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Cambridge University Press International Organization Foundation The Politics, Power, and Pathologies of International

Cambridge University Press International Organization Foundation

University Press International Organization Foundation The Politics, Power, and Pathologies of International

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

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The Politics,Power,and Pathologies ofInternationalOrganizations

MichaelN. BarnettandMarthaFinnemore

Do internationalorganizationsreallydo whattheircreatorsintendthemtodo?Inthe

pastcenturythenumberofinternationalorganizations(1Os)hasincreasedexponen-

tially,and we have a varietyof vigoroustheoriesto explainwhytheyhavebeen created.Most of thesetheoriesexplainIO creationas a responseto problemsof

incompleteinformation,transactioncosts,andotherbarrierstoParetoefficiencyand

welfareimprovementfortheirmembers.Researchflowingfromthesetheories,how-

ever,haspaidlittleattentiontohowIOs actuallybehaveaftertheyarecreated.Closer scrutinywouldrevealthatmanyIOs strayfromtheefficiencygoalsthesetheories imputeandthatmanyIOs exercisepowerautonomouslyin waysunintendedand unanticipatedby statesat theircreation.Understandinghow thisis so requiresa reconsiderationofIOs andwhattheydo. In thisarticlewe developa constructivistapproachrootedinsociologicalinstitu- tionalismto explainboththepowerofIOs andtheirpropensityfordysfunctional, evenpathological,behavior.Drawingon long-standingWeberianargumentsabout bureaucracyandsociologicalinstitutionalistapproachestoorganizationalbehavior, wearguethattherational-legalauthoritythatIOs embodygivesthempowerindepen- dentofthestatesthatcreatedthemandchannelsthatpowerinparticulardirections. Bureaucracies,by definition,makerules,butin so doingtheyalso createsocial knowledge.Theydefinesharedinternationaltasks(like"development"),createand definenewcategoriesofactors(like"refugee"),createnewinterestsforactors(like "promotinghumanrights"),andtransfermodelsofpoliticalorganizationaroundthe world(like marketsand democracy.)However,thesamenormativevaluationon impersonal,generalizedrulesthatdefinesbureaucraciesandmakesthempowerfulin

WearegratefultoJohnBoli,RaymondDuvall,ErnstHaas,PeterHaas,RobertKeohane,KeithKrause, JeffreyLegro,JohnMalley,CraigMurphy,M. J.Peterson,MarkPollack,AndrewMoravcsik,Thomas Risse,DuncanSnidal,SteveWeber,ThomasWeiss,andtwoanonymousrefereesfortheircomments.We

areespeciallygratefulforthecarefulattentionoftheeditorsofInternationalOrganization.Earlierver-

sionsofthisarticlewerepresentedatthe1997APSA meeting,the1997ISA meeting,andatvariousfora. We also acknowledgefinancialassistancefromtheSmithRichardsonFoundationandtheUnitedStates InstituteofPeace.

InternationalOrganization53,4,Autumn1999,pp.699-732

? 1999byThe10 FoundationandtheMassachusettsInstituteofTechnology

700 InternationalOrganization

modernlifecanalso makethemunresponsivetotheirenvironments,obsessedwith theirownrulesattheexpenseofprimarymissions,andultimatelyleadtoinefficient, self-defeatingbehavior.We arenotthefirstto suggestthatIOs aremorethanthe reflectionofstatepreferencesandthattheycanbe autonomousandpowerfulactors inglobalpolitics.1Norarewethefirsttonotethat1Os,likeall organizations,canbe

dysfunctionalandinefficient.2However,ouremphasisonthewaythatcharacteristics

ofbureaucracyas a genericculturalformshapeIO behaviorprovidesa differentand verybroadbasisforthinkingabouthowIOs influenceworldpolitics.3 Developingan alternativeapproachtothinkingaboutIOs is onlyworthwhileifit producessignificantinsightsandnewopportunitiesforresearchonmajordebatesin thefield.Ourapproachallowsus toweighinwithnewperspectivesonatleastthree suchdebates.First,itoffersa differ'entviewofthepowerofIOs andwhetherorhow

theymatterin worldpolitics.This issue has been at thecore of theneoliberal-

institutionalists'debatewithneorealistsforyears.4Weshowinthisarticlehowneo-

liberal-institutionalistsactuallydisadvantagethemselvesintheirargumentwithreal-

istsbylookingatonlyonefacetofIO power.Globalorganizationsdomorethanjust facilitatecooperationbyhelpingstatestoovercomemarketfailures,collectiveaction dilemmas,and problemsassociatedwithinterdependentsocial choice.Theyalso createactors,specifyresponsibilitiesandauthorityamongthem,anddefinethework theseactorsshoulddo,givingitmeaningandnormativevalue.Evenwhentheylack materialresources,IOs exercisepoweras theyconstituteandconstructthesocial

world.5

Secondandrelated,ourperspectiveprovidesa theoreticalbasisfortreatingIOs as autonomousactorsinworldpoliticsandthuspresentsa challengetothestatistontol- ogyprevailingininternationalrelationstheories.Despiteall theirattentiontointer-

nationalinstitutions,oneresultofthetheoreticalorientationofneoliberalinstitution-

alistsandregimestheoristsis thattheytreatIOs thewaypluraliststreatthestate.IOs aremechanismsthroughwhichothers(usuallystates)act; theyare notpurposive actors.Theregimesliteratureis particularlyclearonthispoint.Regimesare "prin-

ciples,norms,rules,anddecision-makingprocedures;"theyarenotactors.6Weber's

insightsaboutthenormativepoweroftherational-legalauthoritythatbureaucracies embodyanditsimplicationsforthewaysbureaucraciesproduceandcontrolsocial knowledgeprovidea basisforchallengingthisviewandtreatingIOs as agents,not justas structure.

1. ForGramscianapproaches,seeCox 1980,1992,and1996;andMurphy1995.ForSocietyofStates

approaches,seeHurrellandWoods1995.Fortheepistemiccommunitiesliterature,seeHaas 1992.ForIO decision-makingliterature,seeCox etal. 1974;Cox andJacobson1977;Cox 1996;andNessandBrechin 1988.Fora rationalchoiceperspective,see Snidal1996.

2. Haas 1990.

3. Because theneorealistand neoliberalargumentswe engagehave focusedon intergovernmental

organizationsratherthannongovernmentalones,andbecauseWeberianargumentsfromwhichwe draw dealprimarilywithpublicbureaucracy,wetoofocusonintergovernmentalorganizationsinthisarticleand

usetheterminternationalorganizationsinthatway.

4. Baldwin1993.

5. See Finnemore1993and1996b;andMcNeely1995.

6. Krasner1983b.

PathologiesofInternationalOrganizations701

Third,ourperspectiveoffersa differentvantagepointfromwhichto assessthe desirabilityof1Os.Whilerealistsandsomepolicymakershavetakenup thisissue, surprisinglyfewotherstudentsof IOs have beencriticalof theirperformanceor

desirability.7Partofthisoptimismstemsfromcentraltenetsofclassicalliberalism,

whichhaslongviewedIOs as a peacefulwaytomanagerapidtechnologicalchange andglobalization,farpreferabletotheobviousalternative-war.8Also contributing to thisuncriticalstanceis thenormativejudgmentaboutIOs thatis builtintothe theoreticalassumptionsofmostneoliberalandregimesscholarsandtheeconomic organizationtheoriesonwhichtheydraw.IOs exist,inthisview,onlybecausethey areParetoimprovingandsolveproblemsforstates.Consequently,ifan IO exists,it mustbe becauseitis moreusefulthanotheralternativessince,bytheoreticalaxiom, stateswillpulltheplugon any10 thatdoes notperform.We findthisassumption unsatisfying.IOs oftenproduceundesirableandevenself-defeatingoutcomesrepeat- edly,withoutpunishmentmuchless dismantlement,and we, as theorists,wantto understandwhy.Internationalrelationsscholarsare familiarwithprincipal-agent problemsandthewaysinwhichbureaucraticpoliticscancompromiseorganizational

effectiveness,buttheseapproacheshaverarelybeenappliedto1Os.Further,these

approachesbynomeansexhaustsourcesofdysfunction.Weexamineonesuchsource thatflowsfromthesamerational-legalcharacteristicsthatmakeIOs authoritative andpowerful.Drawingfromresearchinsociologyandanthropology,we showhow theveryfeaturesthatmakebureaucraciespowerfulcanalsobe theirweakness. The claimswe makeinthisarticleflowfroman analysisofthe"social stuff"of whichbureaucracyis made.We areaskinga standardconstructivistquestionabout whatmakestheworldhangtogetheror,as AlexanderWendtputsit,"howarethings intheworldputtogetherso thattheyhavethepropertiestheydo."9Inthissense,our explanationofIO behavioris constitutiveanddiffersfrommostotherinternational

relationsapproaches.Thisapproachdoesnotmakeourexplanation"meredescrip-

tion,"sinceunderstandingtheconstitutionofthingsdoesessentialworkinexplain-

inghowthosethingsbehaveandwhatcausesoutcomes.Justas understandinghow thedouble-helixDNA moleculeisconstitutedmateriallymakespossiblecausalargu- mentsaboutgenetics,disease,andotherbiologicalprocesses,so understandinghow bureaucraciesareconstitutedsociallyallowsustohypothesizeaboutthebehaviorof IOs andtheeffectsthissocialformmighthaveinworldpolitics.Thistypeofconsti- tutiveexplanationdoesnotallowus toofferlaw-likestatementssuchas "ifX hap- pens,thenY mustfollow."Rather,byprovidinga morecompleteunderstandingof

whatbureaucracyis, we can provideexplanationsofhowcertainkindsofbureau- craticbehaviorarepossible,orevenprobable,andwhy. 10

Webeginbyexaminingtheassumptionsunderlyingdifferentbranchesoforgani-

zationtheoryandexploringtheirimplicationsforthestudyof1Os.We arguethat

assumptionsdrawnfromeconomicsthatundergirdneoliberalandneorealisttreat-

7. See Mearsheimer1994;andHelms1996.

8. See CommissiononGlobalGovernance1995;Jacobson1979,1; andDoyle1997.

9. See Ruggie1998;andWendt1998.

10. Wendt1998.

702 InternationalOrganization

mentsofIOs do notalwaysreflecttheempiricalsituationofmostIOs commonly studiedbypoliticalscientists.Further,theyprovideresearchhypothesesaboutonly someaspectsofIOs (likewhytheyarecreated)andnotothers(likewhattheydo). Wethenintroducesociologicalargumentsthathelpremedytheseproblems. Inthesecondsectionwedevelopa constructivistapproachfromthesesociological argumentstoexaminethepowerwieldedbyIOs andthesourcesoftheirinfluence. Liberalandrealisttheoriesonlymakepredictionsabout,andconsequentlyonlylook for,a verylimitedrangeofwelfare-improvingeffectscausedby1Os.Sociologicaltheories, however,expectandexplaina muchbroaderrangeofimpactsorganizationscanhaveand specificallyhighlighttheirroleinconstructingactors,interests,andsocialpurpose. WeprovideillustrationsfromtheUN systemtoshowhowIOs do,infact,havesuch

powerfuleffectsincontemporaryworldpolitics.Inthethirdsectionweexplorethedysfunc-

tionalbehaviorof1Os,whichwedefineas behaviorthatunderminesthestatedgoalsof theorganization.Internationalrelationstheoristsarefamiliarwithseveraltypesof theoriesthatmightexplainsuchbehavior.Somelocatethesourceofdysfunctionin materialfactors,othersfocusonculturalfactors.Sometheorieslocatethesourceof dysfunctionoutsidetheorganization,otherslocateitinside.Weconstructa typology, mappingthesetheoriesaccordingtothesourceofdysfunctiontheyemphasize,and showthatthesameinternallygeneratedculturalforcesthatgiveIOs theirpowerand autonomycanalsobe a sourceofdysfunctionalbehavior.Weusethetermpathologiesto describesuchinstanceswhenIO dysfunctioncanbe tracedtobureaucraticculture.We

concludebydiscussinghowourperspectivehelpstowidentheresearchagendafor1Os.

TheoreticalApproachestoOrganizations

Withinsocialsciencetherearetwobroadstrandsoftheorizingaboutorganizations.

One is economisticandrootedin assumptionsofinstrumentalrationalityandeffi- ciencyconcerns;theotheris sociologicalandfocusedon issuesoflegitimacyand

power.11Thedifferentassumptionsembeddedwithineachtypeoftheoryfocusatten-

tionondifferentkindsofquestionsaboutorganizationsandprovideinsightsondif-

ferentkindsofproblems. Theeconomisticapproachcomes,notsurprisingly,outofeconomicsdepartments andbusinessschoolsforwhomthefundamentaltheoreticalproblem,laidoutfirstby RonaldCoase andmorerecentlyby OliverWilliamson,is whywe havebusiness firms.Withinstandardmicroeconomiclogic,it shouldbe muchmoreefficientto conductall transactionsthroughmarketsratherthan"hierarchies"ororganizations.

Consequently,thefactthateconomiclifeis dominatedbyhugeorganizations(busi- nessfirms)is ananomaly.Thebodyoftheorydevelopedtoexplaintheexistenceand poweroffirmsfocuseson organizationsas efficientsolutionsto contractingprob-

lems,incompleteinformation,andothermarketimperfections.12

11. See PowellandDiMaggio1991,chap.1; andGrandori1993.

PathologiesofInternationalOrganizations703

Thisbodyoforganizationtheoryinformsneoliberalandneorealistdebatesover

internationalinstitutions.FollowingKennethWaltz,neoliberalsandneorealistsun-

derstandworldpoliticsto be analogousto a marketfilledwithutility-maximizing competitors.13Thus,liketheeconomists,theysee organizationsas welfare-improv-

ingsolutionsto problemsof incompleteinformationandhightransactioncosts.14 Neoliberalsandrealistsdisagreeaboutthedegreetowhichconstraintsofanarchy,an

interestinrelativeversusabsolutegains,andfearsofcheatingwillscuttleinterna-

tionalinstitutionalarrangementsorhobbletheireffectiveness,butbothagree,implic-

itlyorexplicitly,thatIOs helpstatesfurthertheirinterestswheretheyareallowedto work.15Statepowermaybe exercisedinpoliticalbattlesinsideIOs overwhere,on theParetofrontier,politicalbargainsfall,butthenotionthatIOs are instruments createdto servestateinterestsis notmuchquestionedby neorealistor neoliberal

scholars.16Afterall,whyelsewouldstatessetuptheseorganizationsandcontinueto

supportthemiftheydidnotservestateinterests? Approachesfromsociologyprovideone setof answersto thisquestion.They providereasonswhy,infact,organizationsthatarenotefficientoreffectiveservants ofmemberinterestsmightexist.In so doing,theyleadus tolookforkindsofpower andsourcesofautonomyin organizationsthateconomistsoverlook.Differentap- proacheswithinsociologytreatorganizationsindifferentways,butas a groupthey standinsharpcontrasttotheeconomists'approachesinatleasttwoimportantrespects:

theyoffera differentconceptionoftherelationshipbetweenorganizationsandtheir environments,andtheyprovidea basisforunderstandingorganizationalautonomy.

IOs and theirenvironment.Theenvironmentassumedbyeconomicapproaches

toorganizationsis sociallyverythinanddevoidofsocialrules,culturalcontent,or even otheractorsbeyondthoseconstructingtheorganization.Competition,ex-

change,andconsequentpressuresforefficiencyarethedominantenvironmentalchar-

acteristicsdrivingtheformationandbehavioroforganizations.Sociologists,bycon-

trast,studyorganizationsina widerworldofnonmarketsituations,and,consequently,

theybeginwithno suchassumptions.Organizationsaretreatedas "socialfacts"to be investigated;whethertheydo whattheyclaimordo itefficientlyis an empirical question,nota theoreticalassumptionoftheseapproaches.Organizationsrespond notonlyto otheractorspursuingmaterialinterestsin theenvironmentbutalso to

normativeandculturalforcesthatshapehoworganizationsseetheworldandconcep-

tualizetheirownmissions.Environmentscan "select"or favororganizationsfor reasonsotherthanefficientorresponsivebehavior.Forexample,organizationsmay be createdand supportedforreasonsof legitimacyand normativefitratherthan efficientoutput;theymaybe creatednotforwhattheydo butforwhattheyare-for

whattheyrepresentsymbolicallyandthevaluestheyembody.17

13. Waltz1979.

14. See Vaubel1991,27; andDillon,Ilgen,andWillett1991.

15. Baldwin1993.

16. Krasner1991.

17. See DiMaggioandPowell1983;Scott1992;MeyerandScott1992,1-5; PowellandDiMaggio

1991;Weber1994;andFinnemore1996a.

704 InternationalOrganization

Empirically,organizationalenvironmentscan takemanyforms.Some organiza-

tionsexistin competitiveenvironmentsthatcreatestrongpressuresforefficientor responsivebehavior,butmanydonot.Someorganizationsoperatewithclearcriteria for"success" (likefirmsthathavebalancesheets),whereasothers(likepolitical sciencedepartments)operatewithmuchvaguermissions,withfewclearcriteriafor successorfailureandnoseriousthreatofelimination.Ourpointis simplythatwhen we choosea theoreticalframework,we shouldchooseone whoseassumptionsap- proximatetheempiricalconditionsoftheIO weareanalyzing,andthatweshouldbe awareof thebiases createdby thoseassumptions.Economisticapproachesmake certainassumptionsabouttheenvironmentin whichIOs areembeddedthatdrive

researcherswhousethemtolookforcertainkindsofeffectsandnotothers.Specify-

ingdifferentormorevariedenviro'nmentsforIOs wouldleadustolookfordifferent

andmorevariedeffectsinworldpolitics.18

IO autonomy. Followingeconomisticlogic,regimetheoryandthebroadrangeof scholarsworkingwithinitgenerallytreatIOs as creationsofstatesdesignedtofur- therstateinterests.19Analysisof subsequentIO behaviorfocuseson processesof

aggregatingmemberstatepreferencesthroughstrategicinteractionwithinthestruc-

tureoftheJO.1Os,then,aresimplyepiphenomenaofstateinteraction;theyare,to

quoteWaltz'sdefinitionofreductionism,"understoodbyknowingtheattributesand

theinteractionsof[their]parts."20

ThesetheoriesthustreatIOs as emptyshellsorimpersonalpolicymachinerytobe manipulatedbyotheractors.Politicalbargainsshapethemachineryatitscreation, statesmaypolitickhardwithinthemachineryinpursuitoftheirpolicygoals,andthe machinery'snormsandrulesmayconstrainwhatstatescan do,butthemachinery itselfis passive.IOs arenotpurposivepoliticalactorsintheirownrightandhaveno ontologicalindependence.To theextentthatIOs do,infact,takeon a lifeoftheir own,theybreachthe"limitsofrealism"as wellas ofneoliberalismbyviolatingthe

ontologicalstructuresofthesetheories.21

The regimesconceptspawneda hugeliteratureon interstatecooperationthatis remarkablyconsistentinitstreatmentofIOs as structureratherthanagents.Muchof theneoliberalinstitutionalistliteraturehas beendevotedto exploringthewaysin whichregimes(and1Os)canactas interveningvariables,mediatingbetweenstates'

pursuitofself-interestandpoliticaloutcomesbychangingthestructureofopportuni-

tiesandconstraintsfacingstatesthroughtheircontroloverinformation,inparticu-

lar.22Althoughthislineof scholarshipaccordsIOs somecausal status(sincethey

demonstrablychangeoutcomes),itdoesnotgrantthemautonomyandpurposeinde-

18. Researchersapplyingtheseeconomisticapproacheshavebecomeincreasinglyawareofthemis-

matchbetweentheassumptionsoftheirmodelsandtheempiricsof1Os.See Snidal1996.

19. Notethatempiricallythisis notthecase; mostIOs nowarecreatedby other1Os. See Shanks,

Jacobson,andKaplan1996.

20. Waltz1979,18.

21. Krasner1983a,355-68;butseeFinnemore1996b;andRittberger1993.

PathologiesofInternationalOrganizations705

pendentofthestatesthatcomprisethem.Anotherbranchofliberalismhasrecently divorceditselffromthestatistontologyandfocusesinsteadon thepreferencesof

social groupsas thecausal engineof worldpolitics,but,again,thisview simply arguesforattentiontoa differentgroupofagentsinvolvedintheconstructionofIOs andcompetingforaccesstoIO mechanisms.Itdoesnotoffera fundamentallydiffer-

entconceptionofIOs.23

Therelevantquestiontoaskaboutthisconceptualizationis whetheritis a reason-

ableapproximationoftheempiricalconditionofmost1Os.Ourreadingofdetailed

empiricalcase studiesofIO activitysuggestsnot.Yes,IOs areconstrainedbystates, butthenotionthattheyarepassivemechanismswithnoindependentagendasoftheir ownis notborneoutbyanydetailedempiricalstudyofan JOthatwe havefound. Field studiesof theEuropeanUnionprovideevidenceof independentrolesfor "eurocrats."24StudiesoftheWorldBankconsistentlyidentifyan independentcul- tureandagendasforaction.25StudiesofrecentUN peacekeepingandreconstruction effortssimilarlydocumenta UN agendathatfrequentlyleadstoconflictwithmem- berstates.26AccountsoftheUN HighCommissiononRefugees(UNHCR) routinely notehowitsautonomyandauthorityhas grownovertheyears.Notonlyare IOs independentactorswiththeirownagendas,buttheymayembodymultipleagendas andcontainmultiplesourcesofagency-a problemwetakeuplater. Principal-agentanalysis,whichhas beenincreasinglyemployedby studentsof internationalrelationstoexamineorganizationaldynamics,couldpotentiallyprovide

a sophisticatedapproachto understandingJOautonomy.27Buildingon theoriesof rationalchoiceandofrepresentation,theseanalystsunderstandIOs as "agents"of

states("principals").Theanalysisis concernedwithwhetheragentsareresponsible

delegatesoftheirprincipals,whetheragentssmuggleinandpursuetheirownprefer-

ences,andhowprincipalscan constructvariousmechanismsto keeptheiragents honest.28Thisframeworkprovidesa meansof treatingIOs as actorsin theirown rightwithindependentinterestsandcapabilities.AutonomousactionbyIOs is tobe expectedin thisperspective.It wouldalso explaina numberofthenonresponsive andpathologicalbehaviorsthatconcernus becausewe knowthatmonitoringand shirkingproblemsarepervasiveintheseprincipal-agentrelationshipsandthatthese relationshipscanoftengetstuckatsuboptimalequilibria. Theproblemwithapplyingprincipal-agentanalysistothestudyofIOs is thatit requiresa prioritheoreticalspecificationofwhatIOs want.Principal-agentdynamics arefueledbythedisjuncturebetweenwhatagentswantandwhatprincipalswant.To produceanyinsights,thosetwosetsofinterestscannotbe identical.In economics

thistypeofanalysisis usuallyappliedtopreexistingagentsandprincipals(clients

23. Moravcsik1997.

24. See Pollack1997;Ross 1995;andZabusky1995;butseeMoravcsik1999.

25. See Ascher1983; Ayres1983; Ferguson1990; Escobar 1995; Wade 1996; Nelson 1995; and

Finnemore1996a.

26. JointEvaluationofEmergencyAssistancetoRwanda1996.

27. See Pollack1997;Lake 1996;Vaubel1991;andDillon,Ilgen,andWillett1991.

706 InternationalOrganization

hiringlawyers,patientsvisitingdoctors)whoseongoingindependentexistencemakes

specificationofindependentinterestsrelativelystraightforward.The lawyerorthe doctorwouldprobablybe inbusinessevenifyouandI didnottakeourproblemsto them.1Os,on theotherhand,areoftencreatedbytheprincipals(states)andgiven missionstatementswrittenbytheprincipals.How,then,canwe imputeindependent preferencesa priori? ScholarsofAmericanpoliticshavemadesomeprogressinproducingsubstantive theoreticalpropositionsaboutwhatU.S. bureaucraticagencieswant.Beginningwith thepioneeringworkofWilliamNiskanen,scholarstheorizedthatbureaucracieshad interestsdefinedbytheabsoluteorrelativesizeoftheirbudgetandtheexpansionor protectionoftheirturf.Atfirsttheseinterestswereimputed,andlatertheybecame

morecloselyinvestigated,substantiated,andinsomecasesmodifiedorrejectedalto-

gether.29

Realismandliberalism,however,providenobasisforassertingindependentutil-

ityfunctionsfor1Os.Ontologically,thesearetheoriesaboutstates.Theyprovideno

basisforimputingintereststoIOs beyondthegoalsstates(thatis,principals)give

them.SimplyadoptingtheratherbatteredNiskanenhypothesisseemslessthanprom-

isinggiventheglaringanomalies-forexample,theoppositionofmanyNATOand

OSCE (OrganizationforSecurityandCooperationinEurope)bureaucratstothose organizations'recentexpansionandinstitutionalization.Therearegoodreasonsto assumethatorganizationscareabouttheirresourcebase and turf,butthereis no reasontopresumethatsuchmattersexhaustorevendominatetheirinterests.Indeed, ethnographicstudiesofIOs describea worldinwhichorganizationalgoalsarestrongly

shapedbynormsoftheprofessionthatdominatethebureaucracyandinwhichinter-

eststhemselvesarevaried,oftenin flux,debated,andworkedoutthroughinterac- tionsbetweenthestaffofthebureaucracyandtheworldin whichtheyareembed-

ded.30

Variousstrandsofsociologicaltheorycanhelpusinvestigatethegoalsandbehav-

iorofIOs by offeringa verydifferentanalyticalorientationthantheone usedby

economists.BeginningwithWeber,sociologistshaveexploredthenotionthatbureau-

cracyis a peculiarlymodernculturalformthatembodiescertainvaluesandcanhave

itsowndistinctagendaandbehavioraldispositions.Ratherthantreatingorganiza-

tionsas merearenasor mechanismsthroughwhichotheractorspursueinterests, manysociologicalapproachesexplorethesocial contentof theorganization-its culture,itslegitimacyconcerns,dominantnormsthatgovernbehaviorand shape interests,andtherelationshipof theseto a largernormativeandculturalenviron- ment.Ratherthanassumingbehaviorthatcorrespondsto efficiencycriteriaalone, theseapproachesrecognizethatorganizationsalso are boundup withpowerand socialcontrolinwaysthatcaneclipseefficiencyconcerns.

29.

See Niskanen1971;MillerandMoe 1983;WeingastandMoran1983;Moe 1984;andSigelman

1986.

PathologiesofInternationalOrganizations707

The Power ofIOs

IOs canbecomeautonomoussitesofauthority,independentfromthestate"princi- pals"whomayhavecreatedthem,becauseofpowerflowingfromatleasttwosources:

(1) thelegitimacyoftherational-legalauthoritytheyembody,and(2) controlover technicalexpertiseandinformation.Thefirstoftheseis almostentirelyneglectedby thepoliticalscienceliterature,andthesecond,we argue,hasbeenconceivedofvery narrowly,leadingscholarsto overlooksomeof themostbasic and consequential formsofIO influence.Takentogether,thesetwofeaturesprovidea theoreticalbasis fortreatingIOs as autonomousactorsincontemporaryworldpoliticsbyidentifying sourcesofsupportforthem,independentofstates,inthelargersocialenvironment. Sincerational-legalauthorityandcontroloverexpertisearepartofwhatdefinesand constitutesanybureaucracy(a bureaucracywouldnotbea bureaucracywithoutthem), theautonomythatflowsfromthemis bestunderstoodas a constitutiveeffect,an effectofthewaybureaucracyis constituted,which,inturn,makespossible(andin thatsensecauses)otherprocessesandeffectsinglobalpolitics.

SourcesofIO AutonomyandAuthority

To understandhowIOs canbecomeautonomoussitesofauthoritywe turntoWeber andhisclassicstudyofbureaucratization.Weberwas deeplyambivalentaboutthe increasinglybureaucraticworldinwhichhelivedandwas well-attunedtothevices as wellas thevirtuesofthisnewsocialformofauthority.3"Bureaucraciesarerightly considereda grandachievement,he thought.Theyprovidea frameworkforsocial interactionthatcanrespondtotheincreasinglytechnicaldemandsofmodernlifeina

stable,predictable,andnonviolentway;theyexemplifyrationalityandaretechni-

callysuperiortopreviousformsofrulebecausetheybringprecision,knowledge,and continuityto increasinglycomplexsocial tasks.32But suchtechnicaland rational

achievements,accordingtoWeber,comeata steepprice.Bureaucraciesarepolitical creaturesthatcanbe autonomousfromtheircreatorsandcancometodominatethe

societiestheywerecreatedtoserve,becauseofboththenormativeappealofrational-

legalauthorityinmodernlifeandthebureaucracy'scontrolovertechnicalexpertise andinformation.Weconsidereachinturn. Bureaucraciesembodya formofauthority,rational-legalauthority,thatmodernity viewsas particularlylegitimateandgood.In contrastto earlierformsofauthority thatwereinvestedin a leader,legitimatemodernauthorityis investedinlegalities, procedures,andrulesandthusrenderedimpersonal.Thisauthorityis "rational"in thatitdeployssociallyrecognizedrelevantknowledgetocreaterulesthatdetermine

howgoalswillbe pursued.Theveryfactthattheyembodyrationalityis whatmakes bureaucraciespowerfulandmakespeoplewillingtosubmittothiskindofauthority.

31. See Weber1978,196-97;Weber1947;Mouzelis1967;andBeetham1985and1996.

708 InternationalOrganization

AccordingtoWeber,

inlegalauthority,submissiondoesnotrestuponthebeliefanddevotionto

charismaticallygiftedpersons

masterwhois definedbyanorderedtradition

authorityis baseduponan impersonalbondtothegenerallydefinedand functional"dutyofoffice."Theofficialduty-likethecorrespondingrightto exerciseauthority:the"jurisdictionalcompetency"-isfixedbyrationally establishednorms,byenactments,decrees,andregulationsinsucha mannerthat thelegitimacyoftheauthoritybecomesthelegalityofthegeneralrule,whichis

purposelythoughtout,enacted,andannouncedwithformalcorrectness.33

oruponpietytowarda

personallordand

Rathersubmissionunderlegal

Whenbureaucratsdo somethingcontraryto yourinterestsorthatyoudo notlike,

theydefendthemselvesby saying'"Sorry,thosearetherules"or "justdoingmy job." "Therules"and"thejob" arethesourceofgreatpowerinmodemsociety.Itis becausebureaucratsinIOs areperforming"dutiesofoffice"andimplementing"ra- tionallyestablishednorms"thattheyarepowerful.

A secondbasis of autonomyand authority,intimatelyconnectedto thefirst,is

bureaucraticcontroloverinformationandexpertise.A bureaucracy'sautonomyde- rivesfromspecializedtechnicalknowledge,training,andexperiencethatis notim- mediatelyavailableto otheractors.Whilesuchknowledgemighthelpthebureau- cracycarryoutthedirectivesofpoliticiansmoreefficiently,Weberstressedthatit also givesbureaucraciespoweroverpoliticians(andotheractors).It invitesandat

timesrequiresbureaucraciestoshapepolicy,notjustimplementit.34

The ironyin bothofthesefeaturesofauthorityis thattheymakebureaucracies

powerfulpreciselybycreatingtheappearanceofdepoliticization.Thepowerof1Os,

andbureaucraciesgenerally,is thattheypresentthemselvesas impersonal,techno- cratic,andneutral-asnotexercisingpowerbutinsteadas servingothers;thepresen- tationandacceptanceoftheseclaimsis criticaltotheirlegitimacyandauthority.35

Weber,however,sawthroughtheseclaims.Accordingtohim,thedepoliticizedchar-

acterof bureaucracythatlegitimatesit couldbe a myth:"Behindthefunctional

purposes[ofbureaucracy],ofcourse,'ideasofculture-values'usuallystand."36Bu-

reaucraciesalwaysservesomesocialpurposeorsetofculturalvalues.Thatpurpose maybe normatively"good,"as WeberbelievedthePrussiannationalismaroundhim was,buttherewasnoa priorireasontoassumethis.

In additiontoembodyingculturalvaluesfromthelargerenvironmentthatmight

be desirableornot,bureaucraciesalso carrywiththembehavioraldispositionsand valuesflowingfromtherationalitythatlegitimatesthemas a culturalform.Someof

these,likethecelebrationofknowledgeandexpertise,Weberadmired.Otherscon-

cernedhimgreatly,andhisdescriptionsofbureaucracyas an "ironcage"andbureau-

cratsas "specialistswithoutspirit"arehardlyan endorsementofthebureaucratic

33. GerthandMills1978,299 (italicsinoriginal).

34. See GerthandMills1978,233; Beetham1985,74-75; andSchaar1984,120.

35. WethankJohnBoli forthisinsight.AlsoseeFisher1997;Ferguson1990;ShoreandWright1997;

andBurleyandMattli1993.

36. GerthandMills1978,199.

PathologiesofInternationalOrganizations709

form.37Bureaucracycan underminepersonalfreedominimportantways.The very impersonal,rule-boundcharacterthatempowersbureaucracyalso dehumanizesit. Bureaucraciesoftenexercisetheirpowerinrepressiveways,inthenameofgeneral rulesbecauserulesaretheirraisond'etre.Thistendencyis exacerbatedbytheway

bureaucraciesselectandrewardnarrowedprofessionalsseekingsecurecareersinter-

nally-people who are "lackingin heroism,humanspontaneity,and inventive- ness."738FollowingWeber,we investigateratherthanassumethe "goodness"of bureaucracy. Weber'sinsightsprovidea powerfulcritiqueofthewaysin whichinternational relationsscholarshavetreated1Os.The legitimacyofrational-legalauthoritysug- geststhatIOs mayhave an authorityindependentof thepoliciesandinterestsof statesthatcreatethem,a possibilityobscuredbythetechnicalandapoliticaltreat- mentofIOs bybothrealistsandneoliberals.Norhaverealistsandneoliberalsconsid- eredhowcontroloverinformationhandsIOs a basisofautonomy.SusanStrange,at theforefrontamongrealistsinclaimingthatinformationis power,hasemphatically statedthatIOs aresimplytheagentsofstates.Neoliberalshavetendedtotreatinfor- mationina highlytechnocraticanddepoliticizedway,failingtoseehowinformation is power.39As IOs createtransparenciesandlevelinformationasymmetriesamong states(a commonpolicyprescriptionof neoliberals)theycreatenew information asymmetriesbetweenIOs andstates.GiventheneoliberalassumptionthatIOs have no goalsindependentofstates,suchasymmetriesareunimportant;butifIOs have autonomousvaluesandbehavioralpredispositions,thensuchasymmetriesmaybe highlyconsequential. Examplesofthewaysin whichIOs havebecomeautonomousbecauseoftheir

embodimentoftechnicalrationalityandcontroloverinformationarenothardtofind. The UN's peacekeepersderivepartoftheirauthorityfromtheclaimthattheyare

independent,objective,neutralactorswhosimplyimplementSecurityCouncilreso-

lutions.UN officialsroutinelyusethislanguagetodescribetheirroleandareexplicit

thattheyunderstandthisto be thebasisoftheirinfluence.As a consequence,UN officialsspendconsiderabletimeandenergyattemptingtomaintaintheimagethat theyarenottheinstrumentofanygreatpowerandmustbe seenas representativesof "theinternationalcommunity"as embodiedintherulesandresolutionsoftheUN.40 The WorldBankis widelyrecognizedto haveexercisedpoweroverdevelopment policiesfargreaterthanitsbudget,as a percentageofNorth/Southaidflows,would suggestbecauseof theexpertiseit houses.Whilecompetingsitesof expertisein developmenthaveproliferatedin recentyears,fordecadesafteritsfoundingthe WorldBankwas a magnetforthe"bestandbrightest"among"developmentex-

perts.?"Itsstaffhadandcontinuestohaveimpressivecredentialsfromthemostpres-

37. See Weber[1930]1978,181-83;andClegg1994a,152-55.

38. GerthandMills 1978,216,50, 299. Fortheextrememanifestationofthisbureaucraticcharacter-

istic,seeArendt1977.

39. See Strange1997;andKeohane1984.

40. See DavidRieff,"TheInstitutionthatSaw No Evil,"TheNewRepublic,12February1996,19-24;

andBarnett1997b.

710 InternationalOrganization

tigiousuniversitiesand theelaboratemodels,reports,and researchgroupsit has

sponsoredovertheyearswerewidelyinfluentialamongthe"developmentexperts" inthefield.Thisexpertise,coupledwithitsclaimto"neutrality"andits"apolitical" technocraticdecision-makingstyle,havegiventheWorldBankanauthoritativevoice withwhichithas successfullydictatedthecontent,direction,and scopeof global

developmentoverthepastfiftyyears.41Similarly,officialstandingandlongexperi-

encewithreliefeffortshaveendowedtheUNHCR with"expert"statusandconse-

quentauthorityinrefugeematters.Thisexpertise,coupledwithitsroleinimplement-

inginternationalrefugeeconventionsandlaw ("therules"regardingrefugees),has

allowedtheUNHCRtomakelifeanddeathdecisionsaboutrefugeeswithoutconsult-

ingtherefugees,themselves,andto compromisetheauthorityofstatesin various

waysin settingup refugeecamps.42Notethat,as theseexamplesshow,technical knowledgeandexpertiseneednotbe "scientific"innaturetocreateautonomyand

powerfor1Os.

ThePowerofIOs

IfIOs haveautonomyandauthorityintheworld,whatdo theydo withit?A growing bodyofresearchin sociologyandanthropologyhas examinedwaysin whichIOs exercisepowerbyvirtueoftheirculturallyconstructedstatusas sitesofauthority;we distillfromthisresearchthreebroadtypesofIO power.We examinehowIOs (1) classifytheworld,creatingcategoriesofactorsandaction;(2) fixmeaningsin the socialworld;and(3) articulateanddiffusenewnorms,principles,andactorsaround theglobe.All of thesesourcesofpowerflowfromtheabilityof IOs to structure

knowledge.43

Classification. An elementaryfeatureof bureaucraciesis thattheyclassifyand organizeinformationandknowledge.Thisclassificationprocessis boundup with power."Bureaucracies,"writesDon Handelman,"are waysof making,ordering, andknowingsocialworlds."Theydo thisby"movingpersonsamongsocialcatego-

riesorbyinventingandapplyingsuchcategories."44Theabilitytoclassifyobjects,

toshifttheirverydefinitionandidentity,is oneofbureaucracy'sgreatestsourcesof power.Thispoweris frequentlytreatedbytheobjectsofthatpoweras accomplished throughcapriceand withoutregardto theircircumstancesbutis legitimatedand justifiedbybureaucratswithreferenceto therulesandregulationsof thebureau- cracy.Consequencesofthisbureaucraticexerciseofpowermaybe identitydefining, orevenlifethreatening. Considertheevolvingdefinitionof"refugee."Thecategory"refugee"isnotatall straightforwardandmustbe distinguishedfromothercategoriesofindividualswho

41. See Wade1996;Ayres1983;Ascher1983;Finnemore1996b;andNelson1995.

42. See Malkki1996;Hartigan1992;andHarrell-Bond1989.

43. See Foucault1977,27; andClegg 1994b,156-59.Internationalrelationstheorytypicallydisre-

gardsthenegativesideoftheknowledgeandpowerequation.Foranexample,seeHaas 1992.

44. Handelman1995,280. See alsoStarr1992;andWright1994,22.

PathologiesofInternationalOrganizations711

are "temporarily"and "involuntarily"livingoutsidetheircountryof origin- displacedpersons,exiles,economicmigrants,guestworkers,diasporacommunities, andthoseseekingpoliticalasylum.The debateoverthemeaningof "refugee"has beenwagedinandaroundtheUNHCR.TheUNHCR's legalandoperationaldefini- tionofthecategorystronglyinfluencesdecisionsaboutwhois a refugeeandshapes UNHCR staffdecisionsinthefield-decisionsthathavea tremendouseffecton the

lifecircumstanceofthousandsofpeople.45Thesecategoriesarenotonlypolitical

andlegalbutalso discursive,shapinga viewamongUNHCR officialsthatrefugees must,bydefinition,be powerless,andthatas powerlessactorstheydonothavetobe consultedindecisionssuchas asylumandrepatriationthatwilldirectlyanddramati-

callyaffectthem.46GuyGransimilarlydescribeshowtheWorldBanksetsupcriteria

to definesomeoneas a peasantin orderto distinguishthemfroma farmer,day laborer,andothercategories.Theclassificationmattersbecauseonlycertainclasses of peopleare recognizedby theWorldBank's developmentmachineryas having knowledgethatis relevantin solvingdevelopmentproblems.47Categorizationand classificationarea ubiquitousfeatureofbureaucratizationthathaspotentiallyimpor- tantimplicationsforthosebeingclassified.To classifyis to engagein an act of power.

The fixingofmeanings. IOs exercisepowerbyvirtueoftheirabilitytofixmean- ings,whichis relatedtoclassification.48Namingorlabelingthesocialcontextestab- lishestheparameters,theveryboundaries,ofacceptableaction.Becauseactorsare orientedtowardobjectsandobjectivesonthebasisofthemeaningthattheyhavefor them,beingabletoinvestsituationswitha particularmeaningconstitutesanimpor- tantsourceofpower.49IOs do notactalonein thisregard,buttheirorganizational resourcescontributemightilytothisend. Thereis strongevidenceofthispowerfromdevelopmentstudies.ArturoEscobar exploreshowtheinstitutionalizationoftheconceptof "development"afterWorld WarII spawneda hugeinternationalapparatusandhowthisapparatushasnowspread

itstentaclesindomesticandinternationalpoliticsthroughthediscourseofdevelop-

ment.The discourseof development,createdand arbitratedin largepartby 1Os, determinesnotonlywhatconstitutestheactivity(whatdevelopmentis) butalsowho (orwhat)is consideredpowerfulandprivileged,thatis,whogetstodo thedevelop- ing(usuallythestateor1Os)andwhois theobjectofdevelopment(localgroups).50 Similarly,theendoftheColdWarencourageda reexaminationofthedefinitionof security.51IOs havebeenattheforefrontofthisdebate,arguingthatsecuritypertains notonlyto statesbutalso to individualsand thatthethreatsto securitymaybe

45. See WeissandPasic 1997;Goodwin-Gill1996;andAnonymous1997.

46. See Harrell-Bond1989;Walkup1997;andMalkki1996.

47. Gran1986.

48. See Williams1996;Clegg1994b;Bourdieu1994;Carr[1939] 1964;andKeeley1990.

49. Blumer1969.

50. See Gupta1998;Escobar1995;CooperandPackard1998;Gran1986;Ferguson1990;andWade1996.

51. See Matthews1989;andKrauseandWilliams1996.

712 InternationalOrganization

economic,environmental,and politicalas well as military.52In forwardingthese alternativedefinitionsofsecurity,officialsfromvariousIOs areempoweringa differ- entsetofactorsandlegitimatingan alternativesetofpractices.Specifically,when securitymeantsafetyfrominvadingnationalarmies,itprivilegedstateofficialsand investedpowerin militaryestablishments.Thesealternativedefinitionsofsecurity

shiftattentionawayfromstatesandtowardtheindividualswhoarefrequentlythreat-

enedbytheirowngovernment,awayfrommilitarypracticesandtowardotherfea-

turesof sociallifethatmightrepresenta moreimmediateanddailydangerto the livesofindividuals.

Oneconsequenceoftheseredefinedmeaningsofdevelopmentandsecurityis that

theylegitimate,andevenrequire,increasedlevelsofIO interventioninthedomestic affairsofstates-particularlyThirdWorldstates.Thisis fairlyobviousintherealm ofdevelopment.TheWorldBank,theInternationalMonetaryFund(IMF), andother developmentinstitutionshaveestablisheda web ofinterventionsthataffectnearly everyphaseoftheeconomyandpolityinmanyThirdWorldstates.As "ruraldevel- opment,""basic humanneeds,"and "structuraladjustment"becameincorporated intothemeaningof development,IOs werepermitted,evenrequired,to become

intimatelyinvolvedinthedomesticworkingsofdevelopingpolitiesbypostingin-

house"advisors"torunmonetarypolicy,reorganizingthepoliticaleconomyofen-

tireruralregions,regulatingfamilyandreproductivepractices,andmediatingbe-

tweengovernmentsandtheircitizensina varietyofways.53 Theconsequencesofredefiningsecuritymaybe similar.Democratization,human rights,and theenvironmenthave all now becometiedto internationalpeace and security,andIOs justifytheirinterventionsinmemberstateson thesegrounds,par- ticularlyindevelopingstates.Forexample,duringtheanti-apartheidstruggleinSouth Africa,humanrightsabusescame to be classifiedas securitythreatsby theUN SecurityCouncilandprovidedgroundsforUN involvementthere.Now,thatlinkage betweenhumanrightsandsecurityhasbecomea stapleofthepost-ColdWarenvi- ronment.WidespreadhumanrightsabusesanywherearenowcauseforUN interven- tion,and,conversely,theUN cannotcarryoutpeacekeepingmissionswithoutpro-

motinghumanrights.54Similarly,environmentaldisastersinEasternEuropeandthe

newlyindependentstatesoftheformerSovietUnionandwaterrightsallocationsin theMiddleEasthavealso cometobe discussedundertherubricof "environmental security"andarethusgroundsforIO intervention.TheUnitedNationsDevelopment Programarguesthatthereis an importantlinkbetweenhumansecurityandsustain- abledevelopmentandimplicitlyarguesforgreaterinterventioninthemanagement ofenvironmentas a meanstopromotehumansecurity.55

Diffusionofnorms. Havingestablishedrulesandnorms,IOs areeagertospread thebenefitsoftheirexpertiseandoftenactas conveyorbeltsforthetransmissionof

52. See UN DevelopmentProgram1994;andBoutros-Ghali1995.

53. See Escobar1995;Ferguson1990;andFeldstein1998.

54. WorldConferenceonHumanRights1993.

55. UN DevelopmentProgram1994.

PathologiesofInternationalOrganizations713

normsand modelsof "good" politicalbehavior.56Thereis nothingaccidentalor

unintendedaboutthisrole.OfficialsinIOs ofteninsistthatpartoftheirmissionis to spread,inculcate,andenforceglobalvaluesandnorms.Theyarethe"missionaries" ofourtime.Armedwitha notionofprogress,anideaofhowtocreatethebetterlife, and someunderstandingof theconversionprocess,manyIO eliteshave as their statedpurposea desireto shapestatepracticesby establishing,articulating,and

transmittingnormsthatdefinewhatconstitutesacceptableandlegitimatestatebehav-

ior.To be sure,theirsuccessdependson morethantheirpersuasivecapacities,for theirrhetoricmustbe supportedbypower,sometimes(butnotalways)statepower. Buttooverlookhowstatepowerandorganizationalmissionariesworkintandemand thewaysin whichIO officialschanneland shapestates'exerciseof poweris to disregarda fundamentalfeatureofvaluediffusion.57 Considerdecolonizationas an example.The UN Charterannouncedan intentto universalizesovereigntyas a constitutiveprincipleofthesocietyofstatesata time whenoverhalftheglobewasundersomekindofcolonialrule;italsoestablishedan institutionalapparatustoachievethatend(mostprominentlytheTrusteeshipCouncil and theSpecial Committeeon Colonialism).These actionshad severalconse- quences.One was toeliminatecertaincategoriesofacceptableactionforpowerful states.Thosestatesthatattemptedto retaintheircolonialprivilegeswereincreas- inglyviewedas illegitimatebyotherstates.Anotherconsequencewas toempower internationalbureaucrats(attheTrusteeshipCouncil)tosetnormsandstandardsfor "stateness."Finally,theUN helpedto ensurethatthroughoutdecolonizationthe sovereigntyofthesenewstateswas coupledwithterritorialinviolability.Colonial boundariesoftendividedethnicandtribalgroups,andtheUN was quiteconcerned thatin theprocessof "self-determination,"thesegovernmentscontaining"mul- tiple"or"partial"selvesmightattempttocreatea wholepersonalitythroughterrito- rialadjustment-afearsharedbymanyofthesenewlydecolonizedstates.TheUN

encouragedtheacceptanceofthenormofsovereignty-as-territorial-integritythrough resolutions,monitoringdevices,commissions,and one famouspeacekeepingepi-

sodeinCongointhe1960s.58

Notethat,as withotherJOpowers,normdiffusion,too,has an expansionarydy- namic.Developingstatescontinuetobe populartargetsfornormdiffusionby1Os, evenaftertheyareindependent.TheUN andtheEuropeanUnionarenowactively

involvedinpolicetraininginnon-WesternstatesbecausetheybelieveWesternpolic-

ingpracticeswillbe moreconducivetodemocratizationprocessesandtheestablish- mentofcivilsociety.Buthavinga professionalpoliceestablishmentassumesthat thereis a professionaljudiciaryandpenalsystemwherecriminalscanbe triedand jailed; anda professionaljudiciary,in turn,presupposesthattherearelawyersthat cancomebeforethecourt.Trainedlawyerspresupposea codeoflaw.Theresultis a packageofreformssponsoredbyIOs aimedattransformingnon-Westernsocieties

56. See Katzenstein1996;Finnemore1996b;andLegro1997.

57. See Alger1963,425; andClaude1966,373.

58. See McNeely1995;andJackson1993.

714 InternationalOrganization

intoWesternsocieties.59Again,whileWesternstatesareinvolvedintheseactivities

andthereforetheirvaluesandinterestsarepartofthereasonsforthisprocess,inter-

nationalbureaucratsinvolvedintheseactivitiesmaynotseethemselvesas doingthe biddingforthesestatesbutratheras expressingtheinterestsandvaluesofthebureau- cracy.

Otherexamplesofthiskindofnormdiffusionarenothardtofind.The IMF and theWorldBankareexplicitabouttheirroleas transmittersofnormsandprinciples

fromadvancedmarketeconomiestoless-developedeconomies.60TheIMF'sArticles

ofAgreementspecificallyassignitthistaskofincorporatingless-developedecono-

miesintotheworldeconomy,whichturnsouttomeanteachingthemhowto "be" marketeconomies.The WorldBank,similarly,has a majorrolein arbitratingthe meaningofdevelopmentandnorm'sofbehaviorappropriatetothetaskofdeveloping oneself,as was discussedearlier.The endoftheCold Warhas openedup a whole newsetof statesto thiskindofnormdiffusiontaskfor1Os.Accordingto former SecretaryofDefenseWilliamPerry,oneofthefunctionsofNATO expansionis to inculcate"modern"valuesandnormsintotheEasternEuropeancountriesandtheir militaries.61TheEuropeanBankforReconstructionandDevelopmenthas,as partof itsmandate,thejob of spreadingdemocracyandprivateenterprise.The OSCE is strivingto createa communitybased on sharedvalues,amongtheserespectfor democracyandhumanrights.Thislinkageis also strongattheUN as evidentinThe

AgendaforDemocratizationandTheAgendaforPeace.62Oncedemocratizationand

humanrightsaretiedto internationalpeace and security,thedistinctionsbetween internationalanddomesticgovernancebecomeeffectivelyerasedandIOs haveli-

censetointervenealmostanywhereinanauthoritativeandlegitimatemanner.63

Realistsandneoliberalsmaywelllookattheseeffectsandarguethattheclassifi-

catoryschemes,meanings,andnormsassociatedwithIOs are mostlyfavoredby strongstates.Consequently,theywouldargue,thepowerwe attributetoIOs is sim-

plyepiphenomenalofstatepower.Thisargumentiscertainlyonetheoreticalpossibil-

ity,butitis nottheonlyoneandmustbe testedagainstothers.Ourconcernis that becausethesetheoriesprovideno ontologicalindependencefor1Os,theyhaveno waytotestforautonomynorhavetheyanytheoreticalcauseorinclinationtotestfor itsince,bytheoreticalaxiom,autonomycannotexist.Theoneempiricaldomainin whichthestatistviewhas beenexplicitlychallengedis theEuropeanUnion,and

empiricalstudiestherehavehardlyproducedobviousvictoryforthe"intergovern-

mentalist"approach.64Recentempiricalstudiesintheareasofhumanrights,weap-

ons taboos,andenvironmentalpracticesalso castdoubton thestatistapproachby

providingevidenceaboutthewaysinwhichnongovernmentalandintergovernmen-

59. Call andBamettforthcoming.

60. Wade1996.

61. See Perry1996;andRuggie1996.

62. Boutros-Ghali1995and1996a,b.

63. KeenandHendrie,however,suggestthatnongovernmentalorganizationsandIOs canbe thelong-

termbeneficiariesofintervention.See Keen 1994;andHendrie1997.

64. See BurleyandMattli1993;Pollack1997;andSandholtz1993.

PathologiesofInternationalOrganizations715

tal organizationssuccessfullypromotepoliciesthatare not(or notinitially)sup-

portedbystrongstates.65CertainlythereareoccasionswhenstrongstatesdodriveIO

behavior,buttherearealsotimeswhenotherforcesareatworkthateclipseorsignifi-

cantlydampentheeffectsofstateson1Os.Whichcausalmechanismsproducewhich

effectsunderwhichconditionsis a setofrelationshipsthatcanbeunderstoodonlyby intensiveempiricalstudyof howtheseorganizationsactuallydo theirbusiness- researchthatwouldtracetheoriginsandevolutionofIO policies,theprocessesby

whichtheyareimplemented,discrepanciesbetweenimplementationandpolicy,and

overalleffectsofthesepolicies.

The PathologiesofIOs

Bureaucraciesarecreated,propagated,andvaluedinmodemsocietybecauseoftheir

supposedrationalityandeffectivenessincarryingoutsocialtasks.Thesesamecon-

siderationspresumablyalso applyto1Os.Ironically,though,thefolkwisdomabout bureaucraciesis thattheyareinefficientandunresponsive.Bureaucraciesareinfa- mousforcreatingandimplementingpoliciesthatdefyrationallogic,foractingin waysthatare at odds withtheirstatedmission,and forrefusingrequestsof and turningtheirbackson thoseto whomtheyareofficiallyresponsible.66Scholarsof U.S. bureaucracyhaverecognizedthisproblemandhavedevotedconsiderableen- ergytounderstandinga widerangeofundesirableandinefficientbureaucraticbehav- iorscausedbybureaucraticcaptureandslackandtoexploringtheconditionsunder

which"suboptimalequilibria"mayariseinorganizationalstructures.Similarly,schol-

arsresearchingforeignpolicydecisionmakingand,morerecently,thoseinterested inlearninginforeignpolicyhaveinvestigatedorganizationaldynamicsthatproduce

self-defeatingandinefficientbehaviorinthosecontexts.67

1Os,too,arepronetodysfunctionalbehaviors,butinternationalrelationsscholars

haverarelyinvestigatedthis,in part,we suspect,becausethetheoreticalapparatus theyuse providesfewgroundsforexpectingundesirableJObehavior.68The state-

centricutility-maximizingframeworksmostinternationalrelationsscholarshavebor-

rowedfromeconomicssimplyassumethatIOs arereasonablyresponsiveto state

interests(or,atleast,moreresponsivethanalternatives),otherwisestateswouldwith-

drawfromthem.Thisassumption,however,is a necessarytheoreticalaxiomofthese frameworks;itis rarelytreatedas a hypothesissubjecttoempiricalinvestigation.69

Withlittletheoreticalreasontoexpectsuboptimalorself-defeatingbehaviorin1Os,

thesescholarsdo notlookforitandhavehad littleto sayaboutit.Policymakers, however,havebeenquickertoperceiveandaddresstheseproblemsandareputting

65. See KeckandSikkink1998;Wapner1996;Price1997;andThomasforthcoming.

66. MarchandOlsen1989,chap.5.

67. See Nye1987;Haas 1990;Haas andHaas 1995;andSagan1993.

68. TwoexceptionsareGallaroti1991;andSnidal1996.

69. Snidal1996.

716 InternationalOrganization

 

Internal

External

Bureaucratic

Realism/

Material

politics

neoliberal

 

institutionalism

Cultural

Bureaucratic

Worldpolity

culture

model

FIGURE 1. Theoriesofinternationalorganizationdysfunction

themon thepoliticalagenda.It is timeforscholars,too,tobeginto explorethese issuesmorefully.

Inthissectionwepresentseveralbodiesoftheorizingthatmightexplaindysfunc-

tionalIO behavior,whichwe defineas behaviorthatunderminestheJO'sstated objectives.Thusourvantagepointforjudgingdysfunction(andlaterpathology)is thepubliclyproclaimedmissionoftheorganization.Theremaybe occasionswhen

overallorganizationaldysfunctionis,infact,functionalforcertainmembersoroth-

ersinvolvedinthe1O'swork,butgivenouranalysisofthewayclaimsofefficiency

and effectivenessact to legitimaterational-legalauthorityin ourculture,whether organizationsactuallydo whattheyclaimandaccomplishtheirmissionsis a particu-

larlyimportantissueto examine.Severalbodiesoftheoryprovidesomebasis for understandingdysfunctionalbehaviorby1Os,eachofwhichemphasizesa different locusofcausalityforsuchbehavior.Analyzingthesecauses,weconstructa typology oftheseexplanationsthatlocatestheminrelationtooneanother.Then,drawingon theworkofJamesMarchandJohanOlsen,Paul DiMaggioandWalterPowell,and othersociologicalinstitutionalists,we elaboratehowthesamesourcesofbureau-

craticpower,sketchedearlier,cancausedysfunctionalbehavior.Wetermthisparticu-

lartypeof dysfunctionpathology.70We identifyfivefeaturesof bureaucracythat mightproducepathology,andusingexamplesfromtheUN systemwe illustratethe

waythesemightworkin1Os.

Extanttheoriesaboutdysfunctioncanbecategorizedintwodimensions:(1) whether theylocatethecauseof JOdysfunctioninsideoroutsidetheorganization,and(2) whethertheytracethecauses to materialor culturalforces.Mappingtheorieson

thesedimensionscreatesthetypologyshowninFigure1.

Withineach cell we haveidentifieda representativebodyof theoryfamiliarto mostinternationalrelationsscholars.ExplanationsofJOdysfunctionthatemphasize thepursuitofmaterialinterestswithinan organizationtypicallyexaminehowcom-

petitionamongsubunitsovermaterialresourcesleadstheorganizationtomakedeci-

70. KarlDeutschusedtheconceptofpathologyina waysimilartoourusage.WethankHaywardAlker

forthispoint.Deutsch1963,170.

PathologiesofInternationalOrganizations717

sionsandengagein behaviorsthatareinefficientorundesirableas judgedagainst someidealpolicythatwouldbetterallowthe10 toachieveitsstatedgoals.Bureau- craticpoliticsis thebest-knowntheoryhere,andthoughcurrentscholarsofinterna- tionalpoliticshavenotwidelyadoptedthisperspectivetoexplain10 behavior,itis

relativelywelldevelopedintheolderIO literature.71GrahamAllison'scentralargu- mentis thatthe"nameofthegameis politics:bargainingalongregularizedcircuits

amongplayerspositionedhierarchicallywithinthegovernment.Governmentbehav-

iorcanthusbe understoodas

decisionsarenotmadeaftera rationaldecisionprocessbutratherthrougha competi- tivebargainingprocessoverturf,budgets,and staffthatmaybenefitpartsof the

organizationattheexpenseofoverallgoals.

Anotherbodyofliteraturetraces10 dysfunctionalbehaviortothematerialforces locatedoutsidetheorganization.Realistandneoliberaltheoriesmightpositthatstate preferencesandconstraintsareresponsibleforunderstanding10 dysfunctionalbehav- ior.InthisviewIOs arenottoblameforbadoutcomes,statesare.IOs donothavethe

luxuryofchoosingtheoptimalpolicybutratherarefrequentlyforcedtochosebe-

tweenthebad andtheawfulbecausemoredesirablepoliciesaredeniedtothemby stateswhodo notagreeamongthemselvesand/ordo notwishtoseethe10 fulfillits mandateinsomeparticularinstance.As RobertKeohaneobserved,IOs oftenengage inpoliciesnotbecausetheyarestrongandhaveautonomybutbecausetheyareweak andhavenone.73Theimportantpointofthesetheoriesis thattheytrace10 dysfunc- tionalbehaviorbacktotheenvironmentalconditionsestablishedby,ortheexplicit preferencesof,states. Culturaltheoriesalso have internaland externalvariants.We shouldnotethat manyadvocatesofculturaltheorieswouldrejecttheclaimthatan organizationcan be understoodapartfromitsenvironmentorthatcultureis separablefromthemate- rialworld.Insteadtheywouldstresshowtheorganizationis permeatedbythatenvi-

ronment,definedinbothmaterialandculturalterms,inwhichitis embedded.Many

arealso quitesensitiveto thewaysin whichresourceconstraintsandthematerial

powerofimportantactorswillshapeorganizationalculture.Thatsaid,theseargu-

mentsclearlydifferfromtheprevioustwotypesintheiremphasisonideationaland

culturalfactorsandclearlydifferamongthemselvesinthemotorsofbehaviorempha-

sized.Foranalyticalclaritywedivideculturaltheoriesaccordingtowhethertheysee theprimarycausesofthe10's dysfunctionalbehavioras derivingfromthecultureof theorganization(internal)oroftheenvironment(external).

resultsofthesebargaininggames."72In thisview,

Theworldpolitymodelexemplifiestheoriesthatlooktoexternalculturetounder-

standan 10's dysfunctionalbehavior.Therearetworeasonstoexpectdysfunctional behaviorhere.First,because10 practicesreflecta searchforsymboliclegitimacy ratherthanefficiency,10 behaviormightbe onlyremotelyconnectedtotheefficient implementationofitsgoalsandmorecloselycoupledtolegitimacycriteriathatcome

71. See Allison1971;Haas 1990;Cox etal. 1974;andCox andJacobson1977.

72. See Allison1971,144;andBendorandHammond1992.

73. Personalcommunicationtotheauthors.

718 InternationalOrganization

fromtheculturalenvironment.74For instance,manyarms-exportcontrolregimes

nowhavea multilateralcharacternotbecauseofanyevidencethatthisarchitectureis

themostefficientwaytomonitorandpreventarmsexportsbutratherbecausemulti-

lateralismhasattaineda degreeoflegitimacythatisnotempiricallyconnectedtoany efficiencycriteria.75Second,theworldpolityis fullofcontradictions;forinstance,a liberalworldpolityhasseveraldefiningprinciples,includingmarketeconomicsand

humanequality,thatmightconflictatanyonemoment.Thus,environmentsareoften

ambiguousaboutmissionsandcontainvaried,oftenconflicting,functional,norma-

tive,andlegitimacyimperatives.76Becausetheyareembeddedinthatculturalenvi-

ronment,IOs canmirrorandreproducethosecontradictions,which,inturn,canlead tocontradictoryandultimatelydysfunctionalbehavior.

Finally,organizationsfrequentlydevelopdistinctiveinternalculturesthatcanpro-

motedysfunctionalbehavior,behaviorthatwe call "pathological."Thebasiclogic ofthisargumentflowsdirectlyfromourpreviousobservationsaboutthenatureof bureaucracyas a socialform.Bureaucraciesareestablishedas rationalizedmeansto accomplishcollectivegoalsandtospreadparticularvalues.To dothis,bureaucracies createsocialknowledgeanddevelopexpertiseas theyactupontheworld(andthus exercisepower).Butthewaybureaucraciesareconstitutedtoaccomplishtheseends can,ironically,createa culturaldispositiontowardundesirableandultimatelyself-

defeatingbehavior.77Twofeaturesofthemodernbureaucraticformareparticularly

importantinthisregard.Thefirstis thesimplefactthatbureaucraciesareorganized aroundrules,routines,andstandardoperatingproceduresdesignedtotriggera stan- dardandpredictableresponsetoenvironmentalstimuli.Theserulescanbe formalor informal,butineithercasetheytellactorswhichactionis appropriateinresponseto a specificstimuli,request,ordemand.Thiskindofroutinizationis,afterall,precisely whatbureaucraciesare supposedto exhibit-itis whatmakesthemeffectiveand

competentinperformingcomplexsocialtasks.However,thepresenceofsuchrules also compromisestheextenttowhichmeans-endsrationalitydrivesorganizational behavior.Rulesandroutinesmaycometoobscureoverallmissionsandlargersocial goals.Theymaycreate"ritualizedbehavior"in bureaucratsand constructa very parochialnormativeenvironmentwithintheorganizationwhoseconnectionto the largersocialenvironmentis tenuousatbest.78 Second,bureaucraciesspecializeandcompartmentalize.Theycreatea divisionof laboronthelogicthatbecauseindividualshaveonlyso muchtime,knowledge,and expertise,specializationwillallowtheorganizationtoemulatea rationaldecision- makingprocess.79Again,thisis oneofthevirtuesofbureaucracyinthatitprovidesa

wayofovercomingthelimitationsofindividualrationalityandknowledgebyembed-

dingthoseindividualsina structurethattakesadvantageoftheircompetencieswith-

74. See MeyerandRowan1977;MeyerandZucker1989;Weber1994;andFinnemore1996a.

75. Lipson1999.

76. McNeely1995.

77. See Vaughan1996;andLipartito1995.

78. See MarchandOlsen1989,21-27; andMeyerandRowan1977.

79. See MarchandOlsen1989,26-27; andMarch1997.

PathologiesofInternationalOrganizations719

outhavingtorelyon theirweaknesses.However,it,too,has somenegativeconse- quences.Justas rulescaneclipsegoals,concentratedexpertiseandspecializationcan (andperhapsmust)limitbureaucrats'fieldofvisionandcreatesubcultureswithin

bureaucracythataredistinctfromthoseofthelargerenvironment.Professionaltrain-

ingplaysa particularlystrongroleheresincethisis onewidespreadwaywedissemi-

natespecializedknowledgeandcredential"experts."Suchtrainingoftengivesex-

perts,indeedis designedto give them,a distinctiveworldviewand normative commitments,which,whenconcentratedin a subunitofan organization,can have

pronouncedeffectsonbehavior.80

Onceinplace,an organization'sculture,understoodas therules,rituals,andbe- liefsthatareembeddedin theorganization(anditssubunits),hasimportantconse- quencesforthewayindividualswhoinhabitthatorganizationmakesenseof the world.It providesinterpretiveframesthatindividualsuse to generatemeaning.81 Thisis morethanjustboundedrationality;inthisview,actors'rationalityitself,the verymeansand endsthattheyvalue,are shapedby theorganizationalculture.82 Divisionsand subunitswithintheorganizationmaydeveloptheirown cognitive frameworksthatareconsistentwithbutstilldistinctfromthelargerorganization, furthercomplicatingthisprocess. All organizationshavetheirownculture(or cultures)thatshapetheirbehavior. Theeffectsofbureaucraticculture,however,neednotbe dysfunctional.Indeed,spe- cificorganizationalculturesmaybe valuedand activelypromotedas a sourceof "good" behavior,as studentsofbusinesscultureknowverywell. Organizational cultureis tiedto "good" and"bad" behavior,alike,andtheeffectsoforganizational cultureonbehaviorareanempiricalquestiontobe researched. To furthersuchresearch,we drawfromstudiesinsociologyandanthropologyto

explorefivemechanismsbywhichbureaucraticculturecanbreedpathologiesin1Os:

theirrationalityofrationalization,universalism,normalizationofdeviance,organiza-

tionalinsulation,andculturalcontestation.The firstthreeofthesemechanismsall flowfromdefiningfeaturesofbureaucracyitself.Consequently,we expectthemto be presentinanybureaucracytoa limiteddegree.Theirseveritymaybe increased, however,byspecificempiricalconditionsoftheorganization.Vaguemission,weak feedbackfromtheenvironment,andstrongprofessionalismall havethepotentialto exacerbatethesemechanismsandtocreatetwoothers,organizationalinsulationand culturalcontestation,throughprocesseswe describelater.Ourclaim,therefore,is thattheverynatureofbureaucracy-the"socialstuff"ofwhichitis made-creates behavioralpredispositionsthatmakebureaucracyproneto thesekindsof behav-

iors.83Buttheconnectionbetweenthesemechanismsandpathologicalbehavioris

probabilistic,notdeterministic,and is consistentwithour constitutiveanalysis. Whether,in fact,mission-defeatingbehavioroccursdependson empiricalcondi-

80. See DiMaggioandPowell1983;andSchien1996.

81. See Starr1992,160;Douglas1986;andBergerandLuckman1966,chap.1.

82. See Campbell1998,378;Alvesson1996;BurrellandMorgan1979;Dobbin1994;andImmergut

1998,14-19.

83. Wendt1998.

720 InternationalOrganization

tions.We identifythreesuchconditionsthatare particularlyimportant(mission,

feedback,andprofessionals)anddiscusshowtheyintensifytheseinherentpredispo-

sitionsandactivateorcreateadditionalones.

Irrationalityofrationalization. Weberrecognizedthatthe"rationalization"pro- cessesat whichbureaucraciesexcelledcouldbe takento extremesandultimately becomeirrationaliftherulesandproceduresthatenabledbureaucraciestodo their jobs becameendsin themselves.Ratherthandesigningthemostappropriateand efficientrulesandprocedurestoaccomplishtheirmissions,bureaucraciesoftentailor theirmissionsto fittheexisting,well-known,and comfortablerulebook.84Thus, means(rulesand procedures)maybecomeso embeddedand powerfulthatthey determineendsandthewaytheorganizationdefinesitsgoals.One observerofthe WorldBanknotedhow,atan operationallevel,thebankdidnotdecideondevelop- mentgoals andcollectdatanecessaryto pursuethem.Rather,it continuedto use existingdata-collectionproceduresandformulatedgoalsanddevelopmentplansfrom thosedataalone.85UN-mandatedelectionsmaybe anotherinstancewheremeans becomeendsinthemselves.The "end" pursuedin themanytroubledstateswhere theUN has beeninvolvedin reconstructionis presumablysomekindofpeaceful, stable,justgovernment.Towardthatend,theUN hasdevelopeda repertoireofinstru- mentsandresponsesthatarelargelyintendedtopromotesomethingakintoa demo-

craticgovernment.Amongthosevariousrepertoires,electionshavebecomeprivi-

legedas a measureof"success"anda signalofanoperation'ssuccessfulconclusion. Consequently,UN (andother10) officialshaveconductedelectionsevenwhenevi-

dencesuggeststhatsuchelectionsareeitherprematureorperhapsevencounterpro-

ductive(frequentlyacknowledgedas muchbystateandUN officials).86Inplaceslike

BosniaelectionshaveratifiedpreciselytheoutcometheUN andoutsidepowershad

intervenedtoprevent-ethniccleansing-andinplaceslikeAfricaelectionsarecriti-

cizedas exacerbatingtheveryethnictensionstheywereostensiblydesignedtoquell. UN peacekeepingmightalsoprovideexamples.As theUN begantoinvolveitself

invarious"second-generationoperations"thatentailedthemanagementandrecon-

ciliationofdomesticconflictsitturnedtotheonlyinstrumentthatwasreadilyavail-

ableinsufficientnumbers-peacekeepingunits.Peacekeepers,however,aremilitary

troops,trainedtohandleinterstateconflictandtobeinterposedbetweentwocontend-

ingnationalarmies,operatingwiththeirconsent.SomeUN staff,stateofficials,and

peacekeepingscholarsworriedthatpeacekeepersmightbe inappropriateforthede- mandsofhandlingdomesticsecurity.Theyfearedthatpeacekeeperswouldtransfer theskillsandattitudesthathadbeenhonedforoneenvironmenttoanotherwithout

fullyconsideringtheadjustmentsrequired.Accordingtosomeobservers,peacekeep-

ersdidjustthat:theycarriedtheirinterstateconflictequipmentandmindsetintonew

situationsand so createda moreaggressiveand offensivelymindedposturethan

84. Beetham1985,76.

85. See Ferguson1990;andNelson1995.

86. Paris1997.

PathologiesofInternationalOrganizations721

wouldotherwisehavebeenthecase.Theresultwas operationsthatunderminedthe

objectivesofthemandate.87

Bureaucraticuniversalism. A secondsourceofpathologyinIOs derivesfromthe

factthatbureaucracies"orchestratenumerouslocalcontextsatonce."88Bureaucrats

necessarilyflattendiversitybecausetheyare supposedto generateuniversalrules

andcategoriesthatare,bydesign,inattentiveto contextualandparticularisticcon- cerns.Partofthejustificationforthis,ofcourse,is thebureaucraticviewthattechni- calknowledgeistransferableacrosscircumstances.Sometimesthisis a goodassump- tion,butnot always;whenparticularcircumstancesare not appropriateto the generalizedknowledgebeingapplied,theresultscanbe disastrous.89 ManycriticsoftheIMF's ha'ndlingoftheAsianfinancialcriseshavearguedthat theIMF inappropriatelyapplieda standardizedformulaof budgetcutsplus high interestratestocombatrapidcurrencydepreciationwithoutappreciatingtheunique

andlocalcausesofthisdepreciation.Thesegovernmentswerenotprofligatespend-

ers,and austeritypoliciesdid littleto reassureinvestors,yettheIMF prescribed roughlythesameremedythatithadinLatinAmerica.Theresult,bytheIMF's later

admission,wastomakemattersworse.90

Similarly,manyofthosewhoworkedin peacekeepingoperationsin Cambodia weretransferredtopeacekeepingoperationsinBosniaorSomaliaontheassumption thattheknowledgegainedin onelocationwouldbe applicableto others.Although sometechnicalskillscanbe transferredacrosscontexts,notallknowledgeandorga- nizationallessonsderivedfromonecontextareappropriateelsewhere.TheUN hasa longstandingcommitmenttoneutrality,whichoperationallytranslatesintotheview thattheUN shouldavoidtheuse of forceand theappearanceof partiality.This knowledgewas employedwithsomesuccessbyUN envoyYasushiAkashiinCam- bodia.Afterhis stintin Cambodia,he becametheUN SpecialRepresentativein Yugoslavia.As manycriticsofAkashihave argued,however,his commitmentto theserules,combinedwithhis failureto recognizethatBosnia was substantially differentfromCambodia,ledhimtofailtouseforcetodefendthesafehavenswhen itwasappropriateandlikelytobe effective.91

Normalizationof deviance. We derivea thirdtypeof pathologyfromDiane Vaughan'sstudyofthespaceshuttleChallengerdisasterinwhichshechroniclesthe wayexceptionstorules(deviance)overtimebecomeroutinizedandnormalpartsof procedures.92Bureaucraciesestablishrulestoprovidea predictableresponsetoenvi- ronmentalstimuliin waysthatsafeguardagainstdecisionsthatmightlead to acci- dentsandfaultydecisions.Attimes,however,bureaucraciesmakesmall,calculated

87. See Featherston1995;Chopra,Eknes,andNordbo1995;andHirschandOakley1995,chap.6.

88. Heyman1995,262.

89. Haas 1990,chap.3.

90. See Feldstein1998;RadeletandSachs 1999;andKapur1998.

91. Rieff1996.

92. Vaughan1996.

722 InternationalOrganization

deviationsfromestablishedrulesbecauseofnewenvironmentalorinstitutionalde-

velopments,explicitlycalculatingthatbendingtherulesin thisinstancedoes not createexcessiveriskofpolicyfailure.Overtime,theseexceptionscanbecomethe rule-theybecomenormal,notexceptionsatall: theycanbecomeinstitutionalized tothepointwheredevianceis "normalized."Theresultofthisprocessis thatwhatat timet1mightbe weighedseriouslyanddebatedas a potentiallyunacceptableriskor dangerousprocedurecomesto be treatedas normalat timetn.Indeed,becauseof staffturnover,thosemakingdecisionsata laterpointintimemightbe unawarethat thenow-routinebehaviorwaseverviewedas riskyordangerous. Weareunawareofanystudiesthathaveexaminedthisnormalizationofdeviance in IO decisionmaking,thoughone exampleof deviancenormalizationcomesto mind.Before1980 theUNHCR viewedrepatriationas onlyone of threedurable solutionstorefugeecrises(theothersbeingthird-countryasylumandhost-country integration).Initsview,repatriationhadtobebothsafeandvoluntarybecauseforced repatriationviolatestheinternationallegalprincipleofnonrefoulement,whichis the cornerstoneofinternationalrefugeelaw andcodifiedintheUNHCR's convention. Priorto 1980,UNHCR's discussionsofrepatriationemphasizedthattheprinciples

of safetyand voluntarinessmustbe safeguardedat all costs.Accordingto many commentators,however,theUNHCR has steadilyloweredthebarrierstorepatria- tionovertheyears.Evidenceforthiscanbe foundininternationalprotectionmanu-

als,theUNHCRExecutiveCommitteeresolutions,anddiscoursethatnowweighsrepatria-

tionandtheprincipleofnonrefoulementagainstothergoalssucha peacebuilding.This

was a steadyandincrementaldevelopmentas initialdeviationsfromorganizational normsaccumulatedovertimeandledtoa normalizationofdeviance.Theresultwas a loweringofthebarrierstorepatriationandanincreaseinthefrequencyofinvolun-

taryrepatriation.93

Insulation. Organizationsvarygreatlyin thedegreeto whichtheyreceiveand

processfeedbackfromtheirenvironmentaboutperformance.Thoseinsulatedfrom suchfeedbackoftendevelopinternalculturesandworldviewsthatdo notpromote thegoalsandexpectationsofthoseoutsidetheorganizationwhocreateditandwhom it serves.These distinctiveworldviewscan createtheconditionsforpathological behaviorwhenparochialclassificationandcategorizationschemescometo define

reality-howbureaucratsunderstandtheworld-suchthattheyroutinelyignorein-

formationthatis essentialtotheaccomplishmentoftheirgoals.94 Two causesofinsulationseemparticularlyapplicableto1Os.The firstis profes- sionalism.Professionaltrainingdoes morethanimparttechnicalknowledge.It ac- tivelyseeksto shapethenormativeorientationandworldviewsof thosewho are trained.Doctorsaretrainedtovaluelifeaboveall else,soldiersaretrainedtosacri-

93. See Chimni1993,447; AmnestyInternational1997a,b;HumanRightsWatch1997;Zieck 1997,

433,434,438-39; andBarbaraCrossette,"The ShieldforExilesIs Lowered,"TheNewYorkTimes,22

December1996,4-1.

94. See BergerandLuckman1967,chap.1; Douglas 1986;Biuner1990;MarchandOlsen1989;and

Starr1992.

PathologiesofInternationalOrganizations723

ficelifeforcertainstrategicobjectives,and economistsare trainedto value effi- ciency.Bureaucracies,by theirnature,concentrateprofessionalsinsideorganiza- tions,andconcentrationsofpeoplewiththesameexpertiseorprofessionaltraining can createan organizationalworldviewdistinctfromthelargerenvironment.Sec- ond,organizationsforwhom"successfulperformance"is difficulttomeasure-that is,theyarevaluedforwhattheyrepresentratherthanforwhattheydo anddo not

"compete"withotherorganizationsonthebasisofoutput-areprotectedfromselec-

tionandperformancepressuresthateconomisticmodelssimplyassumewilloperate. Theabsenceofa competitiveenvironmentthatselectsoutinefficientpracticescoupled withalreadyexistingtendenciestowardinstitutionalizationofrulesandprocedures insulatestheorganizationfromfeedbackandincreasesthelikelihoodofpathologies. IOs varygreatlyinthedegreetowhichtheprofessionalstheyrecruithavedistinc- tiveworldviewsandthedegreeto whichtheyfacecompetitivepressures,butitis clearlythecase thatthesefactorsinsulatesomeIOs tosomedegreeandinso doing createa tendencytowardpathology.TheWorldBank,forexample,hasbeendomi- natedformuchofitshistorybyeconomists,which,atleastinpart,hascontributedto manycritiquesofthebank'spolicies.InonesuchcritiqueJamesFergusonopenshis studyoftheWorldBank'sactivityinLesothobycomparingthebank'sintroductory descriptionofLesothoinitsreportonthatcountrytofactsontheground;he shows howthebank"creates"a worldthathaslittleresemblancetowhathistorians,geog- raphers,ordemographerssee onthegroundinLesothobutis uniquelysuitedtothe bank'sorganizationalabilitiesandpresentspreciselytheproblemsthebankknows howto solve.Thisis notsimply"staggeringlybad scholarship,"Fergusonargues, buta wayofmakingtheworldintelligibleandmeaningfulfroma particularperspec- tive-the WorldBank's.95The problem,however,is thatthisdifferentworldview

translatesintoa recordofdevelopmentfailures,whichFergusonexploresindetail. Insulationcontributestoandis causedbyanotherwell-knownfeatureoforganiza-

tions-theabsenceofeffectivefeedbackloopsthatallowtheorganizationtoevalu-

ateitseffortsandusenewinformationtocorrectestablishedroutines.Thisis surelya

"rational"procedureinanysocialtaskbutis onethatmanyorganizations,including

1Os,failtoperform.96Manyscholarsandjournalists,andeventhecurrentheadofthe

WorldBank,havenoticedthatthebankhas accumulateda ratherdistinctiverecord of"failures"butcontinuestooperatewiththesamecriteriaandhasshowna marked lackofinterestinevaluatingtheeffectivenessofitsownprojects.97Thesameis true

ofother1Os.JaratChopraobservesthatthelessons-learnedconferencesthatwere

establishedafterSomaliawerestructurallyarrangedso thatno informationcould comeoutthatwouldblemishtheUN's record.Suchattemptsatfacesaving,Chopra cautions,makeitmorelikelythatthesemaladieswillgo uncorrected.98Sometimes

95. Ferguson1990,25-73.

96. MarchandOlsen1989,chap.5; Haas 1990.

97. See Wade1996,14-17;Nelson1995,chaps.6, 7; andRichardStevenson,"The ChiefBankerfor

theNationsattheBottomoftheHeap,"NewYorkTimes,14September1997,sec.3, 1, 12-14.

98. Chopra1996.

724 InternationalOrganization

newevaluativecriteriaarehoistedinordertodemonstratethatthefailureswerenot

reallyfailuresbutsuccesses.

Culturalcontestation. Organizationalcoherenceis anaccomplishmentratherthan

a given.Organizationalcontrolwithina putativehierarchyis alwaysincomplete,

creatingpocketsofautonomyandpoliticalbattleswithinthebureaucracy.99Thisis

partlya productofthefactthatbureaucraciesareorganizedaroundtheprincipleof division-of-labor,anddifferentdivisionstendto be staffedbyindividualswhoare "experts"intheirassignedtasks.Thesedifferentdivisionsmaybattleoverbudgets ormaterialresourcesand so followthebureaucraticpoliticsmodel,buttheymay also clashbecauseofdistinctinternalculturesthatgrowupinsidedifferentpartsof theorganization.Differentsegmentsoftheorganizationmaydevelopdifferentways ofmakingsenseoftheworld,experiencedifferentlocal environments,andreceive differentstimulifromoutside;theymayalso be populatedby differentmixesof

professionsorshapedbydifferenthistoricalexperiences.Allofthesewouldcontrib-

utetothedevelopmentofdifferentlocalcultureswithintheorganizationanddiffer-

entwaysofperceivingtheenvironmentandtheorganization'soverallmission.Orga-

nizationsmaytrytominimizecomplicationsfromthesedivisionsbyarrangingthese

demandshierarchically,buttotheextentthathierarchyresolvesconflictbysquelch-

inginputfromsomesubunitsinfavorofothers,theorganizationlosesthebenefitsof

a divisionof laborthatit was supposedto provide.Morecommonly,though,at- temptstoreconcilecompetingworldviewshierarchicallyaresimplyincomplete.Most

organizationsdevelopoverlappingandcontradictorysetsofpreferencesamongsub-

groups.100Consequently,differentconstituenciesrepresentingdifferentnormative

viewswillsuggestdifferenttasksandgoalsfortheorganization,resultingina clash

ofcompetingperspectivesthatgeneratespathologicaltendencies. The existenceof culturalcontestationmightbe particularlytrueofhigh-profile andexpansiveIOs liketheUN thathavevaguemissions,broadandpoliticizedcon-

stituencies,andlotsofdivisionsthataredevelopedovertimeandinresponsetonew

environmentaldemands.Arguablya numberof themorespectaculardebaclesin recentUN peacekeepingoperationsmightbe interpretedas theproductof these contradictions. ConsidertheconflictbetweentheUN's humanitarianmissionsandthevalueit placeson impartialityandneutrality.Withintheorganizationtherearemanywho viewimpartialityas a coreconstitutiveprincipleofUN action.On theonehand,the

UN's moralstanding,itsauthority,anditsabilitytopersuadeallrestonthisprinciple. On theotherhand,theprinciplesofhumanitarianismrequiretheUN to giveaid to thosein need-values thatare particularlystrongin a numberof UN reliefand humanitarianagencies.Thesetwonormsofneutralityandhumanitarianassistance,

andthepartsofthebureaucracymostdevotedtothem,comeintodirectconflictin

thosesituationswhereprovidinghumanitarianreliefmightjeopardizetheUN's

99. See Clegg1994a,30; Vaughan1996,64; andMartin1992.

100. Haas 1990,188.

PathologiesofInternationalOrganizations725

vauntedprincipleofneutrality.Bosniais theclassiccase inpoint.On theonehand, the"all necessarymeans"provisionof SecurityCouncilresolutionsgavetheUN authoritytodeliverhumanitarianaidandprotectciviliansinthesafehavens.On the otherhand,theUN abstainedfrom"takingsides" becauseof thefearthatsuch actionswouldcompromiseitsneutralityandfutureeffectiveness.Theresultofthese conflictswas a stringofcontradictorypoliciesthatfailedtoprovideadequatelyfor theUN's expandinghumanitariancharges.101Accordingto ShashiTharoor,a UN officialintimatelyinvolvedinthesedecisions,"Itis extremelydifficulttomakewar

andpeacewiththesamepeopleonthesameterritoryatthesametime."102

UNHCR providesanotherpossibleexampleofculturalcontestation.Historically, theUNHCR's ProtectionDivisionhasarticulateda legalisticapproachtowardrefu- geemattersandthustendstoviewtheUNHCR anditselfas therefugee'slawyerand as theprotectorof refugeerightsunderinternationallaw. Those thatinhabitthe UNHCR's regionalbureaus,however,havebeencharacterizedas takinga less "nar- row"viewoftheorganization'smission,stressingthattheUNHCR musttakeinto accountthecausesofrefugeeflowsandstatepressures.Theseculturalconflictshave beenparticularlyevident,accordingtomanyobservers,whentheUNHCR contem- platesa repatriationexerciseinareasofpoliticalinstabilityandconflict:protection officersdemandthattherefugees'rights,includingtherightofnonrefoulement,be safeguarded,whereastheregionalbureausare morewillingto undertakea risky repatriationexerciseifitmightservebroaderorganizationalgoals,suchas satisfying theinterestsofmemberstates,andregionalgoals,suchas facilitatinga peaceagree- ment. 103

Althoughbureaucraticcultureis nottheonlysourceof 10 dysfunction,it is a potentiallypowerfulonethatcreatesbroadpatternsofbehaviorthatshouldinterest internationalrelationsscholars.Noneofthesourcesofpathologiessketchedhereis

likelyto appearin isolationin anyempiricaldomain.Theseprocessesinteractand feedon eachotherinwaysthatwillrequirefurthertheorizingandresearch.More- over,whilewe havehighlightedtheorganization'sinternalcharacteristics,we must

alwaysbearinmindthattheexternalenvironmentpressesuponandshapestheinter-

nalcharacteristicsoftheorganizationina hostofways.Culturalcontestationwithin

an organizationfrequentlyoriginatesfromandremainslinkedtonormativecontra- dictionsinthelargerenvironment.Demandsfromstatescanbe extremelyimportant determinantsof10 behaviorandmayoverrideinternalculturaldynamics,butthey

canalsosettheminplaceifconflictingstatedemandsresultinthecreationoforgani-

zationalstructuresormissionsthatarepronetopathology.As we begintoexplore

dysfunctionalandpathologicalbehavior,wemustbearinmindthecomplexrelation-

shipbetweendifferentcausalpathways,remainingcloselyattentivetoboththeinter-

nalorganizationaldynamicsandthe10's environment.

101. See Barnett1997a;DavidRieff,"We HateYou,"New Yorker,4 September1995,41-48; David

Rieff,"The InstitutionThatSaw No Evil,"TheNewRepublic,12February1996,19-24;andRieff1996.

102. QuotedinWeiss1996,85; alsoseeRieff1996,166,170,193.

103. See Kennedy1986;andLawyersCommitteeforHumanRights1991.

726 InternationalOrganization

Conclusion

Foralltheattentioninternationalrelationsscholarshavepaidtointernationalinstitu-

tionsoverthepastseveraldecades,we knowverylittleabouttheinternalworkings ofIOs orabouttheeffectstheyhaveintheworld.Ourignorance,we suspect,is in largeparta productofthetheoreticallenswe haveapplied.Froman economistic perspective,thetheoreticallyinterestingquestionto ask aboutIOs is whytheyare createdin thefirstplace. Economistswantto knowwhywe have firms;political

scientistswanttoknowwhywehave1Os.Inbothcases,thequestionflowsnaturally

fromfirsttheoreticalprinciples.Ifyouthinkthattheworldlookslikea microeco- nomicmarket-anarchy,firms(or states)competingto maximizetheirutilities- whatis anomalousand thereforetheoreticallyinterestingis cooperation.Conse- quently,ourresearchtendstofocusonthebargainsstatesstriketomakeorreshape 1Os.Scholarspayverylittleattentiontowhatgoeson subsequentlyintheirday-to- dayoperationsoreventhelargereffectsthattheymighthaveontheworld. ViewingIOs througha constructivistor sociologicallens,as we suggesthere, revealsfeaturesof10 behaviorthatshouldconcerninternationalrelationsscholars becausetheybearon debatescentralto ourfield-debatesaboutwhetherandhow internationalinstitutionsmatteranddebatesabouttheadequacyofa statistontology inaneraofglobalizationandpoliticalchange.Threeimplicationsofthisalternative approachareparticularlyimportant.First,thisapproachprovidesa basisfortreating IOs as purposiveactors.Mainstreamapproachesin politicalsciencethatare in- formedbyeconomictheorieshavetendedtolocateagencyinthestatesthatcomprise 10 membershipandtreatIOs as merearenasinwhichstatespursuetheirpolicies.By exploringthenormativesupportforbureaucraticauthorityin thebroaderinterna- tionalcultureandthewayIOs use thatauthorityto constructthesocialworld,we providereasonswhyIOs mayhaveautonomyfromstatemembersandwhyitmay makesenseanalyticallytotreatthemas ontologicallyindependent.Second,bypro- vidinga basisforthatautonomywealsoopenupthepossibilitythatIOs arepowerful actorswhocan haveindependenteffectson theworld.We havesuggestedvarious waysto thinkabouthow IOs are powerfulactorsin globalpolitics,all of which encouragegreaterconsiderationofhowIOs affectnotonlydiscreteoutcomesbut alsotheconstitutivebasisofglobalpolitics. Third,thisapproachalso drawsattentionto normativeevaluationsof IOs and questionswhatappearsto us to be ratheruncriticaloptimismabout10 behavior.

Contemporaryinternationalrelationsscholarshavebeenquicktorecognizetheposi-

tivecontributionsthatIOs canmake,andwe,too,aresimilarlyimpressed.Butforall

theirdesirablequalities,bureaucraciescanalsobe inefficient,ineffective,repressive,

andunaccountable.Internationalrelationsscholars,however,haveshownlittleinter-

estininvestigatingtheselesssavoryandmoredistressingeffects.TheliberalWilso-

niantraditiontendstoseeIOs as promotersofpeace,enginesofprogress,andagents foremancipation.NeoliberalshavefocusedontheimpressivewayinwhichIOs help

statestoovercomecollectiveactionproblemsandachievedurablecooperation.Real-

istshavefocusedontheirroleas stabilizingforcesinworldpolitics.Constructivists,

PathologiesofInternationalOrganizations727

too,havetendedtofocusonthemorehumaneandother-regardingfeaturesof1Os,

butthereis nothingaboutsocialconstructionthatnecessitates"good"outcomes.We do notmeanto implythatIOs are "bad"; we meanonlyto pointouttheoretical reasonswhyundesirablebehaviormayoccurandsuggestthatnormativeevaluation of10 behaviorshouldbe anempiricalandethicalmatter,notananalyticassumption.

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