Death of international organizations : the organizational ecology of intergovernmental organizations, 1815–2015
Title: Death of international organizations : the organizational ecology of intergovernmental organizations, 1815–2015
Author: EILSTRUP-SANGIOVANNI, Mette
Citation: The review of international organizations, 2018, OnlineFirst
ISSN: 1559-744X; 1559-7431
Under what conditions do international governmental organizations (IGOs) cease to exist? Surprisingly, leading theories of international organization rarely address this question. Across the theoretical spectrum scholars assume that international organizations have a high degree of “staying power”. Yet reality looks different. More than one-third of IGOs created since 1815 have since died. This article addresses the puzzle of why IGOs cease to exist. Using a combination of cross-sectional and survival analysis, I seek to identify factors associated with IGO termination. My analysis is based on a novel dataset coding detailed information on all IGO created since 1815, including their function, membership, and geographic span. Against prevailing theoretical expectations, my analysis demonstrates i) that overall mortality is high among IGOs, ii) that states often prefer to create new IGOs as opposed reforming existing ones, and iii) that having a large and heterogeneous membership is associated with greater organizational survivability. These findings indicate a need for refinement of existing theories of 'institutional robustness'.
First Online: 15 December 2018; This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Type of Access: openAccess
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