Towards Better Governments? A Theoretical Framework for the Influence of International Organizations
Although international organizations are typically seen as important actors promoting better government institutions and reducing corruption, there are few comprehensive analysis of how they promote such changes. This paper develops a theoretical framework that traces the roots of IO success or failure to factors that are internal to the strategies that they employ. We suggest that the tools used by international organizations to promote quality of government can be categorized into four groups: Inter-state competitive pressures; conditions on economic assistance; interaction with transnational actors; and the enlargement of international communities. In contrast to accounts that trace the roots of IO success or failure in member states to domestic particularities, such as the amount of domestic resistance to government reforms, we argue that the mechanisms themselves have a number of shortcomings that reduce their effectiveness. Six such factors are identified: imprecise data, market pressures, contested policy advice, incomplete internalization and lack of mainstreaming of norms by international organizations and member states, and low priority of quality of government issues. The paper thereby offers an explanation for why numerous empirical studies fail to find a positive correlation between IO measures and better government institutions.
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quality of government
foreign direct investments (FDI)