This article introduces, summarizes and contextualizes the key questions and findings of a special issue of Global Policy on the resourcing of international organizations (IOs). The article sets out trends in the financial resources available to IOs; discusses their organizational consequences; and highlights analytical implications for the study of IOs. We discuss resource diversification associated with growing complexity of the origins and types of funding available to IOs; the importance of non-state actors in IO funding; and contestation over the classification of resources. Resource diversification encourages organizational differentiation, manifested in major shifts in resource-related actor constellations and their impact on the autonomy of IOs; adjustments to budgeting procedures; and functional differentiation within IOs and the emergence of new types of IOs that are partly driven by resourcing. These observations invite an analytical perspective in the study of IOs that pays systematic attention to the administrative governance dimension of IOs; the entrepreneurial character of many IOs; and organizational fields as a focus of analysis. Read together, the 11 contributions to the special issue underline that paying attention to their resourcing can advance our understanding of IOs.At a time when newly elected US President Donald Trump announces severe budget cuts to the United Nations system, the relevance of resourcing for the functioning of international organizations (IOs) can be in no doubt. It has long been recognized that access to financial and other resources is critical to the evolution of IOs and to the realization of their global policy ambitions (Wright, 1957). Complaints from the leadership of IOs about inadequate resources also have a long tradition, and the mismatch between IO mandates, as set by member states, and available resources to carry out those mandates effectively is a recurrent concern (see Annan, 1993, for the UN). Some IOs, such as the African Union (Engel, 2015) or UNRWA (Bocco, 2010) appear to suffer from chronic underfunding. Others have a long history of repeated funding 'crises', typically brought about by either the unexpected partial withholding of member state contributions (for the United Nations see Claude, 1964;Taylor, 1991; for UNESCO see H€ ufner, 2017;. In other cases, resource mismatch has been the result of unforeseen demands on IO budgets, as in the case of refugee crises or natural or man-made disasters (McDermott, 2000). In view of these challenges, the need to reform UN financing and resource politics has been recognized and many proposals have been put forward over the years (see Muttukumaru, 2016 for a present-day reform proposal).A central finding of this special issue is that there are several critical issues that matter when studying the resourcing of IOs, beyond the overall levels of funding available and the details of resource allocation. Among these issues are:(1) the mix of sources of funding, namely, who provides the finances of IOs; (2...
How do international organizations in the United Nations system put together their budgets? What is the role of complex principals—most notably member states—and the complex agents in the bureaucracies of international organizations in budgeting processes? And what does a focus on budgeting tell us about the changing nature of the system of international organizations? This book provides answers to these questions through a detailed examination of budgeting in the UN system. The analysis draws on both quantitative and qualitative observations for a total of twenty-two UN system organizations and detailed case studies for the United Nations, ILO, UNESCO, and WHO. The findings demonstrate the importance of three key organizational outcomes—proceduralization, routinization, and budgetary segmentation—as international organizations grapple with managing discord over priorities as a result of complex principal–agent constellations. Contrary to a common view of international bureaucracies as pathological organizations, core budget routines are mostly successfully maintained. However, principal constellations are becoming more complex, notably through the rise of voluntary contributions and non-state donors; budgetary segmentation advances (in some cases even leading to the setting up of new international organizations); and budgeting and resource mobilization have become ever more intertwined. As a consequence, the capacity of international bureaucracies to fulfill their budgeting responsibilities is stretched to the limit and beyond.
This chapter introduces the main debates that this book contributes to and outlines how various disciplines—Public Administration and International Relations, Public Policy and Political Economy—look at budgeting, and, in particular, how these relate to the changing system of international cooperation and of international organizations. Scholars and practitioners alike question how far states still come together in today’s IOs to prioritize solutions for global challenges and whether states are able to provide sufficient and reliable resources for IOs to address these matters. Nowhere is this as visible as in budgeting dynamics of IOs. This is evidenced in the shifts that United Nations system budgeting has faced for more than seven decades, most notably the change to the increased importance of earmarked voluntary contributions in the financing of present-day UN organizations.
“[M]any observers agree that the Commission has been ‘leaking like a sieve’”.Leaks have become a major element of European Union politics. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) leak in early May 2016 is neither the first of its kind nor will it be the last. Transparency by leaks – or “transleakancy” as the series of publications of confidential TTIP negotiation documents has already been coined – is one element of the political game that different interest groups, governmental and non–governmental, play on both sides of the Atlantic. And yet, leaked EU documents have been shared in wider policy-networks all along, independent of whether they have received media attention or not. The difference is that leaks similar to those that we see on TTIP have reached a new level of importance. Here, themere fact of their existence makes them newsworthy. The impact of these leaks on public debates is seen as amajor risk for negotiators.
This contribution theorizes on the emergence of affective styles in the accountability reporting of public agencies. Under conditions of multiple accountability towards heterogeneous stakeholders, public agencies are expected to make increased use of sentiment in their reporting. Agencies’ differentiated modulation of positive and negative sentiment results in four ideal-typical affective styles: technocratic; political; alarming; and self-praising. The plausibility of this framework is demonstrated for the case of a major international public agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which serves several million Palestine refugees. We conduct a dictionary-based sentiment analysis of UNRWA annual reports published between 1951 and 2020, a corpus of 1.47 million words. Additional evidence from interviews with UNRWA officials and diplomats is also considered. Over time, the agency’s use of sentiment has increased in response to diversifying stakeholders and its affective style of reporting has changed repeatedly. Contrary to established theoretical expectations, multiple accountability not only increases positive reporting and self-praise. Rather, with increasing levels of negativity, the alarming and political styles of communication have played a much stronger role. These findings demonstrate that agencies’ chief goal in accountability reporting is not simply to elicit positive assessments from their respective accountability forums through self-praising language. Agencies may also aim to achieve ‘negativity congruence’ with accountability forums by increasing negative sentiment, thus compelling stakeholders to acknowledge the operational challenges agencies face.
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