Autonomy of International Bureaucracies: On the Actor-Level Autonomy in the WTO Secretariat
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The research question in this study addresses actor-level autonomy as enacted by civil servants within an international bureaucracy, namely the WTO Secretariat. The objective is to identify underlying mechanisms arguably responsible for inciting patterns of behaviour among civil servants. This study is premised on the assumption that autonomy may be studied by examining behavioural patterns of the incumbents and that such behavioural patterns largely are a consequence of mechanisms of pre-socialization, re-socialization and organizational affiliation. The study consists of two main parts. The first part is descriptive and addresses actor-level autonomy, whereas the second part is explanatory and seeks to identify the driving forces behind the emergence of supranational, departmental and epistemic behavioural dynamics. The main conclusions drawn from this study is that the WTO Secretariat may reinforce and shape behavioural patterns in particular, and that these are related to the emergence of actorlevel autonomy. Furthermore, the Secretariat is invested with the power to influence the outcomes of global policies through various formal and informal channels. Additionally, the study finds that pre-socialization is largely responsible for evoking supranational behavioural logics, and that re-socialization primarily impacts on departmental and epistemic behavioural dynamics, whereas organizational affiliation is unequivocally linked to departmental behavioural logics.
Masteroppgave offentlig politikk og ledelse- Universitetet i Agder, 2014