Types of International Organization


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. In some ways the contentment with the distinction "IGO, NGO, multinational" resembles the situation of zoologists prior to the classification of "omnivores, herbivores and carnivores" into a multiplicity of animal species interrelated to different degrees. It is perhaps abusing the metaphor to suggest that the widespread preference for "big game" impedes the development of understanding of the communication networks in the organizational ecosystem as a whole and of the role of the many smaller or less numerous species. Despite the lack of conceptual clarity, the variety of organizational forms functioning in some way transnationally continues to increase. At some stage it will presumably be possible to trace the manner in which these forms increase, decrease and evolve in response to the opportunities open to them.