Some days ago, I handed in my dissertation “Participation and Transparency in Intergovernmental Security Organizations. Resource and Norm Driven Opening in the IAEA and OPCW” at the University of Bremen. In the study, I show how the IAEA and OPCW have become more open to non-state participation and how they have become more transparent since their founding years. Both is remarkable given the high sovereignty costs that the organizations’ inspection activities have for their member states. Further, participation and transparency compete with strong norms of confidentiality in both organizations. In addition, I show that participation and transparency increase in a wide range of the organizations’ output. Both in their talk, decisions and actions, the IAEA and OPCW become more open.

Looking at explanations, I find that increasing participation is best explained by a resource based logic. Both organizations allow more non-state access for functional reasons, especially to gain expertise and advice for their inspections and verification activities. Increasing transparency, however, is best told as a norm based story. Rhetoric references to transparency and related changes in the organizations’ rules and action are strongest since a global norm of appropriate, transparent global governance has spread. In a short time, both the IAEA and OPCW have not only acknowledged that transparency should be an important principle for governance in their institutions, but also that new media strategies and investments in transparency towards the general public are required.

I will prepare a shorter version of the dissertation in the coming months. If you are already interested in the data I have collected on the organizational openness of the IAEA and OPCW, it is already available here:

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Tobias Weise



Tobias Weise

university management specialist

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