The Global Machinery: Revisiting Technocracy, Depoliticization and International Organizations

Book launch and discussion

Tuesday, 30 November 2021, 5-6.30 PM (CET)

Marieke Louis, PhD, Sciences Po Grenoble, Grenoble Alpes University
Lucile Maertens, PhD, University of Lausanne
Prof. Jens Steffek, Technical University of Darmstadt and Normative Orders

Prof. Frédéric Mérand, CÉRIUM, Université de Montréal

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought back critical debates about international organizations (IOs) and their role in global politics. Many of these debates revolve around the claim that IOs could be impartial knowledge producers, removed from political battles and national or sectoral interests. Through the analytical tools of depoliticization and technocracy, two new books explore the apolitical image of IOs and its functionalist roots. They show in detail how IOs, but also academics, are creating this image and what consequences this has for IO legitimacy. Based on in-depth case studies, Why International Organizations Hate Politics demonstrates how IOs currently enact depoliticization in a series of overlapping, sometimes mundane, practices resulting from the complex interaction between professional habits, organizational cultures and individual tactics. International Organization as Technocratic Utopia traces the evolution of the idea that international relations should be managed by experts, bureaucrats and lawyers, rather than by politicians or diplomats. It shows that the technocratic ideal has been a persistent theme in writings about international relations, both academic and policy-oriented, since the late 19th century.



The event will be held in english


Steffek, Jens: International Organization as Technocratic Utopia. Oxford University Press 2021. For further information: Click here...






Marieke Louis, Lucile Maertens: Why International Organizations Hate Politics. Depoliticizing the World. Routledge 2021. For further information: Click here...




Presented by:
Research Centre “Normative Orders”, Goethe University Frankfurt


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