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Bureaucratic influence wehen secretariats grow: the exemple of the UNFCCC


Michaelowa, Axel; Michaelowa, Katharina (2013). Bureaucratic influence wehen secretariats grow: the exemple of the UNFCCC. CIS Working Paper 80, University of Zurich.

Abstract

In this paper, we study the effect of an exogenous increase in financial resources on the activities, the political influence and the autonomy of staff in a typical international bureaucracy. Using document analysis, interviews and regression analysis, we show that in such a situation, at least in areas that require technical expertise and that are politically not overly contentious, staff can gain substantial influence over concrete policy decisions and even change the structure of decision making and consultation processes. We also show that this may reinforce rather than reduce the role of special interests expressed via country delegations in political decision making committees. While one might be worried about the erosion of democratic principles at the international level, from a normative perspective, the overall effect is difficult to assess. If the international civil service is well trained, technically competent, and committed to the delivery of the global public good, its increasing autonomy and influence may also be socially advantageous.

Abstract

In this paper, we study the effect of an exogenous increase in financial resources on the activities, the political influence and the autonomy of staff in a typical international bureaucracy. Using document analysis, interviews and regression analysis, we show that in such a situation, at least in areas that require technical expertise and that are politically not overly contentious, staff can gain substantial influence over concrete policy decisions and even change the structure of decision making and consultation processes. We also show that this may reinforce rather than reduce the role of special interests expressed via country delegations in political decision making committees. While one might be worried about the erosion of democratic principles at the international level, from a normative perspective, the overall effect is difficult to assess. If the international civil service is well trained, technically competent, and committed to the delivery of the global public good, its increasing autonomy and influence may also be socially advantageous.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Industriestaaten, Entwicklungsländer, Entwicklungshilfe, Öffentliches Gut, Klimaänderung, Entwicklungspolitik, Klimaschutz, Vermeidungskosten
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:10 Jan 2018 13:02
Last Modified:30 Jul 2018 05:08
Series Name:CIS Working Paper
Number of Pages:30
ISSN:1662-7504
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:https://www.ethz.ch/content/dam/ethz/special-interest/gess/cis/cis-dam/Research/Working_Papers/WP_2013/2013_WP80_Michaelowa.pdf
Related URLs:http://www.cis.ethz.ch/research/working-papers.html (Organisation)
https://www.recherche-portal.ch/ZAD:default_scope:ebi01_prod009793506 (Library Catalogue)

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