The Politics of International Organizations: Views from insiders, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Politics of International Organizations

Views from insiders, 1st Edition

Edited by Patrick Weller, Xu Yi-chong


282 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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International organisations (IOs) often receive a bad press, seen as intrusive, domineering and unresponsive to the needs of the people and countries they are meant to serve. The best way to understand the operation of these international organisations is to bring together those who represent their countries at IOs and those who have been working at IOs at various capacities and then to listen to their experiences.

This book develops an alternative approach to the analysis of IOs that takes account of all those involved, whether state representatives, IO leaders and members of the secretariat. Experts with long experience in the WTO, the World Bank, the IMF, WIPO, the FAO and the WHO at senior level consider the workings of the IOs, and a conclusion that explicitly draws out the comparative lessons and contrasts the insights of practitioners from those of external observers. This book takes an alternative approach to the analysis of IOs that takes account of all those involved, whether state representatives, IO leaders and members of the secretariat.

Providing a well-informed, innovative and consistently structured analysis of IOs this work will be of interest to students and scholars of international relations, international organizations and global governance.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Understanding the governance of international organizations Xu Yi-chong and Patrick Weller 1. The World Trade Organization as an institution Stuart Harbison Comment: Weak organization, strong institution John Ravenhill 2. Reform at the World Bank Jim Adams Comment 1: The World Bank Chrik Poortman Comment 2: Reform at the World Bank—plus ça change? Susan Park 3. Governance at work at the International Monetary Fund Luc Hubloue and Orasa Vongthieres Comment 1: IMF governance and decision-making processes Mike Callaghan Comment 2: The IMF’s governance of economic policy knowledge André Broome and Leonard Seabrooke 4. The World Intellectual Property Organization Naresh Prasad Comment 1: The World Intellectual Property Organization Geoffrey Yu Comment 2: The problems of over-representation and fragmented subject areas in reaching agreement at WIPO Charles Lawson 5. Turbulence and reform at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization David Hallam Comment: The relevance, competence, and prospects of the Food and Agriculture Organization Robin Davies 6. The World Health Organization: Some views from inside Patrick Weller and Xu Yi-chong Comment: In reform we trust—the challenge before the World Health Organization Sara E. Davies and Jeremy R. Youde 8. Afterthoughts Patrick Weller and Xu Yi-Chong

About the Editors

Patrick Weller and Xu Yi-chong are professors in the School of Government and International Relations at Griffith University.

Patrick Weller has been writing about political executives for the past 40 years. Among his books on Australian politics are: Can Ministers Cope? (1981, co-author), Malcolm Fraser Prime Minister (1989), Dodging raindrops: John Button A Labor Life (1999), Australia’s Mandarins (2001), Don’t tell the prime minister (2002), Cabinet Government in Australia (2007), Learning to be a Minister (2010, co-author) and From Post box to Powerhouse: a Centenary History of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (2011, co-author).

His comparative books include First among Equals: prime ministers in Westminster systems (1985), The Hollow Crown (co-edited 1997), The changing world of top officials (co-edited 2001), Westminster Legacies (co-edited, 2005) and Westminster Compared (co-authored 2009). He has acted as a consultant for state and federal governments. In 2009-10 he was a member of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Group on Reform of Australian Government Administration.

Xu Yi-chong is the author of Powering China, Reforming the electric power industry in China (2002), Electricity reform in China, India and Russia: The World Bank Template and the Politics of Power (2004) and The Politics of Nuclear Energy in China (2010). She is (co) editor of The Politics of Sovereign Wealth Funds (2010), Nuclear Development in Asia (2011) and The Political Economy of State-owned Enterprises in China and India, (2012). She is currently undertaking research on state-owned enterprises in China

About the Series

Global Institutions

The "Global Institutions Series" is edited by Thomas G. Weiss (The CUNY Graduate Center, New York, USA) and Rorden Wilkinson (University of Sussex, UK).

The Series has two "streams" identified by their covers:

  • Blue covers offer comprehensive, accessible, and informative guides to the history, structure, and activities of key international organizations, and introductions to topics of key importance in contemporary global governance. Recognized experts use a similar structure to address the general purpose and rationale for specific organizations along with historical developments, membership, structure, decision-making procedures, key functions, and an annotated bibliography and guide to electronic sources.
  • Red covers consist of research monographs and edited collections that advance knowledge about one aspect of global governance; they reflect a wide variety of intellectual orientations, theoretical persuasions, and methodological approaches.

Together these streams provide a coherent and complementary portrait of the problems, prospects, and possibilities confronting global institutions today.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General