New Organizational Leadership: Nonstate Actors in Global Economic Governance

Walter Mattli, Jack Seddon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


States and international organizations have found irresistible cause in a globalizing world to coopt nonstate actors (NGOs, private standard setters and so forth) to manage the manifold problems arising under their stretched mandates and resources. The pooling of capacities in the pursuit of common goals seems perfectly sensible. Yet although the strategy of cooptation has become a policy of choice, policy makers often lack full knowledge of its implications. As Philip Selznick first showed, cooptation can have unintended consequences, shifting leadership from one organization to another. We place this fertile insight in a better specified analytical framework. That is, one capable of explaining when and how leadership shifts occur and where the status quo leaders will remain at the helm. Using original interview data and structured focused comparisons to test the framework, we reveal dramatic variation in leadership changes following the cooptation of outside actors in global financial and environmental governance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-277
Number of pages11
JournalGlobal Policy
Issue number3
Early online date21 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015


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