chapter  6
14 Pages

The epistemic capital of organizations

It is a common starting point for the discussion on global governance to point out that there is no world government (Rosenau & Czempiel, 1992). However, or precisely because of the lack of a single head, the contemporary world is plagued by IGOs that seem like proxies for the missing world government. The UN is of course a highly redeemed body, but it alone is a complex system that has, for instance, 15 autonomous specialized agencies that carry out various functions on behalf of the UN. Furthermore, the Yearbook of International Organizations (Union of International Associations, 2012) lists roughly 5,000 IGOs and 25,000 INGOs, and approximately 1,200 new organizations are added each year. No matter what policy area or aspect of institutionalized activity we are talking about, one is bound to find out that there are national, subnational and international networks and organizations operating in it. The worldwide explosion in the number of nonprofit organizations has taken place particularly after World War II. As Meyer and Bromley (2013, p. 367) state, for instance in the United States the total number of nonprofit organizations increased more than sevenfold between 1943 and 1996, from 0.59 to 4.48 nonprofits per 1,000 people, and similar changes took place at the international level and in other developed as well as developing countries (see also Drori, et al., 2006). Thus, if a similar organization or institution has been established in several places or countries, it is more than likely that they have regular contacts with each other and that they are members of peer organizations, which promote the institution to places that still lack it.