Abstract and Keywords
This chapter gives a broad overview of international organizations (IOs) in world politics, highlighting some important research areas, while suggesting future avenues for progress. It follows the logical progression of the life cycle of a state's interaction with an IO: what explains the decision to form IOs; what form do the IOs take once a decision is made to create one; which issues are taken to IOs/which IOs are joined if they already exist; how do they operate; and do they achieve their stated goals. This life-cycle approach to IOs helps elucidate many of the puzzles concerning IOs, while suggesting how the answers to the puzzles potentially interact with one another.
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