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Bureaucratic Politics and the World Food Conference: The International Policy Process

Thomas G. Weiss and Robert S. Jordan
World Politics
Vol. 28, No. 3 (Apr., 1976), pp. 422-439
DOI: 10.2307/2009978
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2009978
Page Count: 18
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Bureaucratic Politics and the World Food Conference: The International Policy Process
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Abstract

It is generally recognized that there are enormous difficulties, bureaucratic as well as political, that attend attempts to ameliorate human problems which arise from the growing interdependence of states. The policy challenge therefore is how to create--or alternatively, how to understand and then to reform--the existing machinery of international administration to enable it to cope with interdependence. The World Food Conference, held in Rome on November 5-16, 1974, was not only an exercise in ad hoc multilateral diplomacy designed to meet the immediate threats of the food crisis; it was also an attempt to rebuild the international food bureaucracy, either by replacing the Food and Agriculture Organization or by reforming it. The Conference largely succeeded in this task; it created a World Food Council, organizationally linked to the FAO in Rome, but separately responsible to the UN General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council. Thus, an examination of the leadership of the Secretariat of the World Food Conference provides a classic case for the study of bureaucratic politics: an international secretariat not merely indirectly influenced the shape of policy; it actually made policy.

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