International Organisations and crisis management: do crises enable or constrain IO agency?
2016 (English)In: Journal of International Relations and Development, ISSN 1408-6980, E-ISSN 1581-1980, DOI 10.1057/s41268-016-0071-zArticle in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
This article seeks to bridge the gap between the literature on international organisations (IO) and the field of crisis management (CM) by focusing on two themes: how crisis conditions lead organisations to centralise decision-making and how this subsequently affects an international organisation’s autonomy. We do this based on two dimensions inspired by the CM literature, that is, the degree of the perceived time pressure and the precrisis legal institutional framework. The plausibility of the analytical framework is assessed on the basis of three cases: the WHO’s dealing with the SARS crisis; the European Commission’s dealing with the Mad Cow Disease crisis; and the UN’s handling of the humanitarian crisis in the Great Lakes region. The results show that the perceived time pressure affected IO autonomy in so far as higher time pressure that rendered IO autonomy stronger, whereas with regard to the institutional framework no stringent pattern could be seen. Moreover, based on our findings, we propose that IO autonomy in crisis situations also depends on the framing of an issue in terms on impartiality, on the extent to which the IO in question is subject to politicisation, as well as on the degree to which it possesses specific technical expertise.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. DOI 10.1057/s41268-016-0071-z
Research subject Statsvetenskap med inriktning mot krishantering och internationell samverkan
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6403DOI: 10.1057/s41268-016-0071-zOAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-6403DiVA: diva2:1057655