How Many and Why? Size Variation of National Delegations to Plenary Meetings of International Organizations
This article provides new insights into size variation of national delegations to plenary meetings of international organizations. Plenaries are supreme decision-making bodies representing a symbol of national sovereignty as all member states of the given organization can participate in the negotiations and collective decision-making. However, this article argues that the right to participate in plenaries is utilized differently by different countries, which may have political and normative implications for international organizations and global governance as such. Drawing upon an actor-centred institutionalist approach and a newly created dataset covering seventeen plenary meetings, I suggest there is considerable variation in the delegation size caused by country-based factors. Namely, financial capacities, ideational capacities and national interests motivate states to delegate more representatives. In contrast, regional partnerships enable countries to rely on their partners and delegate fewer representatives. Finally, administrative capacities, the nature of the domestic political regime, and the institutional design of international organizations have no or only an inconclusive effect in this regard.
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