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Discussion: Instructions: Your initial post should be at least 500 words.

After reading this week’s lesson notes and reading, please develop an argument that responds to each of the following questions:

(a) Do you think IGOs create a convergence of state interests?
(b) Do you think IGO membership results in socialization?
(b) Do IOs more generally help foster accountability among states?

Your answers should not regurgitate the conclusions of these articles, but rather critique them. Feel free to disagree with the authors if you find reason. For example, consider these questions in your answer: what assumptions undergird the arguments of these authors? To what degree are the authors’ conclusions generalizable across different issue areas, types of countries, or types of IOs?

Note: your in-text citations for works with two authors should look like this: (Grant and Keohane 2005, page). 

Lesson 2: | IO Independence and Autonomy: Perspectives from Constructivism and Liberalism

In this lesson, we’re jumping into more areas of debate about international organizations. As you may have seen previously, looking at different points of view and challenging arguments is a good way to understand a topic.

Classifying IOs

Building on our discussion from the previous lesson, well look deeper into the effects of international organizations (IOs) on international cooperation and accountability of states. Some definitions and concepts should be kept in mind when reviewing this topic.

Noting that it would be neither feasible nor meaningful to try to be comprehensive or to generalize about the activities of thousands of international organizations, intergovernmental or nongovernmental
(Iriye 2002, 14)

Iriyes book focuses on six types of organizations (Iriye 2002, 14):

  • those dealing with humanitarian relief
  • cultural exchange
  • peace and disarmament
  • developmental assistance
  • human rights
  • environmentalism

Classifying IGOs and NGOs

Before we turn to the concept of socialization, however, we will visit the Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) interactive overview of some of the major international organizations that have emerged since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and how those organizations reflect forces that bring states together, such as European integration, versus push states apart, such as Europe’s “hard power deficit” in relation to NATO.


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