Since the end of World War II, there has been an explosion in the number, scope, and complexity of international organizations. International organizations such as the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and World Bank now play critical roles across a wide range of policy issues. Why have international organizations proliferated and expanded since the mid-20th century? How do these organizations shape the international system? Why do states sometimes conduct foreign policy through international organizations, while other times preferring traditional means? Why do some international organizations evolve over time, while others resist change? What are some of the pathologies and problems of contemporary international organizations? We will explore these questions by carefully examining the functions and operations of major international organizations. You will also complete a research project examining an international organization of your choice and present your findings in class.