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Growth and Impact of International Associations and their Networks: Extended version


Growth and Impact of International Associations and their Networks
Justification for assessing impact of INGOs on IGOs
Varieties of impact of INGOs on IGOs
Issues raised in assessing impact of INGOs on IGOs
Conventional evidence for impact of INGOs on IGOs
Characteristics of impact-oriented associations
Characteristics of non-impact-oriented associations
Limited validity of conclusion from impact studies
Growth of INGOs and ISPAs

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This paper, originally presented under the title "Networks of International Associations; occupational categories and world problems", was completely re-written in the light of the papers and discussion at the Conference on International Scientific and Professional Associations (ISPAs) and the International System (Philadelphia, November 1976). A more extensive draft version was distributed under the title 'Growth and Impact of International Associations and their Networks', from which part was incorporated into 'International Organization Networks' in: P Taylor and A J R Groom (eds): International Organisation: a conceptual approach (London, Frances Pinter, 1978, pp. 381-413). An abridged version (without the part so incorporated) appeared under the title Assessing the Impact of International Associations in International Associations, 30, 10, pp. 435-440.


This paper considers various aspects of the significance and nature of the impact of international associations on their environment, and particularly the impact of international scientific and professional associations on the international system. In approaching this matter, it is first useful to examine why the question of impact is important, what is meant by impact, and the questions raised by the process of proving impact. This establishes an appropriate context within which to comment on the progressive increase in the number of international associations and their interrelationships and the manner in which networks of organisations may diffuse impact and act as vehicles for its transference.