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International Organizations in World Politics

International Organizations in World Politics

Second Edition

November 2023 | 344 pages | CQ Press
International organizations (IOs) are essential and controversial actors in global governance, working on just about every imaginable issue that states cannot easily address individually. The Second Edition of International Organizations in World Politics offers a comprehensive overview of major IOs and regional organizations and their role in global governance. Tamar Gutner presents a variety of theoretical approaches to analyzing the roles and impact of large IOs, including the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade Organization, and examines their historical development, governance structure, activities, and performance. For each IO, a detailed case study illuminates the constraints and challenges it faces in areas of contemporary global challenges like conflict resolution, development, the environment, trade, and financial crisis. The Second Edition includes updated coverage of IOs' responses to major world issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and other geopolitical tensions.

Chapter 1 The Changing Roles of International Organizations in Global Governance
Chapter 2 Intellectual Context: The Evolution of IO Theory
Chapter 3 United Nations
Chapter 4 United Nations Case Study: Rwanda/Genocide
Chapter 5 The World Bank
Chapter 6 World Bank Case Study: Environmental Behavior and Performance
Chapter 7 The International Monetary Fund
Chapter 8 International Monetary Fund Case Study: The IMF and the Global Financial Crisis
Chapter 9 The World Trade Organization
Chapter 10 World Trade Organization Case Study: Intellectual Property, Trade, and Access to Medicine
Chapter 11 Regional Organizations/European Union
Chapter 12 Regional Organizations Case Study: African Union Peace Operations

This text does an excellent job providing a historical foundation for each organization covered, which is then paired with robust, useful case studies. I would recommend this text for any international organizations course.

Ryan Opsal
Florida International University

This book deftly combines careful theorizing of IOs with rigorous real-world applications through in-depth case studies.

Geoffrey P. R. Wallace
University of Washington
Key features


  • Provides timely, up-to-date coverage of current challenges that international organizations are facing in areas that include the COVID-19 pandemic; the war in Ukraine; and other humanitarian, security, environmental, and health crises. It also includes updates on a variety of other issues, including African Union peacekeeping, the World Bank’s environmental performance, Brexit and its impact on the EU and on global governance, rising U.S.-China tensions on trade and other issues, and IO leadership changes.
  • Offers an accessible introduction to the purpose, evolving activities, and performance of international organizations.
  • Delivers comprehensive coverage of each organization across two chapters: the first chapter covers the fundamentals of the organization’s history, evolution, governance and performance, while the second chapter offers a case study that highlights a challenging issue the institution has faced.

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