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Types of International Organization

Classification categories

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Updated version of an article which first appeared in the Yearbook of International Organizations in 1978. That version was reproduced, with minor alterations, by permission of the publisher and editors of: International Organizations; a conceptual approach edited by Paul Taylor and A J M Groom (London, Frances Pinter, 1977; New York, Nichols Publishing Company, 1978). The article appeared there under the title: "International institutions: diversity, borderline cases, functional substitutes and possible alternatives". Annex of Types of International Organization: Detailed overview (1978). Note the subsequent clarification with respect to What Kind of Organizations are Included: criteria specified in the Yearbook of International Organizations 1968-1969 (2019).

1. Introduction
2. Conventional categories
3. Types of organization in the Yearbook
4. Classification categories (Annex)
-- 4.1 Organization terminology
-- 4.2 Structural characteristics
-- 4.3 Characteristic modes of action
-- 4.4 Preoccupational character
-- 4.5 Geographic characteristics
-- 4.6 Other special characteristics
5. Problems of classifying international organizations

4.1 Organization terminology

International organizations, whether governmental or non-governmental, use any of an extensive range of terms in their official titles. These may include terms such as union, association, office, agency, centre, or alliance. There is a great deal of confusion associated with the meanings to be attached to such terms in practice. It is therefore not usual to attempt to classify an organization on the basis of whether it is a "union", a "confederation", a "committee", or a "league", for example. A "centre" may in fact resemble an "association" more than it resembles most other "centres"; equally an "association" can be more like what is commonly understood to be a "centre". The range of terms can be usefully ordered by relating the organizations in question to the meetings by which they were established or through which they work. This brings out the strengths and limitations of this seemingly obvious approach to classifying organizations.

4.1.1 General: The greatest confusion lies in the use of terms such as

In each case this may mean an organization of individuals, an organization of national organizations, or any possible variation on these. Inter-governmental bodies only use those terms without an asterisk. Examples of use of these terms include:

An important variant in the case of some inter-governmental bodies

stresses the domain for which the body is responsible

Other interesting variants are illustrated by the following:

4.1.2 Treaty-Related: Inter-government organizations are, by definition, centred on an international treaty or agreement. In some cases the name of the treaty may be embodied into the name of the organization:

Another group intimately linked to international legal questions is that of courts and tribunals:

A final group, specially governed by treaty provision, is that of military and control authorities:

4.1.3 Conference: There are many bodies which take their names from the principal (statutory) meeting in which their members participate:

A fully representative and sovereign body may thus meet periodically and take decisions defining the policy of the organization which binds its subsidiary organs. The procedure and composition of such a meeting may be defined by the constitution of the body or the original treaty. Conference commissions: Such general conferences when they occur may give rise to commissions of the conference which meet in the intervening months or years between sessions of the conference and possibly during it. In practice such commissions are either given or acquire a fair degree of autonomy. It may therefore happen that although the (periodical) conference does not constitute an organization in its own right, the commission may take on a more or less permanent organizational form. The number of members is generally limited and their selection is made according to rules established by the conference (or body) by which it was created and to which it reports. In some cases the commission may be created by a conference which is not held again. Conference committees: A general conference may establish working bodies charged with examination of certain points on the agenda during sessions. Such ad hoc bodies, by definition, would not constitute permanent organizations. The confusion of terminology may be such that "committee" may replace "commission" in the previous case. Joint bodies: A General conference may establish a joint body with some external body: Regional and specialized bodies: Each of the above types of body may also be created regionally, or in terms of some special concern, by the general conference or as a specialized regional body by a regional conference.

4.1.4 Council: A general conference may elect or appoint a:

This is a body which tends to be large (relative to the executive body) because it is fairly representative of the general conference and is able to exercise certain of its powers. Again the conference itself may or may not be held periodically or constitute a permanent organization.

In complex organizations, the council may create its own commissions, committees, and joint bodies with external organizations. This may also occur regionally, or in terms of some social concern of the council. There is some confusion between the use of "council" and "commission" or "committee" as defined in the previous and following sections. The limitations of this approach are illustrated by the presence of the Council of Europe and COMECON in the examples cited.

4.1.5 Executive committee: A conference may elect an executive body of comparatively restricted membership (or it may be appointed by the council) with such names as:

Even though the conference may not constitute an organization in its own right, such bodies may take on permanent organizational form.

Again, as the last example indicates, regional specialized and joint bodies of this kind may be created.

4.1.6 Secretariat: The permanent body may take on a name derived from an operational rather than a policy-making or decision-making unit.

Again, regional, specialized and joint bodies may be created.

4.1.7 Department: Departments of an organization do not, by definition, constitute autonomous organizations in the sense of interest here, although some bodies of this type may acquire special significance as international actors.

A section of a large organization may however, participate in inter-departmental bodies involving several agencies.

Such bodies are, however, difficult to distinguish from those discussed in the following section.

4.1.8 Terms which refer to types of activity: A (periodic) conference, or even a conventional organization, may establish one or more activities which themselves take on permanent autonomous organizational form, whatever the continuing status of the body by which they were established. The emphasis given to a particular mode of action may even be reflected in the actual name of the organization, thus distinguishing it from conventional organizations (possibly to the point of raising the question as to whether it really should be considered as an organization). Three groups may be usefully distinguished: meeting-type events, programmes/projects, and organizations. Meeting-type events: A single meeting held under the auspices of an international body tends (if it is especially large) to take on the form of an organization. Since the duration of such "organizations" is never more than 1 to 5 years, depending on the preparatory and follow-up period required, it is not usual to consider such bodies as organizations in their own right, although from a social, political, budgetary and legal point of view this could well be hard to establish. Even a meeting of (rather than "under the auspices of") an organization can be considered an independent organization.

"Certain people do not agree that a Congress is an independent entity existing only for the duration of the Congress. They consider that a Congress is more often an organ or an activity of a permanent international organization. Nevertheless, it is necessary to bear in mind the legal question - the problem of the responsibility of the promoters of the congress in case of accident, fire and liability for damages. In order to clearly define the limits of responsibility as regards the meeting-place, the time and those in charge, both locally and internationally, it seems necessary to consider a congress as an independent legal entity which exists for a determined length of time." (17)

Events of this type include:

Examples worth considering are:

and their relations, in some cases, to such bodies as: Programmes/projects: There are many examples of organizations which can be considered as programme-bound in some way, possibly because of special political or funding problems. These can be grouped as follows:

1. Programme

2. Campaign

3. Project

4. Survey

5. Fund

6. Emblem

7. Register

8. Prize

9. System

10. Periodical

11. Exchange

12. Stocks

13. Orchestra Organization:A large organization may create bodies to undertake specific activities. The political, legal, and financial circumstances under which such bodies are established may render them relatively autonomous even though links to the parent body are maintained.

Typical activities include:

centre training college

library laboratory

advisory service research institute

museum educational academy

Other bodies, with the same level of preoccupation, may be created under a variety of circumstances such that the relation to the creating body or bodies becomes tenuous or of limited significance. Such organizations, particularly when active at one physical location only, differ somewhat (especially in terms of the status of membership) from conventional international bodies.

1. Information

2. Research

3. Education

4.2 Structural characteristics

A number of international bodies may be usefully characterized by peculiarities in their structure. These may be grouped as follows. (The sub-headings indicate broad classes of structural peculiarity).

4.2.1 Hybrid character: This group is distinguished by the manner in which conventional international organization categories (IGO, INGO, multinational) are blurred in some way. Although not uncommon, little attention has been given to them. Inter-governmental profit-making corporations: Such bodies are created by international convention:

Some international financial bodies are of this kind: International profit-making corporations with governmental shareholders: Other shareholders may include inter-governmental financial bodies:

Many of the regional development corporations are of this kind. Non-governmental institutional investors may also be shareholders in some of these bodies, particularly in the case of regional airlines:

Another interesting example, owned by the Governments of the UK, Australia and New Zealand is the British Phosphate Commission. International profit-making corporations linked to inter-governmental organizations:

Others may be created by an inter-governmental body.

A body like the World Bank may find it useful to stimulate the creation of ad hoc consortia of governmental and private enterprises to undertake or finance certain projects. Multinational corporations with major governmental shareholders: A conventional multinational enterprise may well have extensive participation by one or more governments as shareholders:

In some cases the multinational corporation may be completely state-owned. Multinational corporations operating as non-profit organizations: A unit of a multinational enterprise, incorporated under the law of one country, may operate on a non-profit basis for tax reasons. Funds are provided as transfer from other units of the same enterprise. Not-for-profit corporations:Some research-oriented international bodies operate on a non-profit basis, although in other respects they may resemble multinational enterprises. Multinational enterprises created by non-profit bodies: For operational or tax reasons, one or more international non-profit organizations may create a multinational enterprise: International non-profit body created by multinational enterprises: A trend in this direction may already be seen in the creation of international trade or employer associations by enterprises, some of which could be called multinational. The limiting case of cartels or price-fixing rings may be considered non-profit bodies since the cartel is usually designed to increase the profit-making capacity of its members rather than to make a profit itself. This is also the case of the numerous freight and shipping conferences. There also exist bodies like the

created by industry federations of OECD member countries. Although there do not yet seem to be any clear examples of this form, it is probable that it will at some stage be in the interest of one or more multinational enterprises to create more conventional international non-profit organizations. Such bodies could range-from personnel associations through social welfare and collective security bodies to specialist pools. Perhaps an early example is the

created to represent industry views on the environment, mainly to the United Nations Environment Programme.

Another interesting example is the:

Frisbee is the registered trade mark of the Wham-O Manufacturing Company for Flying Saucers used in sports games. The company undoubtedly derives considerable benefit from its interest in the association.

A "user association" may be established on the initiative of concerned clients rather than by a multinational enterprise.

Government airlines have created common service organizations to facilitate resource pooling:

An interesting variant arises from IBM's initiative in facilitating the creating of a: International non-profit bodies created as operational fronts: It may be in the interest of a governmental, (or inter-governmental) group to stimulate the creation of a conventional non-governmental body, and ensure its financial viability, in order to promote some particular political or other viewpoint. Examples of this sort emerged as a result of disclosure of indirect CIA financing of bodies such as the

Many argue that a significant number of conventional INGOs based in the Eastern bloc countries fell into this category.Clearly some INGOs with commercial or industrial groups as members could be considered as operational fronts to provide the expression of non-partisan support for a particular position.There is also the possibility that some INGO-type organization could in fact become a front or vehicle for some form of international criminal activity as has been the case at the national level (eg those labour unions in the USA alleged to be "mob-run" or with strong "mob-connections" - many with "international" in their title). International non-profit bodies created by inter-governmental organizations: It is occasionally in the interest of an inter-governmental body to stimulate the creation of a conventional INGO. This may be done as a method of decentralizing an activity which the IGO would otherwise be obliged to support. It is also a means of ensuring the existence of a supportive constituency. The clearest examples are the groups of INGOs created "under UNESCO auspices":

Some of these bodies may in fact receive subsidies from UNESCO, have their offices in the UNESCO Secretariat, or even have some of their secretariat services performed by UNESCO. An interesting example of this is the:

Although this body is not given the usual consultative status recognition by UNESCO, its offices are in the Secretariat, its meetings are provided with considerable UNESCO support (rooms, interpreters, etc), and revision of its Constitution is conducted with the approval of UNESCO. Its resolutions are very supportive of UNESCO programmes. International non-profit bodies created with government support: Particularly in those developing countries where there is little independent organizational activity, a government may be intimately involved in the creation of a conventional INGO and the provision of support for its ongoing activities. The INGO may be created and supported partly for prestige reasons linked to the promotion of certain political viewpoints. This is often the case with regional INGOs in Africa which for this reason are usually rather fragile. Examples are the many short-lived efforts at establishing regional trade unions, student organizations or professional bodies (eg journalists). Another characteristic of such bodies is that the national member organizations are often closely linked to the dominant political party.

The special support of one government is not confined to regional bodies. It occurs particularly with institute-based organizations. Secret groups (other than orders): The need for secrecy in criminal groups, politically subversive groups, or groups engaged in industrial or conventional espionage (or counter-espionage) may be such as to erode and blur the attributes they might otherwise have as governmental, commercial or associational activities. For example, a terrorist group has been described as functioning rather like a multinational corporation. "An operation would be planned in West Germany by Palestine Arabs, executed in Israel by terrorists recruited in Japan with weapons acquired in Italy but manufactured in Russia, supplied by an Algerian diplomat, and financed with Libyan money." (18)

The international network of terrorism, based on transnational links between governmental bodies sponsoring and supporting terrorism, has been reviewed by Yohan Alexander. (19) Inter-governmental organizations with a special relationship to one government: For historical, financial or other reasons a government may have a special relationship (possibly extending to effective control) with an otherwise conventional inter-governmental body.

which has an "Administrative Council of 17 - 6 being appointed conjointly by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Public Health and Population, and 11 being coopted by the first 6." International non-governmental organizations with governmental-related membership: There is a range of organizations whose members are strongly linked to governments either as government agencies, nationalized industries or with government funds. The distinction between governmental and non-governmental then becomes rather fine, particularly since some bodies of this kind have been subsequently transformed into inter-governmental organizations.

The last example has been transformed into the inter-governmental body: International non-governmental bodies with special status in international law: There are a few organizations in this group:

Bodies such as:

may acquire special status by being cited in legal instruments establishing programmes of the United Nations Environment Programme.

The Roman Catholic Church is centred on the Holy See which is recognized on a par with governments by some countries and as such has a special status in international law (20). Ivan Vallier notes that the "notion of the Roman Catholic Church as a transnational actor is both intriguing and elusive. Its global empire, and thus its transnationality, ties it to many situations, no two of which are exactly alike." (21) Revolutionary movements: Such movements are more or less loosely linked into transnational organizations of national parties. Such world revolutionary movements, with or without a formal secretariat, generally recognize Peking, Moscow or Havana as the first among equals.

Universal ideologies that have not secured a power-base in the form of a liberated nation-state, such as the Anarchists or the Fourth (Trotskyite) International have escaped centralization but at the cost of coherence and the benefits of secure sanctuary. There is a great variety of host society/revolutionary movement relationships, ranging from total support to total opposition. "The major curiosity is that every revolutionary organization aspires to eliminate the necessity for most "revolutionary" transnational contacts as rapidly as possible and to begin acting as a normal, if militant, government no longer dependent on the mesh of world revolutionary society or the uncertain world of illicit agreements, mini-summits, and secret conferences." (22) Political parties: Such bodies naturally have a special relationship to government, but are linked as NGOs through such bodies as:

4.2.2 Dependent character: This group is distinguished by various kinds of dependence on another organization such that in a particular case if the other ceased to exist there would be no further reason for the dependent body to continue. Supporting bodies: Some organizations, usually INGOs, only exist to stimulate public support for other bodies, usually IGOs. Personnel associations: Large inter-governmental agencies tend to give rise to personnel or staff associations. These may be for general purposes (eg salary negotiations) as for example:

Some of these have links between agencies which are more extensive than the permissible formal relationships. Such cross-cutting membership can lead to secretariat work stoppages in several agencies as occurred in 1975 and 1976 during salary and pension negotiations. All these are members of the Federation of International Civil Servants Associations. Some of the above bodies are based on individual regional secretariats:

In which case the interlinking body may exist in name only, if at all.

Some of the staff associations may be organized in terms of distinct political parties:

Some of the associations may be for specific purposes as is the case with the:

These are not commissions of the United Nations, but of its personnel, as are these delightful specimens:

Slightly different is the case which includes women staff members and women (or wives of delegates) in national delegations:

Different again are those providing social services to agency officials:

The multinational corporations are giving rise to a new kind of dependent body, namely trade unions of employees of specific multinationals: Consultative bodies: A number of INGO bodies have been created specifically for purposes of facilitating consultation with inter-governmental agencies: Pressure groups: Somewhat similar to the consultative bodies are the several hundred commercial, industrial and professional groups created to clarify and express their positions with respect to the many regulations formulated within an emerging economic community: Opposition bodies: Just as there are supporting bodies, so it could perhaps be argued that some groups are in fact created to oppose the activities of other bodies. System dependent bodies: Some bodies are created in response to the existence of a technological system as user organizations. Parliamentary groups: General assemblies and parliaments may give rise to political groupings:

Others may be based on language:

Delegates may meet within a social setting which itself may be recognized as a pressure group: Administrative tribunals: These may have jurisdiction over disputes between officials and a range of institutions, including that which established it.

4.2.3 Semi-autonomous character: In contrast to the dependence stressed in connection with the previous group, this one is characterized by some degree of autonomy despite close links to a particular inter-governmental body. As such it is more typical of some inter-governmental bodies.

A somewhat different case is that of a body like the:

set up with an independent status by the UN General Assembly to examine finance-related matters of the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies. Mention should also be made here of the semi-autonomous nature of some regionally or functionally specialized bodies of larger organizations. (These are considered separately below).

4.2.4 Relationship to leadership: This group is characterized by the special nature of the leadership and the less-than-democratic control it is presumably in a position to exercise over the policies of the organizations. In effect the membership of such bodies exchange democratic procedures for some other ordering mechanism in which they have greater confidence. Chartered bodies: Some organizations receive a special patent of charter (or other form of patronage), often from a religious authority such as the Pope.

In the case of the United Kingdom, the Crown authorizes many "royal societies" with Commonwealth-wide membership.

Although organizations of this kind may be democratically structured in all other respects, it is clear that any such charter may be revoked and this possibility would tend to ensure a special sensitivity to the wishes and interests of the Pope and the Crown respectively. In practice this may lead to the appointment within the organization of "advisory" councils largely made up of people with the desired sensitivity. Orders: There are orders of various kinds where the leadership is believed to possess greater knowledge of wisdom than the general membership, such that the degrees of such insight are supposed to determine the levels within the order.

There exist a great number of Catholic orders, both for men and for women:

These are also referred to as "first" (male) and "second" (female) orders. In addition there are many kinds of "third" (mixed) lay orders, confraternities and secular "institutes":

Aside from the reasonably visible orders cited above, the many secret societies also belong to this type although because they are secret it is not usual to take them into consideration as varieties of INGOs.Orders of chivalry are of special interest because of their historical importance as an early form of non-governmental actor (for example the Europe-wide role of the Order of Knights Templar and its network of commanderies prior to its dissolution in the 14th century) and their intimate relationship to monarchies and nobility, religious or military hierarchies, or other powerful and well-connected groups - even at the present time. Boalt et al (23) have examined the European orders as organizations from a sociological perspective. A register of genuine orders of chivalry has been produced by the International Commission for Orders of Chivalry (24) whose secretary-general has reviewed the problems of distinguishing between such orders, although without considering non-chivalric orders such as the freemasons which he notes as having been allegedly created following the suppression of some of the early orders of chivalry (25). Military structures: A military system of ranking may be preferred to clarify the distinction between different levels of ability. Charismatic leadership: Where the organization has

in effect been created as a vehicle for the communication of the views of one individual, the formal structure (however it is arrived at) does not have the same significance as in conventional bodies.

4.2.5 Regional (sub) groupings: Some well developed international bodies with membership in several continents may give rise to regrouping of the membership at the regional level. It is not always clear whether such regional groupings are deliberate creations of the international body (and thus a form of sub-grouping) or whether they are independent bodies which may establish (or break) formal links to the international body.

4.2.6 Functional (sub) groupings: As with the regional regroupings discussed above, some international bodies may give rise to regroupings of the membership around specific topics or activities. Again it is not always clear whether such functional groupings are deliberate creations of the international body or whether they are independent bodies which may establish (or break) formal links in the international body.

Both the above are part of the International Union of Biological Sciences.

4.2.7 Heterogeneous membership: The organization in this group have members which may constitute a mixture of governmental, non-governmental, or business organizations and be international or national. The membership may also include individuals.

4.2.8 Complex character: This group is distinguished by the structural complexity which results from conventional INGOs or IGOs becoming members of an INGO or of an inter-governmental body, respectively. Clear examples in the case of INGOs are:

Some of these may in their turn become members of such bodies as the:

An equally complex situation occurs with the various independent international scientific unions (some with other international scientific bodies as members) which are themselves members of the International Council of Scientific Unions. In addition these members may group together in various combinations (with the encouragement of ICSU) to form interunion commissions on special topics. In the case of the IGOs, examples are:

4.2.9 Minimal structure: This group of bodies is characterized by an explicit awareness of the weaknesses of the structural options open to international bodies and a deliberate attempt to work (or experiment) with some minimal structure.

Such "organizations" when contacted will often vigorously deny that they are organizations and will particularly insist that they do not belong to the same class as conventional IGOs or INGOs, which they may well perceive as ineffective. Highly publicized intergovernmental groups of this kind include:

A very special case of interest is the:

Preferential trading areas as such may be considered in this light:

With these might be included the:

4.2.10 Multi-national structure: Related to the previous group are those "non-organizations" which avoid any formal international structure. More or less formal organizations within a number of countries simply recognize each others' existence and engage in informal exchanges, possibly leading to a harmonization of policies or various forms of joint action. At one extreme this merely constitutes a normal stage prior to the formation of any conventional international body (or any substitute for it), but of more interest is the deliberate use of this approach as a means of avoiding the international formalization of a well-developed multi-national relationship, as is the case with various movements: guru-based, alternative-technology, alternative-lifestyle, radical or revolutionary politics, etc. This is also a characteristic of invisible colleges and some scholarly networks which do not need to be encumbered with any formal organization because of the frequency of contact between those involved. (26)

4.3 Characteristic modes of action

Many international organizations may be usefully characterized by the emphasis they give to a particular mode of action. The emphasis may even be reflected in the actual name of the organization, thus distinguishing it from the majority of organizations (possibly to the point of raising the questions as to whether it really should be considered as an organization).

The modes of action concerned are listed below. In each case examples of international bodies are given. In most cases the names of the bodies provide sufficient clue to the manner in which the organization is oriented by the mode in question.

4.3.1 Treaty:

4.3.2 Agreement administration:

Some of the commodity arrangements renewable after one or more years result in the dissolution of the administering body at the end of each such period and its continuation under the new agreement.

4.3.3 Arbitration:

4.3.4 Clearing:

4.3.5 Negotiation:

4.3.6 Nomenclature:

4.3.7 Standardization:

4.3.8 Travel:

The major activity of this body is to facilitate low-cost air travel for members.

4.3.9 Examination:

4.3.10 Field Action:

4.3.11 Personal Contact:

4.3.12 Commemoration:

4.3.13 Computation:

4.3.14 Language:

4.4 Preoccupational character

It is interesting to split off from the complete range of international organizations those bodies which can usefully be grouped in terms of some general preoccupation (as contrasted with a more conventional classification by subject).

4.4.1 Defence and national security: This is a well-defined group of bodies:

4.4.2 Commodity: Again this is a well-defined group of bodies (27):

4.4.3 Product: This is a less clearly defined group when the concern is with a specific product rather than with the relevant manufacturing industry or trade.

A special case arises with proprietary products:

4.4.4 Industrial economic process: There are numerous organizations related to manufacturing or extractive industries:

These are often closely related to trade associations.

There is also a group concerned with services and delivery of skills.

Finally there is a further group of employer organizations, possibly associated with particular industries.

4.4.5 Occupation: Directly related to many of the industrial or economic processes noted in the previous type there are trade unions and professional organizations:

In addition for economic occupations there are organizations associated with social and recreational activities.

4.4.6 Technique: Some occupations and processes have distinct techniques or methods associated with them which may be the preoccupation of an international organization.

Some may be named after particular individuals:

4.4.7 Research: Many international organizations are concerned with general or specific areas of research or study, whether in science and technology or in art and culture.

4.4.8 Social amelioration: Some international organizations have always been preoccupied with improving society, whether through social welfare in developed societies, general development and aid programmes in the less developed countries, or in the form of crisis relief.

4.4.9 Value or Belief Propagation: Many international organizations are primarily concerned with the widespread propagation of particular values or beliefs.

4.5 Geographic characteristics

A number of bodies which may be called "international" can be usefully characterized by peculiarities in their geographic orientation or distribution of membership. These may be grouped as follows:

4.5.1 Geographically focused: This group is distinguished by mention of a specific, and generally small, geographic feature in the name of the organization. Region: In this case a region is named, generally an area where three frontiers meet. Lake: This is similar to the previous case. River: There are a number of examples of

organizations concerned with rivers flowing between two or more countries. Place: A number of bodies are concerned with specifically named locations.

Of special interest are those associated with schools for children of international officials:

Some of these may be established by a special intergovernmental agreement: Territory:In some cases a whole territory is named.

A special case occurs where there is some intent to inhibit activity in the territory, such as by boycott.

4.5.2 Geographical displaced: This group includes those bodies which have some unusual combination of geographic features.

This also includes exile organizations.

4.5.3 Regional organizations with extra-regional membership:

Some bodies whose names appear to limit the distribution of membership in fact have members from other regions with equal voting rights.

4.5.4 Secretariat-location organizations: In those countries with a long tradition of international activity an umbrella type of body may be created.

Not to be forgotten in this connection are the personnel associations described under above.

4.5.5 Geographically fragmented membership: A number of bodies, which may be termed "regional", in fact have a dispersed membership.

Other examples, which have not yet given rise to permanent international bodies, may be found associated with land-locked countries and arid, tropical or mountainous regions.

4.5.6 Place-named organizations: This group is distinguished by the presence of a city name in the title or acronym of the organization. The city may be that of the secretariat and regular meeting point:

or the place of signature of a relevant treaty (which may also be the secretariat of place of the first meeting):

or the place of the first meeting (which may also be the location of the secretariat):

4.5.7 Internationally-operating national organizations:

There are many organizations which are primarily national but which nevertheless are mainly concerned with operational programmes (usually aid or relief) in other countries.

Such bodies may in fact acquire consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council on a par with conventional INGOs. An older variation on this form is the missionary society, although increasingly such societies dispatch missionaries from several base countries.

4.5.8 Internationally-focused national organizations: Whilst usually without operational programmes in other countries, there is a range of national organizations which is primarily interested in international relations and world affairs. The preoccupation is generally academic but may include an attempt to educate a selected group (eg policy makers) or the public.

4.5.9 Nationally-supported international organizations: Some otherwise quite conventional international bodies are mainly supported (eg funding, services or office facilities) by one national body, possibly a government agency.

4.5.10 Minimally-international organizations: There is a tendency for some national organizations to attempt to stimulate their development into international bodies by adopting a name which created the impression that such a development has been accomplished. This may be for prestige reasons but it may also be based on an honest but very simple, interpretation of the meaning of "international". There is a whole range of organizations based in the United States, possibly with a small proportion of membership in other countries (often Canada or Mexico) which are named "International...". This is especially true of labour unions and trade associations.

It is useful to note that federated states may legitimately give rise to a wide range of "inter-governmental" organizations at the federal level with names having a form indistinguishable from that of conventional intergovernmental bodies.

4.5.11 Bilateral and similar bodies: The well-established bilateral form of organization is not usually considered as belonging to the general range of international organizations. There is however a development of this form in which one of the partners is a continental grouping but in which each member is of equal status.

The last example is in fact a federation of bilateral organizations. These are of special interest in the case of inter-governmental bodies, which may not exclude extension of membership to other countries:

4.6 Other special characteristics

4.6.1 Commemorative organizations: Some international bodies are specifically conceived to commemorate or celebrate past or future events.

Others give recognition to a major worker or leader in their special field when an organization is formed to develop that or related work.

4.6.2 Individual work focus: Distinct from the previous group is one in which the concern is not so much with acknowledging an early leader as with limiting attention to the collective work, approach of ideas of that leader.

An interesting variation on this is a body whose membership is restricted to former students of an individual and (more recently) to students of the original students.

Another well-developed variation of this group is the religious order inspired by the work and rules of a particular individual.

4.6.3 Charismatic personality focus: Organizations in this group (which are often exceptionally well-endowed financially due to the number and enthusiasm of members) are each centred on the activities of one charismatic individual. The identity of the individual may not necessarily be present in the organization name.

Bodies of this kind which operate internationally are a relatively recent phenomenon although their number is now increasing rapidly.

4.6.4 Special patronage: It is appropriate to mention here the group of organizations which have a special form of patronage, namely certain Catholic organizations which receive a charter from the Pope, and royal societies with Commonwealth-wide membership which receive a charter from the Crown. (These are discussed above: Chartered bodies).

4.6.5 Individual activist: It is useful to note that a number of smaller organizations depend for the continuation of their activities on the dynamism of one individual. Whilst presenting all the characteristics of a conventional organization (and few of the charismatic variety noted above), such bodies may thus be nurtured through to non-dependence on the individual, although such a presence may be essential during the early growth stages. Clearly if the organization does not "take wing", such bodies may then be perpetuated as shells until the person ceases to animate it.

4.6.6 Alumni: There are a number of organizations of former students of international educational bodies.

Another small group, similar to the above, is that of organizations of winners of a particular international prize.

4.6.7 Military unions: There is a movement among the western democracies to secure representation of the human rights of military personnel, in terms of material benefits and working conditions, through membership in trade or public employee unions. This has been explored in the case of the European armed forces by Ezra Krendle, (28) where the potential impact on NATO forces is of obvious importance.

4.6.8 Religious bodies: Many religious bodies use conventional organizational forms for their international activity.

In some cases, however, the conventional terminology is replaced by a religious form, without affecting the conventional character of the organization.

This is only possible where there is a minimal religious hierarchy as is characteristic of some sects. A further group is created, however, when the religious hierarchy supplants any member-determined organizational structure. This is the case typified by the Roman Catholic Church with the range of papal commissions and religious orders, but also in such bodies as

4.6.9 Semi-humorous: There is a small group of organizations which have been created for fun, or at least somewhat with tongue-in-cheek.

This group may also be considered to include organizations of collectors of somewhat unexpected objects. Clearly this group includes organizations of little significance. However, this does raise the important questions of where the cut-off point should be located, why, in whose interest, and at whose expense.

4.6.10 Retrogressive bodies: There is a group of bodies with concerns which would tend to be considered retrogressive by most of the international community.

A variation on this group would include the organizations which might be evaluated as pseudo-scientific or, in another variant, as pseudo-religious. This would, however, raise the questions of how and why the evaluation is to be performed, and again, in whose interest and at whose expense.

4.6.11 Hyper-progressive bodies: In contrast to the previous group, there are organizations with concerns whose occurrence would tend to be considered of low-probability or only of possible significance in the long-term future.

Of special interest is the:

in which animal species are represented by human sponsors or sponsoring groups.

Some would argue that the various bodies promoting world government should be included here. It is interesting to note the reception accorded the International Astronautical Federation when it was founded in 1950. One inter-governmental agency rated such a preoccupation as the domain of "lunatics" (The editors of the Yearbook of International Organizations at that time were also forced to reassess their own policies on such cases.) On the other hand, in November 1977, the Special Political Committee of the UN General Assembly devoted considerable time to a formal debate on UFOs.

4.6.12 Shipping conferences: These are groups of shipping lines operating on usually well-defined routes, with basic agreements to charge uniform rates. The word "conference" denotes no single system but is a generic term covering a wide range of common services and common obligations undertaken by shipowners serving particular routes. Broadly speaking, the term denotes a meeting of lines serving any particular route, aimed at agreement on uniform and stable rates of freight and the provision of services, under stated working conditions in the trade. A conference ranges from a very informal association to a well developed organization with a permanent secretariat behind it. In 1965 there were about 360 conferences operating in the various trade routes of the world. (29) Their manner of operation is of concern in terms of its potential for exploitation and unfair competition. (30)

4.6.13 Cartels: It is also appropriate to make special mention of cartels (of which shipping conferences may be one variety). These may take the form of import cartels, export cartels and agreements on standards. They may only involve private corporations or may have the implicit or explicit support of government, or some direct form of government participation. (31)

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