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date: 04 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

International Relations and public administration scholars are now recognizing that formal intergovernmental organizations (FIGOs) are no longer the only way that states cooperate across borders. This chapter shows that states are increasingly interacting through informal intergovernmental organizations (IIGOs) which have neither a treaty nor an independent secretariat. This chapter opens the black box of IIGOs and explores how they ‘administer the global’ without a large degree of delegation to an independent secretariat. IIGOs illustrate how states utilize a taxonomy of different administrative designs. Organizational structures without a high degree of delegation include leveraging the bureaucratic structure of existing organizations, leaning on a state for technocratic functions, and setting up a rotating Chair. Each choice preserves sovereignty while also accepting the downsides of maintaining control. This chapter utilizes a state- and civil servant focus to examine how intergovernmental organizations work, showing the promise and benefits of crossing disciplinary boundaries.

Keywords: Chair, delegation, informal governance, intergovernmental organizations, international bureaucracies, secretariat

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