Abstract and Keywords
International politics today is as much institutional as intergovernmental. International institutions can be found in every functional domain and in every region in the world. Modern reality consists of an alphabet soup of institutions which includes the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This article argues that disagreement about definitions, about how old or new the phenomenon, and about its exact impact cannot mask the reality of a growing number and the role of international institutions. How much and how adequately these institutions of international governance tame anarchy is open to question, but the world is witnessing an increase in supranational governance, created by states and in which states increasingly live. Understanding and explaining international politics increasingly requires incorporating the role of international institutions. Scholarship on international institutions is growing and developing commensurately.
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