To Reform the World: International Organizations and the Making of Modern States

To Reform the World: International Organizations and the Making of Modern States

by Guy Fiti Sinclair


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This book explores how international organizations (IOs) have expanded their powers over time without formally amending their founding treaties. IOs intervene in military, financial, economic, political, social, and cultural affairs, and increasingly take on roles not explicitly assigned to them by law. Sinclair contends that this 'mission creep' has allowed IOs to intervene internationally in a way that has allowed them to recast institutions within and interactions among states, societies, and peoples on a broadly Western, liberal model. Adopting a historical and interdisciplinary, socio-legal approach, Sinclair supports this claim through detailed investigations of historical episodes involving three very different organizations: the International Labour Organization in the interwar period; the United Nations in the two decades following the Second World War; and the World Bank from the 1950s through to the 1990s.

The book draws on a wide range of original institutional and archival materials, bringing to light little-known aspects of each organization's activities, identifying continuities in the ideas and practices of international governance across the twentieth century, and speaking to a range of pressing theoretical questions in present-day international law and international relations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198757962
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 04/23/2017
Series: History and Theory of International Law Series
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Guy Fiti Sinclair, Senior Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington Law School

Dr Guy Fiti Sinclair is a Senior Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington Law School. His principal area of scholarship and teaching is public international law, with a focus on international organizations law, the history and theory of international law, and law and global governance. He holds first degrees in law and history from the University of Auckland, and a JSD from New York University School of Law, where he was a Fulbright scholar. He is an Associate Director of the New Zealand Centre for Public Law, the Associate Editor of the European Journal of International Law, and a Senior Fellow (Melbourne Law Masters) at Melbourne Law School.

Table of Contents

Part I The International Labour Organization, technical assistance, and the welfare state 1919-1945
1. From standard-setting to technical assistance
2. Into development
Part II The United Nations, peacekeeping, and the postcolonial state 1945-1964
3. From collective security to peacekeeping
4. Into international executive rule
Part III The World Bank, governance, and the managerial state 1944-2000
5. From reconstruction to development
6. Into governance

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