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International Organizations in Political Science

Updated on 07 January 2021
7 min read 7 views
Updated on 07 January 2021

An international organization can be defined, by the international law commission as an- 'Organization established by treaty or other instrument governed by international law and possessing its international legal personality.' In this article, we will see various types of international organization, their features, headquarters and overall importance.

Students must note that this is one of the important topics in the political science subject and hence they must prepare this topic thoroughly to score maximum marks possible. Let's further see more about this topic.

So, the international organization is responsible to maintain international peace and stability in every sphere may it be Economic, Political, or Social. They act in a way that is in the interest of the national community as a whole.

Example- United Nations, World Health Organization, and NATO.

However, an international organization is a 20th-century terminology before which the term association of states was used.

Importance of International Organization

With the increasing interdependence among countries and with a boost in over-all developments, the international organization has become the need of an hour to promote cooperation among countries. But other than promoting cooperation international organization performs a diverse role as-

1. They help to set international agenda

2. Negotiation and Mediation

3. Coordination among member nations

4. Offer a platform for continuous dialogue on regulatory issues.

Types of International Organizations

There are two main types of international organizations which are given below.

International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) - IGOs are typically formed by the government through an agreement. Thus they are made by nations and not by individuals.

Example- UN (United Nations), NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), WTO (World Trade Organization), EU (European Union)

International Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) – NGOs are made up of individuals and represent numerous interests of society. They play an important role in international politics

Example- Amnesty international helps to defend human rights.

Features of International Organization

United Nations (UN)- United Nations was established in 1945. Its headquarters are in New York. Currently, it is made up of 193 member states with 5 permanent members- China, France, Russia, the USA, and the UK. 

Mission- is to promote international peace and stability, developing friendly relations among countries, and to protect human rights. 

Organs- United Nations main organs are the General Assembly, Security Council, The Trusteeship Council, The International Court of Justice, and UN Secretariat.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) - Formed in 1949 with the signing of the Washington treaty, NATO is a security or military alliance of 30 countries from North America and Europe. Its headquarters are in Belgium. It was formed to provide collective security against the Soviet Union and its purpose was to secure peace in Europe.

Mission- To safeguards its members’ freedom and security from political and military means.

World Trade Organizations (WTO) - It is the only global intergovernmental organization that is regulating trade between nations. Born out of the General Agreement on trade and tariff (GATT) it was made in 1995. Its Headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mission- It makes sure that trade flows as smoothly as possible between countries and solves the disputes arising in trades. Thus it acts as conductor, tribunal, monitor, and trainer.

European Union (EU)- It is a political and economic union of 27 members that are located primarily in Europe. EU has no official capital but Brussels hosts its official seat.

Mission- EU plays an important role in diplomacy, trade, rights, and development and ensures the free movement of people, goods services, and capital.

Amnesty International- It is a non-governmental organization founded in 1961 with its headquarters in the UK focused on human rights. It has more than 7 million members.

Mission- Helps to fight abuses throughout the world. Promote and protect human rights.


These were some of the international organizations and their headquarters which we see above.



Both types of international organization may it be an international governmental organization or international nongovernmental organization plays an important role in regulating world affairs.

When it comes to the world as a whole it becomes crucial to regulate the affairs where every country has its laws. However, these organizations with their roles and mission have been able to regulate world affairs aptly. From their negotiation policy to diplomatic policy they have been able to regulate world affairs for a long time.

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