Political science 1ab3 2017 lecture 11a international organizations. International organizations have vastly increased in number and in scope over the course of the last century. However, the mere existence of an international organization does not in and of itself tell us anything about its significance. Each international relations theory that we have examined offers a different perspective on the significance of international organizations. 1. international organizations can be viewed as nothing more than instruments for some other actor e. g. realism. International organizations have very little autonomy or power. International organizations act where, when, and how, powerful states tell them to act. 2. international organizations can be viewed as having a semi- autonomous impact - e. g. liberal institutionalism. They might not initiate changes in the direction of world politics, but they can make certain outcomes possible that would not be possible in their absence. For example, they can help overcome prisoners dilemma type situations.