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"The Design of International Organizations. Fostering Diplomatic Deliberation?"

Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Start: October 2017 (for 3 years)

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Diana Panke

Research Associates: Franziska Hohlstein, Gurur Polat       

Research Assistants: Sarah Bordt, Lea Gerhardt, Sebastian Lehmler, Laura Lepsy, Laura Maghetiu, Leonardo Rey, Edward Vaughan, Philipp Wagenhals, Fabiola Mieth, Leylan Sida, Pauline Grimmer, Chiara Fury, Laurenz Schöffler, Nicolas Koch, Jannik Schulz, Isabel Gana Dresen

dfg-projekt deliberation 2017dt


+++ NEWS +++

New publication:

  • Diana Panke, Franziska Hohlstein, Gurur Polat (forthcoming): "The Constitutions of International Organizations. How Institutional Design Seeks to Foster Diplomatic Deliberation" in Global Constitutionalism.

 

Abstract:

Whether we look at constitutions, founding treaties, or the rules of procedure of states and International Organizations (IO), it is striking that many rules on interaction between actors create room for deliberation, whilst simultaneously limiting the time available for discussion. While the latter speeds up decision making, it risks reducing its quality and legitimacy. How are these competing elements formally and de facto balanced in IOs? Do IOs differ in this respect, and if so, how and why? The project first assesses variation in the extent to which institutional design fosters or inhibits diplomatic deliberation in IOs. Second, a survey captures the actual usage of institutional rules. On this basis, the project explains variation, fit, and mismatch in institutional design and diplomatic deliberative practices within and across IOs. Third, the project examines how and under what conditions deliberative institutional design and deliberative diplomatic practices impact IOs’ problem solving effectiveness and legitimacy. 

Major Objective:

The number of International Organizations (IOs) and the body of international law has considerably increased since the end of WWII. At the same time, we still know little about how IO institutional designs differ and how variation in their deliberative quality influences the dynamics of interaction between states and ultimately also negotiation outcomes. Accordingly, the project has three major aims: (1) to assess and explain the varying extent to which IOs are institutionally designed to facilitate deliberation among diplomats, (2) to measure deliberative diplomatic practices and explain why they differ between IOs and when and why they might deviate from the formal institutional design of a given IO, and (3) to analyze the nexus between the deliberative quality of institutional design and diplomatic practices of IOs as well as their problem solving effectiveness, decision making speed, and legitimacy. 

Thus, the project:

  • offers novel empirical insights into the extent to which IOs’ institutional designs are deliberative in nature and into deliberative diplomatic practices across a representative set of IOs

  • develops explanations for variation in diplomatic deliberation between IOs, across stages of the policy-cycle (agenda-setting, negotiation, decision-taking), across interaction arenas (plenaries, committees) and across policy areas

  • provides novel insights into the workings of institutions as well as into practices which limit the effect of deliberative design features or which operate as functional equivalents for formal institutional rules

  • generates essential and original knowledge about the extent to which an IO can foster state-state deliberation & provides insights into which compositions of deliberative design provisions could optimize the relationship between speedy, legitimate and high quality decision making in different IOs

  

 research team


 

Conference contributions:

Title: The Institutional Design of International Organizations. Fostering Deliberation or Speeding Up Decision Making?

Authors: Diana Panke, Franziska Hohlstein, and Gurur Polat

Paper prepared for the 2019 meeting of the International Studies Association, Toronto

Abstract: Whether we look at constitutions, founding treaties, or the rules of procedure of International Organizations (IO), it is striking that many rules on interaction between delegates create room for deliberation, whilst simultaneously limiting the time for discussion. While the latter speeds up decision making, it risks reducing its quality and legitimacy by hampering the exchange of information and ideas. How are these competing elements balanced in IOs? Do IOs differ in this respect, and if so, how and why? The paper draws on a unique and novel dataset and assesses variation in the extent to which institutional design fosters or inhibits diplomatic deliberation in more than 110 diverse IOs. To this end, the paper uses a combination of theories of functionalism, rational choice institutionalism and liberal approaches on variation, fit, and mismatch of deliberative institutional design within and across IOs. The hypotheses are analyzed with quantitative methods. The paper shows that diplomatic deliberative institutional design elements are the most pronounced when IOs deal high politics, are characterized by state actors with high flexibility of maneuver, and are smaller in size and regional in character.

* Paper available upon request

 

 

Title: Diplomatic Deliberative Practices in International Organizations: Does Institutional Design Matter?

Authors: Diana Panke, Franziska Hohlstein, and Gurur Polat

Paper prepared for the 2019 meeting of the International Studies Association, Toronto

Abstract: International Organizations (IOs) differ in the extent to which their institutional designs seek to foster deliberation between diplomats. Yet, we do not know how state actors behave in practice and whether the extent of diplomatic deliberation varies between IOs. Drawing on unique and novel survey data, we portray how IOs differ with respect to diplomatic deliberative practices. On the one end of the continuum are IOs such as the UNFCCC, CoE and AC in which diplomats engage in extensive deliberation, and on the other end of the continuum are IOs such as the UNWTO, IWC and NC. Diplomatic deliberative practices are most pronounced in the negotiation stage rather than during the agenda-setting and voting stages. How can this variation be explained? Based on institutional design and negotiation approaches hypotheses are developed and put to an empirical test. This provides novel insights into the inner working of institutions. Most importantly, deliberative practices are most pronounced in general, if debates take place behind closed doors. In addition, diplomats deliberate the most intensively in the agenda-setting stage if IOs are large in size. During the negotiation stage, the extent to which the institutional design seeks to foster deliberation and the flexibility of actors is conducive to deliberative practices. In the voting stage, diplomats engage in deliberation increasingly if their hands are not bound by tight instructions from their capitals.

*Paper available upon request

 

 

Title: The Power of Rules - Studying the Deliberative Design of International Organizations

Authors: Diana Panke, Franziska Hohlstein, and Gurur Polat

Paper prepared for the 2018 meeting of the International Studies Association, San Francisco

Abstract: Whether we look at constitutions, founding treaties, or the rules of procedure of states and International Organizations (IO), it is striking that many rules on the interaction between actors create room for deliberation, whilst simultaneously limiting the time available for discussion. While the latter speeds up decision making, it risks reducing its quality and legitimacy. How are these competing elements balanced in IOs? Do IOs differ in this respect, and if so, how and why? The paper draws on a unique and novel dataset and assesses variation in the extent to which institutional design fosters or inhibits diplomatic deliberation in more than 70 different IOs. On this basis, the paper uses theories of neo-functionalism, rational choice institutionalism and liberal approaches in order to develop hypotheses on variation of deliberative institutional designs across IOs. The hypotheses are analyzed with quantitative methods. This reveals several interesting insights. First, there is not the one blueprint IOs subscribe to. Instead, they differ considerably in the extent to which they are institutionally designed to foster diplomatic deliberation. Second, the variation between IOs is due to three factors. A small size of IOs, core actors who can flexibly adjust their positions during negotiations, and regional membership criteria are conducive to highly deliberative institutional IO designs. Third, the combination of three theoretical approaches is well-suited to account for variation in the diplomatic deliberative design of IOs.

* Paper available upon request

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