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International Organizations, Theory Of

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Chapter Summary

The theory of international organizations, understood as a specific form of political theory, aims to fulfill three separate tasks: the scrutiny of international organizations as manifestations of politics in terms of the basic ideas, principles and norms underlying their existence; the development of a conceptual and analytical framework in order to better understand and explain the emergence, functioning and operations of international organizations; and the evaluation of competing explanations and prognoses for the development and transformation of international organizations as well as their constitutive context in world politics. A special form of reasoning can be discerned in the literature of peace plans which find their most mature expression in Kants essay on Perpetual Peace of 1795. The theory and practice of international organizations have experienced a close interaction, starting with early studies on the functionalist logic underlying the emergence of both the UN system and the beginnings of European integration.

Keywords: Kants Perpetual Peace; theory of international organizations; UN system; world politics



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