Summary: History Of Ios

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  • 4 History of IOs

  • 4.1 Early IOs

  • Where does the beginning of IOs go to and what happened there?

    Historical development goes back to the Congress of Vienna (after the Napoleonic Wars of 1814/1815).
    ➔ At this Congress, state leaders met to reorder/reshape the structure of Europe and the very first IOs emerged afterwards (all of which still matter to some degree today).
  • What is the oldest IGO which is still in existence?

    - Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (1815)
    • ●  Is seated in Strassbourg, France.
    • ●  Has five member states, all of which are along the Rhine Coast.
    • ●  Still has a small secretariat with only 20 staff members.
    • ●  Main Mandate: To ensure secure navigation along the Rhine. Had a tribunal that was included in the organization’s early framework, which dealt with issues/complaints). Today, the secretariat is mostly preoccupied with cruise ship social security).
      Not as important as at the beginning.
  • What are some other historic IOs? (6)


    1865: International Telegraph Union (ITU)
    1874: Universal Postal Union (UPU)
    1875: International Bureau of Weights and Measure
    1885: International Railway Congress Association
    1893: International Bureau for the Protection of Intellectual Property
    1907: International Office of Public Hygiene
  • What similar aim do these historical IOs have?


    These IOs share similar aims to solve technical coordination problems. They also do not mention the term “organization”, rather the terms commission, union, bureau, etc.. This is because the board term “IOs” was only introduced after the foundation of the LoN and then the UN.
  • 4.2 The Internationalism of the 19th Century

  • What was the society like in the 19th century?

    A growing transnational civil society existed, with movements by civil society actors that got together cross-borders to discuss issues (e.g anti-slavery, women’s rights).
  • What sign gave the participation in an IO?

    Participation in IOs was seen as a sign of state power to get access and use as an instrument of foreign policy and hereby demonstrate the sovereignty of a nation-state.
  • In what form did global governance exist in the 19th century?

    Global governance existed in the form of technological coordination.
  • What is the meaning of the internationalism core idea?

    Through international cooperation, peace would exist (liberalist and idealistic perspectives). Rules and regulations were expected to enforce this.
    ➔ HOWEVER, this basic understanding was not always the case.
  • IOs were rather ambivalent (had contradictory ideas) they:


    • ●  Were seen as an instrument of Western imperialism on the one hand.
    • ●  BUT, were also seen as giving “back door” power access to non-Western states and
      marginalized political groups (e.g. women’s rights activists).
  • What was the IOs range?

    IOs actions ranged from government activities to civil society advocacy.
    ➔ This distinction between NGOs and IOs as governmental organizations that are seen today does NOT apply to the 19th century (only held after WWII).
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