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Comparative Evaluation of Different Types of International Organization


Comparative Evaluation of Different Types of International Organization
Quantitative measures available
Comparaisons using financial ratios
Tables 2-5

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Note prepared for a UNESCO expert meeting on international organization studies (Paris, 1972)


There is a current of dissatisfaction and confusion concerning the means of comparing different types of international organization. This is particularly evident in connection with the 2700 international nongovernmental nonprofit organizations, less so in connection with the thousands of multinational enterprises, but rarely in connection with the 200 intergovernmental organizations.

The object of any such comparison could be:

  • to have some agreed-upon scale by which the more "significant" or "important" organizations to be contacted would be isolated.
  • to attempt cross-comparisons between NGOs, MNCs, and IGOs and even with nations of comparisons of MNCs with with nations)
  • to reduce dependence upon legal criteria which artificially separate organizations of equal functional im- (eg "international" organizations are separated from "national" organizations with international programs in a large number of countries, when many of the latter group may be functionally more significant).

These notes are an attempt to examine a few of the questions in any such comparisons. Of particular value is the relative significance of different forms of organization as features of the social system, representing different types of interests (political, economic, or other) of the individuals in the system -- irrespective of any one single conventional or legal boundary.