Geopolitics and International Organization

  • Gerry O’ReillyEmail author
Part of the Key Challenges in Geography book series (KCHGE)


The rise and impact of international organizations is appraised here. Following WWII, there was demand for international collaboration, regulation and rule of law, creation of inter-governmental organizations such as the UN, and inter-regional organizations like the EEC/EU. Instruments including the Geneva Conventions and protocols were further elaborated. Responding to demands, there was a burgeoning in NGOs. From the 1990s on there has been much support for the UN Responsibility to Protect (R2P), but also challenges faced by citizens whose governments cannot, or will not, or refuse to protect them. Nonetheless, there are many criticisms of the R2P. According to the UNHCR, there were over 68.5 million people—refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced across the globe in 2017. Economic gaps within and between countries have increased. Distances between IGOs responsible for global regulation and national governments, and people on the ground have increased, fuelling conflict over material resources, but existentialist crises also. Challenges continue for peacebuilding and post-conflict recovery, creation of sustainable peace processes, and truth and reconciliation work in former conflict territories. There is no turning back the clock on the digital revolution and globalization, which by its nature entails migration and refugees. Conflictual perspectives on this have been witnessed by electorates in the EU and USA, and in territories where actors are trying to manage humanitarian crises.


International law Regulation Geopolitics Number of states Governmental and non-governmental organizations R2P 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of History and Geography, St. Patrick’s CampusDublin City UniversityDublinIreland

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