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International Organization in TimeFragmentation and Reform$
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Tine Hanrieder

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198705833

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198705833.001.0001

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The Centrifugal Reproduction of International Organizations

The Centrifugal Reproduction of International Organizations

(p.24) 2 The Centrifugal Reproduction of International Organizations
International Organization in Time

Tine Hanrieder

Oxford University Press

This chapter develops the theoretical approach for explaining fragmentation in international organizations. The chapter first introduces the idea of path dependence and the fatefulness of history in international institutions. It next discusses the power struggles that drive the reproduction and thereby also the change of international organizations (IOs). Organizations only persist as long as they can mobilize joint action for organizational goals. The chapter then theorizes the mechanisms through which fragmentation is locked-in and reinforced in IOs. Where subunits have the opportunity to block IO reform, reformers have to buy or bypass recalcitrant subunits. The outcome of these reform strategies is a deepening or a widening of the IO’s fragmentation, respectively. Fragmentation is an absorbing state that is difficult to reverse due to the many veto positions it provides. The chapter concludes with a discussion of empirical indicators of path dependence in IOs.

Keywords:   path dependence, contingency, international organization, fragmentation, layering, causal inference

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