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Rule-Breaking Bureaucrats

  • School of International Service, American University Washington, DC (map)

In spite of recent attacks on multilateral organizations, they remain important for the pursuit of collective goals that states cannot achieve on their own. Existing literature on multilateral organizations has largely viewed these organizations as hostage to the whims of their member states and, sometimes, their bureaucratic pathologies. From this perspective, individuals within these large global bureaucracies have little power to influence the performance of their organizations. Our research into the behavior and performance of these organizations reveals, however, that rule-breaking and rule-bending bureaucrats can, at times, improve the performance of multilateral organizations. This workshop aims to unpack when and how this rule-breaking or rule-bending behavior may help multilateral organizations achieve their aims, and when it may hinder them, specifically focusing on intervention in fragile and conflict-affected states.

Earlier Event: October 18
Breaking Rules to Build Peace