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A World Beyond Borders

A World Beyond Borders: An Introduction to the History of International Organizations

Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 208
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  • Book Info
    A World Beyond Borders
    Book Description:

    This short and well-written overview provides essential information on the history of international organizations (IOs), with particular focus on the League of Nations, the development of the United Nations, and the UN system.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9370-8
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. List of Figures
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. 1 An Introduction to International Organizations
    (pp. 1-8)

    States created international organizations to do things that they could not do on their own or to prevent from happening things that were not in the state’s interests. International intergovernmental organizations did not create themselves or exist on their own; they were designed, supported, and operated by the countries that created them. At the same time, individuals and groups of individuals created international non-governmental organizations to reflect common concerns, accomplish shared goals, and solve problems that often transcended the ability or purview of government. Both kinds of organizations appeared because they served a purpose.

    Along with the rise of the...

  7. 2 The League of Nations
    (pp. 9-32)

    The League of Nations, a fascinating experiment in international organization, has attracted enormous attention in the almost 100 years since its creation at the end of the First World War. Not only is its own history appealing, it has had the added attraction since 1945 of serving as a foil for the United Nations (UN). Compared to the UN, where for many years mass bloc voting, stalemate, and impotency have seemed to dominate, the League has been romantically viewed as a place where great ideas could be debated and diplomats could make a difference. The League’s noble beginning and tragic...

  8. 3 Wartime Internationalism and International Organizations
    (pp. 33-56)

    The Second World War provided both the motive and opportunity for the expansion of international organizations, and by the time it was over their number, scope, and variety had grown significantly. The inability of the League of Nations to prevent the war was not widely interpreted as a reason not to have any other international organizations; if anything, the experience of the 1930s only emphasized how important it was to have in place some kind of system or structure to pursue international peace and security. In addition, there was a growing understanding that the difficult economic and social conditions of...

  9. 4 The UN in the Cold War Years
    (pp. 57-80)

    The UN was born at the end of the Second World War, but it came of age in the Cold War and its history is linked to it. The roots of the conflict can be traced back to the war, and the effects of divisions between East and West can be seen in the wording of the UN Charter and the organization itself (from disputes over membership, human rights, use of the veto, and so on). The UN was not responsible for the Cold War, but the Cold War descended on the UN and all of its specialized agencies, and...

  10. 5 Regional and Other International Organizations
    (pp. 81-108)

    States pursue their national interests in international organizations, and sometimes those interests can be better achieved through smaller or more localized organizations established along geographical, regional, cultural, linguistic, or economic lines. These regional or particular organizations cannot do everything, and some problems—dealing with the environment, the spread of disease, disarmament, universal human rights, and so on—might benefit from a global approach. Nevertheless, since the end of the Second World War, the greatest growth in intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) has been among regional organizations, which today constitute the majority of all IGOs.

    There were regional and other IGOs before the...

  11. 6 The World of International NGOs
    (pp. 109-124)

    Organizations are not the sole prerogative of the state. For as long as there have been intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and, for that matter, states and governments, there have been non-governmental organizations (NGOs). For many of the same reasons that governments have banded together in organizations, individuals and groups within civil society have come together to form organizations to further their interests.

    There is a tremendous variety of NGOs, as they can contain and encompass any individual or group of people who choose to work alone or in combination with others to attain a goal however defined by those involved. They...

  12. 7 The UN in the Modern Era
    (pp. 125-142)

    The end of the Cold War, the reunification of Germany, and the collapse of the Soviet Union were moments in history that seemed to change everything. The relaxation of international tensions, the removal of old barriers, the increasing spirit of friendship and cooperation, and the rise of democratic governments around the world all hinted at the dawn of a new era of peace and international collaboration. As the world stepped back from the brink of nuclear confrontation, new words—interdependence, integration, democratization, economic liberalism, and multilateralism—were substituted in place of the old ideological denunciations.¹ The rapidity of change, the...

  13. APPENDIX A The Covenant of the League of Nations (including Amendments)
    (pp. 143-152)
  14. APPENDIX B The Charter of the United Nations
    (pp. 153-178)
  15. APPENDIX C The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    (pp. 179-184)
  16. References and Suggested Reading
    (pp. 185-196)
  17. Index
    (pp. 197-205)