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Rethinking Stakeholder Participation in International Governance

Research Question

To what extent do institutional reforms and participation mechanism increase the external stakeholder input in formal and informal governance arrangements?

Project Description

To address today’s highly complex and rapidly evolving cross-border problems, countries and other stakeholders are increasingly resorting to case-by-case networks, expert- driven bodies or club-like arrangements. Given the rigidity of formal treaties and formal international organisations (IOs) such new forms of governance can more efficiently respond to volatility and more easily adapt and innovate. However, one side effect of such rapid-response arrangements is that they may not sufficiently take account of external stakeholders who are outside of the arrangement but nonetheless impacted by it.

This project will, in a hands-on, practical way, identify and carefully map the different responses to legitimacy challenges raised by external stakeholders in a series of selected formal and informal governance arrangements, focusing on health and finance. The project seeks to establish and explain the variation in institutional reforms, including the lack of reforms in some cases. It aims to understand the effectiveness of institutional reforms in terms of actually increasing external stakeholder input and the perceived legitimacy of the global body's governance among those external stakeholders.

Finally, the research will assess the effect of introducing these participation mechanisms on the process and the efficiency of rule-making and, on that basis, propose a set of best practices and practical guidelines.

This project is funded by the Swiss Network for International Studies under its 2014 Call for Projects