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Invisible Governance: International Secretariats in Global Politics

John Mathiason
Invisible Governance: International Secretariats in Global Politics
ISBN: 978-1-56549-220-2
ISBN: 978-1-62637-592-5
2007/295 pages/LC: 2006032243
A Kumarian Press Book
"Invisible Governance provides a breath of fresh air.... This is an especially valuable contribution to our understanding of contemporary global governance."—Thomas G. Weiss, The Graduate Center, CUNY

"This book will work well in the classroom by providing students insights into a part of world politics all too often out of sight."—Choice


John Mathiason, a member of the UN Secretariat for 25 years, offers a behind-the-scenes view of the work of a core, but often "invisible," element of world politics.

Drawing on his extensive knowledge of a variety of international organizations, Mathiason traces the evolution of the international public sector, explains how secretariats function, discusses the creation of regimes to deal with issues ranging from human rights to internet governance, considers matters of implementation and accountability, and much more. The result is a unique contribution to our understanding of the actors involved in global governance.


John Mathiason is managing director of Associates for International Management and visiting lecturer at Cornell University's Institute for Public Affairs.


  • Why Are Secretariats Invisible?
  • Evolution of the International Public Service(1919–2006).
  • What Do Secretariats Do?/Does Leadership Matter?
  • Regime Creation: Human Rights, the Internet, the Environment, the Seas, and Drugs and Thugs.
  • How Information Is Mobilized.
  • Norm Enforcement: Human Rights, Weapons of Mass Destruction, War Crimes, and Trade Disputes.
  • Providing Services for Peace and Security.
  • Providing Humanitarian Relief: From Palestine to Darfur.
  • Managing the International Economy and Social Relations.
  • How the International Public Sector Manages Itself.
  • The Accountability Problem: Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?
  • International Secretariats in Future World Politics.