Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-mhx7p Total loading time: 0.381 Render date: 2022-05-21T16:34:19.222Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

Delegation to International Organizations: Agency Theory and World Bank Environmental Reform

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 April 2003

Get access

Abstract

Current international relations theory struggles to explain both the autonomy and transformation of international organizations (IOs). Previous theories either fail to account for any IO behavior that deviates from the interests of member states, or neglect the role of member states in reforming IO institutions and behavior. We propose an agency theory of IOs that can fill these gaps while also addressing two persistent problems in the study of IOs: common agency and long delegation chains. Our model explains slippage between member states' interests and IO behavior, but also suggests institutional mechanisms—staff selection, monitoring, procedural checks, and contracts—through which states can rein in errant IOs. We evaluate this argument by examining multiple institutional reforms and lending patterns at the World Bank from 1980 to 2000.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The IO Foundation 2003

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Adler, Emanuel. 1998. Seeds of Peaceful Change: The OSCE's Security Community Building Model. In Security Communities, edited by Adler, Emanuel and Barnett, Michael N., 119–60. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Aggarwal, Vinod K. 1981. Hanging by a Thread: International Regime Change in the Textile/Apparel System, 1950–1979. Ph.D. diss., Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.Google Scholar
Alchian, Armon A., and Demsetz, Harold. 1972. Production, Information Costs and Economic Organization. The American Economic Review 62 (5):777–95.Google Scholar
Ascher, William. 1992. The World Bank and US Control. In The United States and Multilateral Institutions: Patterns of Changing Instrumentality and Influence, edited by Karns, Margaret P. and Mingst, Karen A., 115–40. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Axelrod, Robert M., and Keohane, Robert O.. 1985. Achieving Cooperation Under Anarchy: Strategies and Institutions. World Politics 38 (1):226–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baldwin, David A., ed. 1993. Neorealism and Neoliberalism: The Contemporary Debate. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Barnett, Michael N., and Finnemore, Martha. 1999. The Politics, Power, and Pathologies of International Organizations. International Organization 53 (4):699732.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bendor, Jonathan, Glazer, Ami, and Hammond, Thomas H.. 2001. Theories of Delegation. Annual Review of Political Science 4:235–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bergman, Torbjorn, Muller, Wolfgang, and Strom, Kaare. 2000. Introduction: Parliamentary Democracy and the Chain of Delegation. European Journal of Political Research, 37:255–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Calvert, Randall, McCubbins, Mathew, and Weingast, Barry. 1989. A Theory of Political Control and Agency Discretion. American Journal of Political Science 33 (3):588611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Coase, Ronald H. 1937. The Nature of the Firm. Economica 4 (16):386405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cobb, John B. Jr, 1999. The Earthist Challenge to Economism: A Theological Critique of the World Bank. New York: St. Martin's Press.Google Scholar
Dixit, Avinash, Grossman, Gene, and Helpman, Ethan. 1997. Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making. Journal of Political Economy 105 (4):752–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dodd, Lawrence C., and Schott, Richard L.. 1979. Congress and the Administrative State. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
Duffield, John S. 1992. International Regimes and Alliances Behavior: Explaining NATO Conventional Force Levels. International Organization 46 (4):819–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Esty, Daniel C. 2001. Environmental Sustainability Index. New Haven, Conn.: Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy. Available online at ⟨http://www.ciesin.columbia.edu/indicators/ESI/⟩.Google Scholar
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). 1998. Export Credit Agencies: The Need for More Rigorous, Common Policies, Procedures and Guidelines. Washington, D.C.: EDF.Google Scholar
Fama, Eugene F. 1980. Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm. Journal of Political Economy 88 (2):288307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Finnemore, Martha. 1996. National Interests in International Society. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Finnemore, Martha, and Sikkink, Kathryn. 2001. Taking Stock: The Constructivist Research Program in International Relations and Comparative Politics. Annual Review of Political Science 4:391416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fox, Jonathan A., and Brown, David L.. 1998. The Struggle for Accountability: The World Bank, NGOs, and Grassroots Movements. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.Google Scholar
George, Alexander L., and McKeown, Timothy. 1985. Case Studies and Theories of Organizational Decision Making. Advances in Information Processing in Organizations. 2:2158.Google Scholar
Gilpin, Robert. 1972. The Politics of Transnational Economic Relations. In Transnational Relations and World Politics, edited by Keohane, Robert O. and Nye, Joseph S. Jr., 4869. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Gilpin, Robert. 1981. War and Change in World Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gilpin, Robert. 1987. The Political Economy of International Relations. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gould, Erica R. Forthcoming. Money Talks: The Role of External Financiers in Influencing International Monetary Fund Conditionally. International Organization.Google Scholar
Grieco, Joseph M. 1988. Anarchy and the Limits of Cooperation: A Realist Critique of the Newest Liberal Institutionalism. International Organization 42 (3):485507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gyohten, Toyoo. 1997. Japan and the World Bank. In The World Bank: Its First Half Century, vol. 2, edited by Kapur, Devesh, Lewis, John P., and Webb, Richard, 275316. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
Hammond, Thomas H., and Knott, Jack H.. 1996. Who Controls the Bureaucracy? Presidential Power, Congressional Dominance, Legal Constraints, and Bureaucratic Autonomy in a Model of Multi-Institutional Policy-Making. Journal of Law, Economics and Organization 12 (1):119–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hardin, Russell. 1982. Collective Action. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
Hürni, Bettina S. 1980. The Lending Policy of the World Bank in the 1970s: Analysis and Evaluation. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press.Google Scholar
Kapur, Devesh, Lewis, John, and Webb, Richard. 1997. The World Bank: Its First Half-Century. 2 vols. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
Keck, Margaret E. 1998. Planafloro in Rondônia: The Limits of Leverage. In The Struggle for Accountability: The World Bank, NGOs, and Grassroots Movements, edited by Fox, Jonathan and Brown, David, 181218. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Keck, Margaret E., and Sikkink, Kathryn. 1998. Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Keohane, Robert O. 1984. After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Keohane, Robert O., ed. 1986. Neorealism and Its Critics. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Keohane, Robert O. 1993. Institutional Theory and the Realist Challenge After the Cold War. In Neorealism and Neoliberalism: The Contemporary Debate, edited by Baldwin, David A., 269300. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Keohane, Robert O., and Martin, Lisa L.. 1999. Institutional Theory, Endogeneity, and Delegation. Working Paper Series 99–07. Cambridge, Mass.: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University.Google Scholar
Keohane, Robert O., and Nye, Joseph Jr. 2001. Global Governance and Accountability: ‘It's Not the Democratic Deficit,’ Stupid! Paper presented at IGCC Conference on Globalization and Governance, March, La Jolla, Calif.Google Scholar
Kiewiet, D. Roderick, and McCubbins, Matthew D.. 1991. The Logic of Delegation: Congressional Parties and the Appropriations Process. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
King, Gary, Keohane, Robert O., and Verba, Sidney. 1994. Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Kraske, Jochen, Becker, William H., Diamond, William, and Galambos, Louis. 1996. Bankers with a Mission: The Presidents of the World Bank, 1946–91. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Krasner, Stephen D. 1976. State Power and the Structure of International Trade. World Politics 28 (3):317–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krasner, Stephen D. 1979. The Tokyo Round: Particularistic Interests and Prospects for Stability in the Global Trading System. International Studies Quarterly 23 (4):491531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krasner, Stephen D., ed. 1983. International Regimes. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Le Prestre, Philippe G. 1989. The World Bank and the Environmental Challenge. Toronto: Associated University Press.Google Scholar
Lowi, Theodore J. 1979. The End of Liberalism: The Second Republic of the United States. 2d ed. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
Lyne, Mona. Forthcoming. The Voter's Dilemma and the Microfoundations of Democracy. In Citizen-Politician Linkages in Democratic Politics, edited by Kitschelt, H. and Wilkinson, S..Google Scholar
Lyne, Mona, and Tierney, Michael. 2002. Variation in the Structure of Principals: Conceptual Clarifications. Paper presented at the Conference on Delegation to International Organizations, May, Park City, Utah.Google Scholar
Martin, Lisa L. 1992. Coercive Cooperation: Explaining Multilateral Economic Sanctions. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Martin, Lisa L. 2000. Democratic Commitments: Legislatures and International Cooperation. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Martin, Lisa L. 2002. Agency and Delegation in IMF Conditionality. Paper presented at the Conference on Delegation to International Organizations, May, Park City, Utah.Google Scholar
McCalla, Robert D. 1996. NATO's Persistence After the Cold War. International Organization 50 (3):445–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McCubbins, Mathew D., and Schwartz, Thomas. 1987. Congressional Oversight Overlooked: Police Patrols vs. Fire Alarms. In Congress: Structure and Policy, edited by McCubbins, Mathew D. and Sullivan, Thomas, 426–40. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
McCubbins, Mathew D., Noll, Roger G., and Weingast, Barry R.. 1987. Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 3 (2):243–79.Google Scholar
McCubbins, Mathew D., Noll, Roger G., and Weingast, Barry R.. 1989. Structure and Process, Politics and Policy: Administrative Arrangements and the Political Control of Agencies. Virginia Law Review 75 (2):431–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mearsheimer, John J. 1990. Back to the Future: Instability in Europe After the Cold War. International Security 15 (1):556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mearsheimer, John J. 1994. The False Promise of International Institutions. International Security 19 (3):549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mearsheimer, John J. 1995. A Realist Reply. International Security 20 (1):8293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Middlemas, Keith. 1995. Orchestrating Europe: The Informal Politics of European Union, 1973–95 London: Fontana.Google Scholar
Moravcsik, Andrew. 1998. The Choice for Europe: Social Purpose and State Power from Messina to Maastricht. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Morse, Bradford, and Berger, Thomas. 1992. Sardar Sarovar: Report of the Independent Review. Ottawa, Canada: Resource Futures International.Google Scholar
Nakayama, Mikiyasu. 2000. The World Bank's Environmental Agenda. In The Global Environment in the Twenty-First Century: Prospects for International Cooperation, edited by Chasek, Pamela S., 399410. New York: United Nations University Press.Google Scholar
Nelson, Paul J. 1995. The World Bank and Non-Governmental Organizations: The Limits of Apolitical Development. New York: St. Martin's Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nielson, Daniel, and Tierney, Michael. 1999. Addressing the Agent: Domestic Institutions and the Demand for MDB Loans. Paper presented at the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, September, Atlanta, Georgia.Google Scholar
Nielson, Daniel, and Tierney, Michael. 2001. Principles or Principals: Constructivism, Rationalism and IO Behavior. Paper presented at 59th Annual Meeting of the Mid-West Political Science Association, April, Chicago.Google Scholar
Nielson, Daniel, and Tierney, Michael. 2002. Principals and Interests: Agency Theory and Multilateral Development Bank Lending. Paper presented at the Conference on Delegation to International Organizations, May, Park City, Utah.Google Scholar
Niskanen, William A. 1971. Bureaucracy and Representative Government. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
O'Brien, Robert, Goetz, Anne Marie, Scholte, Jan Aart, and Williams, Marc. 2000. Contesting Global Governance: Multilateral Economic Institutions and Global Social Movements. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Olson, Mancur. 1965. The Logic of Collective Action and the Theory of Groups. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Peritore, N. Patrick. 1999. Third World Environmentalism: Case Studies from the Global South. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.Google Scholar
Pollack, Mark A. 1997. Delegation, Agency, and Agenda-Setting in the European Community. International Organization 51 (1):99134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pollack, Mark A. Forthcoming. Control Mechanism or Deliberative Democracy? Two Images of Comitology. Comparative Political Studies.Google Scholar
Powell, Robert. 1994. Anarchy in International Relations Theory: The Neorealist–Neoliberal Debate. International Organization 48 (2):313–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rich, Bruce. 1985. The Multilateral Development Banks, Environmental Policy, and the United States. Ecology Law Quarterly 12 (4):681784.Google Scholar
Rich, Bruce. 1994. Mortgaging the Earth: The World Bank, Environmental Impoverishment, and the Crisis of Development. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
Risse-Kappen, Thomas. 1996. Collective Identity in a Democratic Community: The Case of NATO. In The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics, edited by Katzenstein, Peter J., 357–99. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Ruggie, John Gerad, ed. 1993. Multilateralism Matters: The Theory and Praxis of an Institutional Form. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Shakow, Alexander. 1994. Press release. The World Bank's Response to Bruce Rich's Mortgaging the Earth. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.Google Scholar
Shanks, Cheryl, Jacobson, Harold K., and Kaplan, Jeffrey H.. 1996. Inertia and Change in the Constellation of Intergovernmental Organizations, 1981–1992. International Organization 50 (4):593627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shihata, Ibrahim F. I. 1994. The World Bank Inspection Panel. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Steinberg, Richard H. 1997. Trade-Environment Negotiations in the EU, NAFTA, and WTO: Regional Trajectories of Rule Development. American Journal of International Law 91 (2):231–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Strange, Susan. 1983. Cave! hie Dragones: A Critique of Regime Analysis. In International Regimes, edited by Krasner, Stephen, 337–54. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Treakle, Kay. 1998. Accountability at the World Bank: What Does It Take? Paper presented at the 24th Annual Meeting of the Latin American Studies Association, September, Chicago.Google Scholar
Udall, Lori. 1998. The World Bank and Public Accountability: Has Anything Changed? In The Struggle for Accountability: The World Bank, NGOs, and Grassroots Movements, edited by Fox, Jonathan and Brown, David, 391436. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Umana, Alvaro, ed. 1998. The World Bank Inspection Panel: The First Four Years (1994–1995). Washington, D.C.: World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Upton, Barbara. 2000. The Multilateral Development Banks: Improving U.S. Leadership. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.Google Scholar
U.S. House of Representatives. 1984. Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, Subcommittee on International Development. Multilateral Development Bank Activity and the Environment. 98th Congress, 2d sess.Google Scholar
Vaubel, Roland. 1991. A Public Choice View of International Organization. In The Political Economy of International Organizations, edited by Vaubel, Roland and Willett, Peter, 2745. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press.Google Scholar
Wade, Robert Hunter. 1997. Greening the Bank: The Struggle over the Environment, 1970–1995. In The World Bank: Its First Half Century, vol. 2, edited by Kapur, Devesh, Lewis, John P., and Webb, Richard, 611734. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
Wade, Robert Hunter. 2002. U.S. Hegemony and the World Bank: The Fight over People and Ideas. Review of International Political Economy 9 (2):215–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wallander, Celeste and Keohane, Robert O.. 1997. When Threats Decline, Why Do Alliances Persist? An Institutional Approach. Unpublished manuscript. Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., and Duke University, Durham, N.C.Google Scholar
Waltz, Kenneth N. 1979. Theory of International Politics. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
Waltz, Kenneth N. 1996. Security Effects of NATO Expansion, Paper presented at Public Lecture at Los Alamos National Laboratory, December, Los Alamos, N. Mex.Google Scholar
Wappenhans, Wili. 1992. Report of the Portfolio Management Task Force. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.Google Scholar
Weaver, Catherine, and Leiteritz, Ralf. 2002. Organizational Culture and Change at the World Bank. Unpublished manuscript, University of Kansas, Lawrence.Google Scholar
Williams, Marc. 1994. International Economic Institutions and the Third World. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
Williamson, Oliver E. 1975. Markets and Hierarchies, Analysis and Antitrust Implications: A Study in the Economics of Internal Organization. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
Winters, Jeffrey. 1997. Down with the World Bank. Far Eastern Economic Review 160 (7):29.Google Scholar
World Bank. 1992. World Bank Approaches to the Environment in Brazil: A Review of Selected Projects, vol. 5: The Polonoreste Program. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.Google Scholar
World Bank. 1997a. Environment Matters. Annual Review. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.Google Scholar
World Bank. 1997b. Operational Manual: Operational Policies, Bank Procedures. Operations Policy Department. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.Google Scholar
World Bank. 2000. The World Bank's Approach to the Environment. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.Google Scholar
World Bank. 2002. Japan Policy and Human Resource Development Fund. Available online at ⟨http://www.worldbank.org/rmc/phrd/phrdbr1.htm.⟩Google Scholar
339
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Delegation to International Organizations: Agency Theory and World Bank Environmental Reform
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Delegation to International Organizations: Agency Theory and World Bank Environmental Reform
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Delegation to International Organizations: Agency Theory and World Bank Environmental Reform
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *