Charles B. Roger

Informality and the governance dilemma: How institutional inter‐linkages can bridge accountability gaps

  • Law
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Global and Planetary Change

AbstractStates have increasingly relied on informal international organizations (IOs) to govern cross‐border problems. Frequently, however, their accountability has been questioned because they have been created to evade political control and strengthen the hands of executives and bureaucrats vis‐à‐vis legislative actors. This has led some to propose solutions that might address their accountability gaps. In this article, I discuss the role that institutional inter‐linkages may play. Many informal IOs lack capabilities and accountability mechanisms that raise questions about their desirability as standalone institutions. Yet, in practice, by creating links with states and formal IOs, their capabilities and accountability have been augmented. With respect to their accountability, specifically, I argue such linkages can promote reflexivity, policy filtering, and the institutionalization of new procedural norms. While these dynamics cannot fully reduce accountability gaps, recognition of them provides a more balanced picture of the issues at stake and an added rationale for expanding such linkages in the future.

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