International Organizations

Abstract

An international organization can be defined, following the International Law Commission, as an 'organization established by a treaty or other instrument governed by international law and possessing its own international legal personality'. International organizations generally have States as members, but often other entities can also apply for membership. They both make international law and are governed by it. Yet, the decision-making process of international organizations is often 'less a question of law than one of political judgement'.

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Legal Definition of an International Organization

An international organization can be defined, following the International Law Commission, as an 'organization established by a treaty or other instrument governed by international law and possessing its own international legal personality'. International organizations generally have States as members, but often other entities can also apply for membership. They both make international law and are governed by it. Yet, the decision-making process of international organizations is often 'less a question of law than one of political judgement'.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on International Organizations. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's subject heading (keyword) International Organizations is instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

Librarian’s choice
Publication
Droesse, G., Membership in International Organizations. Paradigms of Membership Structures, Legal Implications of Membership and the Concept of International Organization, 2020.
This book proposes that fundamental concepts of institutional law need to be rethought and revised. Contrary to conventional wisdom, international organizations do not need to have members, and the members do not need to be states and international organizations.
Publication
Amici, M. and  D. Cepiku, Performance Management in International Organizations, 2020
This book provides a multilevel system analysis of performance in the production of global public goods, as well as a tailored analysis of the specific features of performance management systems in international organizations. The book compares performance management systems across a number of in
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Sources of international law

Treaties

Case-law

UN Declarations and Resolutions

Soft law

Reference works

Selected books and articles

Books

Articles

Periodicals, serial publications

Bibliographies