Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvii
  2. Introduction

  3. Labor and Migration

  4. Family and Education

  5. Health and Environment

  6. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 323-323
    2. Kerstin Martens, Dennis Niemann, Alexandra Kaasch
      Pages 325-339 Open Access

About this book


This open access book enhances and systematizes our understanding of IOs in global social governance. It provides studies on a variety of social policy fields in which different, but also the same, International Organizations (IOs) operate.

The chapters shed light on IO involvement in a particular social policy field by describing the population of participating IOs; exploring how a particular global social policy field is constituted as a whole, and which dominant IOs set the trends. The contributors also examine the discourse within, and between, these IOs on the respective social policies. As such, this first-of-its kind book contributes to research on social policy and international relations, both in terms of theoretical substantiation and empirical scope.


Global social policy Global governance Organisational ecology Discourses Social governance

Editors and affiliations

  • Kerstin Martens
    • 1
  • Dennis Niemann
    • 2
  • Alexandra Kaasch
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS) and CollaborativeResearch Centre 1342 “Global Dynamics of Social Policy”University of BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS) and CollaborativeResearch Centre 1342 “Global Dynamics of Social Policy”University of BremenBremenGermany
  3. 3.Faculty of SociologyBielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany

About the editors

Kerstin Martens is Professor of International Relations at the University of Bremen, Germany

Dennis Niemann is a Post-Doctoral researcher at the Collaborative Research Centre “Global Dynamics of Social Policy”, University of Bremen, Germany

Alexandra Kaasch is Professor in German and Transnational Social Policy at Bielefeld University, Germany

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title International Organizations in Global Social Governance
  • Editors Kerstin Martens
    Dennis Niemann
    Alexandra Kaasch
  • Series Title Global Dynamics of Social Policy
  • Series Abbreviated Title Global Dynamics of soc. Policy
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2021
  • License CC BY
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-65438-2
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-65441-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-65439-9
  • Series ISSN 2661-8672
  • Series E-ISSN 2661-8680
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXVII, 353
  • Number of Illustrations 7 b/w illustrations, 3 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Comparative Social Policy
    Governance and Government
    International Organization
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“Although international organizations have long played a substantial role in social policy, scholarly research on their nature, discourse, and impact has only taken off in the last few decades. Featuring a strong line-up of contributors, this edited volume maps international organizations and their discourses across an impressive number of social policy areas ranging from health and labour to immigration and family policy. This excellent volume is a must read for those interested in global social policy.” (Daniel Béland, McGill University, Canada)

“Recognizing and appreciating the dynamics of Global Social Governance is all the more important these days in our global ‘community of fate. First, this volume provides an invaluable conceptual understanding of the causes and consequences of cross-border social issues.  Second, the authors recount how international organizations have evolved and expanded not only as public service providers with innovations in policy delivery but also as power-holders in social governance through a strong capacity to define the parameters of policy.” (Diane Stone, Professor of Transnational Governance, European University Institute, Italy)

“What role do international organizations (IOs) play in social policy worldwide? Some posit that IOs reflect the will of their constituent states. However, other scholars have found that IOs have substantial autonomy, generate their own ideas, and learn from their environments and experiences, acting as “forums for exchange, contention, and cooperation.” With chapters covering a wide range of policy domains, every student of global social policy will need to check out this excellent book” (Mitchell A. Orenstein, Professor of Russian and East European Studies, University of Pennsylvania, US)