The Gloss of Harmony focuses on agencies of the United Nations, examining the paradox of entrusting relatively powerless and underfunded organisations with the responsibility of tackling some of the essential problems of our time. The book shows how international organisations shape the world in often unexpected and unpredictable ways.
The authors of this collection look not only at the official objectives and unintended consequences of international governance but also at how international organisations involve collective and individual actors in policy making, absorb critique, attempt to neutralise political conflict and create new political fields with local actors and national governments.
The Gloss of Harmony identifies the micro-social processes and complexities within multilateral organisations which have, up to now, been largely invisible. This book will have wide appeal not only to students and academics in anthropology, business studies and sociology but also to all practitioners concerned with international governance.
Birgit Muller is a senior researcher at the CNRS and teaches at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales in Paris. She is the author of many books including Disenchantment with Market Economics (Berghahn Books, 2008) and The Gloss of Harmony (Pluto, 2013).
1. Introduction: Lifting the Veil of Harmony: Anthropologists approach International Organisations by Birgit Muller Part 1: Making a World that is Governable 2. The Power of Perseverance. Exploring the Negotiation Dynamics at the World Intellectual Property Organisation by Regina Bendix 3. The Making of Global Consensus. Constructing Norms on Refugee Protection at UNHCR by Marion Fresia 4. The Politics of Technicality. Guidance Culture in Environmental Governance by Peter Bille Larsen Part 2: Diluting Conflict - Creating Harmony 5. Before Audit Culture: A Genealogy of International Oversight of Rights by Jane K. Cowan 6. Politics of Shame: The Bureaucratisation of International Human Rights Monitoring by Tobias Kelly 7. Entangled in Artifacts. Governing Diverging Claims and Rights to Cultural Objects at UNESCO by Brigitta Hauser-Schaublin Part 3: Participation and Actor Building across Scales 8. "We Indigenous Peoples..." Global Activism and the Emergence of a New Collective Subject at the United Nations by Irene Bellier 9. The Loss of Harmony. FAO Guidance for Food Security in Nicaragua by Birgit Muller 10. Nature for Money. The Configuration of Transnational Institutional Space for Environmental Governance by Kenneth Iain MacDonald Notes on Contributors Index