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CAIS Brownbag Seminar: Jörn EGE – The Policy Influence of International Secretariat.

A Department of Politics seminar
Date17 October 2018
Time13:00 to 14:15
PlaceAmory A239C

An impressive amount of evidence has been collected underpinning the importance of international public administrations (i.e., the secretariats of Intergovernmental Organizations) in a variety of policy areas, actor configurations and multilevel political contexts. However, the problem of how to systematically observe and explain bureaucratic influence still lies at the core of the research puzzles that scholars presently attempt to solve. While acknowledging the achievements of recent research efforts, we argue that it is no coincidence that the results remain rather scattered and disconnected – as no consensus has been reached about how bureaucratic influence beyond nation states might be reasonably defined or reliably observed, and how the individual insights gained could feed into the construction of a more general theory of bureaucratic influence in transnational governance. This paper develops a modest – pragmatic – proposal to improve the generalizability of bureaucratic influence research in International Public Administration Studies. We also propose a conceptualization scheme and illustrate its usefulness for two empirical cases. The argument is that in the absence of a comprehensive descriptive, let alone analytical, theory of bureaucratic influence in transnational policy-making, our proposal may help to boost the accumulative potential of current research in the area.

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