Types of Organization

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1. Yearbook of International Organizations. Brussels, Union of International Associations, 1986, 23rd edition.

2. Michael Wallace and J. David Singer. "Inter-governmental organization in the global system, 1815-1964; a quantitative description". International Organization, 24, 2, Spring 1970, p.239-287.
3. UN/ECOSOC Resolution 1296 (XLIV), June 1968.

4. Kjell Skjelsback. "The growth of international non-governmental organization in the twentieth century". International Organization, 25, 3, Summer 1971, p.420-442.



This section in many ways raises more questions than it answers. Hopefully it clarifies the variety of bodies which at some stage can be usefully brought within a coherent classification scheme. This is an interesting challenge. The confusion over the nature and quantity of international/transnational organization is at the moment only partially clarified by simplistic definitions of the entities which are thus selected for study.


title:Problems of Classifying International Organizations

5.1 Borderline categories

As was noted in a cautionary remark concerning the specific examples cited in the previous sections, the organizations are included there to show that a body could be "international" according to some characteristics. Some of the bodies, however, would tend not to be identified as presenting a sufficient degree of "internationality" at this time - for reasons other than those for which they were cited as examples.


title:Geographic characteristics

A number of bodies which may be called "international" can be usefully characterized by peculiarities in their geographic orientation or distribution of membership. These may be grouped as follows:

4.5.1 Geographically focused: This group is distinguished by mention of a specific, and generally small, geographic feature in the name of the organization. Region: In this case a region is named, generally an area where three frontiers meet.


title:Structural characteristics

A number of international bodies may be usefully characterized by peculiarities in their structure. These may be grouped as follows. (The sub-headings indicate broad classes of structural peculiarity).

4.2.1 Hybrid character: This group is distinguished by the manner in which conventional international organization categories (IGO, INGO, multinational) are blurred in some way. Although not uncommon, little attention has been given to them.


title:Types of Organization in the Yearbook

Before entering (in the next section) into a detailed discussion of the international organizations in all their variety, it is appropriate to review the types into which such organizations are allocated in this Yearbook of International Organizations. These types have been defined in such a way as to provide an empirical means of ordering many kinds of organizations. They have proved to be a convenient working tool. Reference is made to these types in the subsequent discussion.



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