Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Josef Korbel School of International Studies

First Advisor

Deborah Avant, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Rachel Epstein

Third Advisor

Douglas Allen


Intergovernmental organisation, International security, Proliferation security initiative, Transgovernmental networks


The practice of non-proliferation has evolved significantly since its origins during the Cold War. The most recent and notable contribution to the non-proliferation regime has come in the form of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), a loose consortium of 102 nation-states through which countries can coordinate, share intelligence, and build capacity to interdict weapons of mass destruction (WMD) related transfers. My objective in this paper is to move beyond the “activity not an organisation” rhetoric espoused by proponents of the PSI and to ask a set of deeper and broader questions regarding why transgovernmental networks (TGNs) like the PSI arise and take the form that they do. I argue that for certain issue areas TGNs provide a more suitable organisational design and mechanism for cooperation than IGOs. They offer managerial and participating states a range of functional and strategic benefits that a formal centralised structure is unable to provide. To achieve this objective, I identify 14 threshold criteria for an entity to qualify as a TGN from which I derive six drivers of TGN-formation and cooperation. I also explore the relationship between power and transgovernmental networking, focusing specifically on the role of the U.S. in establishing, managing, and monitoring these institutions. I suggest that TGN-based cooperation is more likely to occur and succeed when there is concentrated power, that is, the presence of a resource rich actor, like the U.S. willing to exercise managerial power in a productive way.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Pallavi Gulati

File size

121 p.

File format





International relations, Organization theory