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The Oxford Handbook of International Organizations edited by Katz Cogan, Jacob; Hurd, Ian; Johnstone, Ian

Part VII Structure and Operations, Ch.37 Executive Boards and Councils

Ramses A. Wessel

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Organizations

Edited By: Jacob Katz Cogan, Ian Hurd, Ian Johnstone

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 23 September 2019

Subject(s):
Right to health — Climate change — Collective security — Membership of international organizations — International organizations, practice and procedure — Resolutions of international organizations

This chapter focuses on the so-called ‘Boards’ or ‘Councils’ of international organizations (IOs). Alongside a central congress in the form of an ‘Assembly’ and a Secretariat, the Board completes the ‘elementary triad’ forming the basis of the institutional structure of most IOs. Boards differ in almost every aspect: their name, composition, meeting frequency, competences, decision-making procedures, etc. Critical analyses of the increasing role of IOs often relate to extensive regulatory and executive powers of Boards, or the sub-organs and agencies created by them. While technological developments and the increasing complexity of many issues (e.g. the environment, health or finances) calls for a certain distance between the actual rule-makers and politics, this development also caused an intensified debate on the (democratic) legitimacy and accountability of the normative bodies. In that sense, not so much the Boards themselves will be the subject of academic debates, but more the normative institutional machinery in the form of committees and agencies that acts under their mandate, both formally or informally.

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