The Colonial Origins – and Legacies – of International Organizations

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    The relationship between imperialism and international organizations is a close one. This chapter charts three stages in this relationship since the early nineteenth century: first, the use of international organizations as a means of coordinating imperialism and containing or, preferably, preventing inter-imperial conflict; second, the global expansion of international organizations as a means of stratifying polities initially via a ‘standard of civilization’ and, later, through quotients of ‘modernization’; and third, the use of international organizations as a means for various forms of interventionism. Taken together, these three stages mark a shift from a limited realm of international organization to a virtually universal condition of international administration. Over the past two centuries, the rationale and competences of international organizations have been reconfigured, rearticulated and redistributed. This narrative demonstrates that international organizations in particular, and forms of international administration in general, owe core aspects of their origins, development and legacies to imperialism.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Historicity of International Politics : Imperialism and the Presence of the Past
    Editors Klaus Schlichte, Stephan Stetter
    Place of PublicationUK
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    ISBN (Print)9781009199100
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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