Book

The ebb and flow of global governance (2020)

intergovernmentalism versus nongovernmentalism in world politics

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Abstract

The Ebb and Flow of Global Governance challenges the traditionally dichotomous distinction between international intergovernmental organizations and international nongovernmental organizations. Alexandru Grigorescu argues that international organizations are best understood as falling on an 'intergovernmental-nongovernmental continuum'. The placement of organizations on this continuum is determined by how much government involvement factors into their decision-making, financing, and deliberations. Using this fine-grained conceptualization, Grigorescu uncovers numerous changes in the intergovernmental versus nongovernmental nature of global governance over the past century and a half. These changes are due primarily to ideological and institutional domestic shifts in powerful states. The Ebb and Flow of Global Governance assesses the plausibility of these arguments through archival research on a dozen organizations from the global health, labor, and technical standards realms. Grigorescu concludes that there has been a continuous ebb and flow in world politics, rather than an inexorable movement towards greater roles for nongovernmental actors, as existing literature argues.