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Transgovernmental Relations and International Organizations

Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye
World Politics
Vol. 27, No. 1 (Oct., 1974), pp. 39-62
DOI: 10.2307/2009925
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2009925
Page Count: 24
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Transgovernmental Relations and International Organizations
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Abstract

Students of world politics have tended to assume that states act as units. Yet transgovernmental relations--direct interactions among sub-units not controlled or closely guided by the policies of cabinets or chief executives--are frequently important. Transgovernmental relations are facilitated by extensive personal contacts among officials and by conflicts of interest between departments or agencies within modern governments. International organizations can play important roles in transgovernmental networks by (I) affecting the definition of issues; (2) promoting coalitions among governmental subunits with similar interests; and (3) serving as points of policy intervention in transnational systems. As policy interdependence among developed-country governments becomes more extensive and complex, these roles of international organizations are likely to become increasingly important. Internationalism of this relatively informal, noninstitutionalized type is not a "dead end."

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