chapter  10
Conclusion: Joel E. Oestreich
Pages 6

This volume has taken theoretical approaches to the study of international organization (IO) behavior, and used them to interpret the contentious issue of IO independence. Our question has been, under what circumstances can IOs be meaningful actors in world affairs? We have posited a two-step approach to acting: first, having preferences independently of states; second, translating those preferences into actions that have a real impact on world politics. We have tried to do so by looking at a wide range of organizations and an equally wide array of topics, from the Secretary-General’s office to the United Nations (UN) Office for Project Services, and from the high politics of international trade to the regulation of pollution discharged into the oceans. One thing that emerges just from the previous paragraph, as well as

from the volume as a whole, is an appreciation of the incredibly wide range of issues that the UN and other organizations are called on to regulate, legislate, coordinate, control, or monitor. There are multiple UNs, ranging from the talking shops of the General Assembly and its committees to the dogged, behind-the-scenes work being done by everything from the UN Development Programme to the World Meteorological Organization. It is a complex, wide-ranging, and evolving set of international organizations that seek to solve global problems, and they interact in ways that are not easy to predict.