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The dynamics of enlargement in international organisations

Gray, Julia, Lindstadt, Rene and Slapin, Jonathan B. 2017. The dynamics of enlargement in international organisations. International Interactions 43 (4) , pp. 619-642. 10.1080/03050629.2017.1228039

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Most international organizations (IOs) expand their membership over the course of their lifespan. Although these enlargements tend to be heralded as normatively positive | for the IOs themselves, for the new members, and for cooperative outcomes more generally | expansions can also lead to con icts in the organization. What conditions lead to enlargement rounds that reshape an organization in unexpected ways? We ar- gue that, depending upon the diversity of the initial group of countries, members may vote to admit new entrants that can tilt organizational decision-making in unexpected directions. We anticipate fewer enlargements with lesser impact on the character of the organization among organizations that have either a smaller range of founding members or a relatively even initial dispersion. We develop an agent-based model that accounts for the complex decision-making environment and social dynamics that typify IO ac- cession processes. The model helps us explain how the nature of decision-making in organizations can shift following enlargement, likely changing the organization's output and goals.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
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Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: international organizations, enlargement, agent-based models
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 0305-0629
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 September 2016
Date of Acceptance: 19 August 2016
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2021 15:30

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