Discuss the role of international organizations in international politics.

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Abdullah Rifai                


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POL 1004a

Globalization of International Politics I

Role of International Organizations in International Politics

International organizations provide a common forum where representatives from across the globe come together and share important insights about common international problems. In certain forums, international organizations are otherwise termed as intergovernmental organizations. Organizations such as the World trade Organization (WTO) and the European Union (EU) are classic examples of international organizations. These organizations essentially evolved out of a common global need to establish a platform where member countries could deliberate on important matters and reach certain decisions together as well. (Alexandar)

The role of international organizations in the 21s century can however never go unnoticed because of the advent of global politics and the growing influence of such organizations in international policy making. Currently, there are about 1,963 International organizations existent in the world today but the most common and important organizations come from branches of the United Nations (UN). In this manner, the independence which state actors used to enjoy is slowly being limited because states have to now act in accordance to international and regional agreements formulated by international organizations. With regards to the increasing influence of international organizations in international politics and the many roles these organizations have developed over the years, this study seeks to establish two main roles these organizations play in world politics. (Alexandar)

International organizations have a substantial power to formulate or influence policies which bind different states. However, the influence of international organizations in world politics varies to some extent. Reinalda affirms that “many international organizations have clearly succeeded in formulating, and sometimes implementing, policies that cannot be described as the simple product of interstate bargaining…” In the conventional world system, international organizations have the power of not only influencing policies with regards to important global issues like HIV and AIDS but they also have the power to bind state actions to implement or conform to their policies. Such matters were previously perceived to be exclusive state matters but currently, international organizations affect state interests in key social sectors like health care, fiscal and monetary policies, electoral processes, and other important areas, traditionally under state control. In reference to international organizations, Barnett affirms that “they make authoritative decisions that reach every corner of the globe and affect areas such as public spending and private or reproductive rights”.

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International organizations therefore have the power to not only formulate but also implement policies based on the way they carry out their day to day affairs; their policies and through the advice of their expert opinion (Alexandar). Most often than not, international organizations act above international cooperation and surpass their influence above influencing state interests to affect the sovereignty different states enjoy. More fortunate (or unfortunate) is the fact that with this kind of influence, international organizations can even assign new norms and values to existing states; in addition to creating new states. An example would be Bosnia and ...

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