Uncovering the influence of international bureaucracies

Helge Jörgens, Nina Kolleck & Barbara Saerbeck (all Freie Universität Berlin)
Helge Jörgens, Nina Kolleck & Barbara Saerbeck (all Freie Universität Berlin)

Assessing the influence of political actors on policy outputs is a thorny enterprise for every political scientist. What renders this task even trickier is when the agent of interest is concerned with maintaining an image of impartiality. Students of international public administrations’ role in intergovernmental negotiations are no strangers to this intricacy, and traditional methods of inferring influence are typically not suited to gauge the impact of international bureaucracies on negotiation outcomes. Help may be at hand and it comes in the form of analysing Twitter feeds. Helge Jörgens, Nina Kolleck and Barbara Saerbeck operationalize influence using techniques of social network analysis and Twitter data covering the three days of United Nations climate negotiations in 2014 in Peru. Read their article “Exploring the hidden influence of international treaty secretariats: using social network analysis to analyse the Twitter debate on the ‘Lima Work Programme on Gender’” published in the Journal of European Public Policy, and learn how social media helped them to uncover how the United Nations climate secretariat brokered a strengthening of gender concerns in international climate policy.