Schiavone, an Italian scholar and specialist on multilateral cooperation, has updated this overview of international organizations to reflect developments up to early 1992. The first edition of this title was positively evaluated here ["RBB" D 1 84] because of the clarity and objectivity of the writing and its presentation of directory information in an accessible format. This third edition, maintaining the scope and arrangement of the original, profiles more than 200 organizations in which national states are associated in a common purpose
The book is divided into two major parts--the dictionary and the directory--and approximately 100 organizations are profiled in each section. Entries are listed under the organization's name in English; numerous "see" references direct the reader to the entry from the name in other languages, as well as from acronyms. The dictionary is the largest portion of the book and provides organizational descriptions ranging in length from one column to more than five pages. The directory, on the other hand, has brief entries, most no longer than 8-10 lines of a column, that provide contact information and a succinct description. The only explanation of why the book is divided into these two major parts, or why a particular organization is listed in one section or the other, is found on the dust jacket: the organizations in the directory are those "with largely technical and administrative tasks." Included in the directory section are such groups as "Pacific Basin Economic Council", "International Rubber Study Group", and the "European Civil Aviation Conference"
The lengthy entries in the dictionary section profile such organizations as "African Development Bank", "Entente Council", "Latin American Integration Association", and "Organization of the Islamic Conference". The United Nations and its various agencies and conferences take up a total of 44 pages and include an entry as recent as the Earth Summit held in June_ 1992, under "United Nations Conference on Environment and Development" (UNCED). Each entry includes a narrative on the aims of the organization, membership criteria, member countries, number of meetings held regularly, committees and projects, and affiliated agencies. A short history is given that explains such organizational developments as changes in goals and objectives, governance structure, legal mandates, and relationships with other international bodies. Each profile ends with the name of the current chief official, the headquarters address (often with fax numbers), and a list of the most pertinent publications. Some entries also include a short list of references about the organization
Other features of the book include an introduction that reviews the development of international organizations and discusses challenges faced in the post-Cold War era. Membership charts for the major international and regional organizations are provided, and several indexes list organizations by name, year of founding, acronym, and interest area (e.g., commodities, energy)
Contact information for the groups profiled here can be found in many other sources, such as the "International Organizations" volumes of "Encyclopedia of Associations". Compared with typical directories, Schiavone's dictionary entries provide lengthier analyses of a group's history, governance, and current objectives. These profiles are comparable to those found in the "International Organizations" section of the "Europa World Yearbook", and many libraries that subscribe to this source will not need the duplicative coverage. However, Schiavone's profiles frequently include some unique information about an organization, as well as his objective commentary about problems and successes. This work will be useful in academic libraries that support programs in international relations and political science, as well as in large public libraries where this type of information is often requested.