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Discretionary Governance: Selection, Secrecy, and Status within the World Economic Forum
Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Sweden; Stockholm University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1652-631X
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology. Stockholm University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6797-3892
2021 (English)In: Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations, ISSN 1075-2846, E-ISSN 1942-6720, Vol. 27, no 4, p. 540-560Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Built on the exclusive funding of 1ooo large transnational corporations, the World Economic Forum is a not-for-profit Swiss foundation, aiming to shape the direction of globalization. Its events are characterized by low degrees of formality and transparency. Research on what this organization does is scarce. This article suggests the term discretionary governance to capture the precarious, yet existing, social order that the organization shapes. By discretionary governance, we mean a set of discreet practices based on the organization's judgement in ways that escape established democratic controls. Drawing on ethnographic data the paper demonstrates how selection, secrecy, and status form key components of this tenuous ordering. Selection processes and secrecy contribute to status elevation of the individuals and organizations chosen to participate. Upon them and the organization itself is bestowed a symbolic capital that is practical and possibly profitable in the world of global governance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Brill Academic Publishers, 2021. Vol. 27, no 4, p. 540-560
Keywords [en]
discretionary governance, symbolic capital, status, secrecy, selection
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-47989DOI: 10.1163/19426720-02704006ISI: 000733604400004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85122404739OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-47989DiVA, id: diva2:1625859
Available from: 2022-01-10 Created: 2022-01-10 Last updated: 2022-01-25Bibliographically approved

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Sörbom, Adrienne

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-harvard.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-oxford.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf