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Deliberation in international institutions: the case of the International Maritime Organization

Aboudounya, Seebal (2021) Deliberation in international institutions: the case of the International Maritime Organization. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This PhD thesis studies the deliberative dynamics in the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations’ specialised agency for regulating international shipping. The study takes a two-step approach whereby it firstly assesses the extent to which the IMO meets the requirements for an ideal deliberative setting and then proceeds to analysing the determinants of variation in deliberative quality within the IMO. During stage 1, the study examines the deliberative democratic situation of the IMO in relation to the deliberative criteria and also discusses the public-private interactions taking place in this organization, specifically the question regarding over-represented business interest in the IMO. The views of the IMO delegates themselves gathered from several interviews are also analysed in both stages 1 and 2. To explain variation in deliberative quality within the IMO, stage 2 develops an amended version of the discourse quality index (DQI) that is particularly useful for application to an international institutional context. It then measures the deliberative quality of the IMO speeches empirically through the systematic content analysis of 1311 speeches given in the IMO between 2016 and 2018. The study then identifies the determinants of deliberative quality in the IMO by testing a range of different hypotheses, including ones relating specifically to its member states. Those original state-related hypotheses focus on identifying the determinants of deliberative quality by ‘state’ characteristics. The results demonstrate that national bureaucratic performance determines member states’ deliberative quality. Key findings also include that continuity in attendance and the type of institutional body matter for deliberative quality, and that nongovernmental organizations have better ‘deliberative action’ scores than member states. The thesis further explores the ‘relational’ aspect of deliberation and identifies a ‘contagion effect’ taking place between the participants whereby the speech of previous speakers affects the deliberative quality scores of the next speaker.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2021 Seebal Aboudounya
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JZ International relations
V Naval Science > V Naval Science (General)
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Supervisor: Koenig-Archibugi, Mathias

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