Human Rights Accountability in Complex Global Governance
This introductory chapter highlights why pluralist accountability is an important empirical phenomenon in global governance that needs to be studied systematically. It demonstrates the limits of the existing literature on international organization (IO) accountability, which has focused on traditional, vertical accountability, whereby the implementing actors are held accountable directly by the mandating authority. The chapter introduces the concept of pluralist accountability as standard setting, monitoring, and sanctioning by independent third parties. It presents the argument that a competitive environment that stimulates third parties to act as accountability holders and the vulnerability of implementing actors regarding human rights demands shape the evolution of pluralist accountability. The chapter then outlines the implications of the book’s analysis for current International Relations and international law scholarship on IOs, in particular with regard to complex delegation, the role of nonstate actors and the study of IO legitimacy. It also contains an overview of the subsequent chapters.
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