Governmentality towards a Foucauldian framework for the study of IGOs

TitleGovernmentality towards a Foucauldian framework for the study of IGOs
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsMerlingen, M.
Journal titleCooperation and conflict
Pages361 - 384

In this article I draw on the later work of Michel Foucault to elaborate a governmentality framework for the study of international governmental organizations (IGOs). The main `value added' of the proposed framework is that it brings into focus the micro-domain of power relations, thereby highlighting what mainline 100 studies fail to thematize. IGOs exercise a molecular form of power that evades and undermines the material, juridical and diplomatic limitations on their influence. They are important sites in the non-sovereign, microphysical workings of power that shape territorialized populations in unspectacular ways. In short, I argue that our understanding of IGOs remains incomplete if we do not pay attention to the effects of domination generated by their everyday governance tasks and good works. I develop this argument through a brief engagement with an innovative strand of 100 studies: research on international socialization, which is empirically illustrated through a brief exploration of the induction by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe of post-socialist countries into its embryonic security community. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


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Department of International Relations