Transregional dynamics and cultures of international organizations

Authored by: Bob Reinalda

The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138718364
eBook ISBN: 9780429438233
Adobe ISBN:


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The emergence of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and transregionalism, as understood by the editors of this handbook, went hand in hand. They relate transregionalism to the capacity of institutions and persons to transcend and also transform given spatial categories, such as the ‘national’ and the ‘regional’. Practically speaking, this is a laborious process, as is illustrated by the freedom of navigation of ‘international rivers’, a new norm set by the Congress of Vienna in 1815. It took the members of the first IGO, the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (established by the same congress), 17 years to reach an agreement about how the organization would function and to issue its first act. These years represented a thorny learning process among diplomats, who needed to cooperate in an institutional context despite different national or imperial interests. However, the outcome transformed a series of national arrangements by riparian states into a single ‘international regime’ for promoting water transport and governing the traffic on this now open waterway.

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