Problem solving by international bureaucracies

The influence of international secretariats on world politics

Authored by: Frank Biermann , Bernd Siebenhüner

Routledge Handbook of International Organization

Print publication date:  May  2013
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415501439
eBook ISBN: 9780203405345
Adobe ISBN: 9781134112982


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International bureaucracies play an increasing role in world politics in several policy fields. One type of international bureaucracy that is often overlooked is the secretariat related to international treaty regimes. While many international regimes rely for their secretarial functions on full-fledged international organizations, such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), other treaty regimes maintain merely weak links to specialized United Nations (UN) agencies. Instead, such treaties have set up their own independent bureaucracies, the so-called secretariats.

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