International Organizations: A Comparative Approach

By Werner J. Feld; Robert S. Jordan et al. | Go to book overview

3 INSTITUTIONAL AND BUREAUCRATIC DEVELOPMENTS

It was pointed out in Chapter 2 that the establishment of an IGO requires the determination of the kind of structure the prospective organization is to have. The nature and shape of this institutional framework obviously must relate to the task performance and functions that the IGO is expected to carry out. However, as was also seen in Chapter 2, political desiderata may impose constraints on purely rational considerations that are used to set up an effective management model. These desiderata have an impact, not only on the organizational details of the IGO institutions, but also on the power conferred on them by the member states.


THE RANGE OF INSTITUTIONAL PATTERNS

A look at the many IGOs existing in the world today reveals a great variety of institutional frameworks. On the one hand, there are the very extensive and intricate frameworks of the United Nations and the EC, whose institutions are housed in skyscrapers and many other buildings in different cities and states. On the other hand, much smaller and less complicated IGOs also exist for political, economic, and technical purposes. Some of these were discussed in Chapter 2.

What are some of the basic factors that determine the extent and intricacy of an IGO's institutional framework? Perhaps the most important factor is the scope and complexity of the tasks to be performed. In some cases, these tasks are in several issue areas, as is the case with the United Nations whose concerns range from dispute settlement and conflict resolution to humanitarian and human rights concerns and economic and social development. In others, the tasks require the detailed management of various economic

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