The Evolution of International Organizations as Institutional Forms and Historical Processes since 1945: Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?
constructivism, decision making, institutions, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), liberalism, realism, social norms
Comment on this article As an “ordering principle” or “method” of conducting international relations, international organizations (IGOs) have become a “ubiquitous” component of the international relations landscape ( Barnett and Finnemore 2004 :1). Their number has grown exponentially since 1945 and they have increasingly become involved in the creation, monitoring, and enforcement of international norms and rules that frame, shape, and structure national policy deliberations, formulation, and outcomes and affect individual lives. IGOs now exercise increasingly broad powers over an expanding range of diverse policy objectives, thus raising vexing questions of accountability and legitimacy. There is no dearth of theories of international relations ( Rosamond 2000 ; Rittberger et al. 2006 :14–24) seeking to capture the complexity of the evolving roles and functions of international organizations among what Karns and Mingst call the “pieces of global governance” ( Karns and Mingst 2004 :xvi). For the purpose of this essay, IGOs will be viewed as mechanisms of decision making endowed with legitimacy and converting inputs into outputs; that is, reacting to demands and support for their environment and transforming these into policies ( Rittberger et al. 2006 :61). From this vantage point, the evolution of international organizations may be assessed in terms of four broad criteria: 1 ... log in or subscribe to read full text
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