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date: 15 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the issues of transparency and openness in relation to international organizations (IOs). It begins by introducing and exemplifying the three most prominent theoretical approaches in the study of transparency and openness: rational choice institutionalism, sociological institutionalism or constructivism, and normative democratic theory. It then shows how existing scholarship has explored transparency and openness empirically in three domains: the sources, patterns, and consequences of transparency. It argues, first, that research on transparency and openness has largely developed in response to real-world developments in global governance. As IOs have undergone a revolution in transparency and openness, scholars have sought to understand the origins of this transformation and its implications. Second, multiple theoretical approaches to the study of transparency and openness have evolved in parallel. A particular feature of the evolving theoretical agenda is the exploration of transparency and openness through both positive and normative perspectives. Third, the empirical study is comparatively stronger in uncovering the sources of growing transparency and openness, than in systematically assessing their effects. Fourth, this is a field that has witnessed a methodological development from extensive reliance on qualitative case studies to quantitative large-n research.

Keywords: International organizations, membership, International organizations, practice and procedure, International organizations, resolutions, Procedural law in international organizations

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