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This chapter examines the situation in Mali to challenge the common assumption that inter-organizational collaboration is an inherent benefit in stabilization and crisis-management approaches. It combines data from fieldwork in Mali with international relations insights into regime complexity and the ‘robust turn’ of UN peace operations to explore how emerging forms of stabilization and counterterrorism collaboration between international and African organizations and states interact with regional and global norm dynamics and have in fact weakened their implementation in Mali. More broadly, the findings highlight current complexities of norm dynamics that unfold beyond the prevailing focus on the diffusion of ‘good’ international norms and involve adaptation and transformations of presumed ‘norm diffusers’ themselves.

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The concluding chapter includes three steps. First, an evaluation of the volume’s three levels of innovation takes place. This differentiates the research objects studied, the theories used and the methodologies deployed. Drawing on the pragmatist concept of beliefs as rules for action, the second step offers a synopsis of the various world-ordering beliefs covered by the chapters. Based on this collection, the third and final step spells out the implications of the findings for world order and its development. As starting points for further research, the world-ordering beliefs point to clashes between diplomacy and the rule of law, human rights and security considerations, or counterterrorism-inspired stabilization and the traditional peacekeeping principle of impartiality. The findings, inter alia, highlight the strengthening of an economic logic of action, of governing the world through statistics, and of cooperation through the exchange of information.

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This chapter analyses a novel type of hybrid governance arrangement, namely hybrid anti-impunity commissions, which involve both external and domestic actors in the exercise of public functions. The present study examines how the new hybrids’ entanglement in a web of inter-organizational relations shapes their impact on the rule of law, as the new hybrids interact with players at the domestic, regional and global levels. In this multilevel interaction, support from three actors in particular enables the hybrid to carry out its mandate successfully; namely, civil society organizations, powerful donor states and the Attorney-General’s office. The interplay of these factors will determine if changes initiated by the hybrid will lead to a deeper cultural transformation in the host state. If no such culture of lawfulness is consolidated, it is very likely that, after the hybrid’s departure, a relapse into the bad old habits of impunity will occur.

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The chapter deals with the role individuals play in formalizing security cooperation among humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Focusing on the European Interagency Security Forum, it brings together a concept from organizational studies – an understanding of exposed individuals with managing skills as linking pins – with the organizational life cycle from public administration studies. Based on interviews, theoretical literature, policy documents and reports on humanitarian security, linking pins are held to take five specific roles in three specific phases of cooperative relations. Linking pins serve as boundary spanners and entrepreneurs in the start-up phase of security cooperation between NGOs; as purposive practitioners and caretakers in the expansion phase and as gatekeepers in the consolidation phase. It is crucial for NGOs that the same person takes these roles to facilitate cooperation and maintain institutional memory. Fluctuation on this position is problematic as it forces NGOs to adjust to someone new.

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Re-Pluralizing the Debate
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Within International Relations scholarship, the nature of international organizations and their relationship with each other and nation-states has been widely contested. This edited volume brings together a team of experts to shed new light on inter-organizational relations in world politics.

The book covers areas from the rule of law and international security to business and sport. Through its analysis, it demonstrates that, just as inter-organizations relations themselves are diverse and complex, research on this topic should also be pluralistic in order to draw new and valuable results and insights.

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For more than two decades, the UN and the EU have cooperated in the field of counterterrorism. This chapter analyses the relationship between the two international governmental organizations and how they organize the field of counterterrorism through terrorist watch lists. To this end, we combine two theoretical approaches. First, we use organizational fields and isomorphism from sociological neo-institutionalism to explain why the UN and EU have followed each other’s lead to adopt and adapt the lists at different times. In a second step, we examine how international governmental organizations attempt to govern through discursive closure, a concept drawn from post-structuralist discourse theory. Both organizations use lists as organizational routines that help to organize the environment for both organizations and for other organizations that refer to those lists. Against this background, terrorist watch lists can be understood as manifestations and attempts to close a ‘field of the sayable’.

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The purpose of this introductory chapter is to take stock of inter-organizational relations research and to establish the conceptual foundation for the contributions to the volume. Starting with a depiction of inter-organizational relations as a subfield of international relations, it traces the contours of the field and its intellectual evolution towards conformity and canonization. Since this introduction, as the book, aims to overcome a narrowing of the field, a summary of five prominent approaches on inter-organizational relations and their empirical application follows. The focus is on two rationalist approaches (resource dependence and regime complexity) and three of their challengers (network accounts, sociological neo-institutionalism and classical pragmatism). This prepares for theoretical discussions in the subsequent chapters and underpins the volume’s goal to re-pluralize the debate on inter-organizational relations in international relations. The chapter closes with a presentation of the structure of the book and summaries of each chapter.

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This chapter explores the dynamics of competition that shape inter-organizational relations in world politics. Global governance is characterized by a competition over authority in which diverse actors produce knowledge about governance objects. Does this competition make the epistemic practices of the actors more similar or more distinct? To answer this question, the chapter treats organizational fields as political fields and elaborates on how cleavages – deep political divides – affect the field dynamics. Using the evolution of military expenditure statistics as an empirical example, the chapter argues that cleavages make governance-related forms of field-wide isomorphism less likely while limiting the spread of practices that are politically contested, thus fostering persistent diversity in the practices. By doing so, the chapter contributes to a better understanding not only of how competition structures IOR but also of how IOR affects the ordering of world politics.

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More than 20 years into its existence, the jury is still out on the UN Global Compact. For advocates, the Compact is promoted as the prime example of global governance and engaged multi-stakeholderism. For critics, it remains deeply flawed and limited, as compliance with its principles remains voluntary and the overall network rather loose. This chapter argues that such readings do not take the relational character of the Compact fully into consideration. To better understand the Compact, I expand the notion of inter-organizational relations and propose to frame the Compact as such. Shedding light onto its origin and corporate understandings, the chapter considers broader world-order implications of bringing together enterprises, NGOs, labour organizations, cities and other public-sector organizations. Understanding the Compact as inter-organizational relations, I conclude that its most important contribution is the establishment and sustenance of global governors in light of organizations’ inability to govern alone.

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The chapter addresses the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) as representatives of world sports. The first of two steps offers a reconstruction of their environmental embeddedness. By studying the 2021 media coverage in the daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, it shows that both organizations maintain manifold external relations and respond to many external events. In the second step, their immediate responses to Russia’s escalation of its war against Ukraine are examined with regard to world-ordering beliefs they contain. Sequential analyses of two press releases issued on 24 February 2022 reveal that the IOC and FIFA condemn the Russian invasion rather idiosyncratically. Primarily interested in ensuring that the sports events they organize can take place without interference, the IOC promotes the Olympic Games as an example of peaceful and fair competition, while FIFA sticks to routines of pacifist rhetoric.

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