This project addresses the research question: how do regional norms (i.e. non-intervention) and the organization’s perceived role as a rational-legal authority influence their level of civil society organization (CSO) permeability? The main hypothesis of this study is that the structure (institutionalized vs. production) and behavioral nature (intergovernmental vs. supranational) of an international organization (IO) will tend to influence it’s level of institutional permeability for CSOs, which in turn may influence the organization’s power and legitimacy. A review of the relevant literature highlights that this question has been studied from various different theoretical angles, but the constructivist school of thought has provided the ideational lens that emphasizes the autonomy of bureaucratic international organizations. By combining content analysis (public speeches, manuals, resolutions, and interviews) with a comparative analysis of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Council of Europe (CE), this project aims to understand the factors that impact each IO’s level of CSO permeability.


Krain, Matthew


Political Science


International Relations


Non-Governmental Organization, NGO, Civil Society Organization, CSO, Organization of American States, OAS, Council of Europe, CoE, Democracy, Permeability, Norms

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2015 Pablo D. Doster Ropero