IO Reputation and Accountability

IO Reputation and Accountability

I am delighted to announce the publication of a new AJIL unbound symposium on the Reputation of International Organizations. Responding to Kristina Daugirdas‘s excellent article in the American Journal of International Law on reputation and the consequences of recent sexual exploitation and abuse problems. Contributors from law and political science assess the effect of new technologies, immunities, and principal agent questions with regards to reputation.

My contribution makes the point that IOs have worked hard to avoid a reputation for deep pockets, but that where compensation isn’t at issue, reputation has mattered. Here is the abstract:

“In her recent article on the reputation of international organizations (IOs), Kristina Daugirdas concludes that reputation’s constraining effect has some serious shortcomings in the context of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA). This essay extends those conclusions to recent mass torts cases against IOs. In particular, it argues that member states and IOs have independent and overlapping concerns that have contributed to devaluing the relevance of a “good reputation,” particularly when it comes to providing compensation for wrongful conduct. IOs, it seems, do not want to develop a reputation for deep pockets. Nonetheless, this essay also demonstrates that when compensation is not at issue, there are instances in which reputation matters to IOs. It concludes by discussing recent cases related to responsibility and organizational immunities and suggests that the trend of narrowing immunities may change the reputational calculus for IOs and member states significantly.”

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