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date: 30 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter outlines a broad history of the development of thinking about the law of international organizations, with a focus on the legal theory of functionalism, as well as a discussion on the latter’s considerable strengths and weaknesses. Functionalism holds that states create international organizations to do things they are unable or reluctant to do on their own, yet consider inherently useful: organize postal relations, control the uses of atomic energy, regulate global health, etc. The chapter also includes a brief discussion of scholarship regarding international organizations in the broader academic landscape, with the concluding section hinting at a few challenges for both theory and practice.

Keywords: Responsibility of international organizations, International organizations, membership, International organizations, practice and procedure, International organizations, representation of states, Sources of international law

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