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Chapter

Cover Global Environmental Politics

7. International institutions  

This chapter looks at intergovernmental organisations and international regimes. As several environmental problems have transnational implications, governments have been eager to establish international institutions to address these problems collectively. In the aftermath of the landmark 1972 Stockholm Summit on the Human Environment, states created several international institutions specifically dedicated to environmental protection. Over time, and in keeping with broader trends in global politics, these institutions have begun to interact with institutions that specialize on other topics. The chapter then tracks international environmental institutions' development and impacts over time. It also considers how international environmental institutions exhibit differing levels of autonomy, before going on to look at the interactions between international institutions, in particular the dynamics of synergy and conflict between them. Finally, the chapter studies the literature on actual or planned reforms to the institutional architecture for global environmental governance.

Chapter

Cover Global Political Economy

14. Global governance  

Richard Jolly and Thomas G. Weiss

This chapter discusses ‘global governance’, the term now used widely to analyse the international system. Global governance consists of collective efforts to identify, understand, and address worldwide problems and processes that go beyond the capacities of individual states. The question of how to improve global economic governance can be understood by addressing the main ‘gaps’ in the international system: knowledge, norms, policies, institutions, leadership, and compliance. The chapter then presents three illustrations of current issues in global governance—and the gaps therein—to help in understanding international responses (both weak and strong) to communicable diseases, economic instability, and child welfare. Ultimately, addressing global governance problems requires more robust intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

3. The rise of modern international order  

George Lawson

This chapter examines the rise of modern international order. It begins with a discussion of international orders before the modern period, focusing on how trade and transport helped to link diverse parts of the world. It then considers debates about the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, along with nineteenth-century developments such as industrialization and imperialism. It also explores the main ideas that underpinned modern international order, the ‘shrinking of the planet’ that arose from the advent of new technologies, the emergence of intergovernmental organizations and international non-governmental organizations, and the advent of a radically unequal international order. The chapter concludes with case studies on the dual character of international law and imperialism in China.

Chapter

Cover Politics

18. Governance and Organizations in Global Politics  

This chapter examines the ways in which governance and organizations influence global politics. It first provides an overview of what an international organization is, focusing on intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, before discussing the rise of organizations in the global sphere from the nineteenth century onwards. It then takes a look at the major intergovernmental institutions that emerged in the twentieth century and which have played a major role in shaping global order, including the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations (UN). The chapter concludes with an analysis of ideas about social movements and civil society, along with their relationship to contemporary governance and organizations.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

21. International Organizations in Global Politics  

Stephanie Lawson

This chapter examines the nature of international organizations and their role in global politics. It first explains what an international organization is before discussing the rise of international organizations from a historical perspective, focusing on developments from the nineteenth century onwards. It then considers the major intergovernmental institutions that emerged in the twentieth century and which have made significant contributions in shaping the global order, including the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations. It also looks at non-governmental organizations and concludes with an analysis of ideas about social movements and global civil society, along with their relationship to the contemporary world of international organizations.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

21. International Organizations in Global Politics  

Stephanie Lawson

This chapter examines the nature of international organizations and their role in global politics. It first explains what an international organization is before discussing the rise of international organizations from a historical perspective, focusing on developments from the nineteenth century onwards. It then considers the major intergovernmental institutions that emerged in the twentieth century, and which have made significant contributions in shaping the global order, including the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations. It also looks at non-governmental organizations and concludes with an analysis of ideas about social movements and global civil society, along with their relationship to the contemporary world of international organizations.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

2. The rise of modern international order  

George Lawson

This chapter examines the rise of modern international order. It begins with a discussion of international orders before the modern period, focusing on how trade and transport helped to link diverse parts of the world. It then considers debates about the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, along with nineteenth-century developments such as industrialization and imperialism. It also explores the main ideas that underpinned modern international order, the ‘shrinking of the planet’ that arose from the advent of new technologies, the emergence of intergovernmental organizations and international non-governmental organizations, and the advent of a radically unequal international order. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the significance of nineteenth-century developments for twentieth- and twenty-first-century international relations.

Chapter

Cover International Relations Theories

4. Liberalism  

Bruce Russett

This chapter examines the expansion of three central phenomena associated with liberalism and its emphasis on the potentially peace-promoting effects of domestic and transnational institutions: the spread of democracy throughout most of the world; globalization; and the proliferation of intergovernmental organizations, especially those composed primarily of democratic governments. Each of these assumptions supports and extends the other in a powerful feedback system envisioned by Immanuel Kant. The chapter first considers four major changes in the world over the last century and particularly over recent decades before discussing the ‘epidemiology’ of international conflict. It then explores constraints on war from the perspective of realism vs. liberal institutionalism, whether democracies are peaceful in general, and how order is nurtured within anarchy. It also presents a case study of the European Union and concludes with some reflections on power, hegemony, and liberalism.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

7. International Organizations in Global Politics  

This chapter addresses the nature of international organizations and how they are generally theorized as participants in global politics and then reviews the rise of international organizations from a historical perspective, with particular reference to developments from the nineteenth century onwards. It also discusses the major intergovernmental institutions that emerged in the twentieth century and which have played such an important role in shaping global order. The chapter briefly looks at the League of Nations but most attention is given to its successor, the United Nations (UN), and its various appendages. It then examines the world of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Some of these NGOs possess significant status in the global sphere, others have little relevance, and still others pose dangers. Finally, the chapter considers social movements and their relationship to the contemporary world of international organizations along with the idea of global civil society. In reviewing these institutions, actors, and ideas, we should keep in mind that liberal international theory, especially in the form of liberal institutionalism, as well as proponents of international society, regard robust international organizations as essential building blocks of global order.