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1 - Beyond Functionalism

International Organizations Law in Context

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 March 2022

Jan Klabbers
Affiliation:
University of Helsinki
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Summary

Even the most casual observer of international organizations must at times be puzzled. It is puzzling to realize, for instance, that regardless of the public outcry over nasty acts done on the watch of some international organization or another, nothing ever seems to happen: accountability is much-discussed, but rarely materializes. It is somewhat mystifying that for all the discussion of the reform of international organizations and of their policies, and for all that these are often amended, nothing much ever seems to change. Likewise, few international organizations have lawmaking powers properly so-called, and yet international organizations seem to be highly influential. By the same token, international organizations often engage in co-operation with one another without anyone noticing it, and seemingly without having strong authorization to do so. And it must be puzzling to realize that the law tends to treat all international organizations in much the same way, regardless of whether they work for the global common good or are better seen as interest groups for a particular group of states; regardless of whether they serve a global cause or manage a particular industry; and regardless also of the sort of activities they engage in – whether they occupy themselves with questions of peace, security and disarmament or are, effectively, institutions of higher learning set up as international organizations.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Beyond Functionalism
  • Edited by Jan Klabbers, University of Helsinki
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to International Organizations Law
  • Online publication: 31 March 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108574242.002
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  • Beyond Functionalism
  • Edited by Jan Klabbers, University of Helsinki
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to International Organizations Law
  • Online publication: 31 March 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108574242.002
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Beyond Functionalism
  • Edited by Jan Klabbers, University of Helsinki
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to International Organizations Law
  • Online publication: 31 March 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108574242.002
Available formats
×