International Organizations | Study Materials

An international organization, also known as an intergovernmental organization or an international institution, is an organization that is established by a treaty, or is an instrument governed by international law and possessing its own legal personality, such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization, International Union for Conservation of Nature, and NATO. International organizations are composed of primarily member states, but may also include other entities, such as other international organizations, firms, and nongovernmental organizations. Additionally, entities (including states) may hold observer status.
International Organizations | Study Materials
An alternative definition is that an international organization is a stable set of norms and rules meant to govern the behavior of states and other actors in the international system.

In regional organizations like the European Union, African Union, NATO, ASEAN and Mercosur, there are restrictions on membership due to factors such as geography or political regimes. To enter the European Union (EU), the states require different criteria; member states need to be European, liberal-democratic political system, and be a capitalist economy.

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