Cooperation, co-optation, competition, conflict: international bureaucracies and non-governmental organizations in an interdependent world


Journal Article

© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. International bureaucrats employed in inter-governmental organizations (IGOs) have a stake in the solidification and expansion of traditional global governance structures. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) often are thought to be threats to IGOs. But international bureaucracies regularly seek cooperation with NGOs that can help in ‘cross-national layering’: the creation of formal or informal international institutions that overlay domestic institutions, seeking to replace or subsume them over time. This article develops a ‘4Cs taxonomy’ in which shared/unshared resource bases and shared/unshared values translate into cooperative, co-optative, competitive, or conflictual relations between NGOs and international bureaucracies. It then examines the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) over a 70-year period, showing how different mixes of resources and values help to explain why FAO bureaucrats have cycled through different relationships with NGOs. This exemplifies themes of the New Interdependence Approach: (1) the forces of globalization and interdependence create openings for transnational alliances among non-state actors; (2) continued globalization takes place not in a state of anarchy, but in an environment of overlapping responsibilities or principles; and (3) institutions go beyond being ‘rules of the game’ and can be drivers of power shifts in domestic and international affairs.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Johnson, T

Published Date

  • September 2, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 737 - 767

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1466-4526

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0969-2290

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/09692290.2016.1217902

Citation Source

  • Scopus