Governance Transfer by Regional Organizations: Following a Global Script?

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Since the end of the Cold War, international organizations and states have developed programs to promote (good) governance at the country level. Regional organizations have gained an important role in governance transfer because they constitute an intermediary level of agency between the nation-state and global institutions. This paper maps the governance transfer of nine regional organizations in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. We
analyze the objectives, approaches, and instruments used to promote the creation and transformation of governance institutions in target countries. This comparison shows that similar standards and instruments have been adopted throughout the areas of study, in line with the notion of a global governance script. At the same time, we find important differences with regard to when and how the regional organizations prescribe and promote “good” governance institutions at the national level. Research on diffusion and comparative regionalism is ill-equipped to account for this double finding of increasing similarities and persisting differences. The paper calls for a more agency-centered approach that conceptualizes governance transfer as an institutional choice by states. We identify factors that elicit states’ demand for governance transfer, on the one hand, and that shape its institutional design, on the other.
Translated title of the contributionGovernance-Transfer durch Regionalorganisationen: Auf der Basis eines globalen Skripts?
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherFreie Universität Berlin, DFG Sonderforschungsbereich 700
Number of pages43
Publication statusPublished - 2013