Indeed,becauseof dangerous procedure comesto be treated in time thosemaking decisions at a later point might be unaware that staff turnover, was everviewedas risky ordangerous. thenow-routine behavior this We areunaware ofanystudies that haveexamined normalization ofdeviance in IO decisionmaking, comes to though one exampleof deviancenormalization as onlyone of three mind.Before1980 theUNHCR viewedrepatriation durable solutions to refugee crises(theothers beingthird-country asylum andhost-country In itsview, hadtobe both safeandvoluntary becauseforced integration). repatriation theinternational ofnonrefoulement, which is the repatriation violates legalprinciple in theUNHCR's convention. of international law and codified cornerstone refugee emphasized that theprinciples Prior to 1980,UNHCR's discussions of repatriation mustbe safeguarded at all costs.According to many of safety and voluntariness thebarriers theUNHCR has steadily lowered to repatriacommentators, however, in international this canbe found protection manutionovertheyears. Evidence for that Committee anddiscourse nowweighs resolutions, repatriaals,the UNHCRExecutive other This tion andtheprinciple ofnonrefoulement goalssucha peacebuilding. against deviations andincremental as initial from organizational was a steady development ofdeviance. overtime andled to a normalization The result was norms accumulated inthefrequency andan increase a lowering ofthebarriers torepatriation ofinvoluntary repatriation.93 in thedegreeto whichthey receiveand Insulation. Organizations varygreatly environment aboutperformance. Those insulated from feedback from their process cultures and worldviews that do notpromote suchfeedback often developinternal theorganization whocreated itandwhom ofthose outside thegoalsandexpectations worldviews can createtheconditions forpathological it serves.These distinctive and categorization come to define classification schemes behavior whenparochial intheworld-suchthat bureaucrats understand they routinely ignore reality-how totheaccomplishment oftheir formation that is essential goals.94 to 1Os.The first is profesTwo causes of insulation seemparticularly applicable technical It acdoes morethanimpart sionalism. Professional knowledge. training orientation and worldviews of thosewho are seeks to shapethenormative tively to sacrito valuelifeaboveall else,soldiers aretrained trained. Doctorsaretrained
Watch1997; Zieck 1997, International 1997a,b;HumanRights 1993,447; Amnesty 93. See Chimni Times, 22 "The ShieldforExilesIs Lowered," TheNew York Crossette, 433, 434, 438-39; andBarbara 1996,4-1. December andLuckman 1967,chap. 1; Douglas 1986;Biuner1990;MarchandOlsen 1989;and 94. See Berger Starr 1992.

Pathologies ofInternational Organizations723 to value effificelifeforcertain strategic objectives, and economists are trained ciency.Bureaucracies, by their nature, concentrate professionals insideorganizatraining tions, andconcentrations ofpeoplewith thesameexpertise or professional Seccan createan organizational worldview distinct from thelarger environment. ond,organizations for whom"successful performance" is difficult tomeasure-that do anddo not is, they arevaluedforwhatthey represent rather than forwhatthey from selec"compete" with other organizations onthebasisofoutput-are protected tionandperformance willoperate. pressures that economistic models simply assume Theabsence ofa competitive coupled environment that selects outinefficient practices with already existing tendencies toward institutionalization ofrulesandprocedures insulates theorganization from ofpathologies. feedback andincreases thelikelihood inthedegree recruit havedistincIOs vary greatly towhich theprofessionals they tiveworldviews and thedegreeto whichthey face competitive butit is pressures, thecase that insulate someIOs to somedegree andin so doing clearly thesefactors create a tendency toward The World has beendomipathology. Bank,forexample, to nated for much ofitshistory byeconomists, which, atleastinpart, hascontributed openshis many critiques ofthebank'spolicies.In one suchcritique James Ferguson thebank'sintroductory oftheWorld Bank'sactivity in Lesotho study bycomparing on theground; he shows description ofLesothoin itsreport on that country to facts a world historians, geoghowthebank"creates" that has little resemblance towhat in Lesothobutis uniquely suited to the raphers, ordemographers see on theground and presents theproblems thebankknows bank'sorganizational abilities precisely how to solve.This is notsimply bad scholarship," Ferguson argues, "staggeringly from buta wayofmaking theworld andmeaningful a particular perspecintelligible tive-the WorldBank's.95 The problem, is thatthisdifferent worldview however, indetail. which translates intoa record ofdevelopment failures, Ferguson explores well-known feature oforganizaInsulation contributes toandis causedbyanother allowtheorganization to evalufeedback tions-theabsenceofeffective loopsthat Thisis surely a tocorrect established routines. ateitsefforts anduse newinformation in anysocialtaskbutis onethat "rational" including procedure many organizations, headofthe andjournalists, andeventhecurrent 1Os,failtoperform.96 Manyscholars a rather distinctive record that thebankhas accumulated World Bank,havenoticed andhas shown a marked with thesamecriteria butcontinues tooperate of "failures" ofitsownprojects.97 The sameis true in evaluating theeffectiveness lackofinterest were conferences that that thelessons-learned of other 1Os. Jarat Chopraobserves could so thatno information Somalia werestructurally established after arranged atfacesaving, wouldblemish theUN's record. Suchattempts comeoutthat Chopra will go uncorrected.98 Sometimes that thesemaladies makeit morelikely cautions,

1990,25-73. 95. Ferguson 96. MarchandOlsen 1989,chap.5; Haas 1990. "The ChiefBanker for Stevenson, 97. See Wade 1996,14-17; Nelson1995,chaps.6, 7; andRichard 1997,sec. 3, 1, 12-14. 14 September Times, oftheHeap,"New York attheBottom theNations 98. Chopra1996.

724 International Organization newevaluative criteria arehoisted in order to demonstrate that thefailures werenot really failures butsuccesses. Culturalcontestation. Organizational coherence is an accomplishment rather than a given.Organizational control within a putative hierarchy is alwaysincomplete, creating pockets of autonomy andpolitical battles within thebureaucracy.99 Thisis a product ofthefactthat partly bureaucracies areorganized around theprinciple of tendto be staffed division-of-labor, and different divisions by individuals who are in their overbudgets "experts" assigned tasks. Thesedifferent divisions maybattle or material resources and so followthebureaucratic politics model,butthey may also clashbecauseofdistinct internal of cultures that growup insidedifferent parts theorganization. Different segments oftheorganization maydevelopdifferent ways of making senseof theworld, local environments, andreceive experience different different stimuli from mixesof outside;theymay also be populated by different professions orshaped bydifferent historical experiences. All ofthese wouldcontributeto thedevelopment ofdifferent within theorganization anddifferlocal cultures entwaysofperceiving theenvironment andtheorganization's overall mission. Organizations maytry tominimize complications from these divisions byarranging these demands buttotheextent that hierarchically, hierarchy resolves conflict bysquelchinginput from somesubunits infavor ofothers, theorganization losesthebenefits of a division of laborthatit was supposedto provide. More commonly, atthough, toreconcile worldviews aresimply Most tempts competing hierarchically incomplete. andcontradictory subsetsofpreferences organizations developoverlapping among different different normative groups.100 Consequently, constituencies representing ina clash viewswillsuggest different tasksandgoalsfor theorganization, resulting that tendencies. ofcompeting perspectives generates pathological The existence contestation be particularly trueof high-profile of cultural might conbroadandpoliticized andexpansive havevaguemissions, IOs liketheUN that that aredeveloped overtime andinresponse tonew andlotsofdivisions stituencies, demands. a number of themorespectacular debaclesin environmental Arguably as theproduct of these recent UN peacekeeping be interpreted operations might contradictions. theconflict theUN's humanitarian missions and thevalue it Consider between are manywho and neutrality. Within theorganization there places on impartiality On theone hand, ofUN action. the viewimpartiality as a coreconstitutive principle anditsability topersuade all rest onthis UN's moral itsauthority, standing, principle. of humanitarianism On theother theprinciples theUN to giveaid to hand, require in a number of UN reliefand thosein need-values thatare particularly strong of neutrality Thesetwonorms andhumanitarian humanitarian agencies. assistance, in of thebureaucracy mostdevoted to them, comeintodirect conflict andtheparts reliefmight whereproviding humanitarian thosesituations jeopardizethe UN's
1992. 1996,64; andMartin 99. See Clegg 1994a,30; Vaughan 100. Haas 1990,188.

Pathologies ofInternational Organizations725 vaunted principle ofneutrality. Bosniais theclassiccase in point. On theone hand, the "all necessary means"provision of Security Councilresolutions gave theUN authority to deliver humanitarian aid andprotect civilians in thesafehavens. On the other hand,theUN abstained from"takingsides" because of thefearthatsuch actions wouldcompromise itsneutrality andfuture effectiveness. The result ofthese was a string conflicts of contradictory policiesthat failedto provide adequately for theUN's expanding humanitarian charges.101 According to ShashiTharoor, a UN official in these "It is extremely intimately involved decisions, difficult tomakewar 102 andpeacewith thesamepeopleon thesameterritory atthesametime." UNHCR provides another possibleexample ofcultural contestation. Historically, theUNHCR's Protection Divisionhas articulated a legalistic approach toward refuandthus toviewtheUNHCR anditself gee matters tends as therefugee's and lawyer as theprotector of refugee rights underinternational law. Those thatinhabit the UNHCR's regional havebeencharacterized as taking bureaus, however, a less "narrow"viewof theorganization's that mission, stressing theUNHCR must takeinto account thecausesofrefugee flows andstate Thesecultural conflicts have pressures. beenparticularly to many evident, according whentheUNHCR contemobservers, platesa repatriation exercise in areasofpolitical instability and conflict: protection officers demand that therefugees' theright ofnonrefoulement, be rights, including whereastheregional bureausare morewillingto undertake a risky safeguarded, exercise ifitmight repatriation serve broader organizational goals,suchas satisfying theinterests ofmember andregional a peace agreestates, goals,suchas facilitating 103 ment. is nottheonlysourceof 10 dysfunction, it is a bureaucratic culture Although one that that creates broadpatterns ofbehavior should interest potentially powerful relations Noneofthesources international scholars. ofpathologies sketched hereis in anyempirical to appearin isolation domain. interact and likely Theseprocesses in waysthat feedon each other willrequire further andresearch. Moretheorizing whilewe havehighlighted theorganization's internal we must over, characteristics, bearinmind that theexternal environment always presses uponandshapestheinteroftheorganization in a hostofways.Cultural within nal characteristics contestation an organization from andremains linked to normative contrafrequently originates in thelarger environment. states dictions Demandsfrom canbe extremely important and mayoverride determinants of 10 behavior internal cultural butthey dynamics, inplaceifconflicting inthecreation canalso setthem state demands result oforganizationalstructures or missions that areproneto pathology. As we beginto explore andpathological we must bearinmind relationdysfunctional behavior, thecomplex different causalpathways, attentive toboth theintershipbetween remaining closely nal organizational andthe10's environment. dynamics
4 September 101. See Barnett 1997a;David Rieff, "We HateYou," New Yorker, 1995,41-48; David Rieff, "The Institution ThatSaw No Evil," TheNewRepublic, 12 February 1996,19-24; andRieff 1996. 102. QuotedinWeiss1996,85; also see Rieff 1996,166,170,193. 103. See Kennedy 1986;andLawyers Committee for Human Rights 1991.

726 International Organization Conclusion Forall theattention international relations scholars havepaidtointernational institutions overthepastseveral decades,we knowvery little abouttheinternal workings ofIOs or abouttheeffects they havein theworld. Ourignorance, we suspect, is in largeparta product of thetheoretical lens we have applied.Froman economistic perspective, thetheoretically interesting question to ask aboutIOs is whythey are in thefirst created place. Economists wantto knowwhywe have firms; political want scientists toknowwhywe have1Os.In both cases,thequestion flows naturally If you think from first theoretical principles. that theworldlookslike a microeconomicmarket-anarchy, firms (or states)competing to maximize their utilitieswhatis anomalousand therefore theoretically interesting is cooperation. Conseourresearch to focuson thebargains to makeorreshape quently, tends states strike in their 1Os. Scholars payvery little attention to whatgoes on subsequently day-tooreventhelarger effects dayoperations that they might haveon theworld. a constructivist or sociologicallens,as we suggest here, ViewingIOs through 10 features reveals of behavior that shouldconcern international relations scholars becausethey bearon debatescentral to ourfield-debatesaboutwhether and how matter anddebates ofa statist international institutions abouttheadequacy ontology in an eraofglobalization Threeimplications ofthisalternative andpolitical change. areparticularly a basisfor approach important. First, thisapproach provides treating in politicalsciencethatare inIOs as purposive actors.Mainstream approaches havetended inthestates that formed theories tolocateagency byeconomic comprise 10 membership inwhich andtreat arenas states their By IOs as mere pursue policies. in thebroader thenormative forbureaucratic internaexploring support authority to construct thesocial world, we tionalculture and theway IOs use that authority from andwhyit may reasons state members provide whyIOs mayhave autonomy to treat them as ontologically makesenseanalytically independent. Second,byprowe also openup thepossibility that that a basisfor viding autonomy IOs arepowerful effects on theworld. We have suggested various actors who can have independent all of which actorsin globalpolitics, abouthow IOs are powerful ways to think of how IOs affect notonlydiscrete outcomes but consideration encourage greater basisofglobalpolitics. also theconstitutive to normative of IOs and thisapproach evaluations also drawsattention Third, about10 behavior. uncritical whatappearsto us to be rather questions optimism relations havebeenquicktorecognize theposiinternational scholars Contemporary Butfor all andwe,too,aresimilarly tivecontributions that IOs can make, impressed. can also be inefficient, their desirable bureaucracies qualities, ineffective, repressive, little interrelations haveshown andunaccountable. International scholars, however, The liberal Wilsoandmore effects. estininvestigating these less savory distressing andagents ofpeace,engines ofprogress, tends to see IOs as promoters niantradition havefocused ontheimpressive for Neoliberals emancipation. wayinwhich IOs help andachieve Realaction durable collective states toovercome problems cooperation. in world roleas stabilizing forces on their istshavefocused Constructivists, politics.

Pathologies ofInternational Organizations727 too,havetended to focuson themorehumane and other-regarding features of 1Os, butthere is nothing aboutsocialconstruction that necessitates "good" outcomes. We do notmeanto imply thatIOs are "bad"; we meanonlyto pointout theoretical reasons whyundesirable behavior mayoccurandsuggest that normative evaluation of10 behavior should be an empirical andethical matter, notan analytic assumption.

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