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Managers of Global ChangeThe Influence of International Environmental Bureaucracies$
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Frank Biermann and Bernd Siebenhüner

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262012744

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262012744.001.0001

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The Role and Relevance of International Bureaucracies: Setting the Stage

The Role and Relevance of International Bureaucracies: Setting the Stage

(p.1) 1 The Role and Relevance of International Bureaucracies: Setting the Stage
Managers of Global Change

Frank Biermann

Bernd Siebenhüner

The MIT Press

International bureaucracies and their retinue of civil servants are considered important players in world politics, and yet, as exemplified by the United Nations (UN), others see them as an assembly of ineffective, inefficient, and unresponsive bureaucrats. This book explores the influence and dynamics of international bureaucracies in world politics. It draws on the core findings of the Managers of Global Change (MANUS) project, a four-year research program that investigated the type and degree of autonomous influence of international bureaucracies as well as the possible factors which account for any differences in this influence. This research has some similarities with, as well as differences from, two strands of theory on international bureaucracies: Principal-agent theory and sociological institutionalism. The book presents case studies of nine international bureaucracies, including the UN and the World Bank, and looks at two types of bureaucracies: Secretariats of international environmental treaties and environmental departments of the secretariats of intergovernmental organizations. It also reviews the state of the art in the academic disciplines of international relations and organizational and management studies.

Keywords:   international bureaucracies, United Nations, world politics, MANUS, World Bank, principal-agent theory, sociological institutionalism, international relations, secretariats, environmental departments

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