chapter  38
Multilateralism under transformation: international organizations and ‘clubs’
ByMélanie Albaret
Pages 12

Since the end of the nineteenth century, international organizations (IOs), whether worldwide, competence-based or regional, have represented the framework for a majority of multilateral practices (Reinalda 2009). Therefore, until recently, most analyses dealing with multilateralism were almost exclusively focused on IOs (e.g. Claude 1971; Archer 2001; Karns and Mingst 2004; Rittberger and Zangl 2006). However, in the past few decades, multilateral practices known as ‘club practices’ have also been developing. From the G20 summits 1 to the BRICS meetings of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, 2 right through to the P5+1 group 3 or the Contact Group on Mali (made up of Benin, Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Niger, Nigeria and Togo), the news provides many examples of these less institutionalized forms of multilateralism. These examples show that research on multilateralism, which has not been the focus of much literature as such (Ruggie 1993 was a pioneer), cannot be reduced to an analysis of IOs.