International Organizations

Introduction

International Organizations - Research Guide International Law

An international organization can be defined, following the International Law Commission, as an ‘organization established by a treaty or other instrument governed by international law and possessing its own international legal personality’. International organizations generally have States as members, but often other entities can also apply for membership. They both make international law and are governed by it. Yet, the decision-making process of international organizations is often ‘less a question of law than one of political judgement’.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on International Organizations. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library’s classification index code 130a. International Organizations and subject heading (keyword) International Organizations are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

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  • Dent, D.W. and L.C. Wilson, Historical Dictionary of Inter-American Organizations, Lanham; Toronto; Plymouth, UK, Scarecrow Press, 2014.

    Dent, D.W. and L.C. Wilson, Historical Dictionary of Inter-American Organizations, Lanham; Toronto; Plymouth, UK, Scarecrow Press, 2014.

    This updated second edition of Historical Dictionary of Inter-American Organizations covers the history of through a chronology, an introductory essay, appendixes, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 400 hundred cross-referenced entries on important personalities, politics, economy, foreign relations, religion, and culture. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Inter-American Organizations.

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  • Hurd, I., International Organizations: Politics, Law, Practice, Cambridge; New York, Cambridge University Press, 2014.

    Hurd, I., International Organizations: Politics, Law, Practice, Cambridge; New York, Cambridge University Press, 2014.

    International organizations are at the heart of many global issues today. This new textbook looks at the leading international organizations and explains how they both shape and are shaped by international politics. The book examines three themes: the legal obligations that give international organizations their powers; the mechanisms that elicit compliance by their member states; and the practices of enforcement in the organization. Each chapter shows how international organizations work in practice and the interactions between them and their member states. This fresh text provides a comprehensive understanding of what international organizations do, how and why they do it, and the challenges they face.

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  • Zaum, D. (ed.), Legitimating International Organizations, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013.

    Zaum, D. (ed.), Legitimating International Organizations, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013.

    The legitimacy of international and regional organisations and their actions is frequently asserted and challenged by states and commentators alike. Their authorisations or conduct of military interventions, their structures of decision-making, and their involvement into what states deem to be domestic matters have all raised questions of legitimacy. As international organisations lack the coercive powers of states, legitimacy is also considered central to their ability to attain compliance with their decisions. Despite the prominence of legitimacy talk around international organisations, little attention has been paid to the practices and processes through which such organisations and their member states justify the authority these organisations exercise – how they legitimise themselves both vis-a-vis their own members and external audiences. This book addresses this gap by comparing and evaluating the legitimation practices of a range of international and regional organisations. It examines the practices through which such organisations justify and communicate their legitimacy claims, and how these practices differ between organisations. In exploring the specific legitimation practices of international organisations, this book analyses the extent to which such practices are shaped by the structure of the different organisations, by the distinct normative environments within which they operate, and by the character of the audiences of their legitimacy claims. It also considers the implications of this analysis for global and regional governance.

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  • Guide to International Organisations in The Hague, The Hague, City of The Hague, 2013.

    Guide to International Organisations in The Hague, The Hague, City of The Hague, 2013.

    The Hague is the International City of Peace and Justice. There are 160 international organisations in The Hague, employing around 14,000 people dedicated to the cause of world peace. As far away as Sarajevo, Nairobi and Kabul, the name ‘The Hague’ represents hope: hope for millions of people that the crimes perpetrated against them will not go unpunished. Hope for a peaceful future. Find out more in this small booklet about the organisations and what they do. If you would like to find out more about The Hague as the International City of Peace and Justice, please contact the Department of International Affairs at the Municipality of The Hague. The telephone number is +31 (0)70 353 32 04, and the e-mail address is biz@denhaag.nl.

    PDF fileGuide to International Organisations in The Hague  (PDF, 14879 kB)

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  • Reinalda, B. (ed.), Routledge Handbook of International Organization, London, Routledge, 2013.

    Reinalda, B. (ed.), Routledge Handbook of International Organization, London, Routledge, 2013.

    This Handbook brings together scholars whose essays discuss significant issues with regard to international organization as a process and international organizations as institutions. Although the focus is on intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are discussed where relevant. The state-of-the-art articles are meant to encourage current and future generations of scholars to enjoy working in and further exploiting the field and are also of great interest to practitioners of international organization and global governance.

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  • Barkin, J.S., International Organization: Theories and Institutions, New York, NY, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

    Barkin, J.S., International Organization: Theories and Institutions, New York, NY, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

    Primarily focused on the theoretical aspects of international organization, this book provides an in-depth examination of competing theories through thematic chapters, asking, Do international organizations matter? What are their effects on international relations? Where do they fit into the international relations literature? How should we study them? This book addresses these questions by looking at four distinctions to be found in the theoretical literature on international organizations. The distinctions are those between sovereignty and globalization, between power and interdependence, between efficiency and ideas, and between regimes and institutions. These theories are then applied to specific international organizations, including the United Nations and other organizations that deal with issues including international and human security, human rights and humanitarian aid, the international political economy and development, and the global environment. Intended to fill the gap between introductory textbooks and primary sources of theory, this newly revised and updated edition of International Organization is useful for upper-level international relations courses with a significant emphasis on theory.

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