Book Chapter
Processes of Change in International Organizations

Although international institutions are a ubiquitous feature of international life, little is known about their trajectories of change. This chapter attempts to address this lacuna by examining processes of change in international institutions, in particular the subset of international institutions known as intergovernmental organisations. The purpose of this chapter is not to develop a general theory of change in international institutions but rather to develop limited generalisations about causal mechanisms and their consequences. It first examines the rationale and purposes of international organisations before one can ask how and why particular types of organisations change, and why they exist in the first place. It then examines the trajectories of change in international organisations by posing three, interrelated, questions. The chapter concludes by examining some normative aspects of change in the context of global governance distinguishing between the feasible and the desirable.