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New Institutionalization of World Politics

Abstract

The article examines the current state and major achievements of the research on international institutions and their role in world politics. The author explores the meaning of this notion, which due to its multiple interpretations, remains problematic. He differentiates the understanding of “institution” as rules of the game in society from its alternative conceptualization as an association, which becomes an actor of social interaction. Despite the various approaches regarding “international institutions”, the author includes in his definition both existing norms of international interaction and their reflection in organizational structures. Given the practice of conducting international affairs, it is possible to identify various types, including institutions-norms, institutions-organizations, institutions-integration groups, institutionsclubs, institutions-practices and institutions-dialogues. The author does not only characterize these types, he attempts to employ them to reconstruct the broad institutional map of the world in its evolution since the end of the Cold War. The author views the operations of the current international institutions as a part of the growth of structural complexity of the world. The emergence of new players on the international arena – non-state, formal and informal, permanent and temporary – impacts international affairs in a substantial way. Moreover, the multiple connections tied between these actors, the rise of their needs and ambitions and the growth of tensions also add to the complexity of the current institutional dynamics. These developments stimulate proliferation of international institutions, which find themselves responsible for the new tasks, including establishing communications between states and non-state actors, coordination of their interests, resolution of disputes and prevention of conflicts. In the context of growing global problems, which cannot be solved by single country alone, international institutions integrate efforts of multiple states, in order to respond to the specific set of challenges.

Keywords: international institutions; new institutionalism; integration; international regime; international organization; globalization; reinstitutionalization.


Authors: Eduard Batalov

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