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Conditions for socialization in international organizations: comparing committees of permanent representatives in the EU and NATO

  • Anna Michalski
  • August Danielson
Original Article

Abstract

Cooperation in international organizations (IOs) is sustained by the socialization of state agents and their internalization of the organizations’ norms and identity. This article builds on a structured comparison of the scope conditions for socialization among permanent representatives in two organs of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization—the Political and Security Committee (PSC) and the North Atlantic Council (NAC). In this study, we present some unexpected findings: First, the NAC is experiencing greater internalization (stronger socialization) than the PSC, normally held as a critical case of international socialization. Second, unambiguous norms favour socialization to a larger degree than ambiguous norms, refuting a widely held assumption about the pro-internalization effect of diffuse norms. Given that member states seem to grant their representatives larger “room for manoeuvre” when the norms of the IO have material stakes, the socialization effect of an IO’s norms is dependent on the perceived utility of the organization’s mission.

Keywords

Socialization International organizations European Union North Atlantic Treaty Organization Political and Security Committee North Atlantic Council 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the participants in the workshop organized by the Swedish Network of European Studies in Political Science, Umeå University in March 2017. August Danielson would like to thank Michael Zürn for insightful comments on an earlier draft of the paper. Both authors would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their comments which greatly improved the paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GovernmentUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Swedish Institute of International AffairsStockholmSweden

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