The ‘Public Interest’ Agency of International Organizations? The case of the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance

Andrew Baker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    This article seeks to outline and explore some of the conditions necessary for International Organizations (IOs) to perform in a public interest fashion through a case study of the Principles of corporate governance formulated by the OECD. Rather than the more commonly documented pathological and dysfunctional behavioural forms of IOs, the case of the Principles, both in their formulation by the OECD, and in their assessment by the World Bank through the ROSC process, represent an episode of IO agency protecting and promoting a wider public interest. In exercising their agency, IO staff, have made the Principles more agreeable to a wider range of interested parties, giving them a general interest orientation, in accordance with a proceduralist definition of public interest. This case should therefore encourage IPE scholars to consider carefully and systematically the sets of circumstances and conditions, which might be required for IO agency to take more socially useful forms. In the final section, three indicators are identified which might be evaluated in future research into the positive public interest agency of IOs across a range of cases.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number26
    Pages (from-to)389
    Number of pages414
    JournalReview of International Political Economy
    Issue number3
    Early online date05 Jul 2011
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Social Sciences
    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Political Science and International Relations


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