Seeing like an International Organisation

Andre Broome, L Seabrooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


International organisations (IOs) often serve as the ‘engine room’ of ideas for structural reforms at the national level, but how do IOs construct cognitive authority over the forms, processes, and prescriptions for institutional change in their member states? Exploring the analytic institutions created by international organisations provides insights into how they make their member states ‘legible’, and how greater legibility enables them to construct cognitive authority in specific policy areas which in turn enhances their capacity to influence changes in national frameworks for economic and social governance. By ‘seeing like an international organisation’ we can increase our understanding of the cognitive and organisational environment that guides an IO’s actions and informs its policy advice to states, which enables a more comprehensive picture of how the everyday business of global governance works in practice. Instead of ‘black boxing’ international organisations, the contributors to this special issue demonstrate how studying IOs from the inside-out expands both our understanding of the policy dialogue between IOs and their member states, as well as how IOs and states learn from each other over time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalNew Political Economy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2012


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