Emergency Powers of International Organizations: Between Normalization and Containment

ISBN : 9780198832935

Christian Kreuder-Sonnen
272 Pages
153 x 234 mm
Pub date
Oct 2019
Send mail

Emergency Powers of International Organizations explores emergency politics of international organizations (IOs). It studies cases in which, based on justifications of exceptional necessity, IOs expand their authority, increase executive discretion, and interfere with the rights of their rule-addressees. This ''IO exceptionalism'' is observable in crisis responses of a diverse set of institutions including the United Nations Security Council, the European Union, and the World Health Organization.
Through six in-depth case studies, the book analyzes the institutional dynamics unfolding in the wake of the assumption of emergency powers by IOs. Sometimes, the exceptional competencies become normalized in the IOs' authority structures (the ''ratchet effect"). In other cases, IO emergency powers provoke a backlash that eventually reverses or contains the expansions of authority (the "rollback effect"). To explain these variable outcomes, this book draws on sociological institutionalism to develop a proportionality theory of IO emergency powers. It contends that ratchets and rollbacks are a function of actors' ability to justify or contest emergency powers as (dis)proportionate. The claim that the distribution of rhetorical power is decisive for the institutional outcome is tested against alternative rational institutionalist explanations that focus on institutional design and the distribution of institutional power among states. The proportionality theory holds across the cases studied in this book and clearly outcompetes the alternative accounts. Against the background of the empirical analysis, the book moreover provides a critical normative reflection on the (anti) constitutional effects of IO exceptionalism and highlights a potential connection between authoritarian traits in global governance and the system's current legitimacy crisis.


1 Introduction: Emergency politics in global governance
Part I. Concepts and theory
2 Conceptualizing IO emergency powers
3 A proportionality theory of IO emergency powers
Part II. Cases of IO emergency powers
4 Emergency powers of the UN Security Council: Law making and law breaking in counter-terrorism
5 Emergency politics in the Euro crisis: From exception to structural transformation
6 WHO emergency powers for global health security
Part III. Assessment
7 Conclusion: Assessing the theory and practice of IO emergency powers

About the author: 

Dr. Christian Kreuder-Sonnen is a research fellow at the Department of Global Governance at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center and the scientific coordinator of the DFG Research Group 'Overlapping Spheres of Authority and Interface Conflicts in the Global Order' (OSAIC). His research interests relate to international institutions and the rise of international political authority. He has published on questions regarding crisis politics of international organizations, contested multilateralism and regime complexity, and institutional change. His work has appeared in outlets such as the European Journal of International Relations, International Theory, the Journal of Common Market Studies, and Global Constitutionalism, among others.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.