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Explaining International Organizations’ Mission Creep. How international Bureaucrats shape Bioethics

Titel Englisch Explaining International Organizations’ Mission Creep. How international Bureaucrats shape Bioethics
Gesuchsteller/in Littoz-Monnet Annabelle
Nummer 172570
Förderungsinstrument Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)
Forschungseinrichtung Institut de Hautes Etudes Internationales et du Développement
Hochschule Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies - IHEID
Hauptdisziplin Politikwissenschaften
Beginn/Ende 01.09.2017 - 31.08.2020
Bewilligter Betrag 426'224.00
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Keywords (6)

Bureaucratic Expansion; Framing; Expertise; Bureaucracies; Bioethics; International Organizations

Lay Summary (Französisch)

Lead
Les Stratégies d'Expansion des Organisations InternationalesLe Cas de la Bioéthique
Lay summary

Ce projet étudies la propension des organisations internationales à développer des politiques et des activités dans de nouveaux domaines.

L'hypothèse centrale du projet postule que ce sont des 'entrepreneurs bureaucratiques' qui jouent un rôle crucial dans ce processus d'expansion ('mission creep'). Ces entrepreneurs - des personnes détenant un poste clé dans ces organisations, qui parviennent à orienter l'action dans la direction qu'ils ont choisie - développent des stratégies centrées autour de deux axes. Tout d'abord, la mobilisations de l'expertise - interne mais aussi externe à leur organisation - est une ressource centrale. Ensuite, la mobilisation des intérêts ('constituencies') leur apporte aussi un soutien nécessaire à leur stratégie d'expansion.

Ce projet contribue à la littérature sur les organisations internationales et leur autonomie, les enjeux de bioéthique au niveau de la gouvernance internationale et les questions de régulation des développements technologiques, enjeux centraux en science politiques, mais aussi en sociologie et dans le domaine des études de la science et de la technologie.

 

Direktlink auf Lay Summary Letzte Aktualisierung: 17.08.2017

Lay Summary (Englisch)

Lead
Explaining International Organizations’ Mission CreepHow International Bureaucrats Shape Bioethics
Lay summary
How do international bureaucrats expand their missions in new policy areas? What determines their success?
The project’s core hypothesis is that international mission creep is best explained by the role of bureaucratic entrepreneurs, who can steer bureaucratic action in a given direction. Because entrepreneurial individuals typically have innovative ideas that do not always fit within their organization’s self-defined sense of mission, they may interpret the mandate of their organization creatively and even propose expansion in entirely new fields. In order to do this, they need to overcome potential resistance form member states, the possible lack of expertise of their organization in the new domain, and the lack of fit between the organization’s mandate and the new issue domain they want to step in. The project reveals the specific strategies which they use to this effect: mobilization of internal or external expertise and mobilization of interests.
I examine this theoretical framework in the case of bioethics, in which the UNESCO, the WHO and to a lesser extent the FAO have to various degrees expended  ability to enact independent policies in the field of bioethics.
In answering these questions, the project makes a key contribution to our understanding of the mechanisms of international bureaucratic expansion, the role of bureaucrats as policy-makers and ‘entrepreneurs’ able to steer policy action in given directions, and the intersection between ethics, technological innovation and regulation, topics that are central to political science, but also sociology and Science and Technology Studies.

Direktlink auf Lay Summary Letzte Aktualisierung: 17.08.2017

Verantw. Gesuchsteller/in und weitere Gesuchstellende

Mitarbeitende

Verbundene Projekte

Nummer Titel Start Förderungsinstrument
153197 Ethics Experts as a Tool of Technocratic Governance? Explaining the Uses of Ethical Expertise in Global Governance 01.07.2014 Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)

Abstract

How do international bureaucrats expand their missions in new policy areas? What determines their success? Scholars of International Organizations (IOs) explain the possibility of mission creep through three different perspectives. For state-centric explanations, IOs are platforms for intergovernmental decision-making and international bureaucrats expand into new domains essentially when their member states want them to do so. By contrast recent research has acknowledged the possibility of international bureaucrats acting independently. Principal-agent research has focused on the phenomenon of ‘agency slack’, which occurs when bureaucrats pursue their interests contrary to the princi-pal’s. From this perspective, the possibility of agency slack depends on the characteristics of IOs’ legal-institutional mandates. But this approach cannot explain why international bureaucracies can have similar mandates and show different propensity to creep into new domains. Scholars working from a sociological perspective have argued, for their part, that international bureaucrats expand beyond their original mandates when there is a rational argument that resonates within their field of expert authority or their sense of organizational mission. But bureaucratic culture is a constant across international secretariats, and while it captures some elements of overall bureaucratic influence, it does not tell us why international secretariats might show a different propensity to expand and why they may expand into domains that relate neither to their mandate, nor to their sphere of expert authority.The project’s core hypothesis, derived from my own case study research - forthcoming in International Studies Quar-terly - is that international mission creep is best explained by the role of bureaucratic entrepreneurs, who can steer bureaucratic action in a given direction. Because entrepreneurial individuals typically have innovative ideas that do not always fit within their organization’s self-defined sense of mission, they may interpret the mandate of their organi-zation creatively and even propose expansion in entirely new fields. In order to do this, they need to overcome poten-tial resistance form member states, the possible lack of expertise of their organization in the new domain, and the lack of fit between the organization’s mandate and the new issue domain they want to step in. The project reveals the spe-cific strategies which they use to this effect: mobilization of internal or external expertise and mobilization of inter-ests.I examine this theoretical framework in the case of bioethics, in which the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and to a lesser extent the Food and Agricul-ture Organization (FAO), have to various degrees expended their missions as well as their ability to enact independent policies in the field of bioethics. The project combines the use of frame analysis and process-tracing. Frame analysis provides crucial insight into their strategies of bureaucratic expansion. Process-tracing allows to trace the causal sequence of events that intervene btw independent variables and observed outcomes within each case.In answering these questions, the project makes a key contribution to our understanding of the mechanisms of interna-tional bureaucratic expansion, the role of bureaucrats as policy-makers and ‘entrepreneurs’ able to steer policy action in given directions, and the intersection between ethics, technological innovation and regulation, topics that are cen-tral to political science, but also sociology and Science and Technology Studies.
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