The Inner Workings of IO’s Rory O’Riordan

International Organizations and who they represent is a difficult and on going debate. At times, people will say that they represent states interests, while at others they do not and exist to solely carry out their duties as an independent organization who strive to fulfill their purpose. However what is sometimes over looked is the individual people who work at these international organizations and how their individuality impacts their organization. This kind of thought debate comes to light especially when looking at a group such as the World Bank.

The organization that is the World Bank is responsible for many monetary problems and solutions around the world. One of their members, Jim Yong Kim did a Q and A in which he shed light on how he functions at one of the most important organizations. When he admitted that one of his toughest days on the job was that he had to make a decision on a bridge project connected to corruption on his first day, it gets many thoughts going. He had no training and was put on the spot. This goes to show that not all decisions for organizations like the World Bank are reflected in the interests of their members, but rather the staff. Sometimes it comes down to a few key decisions by a few men to shape the world. Later on he mentions the culture of the work place. He says that in order to adapt, he needed to develop thick skin, but only in patches to be open to other ideas. This is an interesting description because it shows that within an organization, when the same people are butting heads all the time, they make personal reactions rater than think for the greater members. For these kinds of organizations, the staffers and its leaders are in difficult positions because they fight more to keep their organization relevant than they do to focus on their work. The World Bank fights to keep its negativity out of the light and maintain a positive image. Likewise, in Finnemore and Barnett’s piece, the functioning of the UN can arguably be staked in its battle to be politically relevant than it is in completing actual objectives. None the less, it can be surmised that my take on these kinds of writers is that their take is a skeptical view, in the sense that they look to attack the inner workings of these organizations rather than focus on the kind of stability that they bring to the international system.


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