chapter  7
14 Pages

UNHCR’s decision making on internally displaced persons

The impact of external and internal factors on policy strategy
ByRaquel Freitas

Since the end of the Cold War, international organizations have become more salient actors in the international political system. Several changes in their international environment have enhanced their policy autonomy visà-vis the member states (Reinalda and Verbeek 1998). Such an increase in policy autonomy, however, is not an outcome that follows these changes automatically. External changes may provide a window of opportunity for international organizations to attempt to increase their autonomy, but they do not explain whether, or how, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) make use of such a window when they have to make specific policy choices. In order to answer these questions it is necessary to incorporate the IGO’s internal environment in the analysis. The purpose of this chapter is to identify those mechanisms through which changes in the international environment may result in increased IGO autonomy. Mechanism here refers to the interaction between actors and processes, both internal and external to an organization, which is reflected in its decision-making dynamics.