Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Political Science

First Advisor

Daniel Sabia, Jr.


Historically, scholars have denied international organizations an independent status. This dissertation takes a different approach. Based on Barnett and Finnemore's theoretical framework of bureaucratic theory (1998, 2004), this research claims that because IOs bear rational-legal standing, delegated tasks, moral position and expertise they are bestowed authority by many actors. Consequently, the authority provides them autonomy and power. Furthermore, this paper tests the theory against the empirical data of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. This IO, in its relatively short existence, has established itself as the central international instrument on children's rights and has influenced the operation of other international, regional and domestic organizations. Using within-case analysis, cross-case analysis and content analysis, this dissertation examines the nature of work performed by the CRC Committee vis-à-vis States and allows for re-consideration of the traditional state-centric approaches to thinking about international relations.

This research deepens the insight on the multiple dimensions of the Committee's operation, leading to suggestions on what actions might be taken to facilitate its activities and increase its influence on national and international policies that affect children. Also, given the importance of the discourse on the authority and autonomy of IOs, this study is an important stepping stone in evaluating the existing theories.