At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the twin challenges of globalization and fragmentation are making their impact felt on the goals, scope and activities of intergovernmental organizations. While technological change, the increasing dominance of the market economy and the spread of free trade regimes accelerate the pace of globalization, the widening of social inequalities in advanced as well as emerging and developing economies and the marginalization of the poorest countries are often regarded as a symbol of the globalization process itself. Profound changes on the legal, managerial, technological and communication planes are ultimately reducing the powers of the state in the economic and other spheres. National governments see their freedom of action constrained and may be compelled to enforce rules imposed by international agencies, as is frequently the case with structural adjustment programmes. For their part, non-state actors are gaining economic and political clout and strive to influence decisions and agendas, often calling into question the objectives and methods of major intergovernmental organizations.
KeywordsUnited Nations North Atlantic Treaty Organization Latin American Free Trade Association Central American Common Market South Pacific Commission
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