Orchestrating monitoring: The optimal adaptation of international organizations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Orchestration is prevalent in global governance. This chapter asks why and under what conditions IGOs adopt orchestration for traditionally hierarchical tasks. I argue that IGOs rationally adapt to their strategic environment by working around binding constraints and tapping into alternative resources made available by non-state actors. Under certain circumstances, it may be both efficient and effective for IGOs to enlist non-state intermediaries to help monitor and enforce states’ compliance. In this sense, I argue, orchestration is an optimal strategy of adaptation. This model of orchestration highlights key hypotheses from the orchestration framework chapter (Abbott et al., in this volume), especially goal divergence and intermediary availability. I provide empirical support for these hypotheses through a comparative study of IGOs over a wide range of issue areas, including international security, international trade, the environment and human rights. In each case, the model helps explain not just the likelihood, but also the varying degrees and forms of IGO orchestration of non-state intermediaries in monitoring state compliance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Organizations as Orchestrators
EditorsKenneth W Abbott, Philipp Genschel, Duncan Snidal, Bernhard Zangl
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781139979696
ISBN (Print)9781107082205
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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