2nd Edition

Routledge Handbook of International Organization

Edited By Bob Reinalda, Marieke Louis Copyright 2025
    688 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This completely revised and rewritten handbook gives an overview of international organization as a dynamic field of research that adds to our understanding of global and regional relations and related domestic politics. Bringing together international scholars from a range of disciplines it considers both international organization (IO) as a process and multilateral organizations as institutions. The handbook is divided into five parts:

    I.          Documentation, sources and perspectives

    II.         International secretariats as bureaucracies

    III.       Actors within and beyond international bureaucracies

    IV.       Processes within and beyond international bureaucracies

    V.        Challenges to international organizations

    Containing new chapters on topics such as the anthropological perspective, IO secretariats in several continents outside of Europe, feminization, the digital turn and challenges to IO legitimacy, the contributors reflect on the progression of IO studies from a burgeoning field to a well-established subfield of international relations and the move away from scholarship based mainly in North-Western Europe and the United States. The book will be of particular interest to scholars and students of International Organizations, global governance, diplomacy and foreign policy, as well as practitioners of multilateral cooperation.

    List of figures and tables



    This volume


    1.           From an international relations subfield to ‘international organization studies’

                  Marieke Louis and Bob Reinalda

    2.           Research methods and international organization studies

                  Fanny Badache, Leah R. Kimber and Lucile Maertens


    PART I: Documentation, sources and perspectives

    3.           International organizations: Available information and documentation

                  Michael McCaffrey and James Church

    4.           Datasets and quantitative studies of international organizations

                  Charles Roger

    5.           United Nations General Assembly voting data and analyses

                  Eric Voeten

    6.           The INGO research agenda: Changes in approach and outcomes over the last decade

                  Elizabeth A. Bloodgood and Hans Peter Schmitz

    7.           Globalized public opinion data: International comparative surveys and regional barometers

                  Marta Lagos and Min-hua Huang

    8.           International Organizations: The international law perspective

                  Richard Collins and Nigel D. White

    9.           International organizations: The historians’ perspective

                  Sandrine Kott and Davide Rodogno

    10.         International organizations: The anthropological perspective

                  Giulia Scalettaris and Marion Fresia


    PART II: International secretariats as bureaucracies

    11.         Revisiting international bureaucracies from a Public Administration and International Relations perspective

                  Jörn Ege and Michael W. Bauer

    12.         Organization theory and the study of international bureaucracy: A comparative analysis

                  Jarle Trondal

    13.         The dynamics of international organizations’ composition

                  Felicity Vabulas

    14.         The values of staff in international organizations

                  Simon Hug

    15.         Latin American secretaries-general of international organizations

                  Dawisson Belém Lopes and João Paulo Ferraz Oliveira

    16.         Secretariats and staff of African international organizations

                  Ulf Engel and Jens Herpolsheimer

    17.         Secretariats and staff of Asian international organizations

                  Aigul Kulnazarova and Takeshi Yuzawa

    18.         The European Union’s civil service in turbulent times: Group formation and challenges

                  Didier Georgakakis


    Part III: Actors within and beyond international bureaucracies

    19.         Diplomats in the multilateral arena

                  Yolanda Kemp Spies

    20.         Multilateral diplomats from the former Eastern Bloc

                  Emilija Pundziūtė-Gallois

    21.         Secretaries-General of international organizations: Research progress and pathways

                  Kent J. Kille

    22.         The Special Representatives of the United Nations Secretary-General

                  Manuel Fröhlich

    23.         The role and power of the Chair in international organization

                  Spyros Blavoukos and Dimitris Bourantonis

    24.         Women and the feminization of international organizations

                  Kirsten Haack

    25.         Managing diversity within international organizations

                  Fanny Badache

    26.         United Nations staff and decolonization

                  Eva-Maria Muschik

    27.         Intergovernmental organizations as shadow negotiators

                  Matias E. Margulis

    28.         Peak associations in global business: Specialization among generalists

                  Karsten Ronit

    29.         Mapping the engagement of religious actors within international organizations

                  Charles Tenenbaum


    PART IV: Processes within and beyond international bureaucracies

    30.         International organizations in the digital age: A critical review

                  Corneliu Bjola 

    31.         Evaluation and learning in international organizations

                  Steffen Eckhard

    32.         The power, problems and politics of expertise in international organizations

                  Andrea Liese

    33.         International organizations and crisis management

                  Eva-Karin Olsson Gardell and Bertjan Verbeek

    34.         Contestation within international organizations

                  Mélanie Albaret

    35.         Ideas as drivers of change in international organizations

                  Delphine Placidi-Frot

    36.         The G20’s informal diplomacy and external relations

                  Peter Hajnal

    37.         The politics of inter-regionalism: Relations between regional international organizations

                  Andrea Ribeiro Hoffmann and Anna van der Vleuten

    38.         Integration and differentiation within the European Union

                  Sabine Saurugger


    PART V: Challenges to international organizations

    39.         Managing non-human threats: From pandemics to biodiversity

                  Auriane Guilbaud

    40.         Alliances and security in times of aggression

                  Olivier Schmitt

    41.         United Nations peacekeeping, bureaucracy and practice

                  Vanessa Newby and Chiara Ruffa

    42.         The use, effectiveness, and unintended consequences of economic sanctions by intergovernmental organizations

                  Dursun Peksen and Jin Mun Jeong

    43.         Financing development: Demands from the Global South, challenges for the multilateral system

                  Quentin Deforge

    44.         International organizations in the age of migration

                  Shoshana Fine, Antoine Pécoud and Sabine Dini

    45.         ‘Great Expectations’ for international criminal justice

                  Julian Fernandez and Sandrine de Sena

    46.         Legitimacy in international organization: Concepts, findings and explanations

                  Hans Agné and Thomas Sommerer




    Marieke Louis is Associate Professor of Political Science at Sciences Po Grenoble, PACTE, CNRS, France. Currently she is also Deputy Director of the Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin, Germany. She recently published Why International Organizations Hate Politics: Depoliticizing the World (Routledge, Global Institutions Series, 2021), with Lucile Maertens.

    Bob Reinalda is Fellow at the Political Science Department of Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. He is the original Editor of the Handbook and has published International Secretariats: Two Centuries of International Civil Servants and Secretariats (Routledge, Global Institutions Series, 2020).