After successfully defending my dissertation thesis “Participation and Transparency in Intergovernmental Security Organizations. Resource and Norm Driven Opening in the IAEA and OPCW” in late June 2016, the book is now available online in various formats. Check out https://book.tobiasweise.de to read the book online, download it as pdf or for your e-reader.
Thanks to everyone who has supported me during the five-year voyage !
Some days ago, I handed in my dissertation “Participation and Transparency in Intergovernmental Security Organizations. Resource and Norm Driven Opening in the IAEA and OPCW” at the University of Bremen. In the study, I show how the IAEA and OPCW have become more open to non-state participation and how they have become more transparent since their founding years. Both is remarkable given the high sovereignty costs that the organizations’ inspection activities have for their member states. Further, participation and transparency compete with strong norms of confidentiality in both organizations. In addition, I show that participation and transparency increase in a wide range of the organizations’ output. Both in their talk, decisions and actions, the IAEA and OPCW become more open.
Looking at explanations, I find that increasing participation is best explained by a resource based logic. Both organizations allow more non-state access for functional reasons, especially to gain expertise and advice for their inspections and verification activities. Increasing transparency, however, is best told as a norm based story. Rhetoric references to transparency and related changes in the organizations’ rules and action are strongest since a global norm of appropriate, transparent global governance has spread. In a short time, both the IAEA and OPCW have not only acknowledged that transparency should be an important principle for governance in their institutions, but also that new media strategies and investments in transparency towards the general public are required.
I will prepare a shorter version of the dissertation in the coming months. If you are already interested in the data I have collected on the organizational openness of the IAEA and OPCW, it is already available here: https://github.com/tobiasweise/igo_openness_iaea_opcw
Have you ever wondered how diplomats, i.e. arguably still the most powerful actors in international organizations, think and talk about the idea of non-state participation? In my most recent article in Global Governance, I argue that German diplomacy so far only rarely conceptualizes non-state participation in intergovernmental organizations as a valuable step improving IO legitimacy. Rather, a functional understanding of IO participation, i.e. highlighting the material benefits of NGOs and others, persists. The notion that NGOs may also contribute to a larger legitimacy of IOs, e.g. by establishing participative and transparent procedures, is rarely mentioned and even actively challenged.
Below’s the abstract. Please feel free to comment!
Who should be allowed to participate in intergovernmental organizations? There is a growing debate about the increasing opening of IGOs for nonstate actors. Explanations of this phenomenon either highlight the functional benefits of opening, or the need of opening to maintain or increase organizational legitimacy. This article analyzes how German diplomatic talk frames nonstate participation and refers to functionality or legitimacy when justifying the opening of IGOs. The perspective of diplomats, the main gatekeepers of change in IGOs, has rarely been considered for analysis. This article argues that German diplomatic discourse about opening is mainly functional. There is only limited reference to nonstate participation as an element of IGO legitimacy. Further, there are elements in German diplomatic talk that challenge the legitimacy of nonstate actors.