At this year's Joint Sessions of the European Consortium of Political Resarch (ECPR) Per-Olof Busch together with Thomas Sommerer from Stockholm University acts as Director of the workshop “In the Engine Room. Linking Perspectives in the Study of Intergovernmental Organizations as Actors”. The 2015 ECPR Joint Session take place at the University of Warsaw, 29. March – 2. April 2015.
The 20 workshop participants from 8 European countries address in their contributions the interior of international organisations, e.g. their autonomy, administrative styles, decision-making and governance mechanisms, knowledge and expertise, expert authority and transformations. They do so from two distinct perspectives that also characterize the research on the interior of international organisations at large and that have so far existed largely isolated from each other. On the one hand, scholars seek to assess and explain certain aspects of the interior of international organisations, which indicate that international organisations are indeed actors in their own right. On the other hand, scholars use such aspects as starting point when assessing and explaining the effectiveness or performance of international organisations as actors.
The workshop aims at bringing togehter the two perspectives and at stimulating a discussion between both perspectives about opportunities (and obstacles) to develop a common or at least comparable conceptual and empirical understanding of the interior of international organisations. Ultimately, such an understanding could help in establishing a unified research framework that allows tracing the causal chain from the determinants of the interior of international organisations to its consequences on effectiveness or performance of international organisations. As intended byproduct, the discussions could also contribute to a consolidation of concepts and empirical findings within each group of scholars on which future research can draw.