The workshop „In the Engine Room. Linking Perspectives in the Study of Intergovernmental Organizations as Actors“ is led by Per Olof-Busch, who co-leads the IPA project „Expertise“ and Thomas Sommerer from Stockholm University. It is part of the 2015 ECPR Joint Session at the University of Warsaw, 29. March – 2. April 2015.

Workshop participants address the interior of international governmental organisations (IGOs), e.g. their organisational structure, institutional design, autonomy, bureaucratic practices, administrative styles, outputs, behavior, preferences, culture, or normative orientations. The focus is on one of the two basic analytical perspectives that have been identified in existing research and have so far existed largely isolated from each other. On the one hand, studies which seek to assess and explain certain aspects of the interior of IGOs, which indicate that IGOs are indeed actors in their own right. On the other hand, studies which use such aspects as starting point when assessing and explaining the effectiveness or performance of IGOs as actors.

By bringing together these scholars, the workshop intends to stimulate a discussion between both perspectives about opportunities (and obstacles) to develop a common or at least comparable conceptual and empirical understanding of the interior of IGOs. Ultimately, this could be used to establish a unified research framework that allows tracing the causal chain from the determinants of the interior of IGOs to its consequences on effectiveness or performance of IGOs. As intended byproduct, the discussions could also contribute to a consolidation of concepts and empirical findings within each group of scholars on which future research can draw.

For more information, please contact or visit the workshop at the ECPR homepage.