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Small states and the ‘throughput’ legitimacy of international organisations

Small states and the ‘throughput’ legitimacy of international organisations
Small states and the ‘throughput’ legitimacy of international organisations
The unequal participation of member states in IOs is said to undermine IOs’ legitimacy as global actors. Existing scholarship typically makes this assessment by reference to a combination of input – the interests IOs serve – and output – the decisions they take – factors. Not enough attention is paid to how IOs have responded to these concerns. We argue that IOs have used the participation of small states, a membership typically ignored by most studies, as an important means of generating what Vivian Schmidt calls ‘throughput’ legitimacy for their operations. We organize our analysis of ‘throughput’ legitimacy in IOs around four institutional mechanisms – 1. agenda setting; 2. leadership (s)election; 3. management and operation; and 4. service delivery – in which all states seek to exert an influence. What emerges is an account of IOs seeking to balance ‘inputs’ and ‘outputs’ by way of ‘throughputs’. We conclude by arguing for an expanded focus on the means by which IOs generate ‘throughput’ legitimacy in future research.
0955-7571
Corbett, Jack
ad651655-ac70-4072-a36f-92165e296ce2
Yi-Chong, Xu
d9359fb8-492c-4eaf-b328-644673aa9080
Weller, Patrick
218a5cf0-575d-4126-bcac-584a03892d75
Corbett, Jack
ad651655-ac70-4072-a36f-92165e296ce2
Yi-Chong, Xu
d9359fb8-492c-4eaf-b328-644673aa9080
Weller, Patrick
218a5cf0-575d-4126-bcac-584a03892d75

Corbett, Jack, Yi-Chong, Xu and Weller, Patrick (2018) Small states and the ‘throughput’ legitimacy of international organisations. Cambridge Review of International Affairs. (doi:10.1080/09557571.2018.1493048).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The unequal participation of member states in IOs is said to undermine IOs’ legitimacy as global actors. Existing scholarship typically makes this assessment by reference to a combination of input – the interests IOs serve – and output – the decisions they take – factors. Not enough attention is paid to how IOs have responded to these concerns. We argue that IOs have used the participation of small states, a membership typically ignored by most studies, as an important means of generating what Vivian Schmidt calls ‘throughput’ legitimacy for their operations. We organize our analysis of ‘throughput’ legitimacy in IOs around four institutional mechanisms – 1. agenda setting; 2. leadership (s)election; 3. management and operation; and 4. service delivery – in which all states seek to exert an influence. What emerges is an account of IOs seeking to balance ‘inputs’ and ‘outputs’ by way of ‘throughputs’. We conclude by arguing for an expanded focus on the means by which IOs generate ‘throughput’ legitimacy in future research.

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Accepted/In Press date: 25 March 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 21 December 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 421818
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/421818
ISSN: 0955-7571
PURE UUID: 900c87de-c364-4bf6-911e-1f4ebe7de1e9
ORCID for Jack Corbett: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2005-7162

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Date deposited: 28 Jun 2018 16:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 05:37

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