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The rise and fall of international organization as a field of study


  • Rochester, J. Martin


Have scholars properly understood, anticipated, predicted, and in any way helped to shape international organization developments since 1945? Or have they merely reported on events as they unfolded, shifting their research foci from one momentary concern to another in response to the ebb and flow of conditions in the world around them? One pattern that characterizes the maturation of the field of international organization in the postwar era is the steady disengagement of international organization scholars from the study of organizations, so that today one must question whether such a field exists any longer except in name only. The discussion traces the rise and fall of international organization as a field of study, first describing the origins and the evolution of the field, then analyzing the failure of international organization scholars generally to anticipate or shape international organization developments, and finally offering some suggestions for reviving the field and the institutions themselves which are its raison d'être.

Suggested Citation

  • Rochester, J. Martin, 1986. "The rise and fall of international organization as a field of study," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(04), pages 777-813, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:40:y:1986:i:04:p:777-813_02

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    Cited by:

    1. Felicity Vabulas & Duncan Snidal, 2013. "Organization without delegation: Informal intergovernmental organizations (IIGOs) and the spectrum of intergovernmental arrangements," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 193-220, June.
    2. Kathryn Lavelle, 2007. "Exit, voice, and loyalty in international organizations: US involvement in the League of Nations," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 371-393, December.
    3. Peter Narh, 2016. "Sand winning in Dormaa as an interlocking of livelihood strategies with environmental governance regimes," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 467-480, April.

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