Logo Logo
Switch Language to German

Jankauskas, Vytautas (2021): Delegation and stewardship in international organizations. In: Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 29, No. 4: pp. 568-588

Full text not available from 'Open Access LMU'.


International organizations (IOs) are driven by political-administrative interactions between member states and IO administrations. To model these interactions and understand their outcomes, scholars have predominantly, and almost exclusively, relied on agency theory. Yet, as this paper argues, delegation can also take a form of stewardship, where goal conflict and information asymmetries are low. In stewardship relationships, member states trust the IO administration, which enables softer, more informal exercise of control. Both agency and stewardship relationships are illustrated in a comparative case study of FAO and WFP. As interview data and document analysis show, while FAO exhibits agency, WFP provides an example for stewardship. The findings imply that conventional Principal-Agent assumptions should not be taken as given. Not all IO administrations are self-serving agents. The findings also provide implications on IO control and performance and call for scholarship to redirect its focus on de facto rather than de jure IO characteristics.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item