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.
1. Nominal democracy? Prospects for democratic global governance
- Cançado Trindade, A.A., Direito das organizações internacionais, Belo Horizonte, Del Rey, 2012.
- Klabbers, J.A.M., An Introduction to International Institutional Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2009.
- Klabbers, J.A.M. and A. Wallendahl (eds.), Research Handbook on the Law of International Organizations, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2011.
- Scharf, M.P. and P.R. Williams (eds.), Law of International Organizations: Problems and Materials,
Durham, NC, Carolina Academic Press, 2013.
- Schermers, H.G. and N.M. Blokker, International Institutional Law: Unity within Diversity, Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff, 2011.
- Patel, B.N., Responsibility of International Organisations Towards Other International Organisations: Law and Practice aw and practice of the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Union (EU) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Lucknow, Eastern Book Company, 2013.
- Zaum, D. (ed.), Legitimating International Organizations, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Alvarez, J., "International Organizations: Then and Now", in Globalization and International Organizations, Burlington, VT, Ashgate, 2011, pp. 3-26.
- Blokker, N., "International Organisations as Independent Actors: Sweet Memory or Functionally Necessary?", in Accountability for Human Rights Violations by International Organisations, Antwerp, Intersentia, 2010, pp. 37-50.
- Hafner, G., "Is the Topic of Responsibility of International Organizations Ripe for Codification?: Some Critical Remarks", in From Bilateralism to Community Interest: Essays in Honour of Judge Bruno Simma, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 695-717.
- Keohane, R., "The Promise of Institutionalist Theory", in Theories of International Relations, Farnham, Ashgate, 2008, pp. 425-437.
- Mearsheimer, J., "The False Promise of International Institutions", in International Organization, Farnham, Ashgate, 2009, pp.237-281.
- Tomuschat, C., "International Organizations as Third Parties under the Law of International Treaties", in The Law of Treaties beyond the Vienna Convention, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 206-224.
- Almeida Ribeiro, M. de, Textos de direito internacional público: organizações internacionais, Lisboa, Universidade de Técnica de Lisboa, Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas, 2003.
- David, E., Code de droit des organisations internationales, Bruxelles, Bruylant, première édition, 2014.
- Hajnal, P.I. (ed.), International Information: Documents, Publications, and Electronic Information of International Governmental Organizations, Englewood, CO, Libraries Unlimited, 1997-2001.
- Kapteyn, P.J.G. (ed.), International Organization and Integration: Annotated Basic Documents and Descriptive Directory of International Organizations and Arrangements, The Hague, Nijhoff, 1981-1997.
- Sohn, L.B. (ed.), International Organization and Integration: Annotated Basic Documents of International Organizations and Arrangements, Dordrecht, Nijhoff, 1986.
Periodicals, serial publications
- Code des organisations internationales
- International Organization
- International Organizations Law Review
- Yearbook of International Organizations
1. Nominal democracy? Prospects for democratic global governance
Ryngaert, C., (et al.) (eds.), Judicial Decisions on the Law of International Organizations, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
With the rising relevance of international organizations in international affairs, and the general turn to litigation to settle disputes, international institutional law issues have increasingly become the subject of litigation, before both international and domestic courts. The judicial treatment of this field of international law is addressed in Judicial Decisions on the Law of International Organizations through commentary on excerpts of the most prominent international and domestic judicial decisions that are relevant to the law of international organizations, providing in-depth analysis of judicial decisions.
The commentaries written and edited by leading experts in the field of international institutional law, they are opinionated and critically engage with the decision in question, with commentators' and stakeholders' reactions thereto, and with later decisions, codifications, and reports.
Hanrieder, T. , International organization in time : fragmentation and reform, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
International Organization in Time investigates why reformers often pledge to unify international organizations (IOs), but end up fragmenting them instead. The book reconstructs the institutional history of the World Health Organization (WHO) since its creation in 1946. It theorizes the fragmentation trap, which is both a cause and a consequence of reform failure in the WHO. A comparison between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) illustrates the relevance of path dependence and fragmentation across the United Nations (UN) system. As the UN approaches its 70th anniversary, this book helps to understand the path dependent dynamics that reformers encounter in international organizations.
Grigorescu, A., Democratic intergovernmental organizations? : normative pressures and decision-making rules, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, 2015.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
This work posits that, over the past two centuries, democratic norms have spread from domestic politics to intergovernmental organizations (IGOs). Grigorescu explores how norms shaped IGO decision-making rules such as those driving state participation, voting, access to information, and the role of NGOs and transnational parliaments. The study emphasizes the role of "normative pressures" (the interaction between norm strength and the degree to which the status quo strays from norm prescriptions). Using primary and secondary sources to assess the plausibility of its arguments across two centuries and two dozen IGOs, the study focuses on developments in League of Nations, International Labor Organization, United Nations, World Bank, European Union, and World Trade Organization.
Abbott, K.W. (et. al.) (eds.), International Organizations as Orchestrators, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
International Organizations as Orchestrators reveals how IOs leverage their limited authority and resources to increase their effectiveness, power, and autonomy from states. By 'orchestrating' intermediaries – including NGOs – IOs can shape and steer global governance without engaging in hard, direct regulation. This volume is organized around a theoretical model that emphasizes voluntary collaboration and support. An outstanding group of scholars investigate the significance of orchestration across key issue areas, including trade, finance, environment and labor, and in leading organizations, including the GEF, G20, WTO, EU, Kimberley Process, UNEP and ILO. The empirical studies find that orchestration is pervasive. They broadly confirm the theoretical hypotheses while providing important new insights, especially that states often welcome IO orchestration as achieving governance without creating strong institutions. This volume changes our understanding of the relationships among IOs, nonstate actors and states in global governance, using a theoretical framework applicable to domestic governance.
Allison, L., The EU, ASEAN and Interregionalism: Regionalism Support and Norm Diffusion between the EU and ASEAN, Houndmills, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
"Challenging the conventional processes of conceptualising the European Union as an actor, this study provides a timely and in-depth analysis of EU-ASEAN relations which contests the use of power as the basis of such conceptualisations. It assesses the EU's actorness by analysing its attempts to promote its regionalism experience to ASEAN. Three aspects of regionalism - economic integration, institutionalisation and political norms - are analysed using data collected from officials and researchers connected to these regions. In doing so, this compelling volume shows that the effectiveness of the EU's aim to diffuse these norms is predominantly determined both by ASEAN's perception of the EU as an actor and its consideration of the EU's regionalism experience as relevant to ASEAN".
Archer, C., International Organizations, London, Routledge, 2015.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
"What is the role of international organizations in the international political system? The fourth edition of the Clive Archer widely used textbook continues to provide students with an introduction to international organizations, exploring their rise and development, and accounts for their significance in the modern international political system. International Organizations fourth edition has been fully updated to take into account the considerable developments in the field since the last edition was published in 2001. It continues to offer an unique concise yet comprehensive approach offering students an accessible and manageable introduction to this core part of international relations. An authoritative guide to the literature about international organizations, it also provides advice on further reading"
Virzo, R. and I. Ingravallo (eds.), Evolutions in the Law of International Organizations, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2015.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Because of their increasing prevalence and diversity, International Organizations (IOs) are one of the most striking legal phenomena in contemporary international law. Evolutions in the Law of International Organizations, is a collection of essays discussing the ever-changing nature of IOs. It covers all the many considerable practical evolutions in the law of, offers a discussion of theoretical issues and proposes solutions to many crucial problems related to these institutional developments. The book explores controversial institutional issues arising from recent developments in the complex international practice of IOs and includes contributions about the definition of IOs, the role of "soft" IOs and regional IOs, the reformation of international financial institutions, and the liability of IOs for their actions, among others.
Dent, D.W. and L.C. Wilson, Historical Dictionary of Inter-American Organizations, Lanham; Toronto; Plymouth, UK, Scarecrow Press, 2014.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
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.
Hurd, I., International Organizations: Politics, Law, Practice, Cambridge; New York, Cambridge University Press, 2014.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
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.