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World Rule

Accountability, Legitimacy, and the Design of Global Governance

World Rule

Accountability, Legitimacy, and the Design of Global Governance

Dilemmas from climate change to financial meltdowns make it clear that global interconnectedness is the norm in the twenty-first century. As a result, global governance organizations (GGOs)—from the World Trade Organization to the Forest Stewardship Council—have taken on prominent roles in the management of international affairs. These GGOs create and promulgate rules to address a host of pressing problems. But as World Rule reveals, they struggle to meet two challenges: building authority despite limited ability to impose sanctions and maintaining legitimacy while satisfying the demands of key constituencies whose support is essential to a global rulemaking regime.

Through a novel empirical study of twenty-five GGOs, Jonathan GS Koppell provides a clearer picture of the compromises within and the competition among these influential institutions by focusing attention on their organizational design. Analyzing four aspects of GGO organization in depth—representation and administration, the rulemaking process, adherence and enforcement, and interest group participation—Koppell describes variation systemically, identifies patterns, and offers explanations that link GGO design to the fundamental challenge of accountability in global governance.

376 pages | 3 figures, 46 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2010

Political Science: Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, and International Relations


“Jonathan Koppell’s World Rule is essential reading for scholars, managers, and policy makers interested in the rules that underpin the global economy. Koppell authoritatively and convincingly explains the origins of the dense network of global rules and elucidates their effects on both markets and practices. His theoretical insights into the politics of organizations are profound.”

Rawi Abdelal, Harvard Business School

“This ambitious book puts the broad universe of international rulemaking into perspective—from Internet names to banking regulation to international trade. Koppell makes a sensitive argument for the importance of accountability in all manner of organizations that make international decisions and regulations. His detailed accounts of specific international standards form the foundation for a compelling argument that legitimacy and accountability are at the heart of international governance.”

Ian Hurd, Northwestern University

“This study of ‘global governance organizations’ is very important—both in analytical and policy terms. It targets an increasingly complex, interdependent institutional domain that weaves public, private and nongovernmental sectors together in ways that have been largely invisible to and confounding for students of public organizations. As unique as it is forward looking, this book brings a wide-ranging, powerful, conceptual, and empirical approach to expansive and problematic institutional phenomena. No one in the profession is more aptly situated in experience and conceptual acuity to advance our understanding and policy humility concerning ‘world rule.’ A must for students of complex organizations and public policy.”

Todd LaPorte, University of California, Berkeley

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
CHAPTER 1. The Organization of Global Rulemaking
The Emerging Reality of Global Governance
What the Design of Global Governance Organizations Tells Us
The Logic of Global Governance
Plan of the Book

CHAPTER 2. Accountability and Legitimacy-Authority Tension in Global Governance
Five Concepts of Accountability
Disentangling Legitimacy and Authority
Complementary and Conflicting Demands
What Makes GGOs Different?

CHAPTER 3. Introduction to the GGO Sample and Their Core Characteristics
Sorting Out the Universe of Organizations
GGOs Included in This Study
Core Characteristics of GGOs

CHAPTER 4. Structure and Administration of GGOs
Six Variations in GGO Structure

CHAPTER 5. Rulemaking in Global Governance Organizations
Variation in GGO Rulemaking
Patterns of Global Rulemaking

CHAPTER 6. The Riddle of Global Adherence
Variations in Global Adherence Regime
Patterns of GGO Adherence
Implications of Adherence Approach

CHAPTER 7. Interest Groups and Global Governance
Transnational Interest Group Variation
Patterns of Interest Group Variation
GGO Authority and the Satisfaction of Interest Groups

CHAPTER 8. Cooperation and Competition in Global Governance
Global Governance as a Competitive Marketplace

CHAPTER 9. Conclusion: Models of Global Governance and Accountability
Putting It All Together: Three Models of Global Governance

APPENDIX A. List of Interview Subjects


Public/Nonprofit Division of the Academy of Management: Best Public/Nonprofit Book Award

International Political Science Association's Research Committee on the Structure and Organization of Government (SOG): Charles A. Levine Memorial Book Prize

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