In recent years, the scholarship on international organizations (IOs) has grown increasingly interested in studying the process of change that takes place within IOs. Interestingly, however, most of these studies offer a limited understanding of the concept of change. Change is largely treated as a dichotomous variable that takes on the values of present/absent. This paper attempts to redress such a fallacy by unpacking the dependent variable ‘change’. That is to say, borrowing from the historical institutionalist (HI) literature, we contend that in order to explain change in IOs, we cannot simply dichotomize between change and the lack thereof. Rather, change is best conceptualized as made up of two dimensions: speed and magnitude. The combination of the two dimensions leads to a taxonomy with four distinct types of policy change. Furthermore, we do not simply map different types of change but also suggest a number of hypotheses that help explain why a specific type of change materializes. In this connection, we argue and illustrate that the position of the organization in the field helps to account for the speed of change (incremental versus rapid), whereas the openness of the organization to the inputs coming from the field helps to explain the magnitude of change (superficial versus profound).

International Organizations and Organizational Fields: Explaining Policy Change in the IMF

Moschella, Manuela;
2014

Abstract

In recent years, the scholarship on international organizations (IOs) has grown increasingly interested in studying the process of change that takes place within IOs. Interestingly, however, most of these studies offer a limited understanding of the concept of change. Change is largely treated as a dichotomous variable that takes on the values of present/absent. This paper attempts to redress such a fallacy by unpacking the dependent variable ‘change’. That is to say, borrowing from the historical institutionalist (HI) literature, we contend that in order to explain change in IOs, we cannot simply dichotomize between change and the lack thereof. Rather, change is best conceptualized as made up of two dimensions: speed and magnitude. The combination of the two dimensions leads to a taxonomy with four distinct types of policy change. Furthermore, we do not simply map different types of change but also suggest a number of hypotheses that help explain why a specific type of change materializes. In this connection, we argue and illustrate that the position of the organization in the field helps to account for the speed of change (incremental versus rapid), whereas the openness of the organization to the inputs coming from the field helps to explain the magnitude of change (superficial versus profound).
policy change, international organizations, organizational fields, IMF, surveillance, poverty reduction
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11384/56183
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