The headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) are pictured in Geneva, Switzerland, March 22, 2016. 
Denis Balibouse / Reuters

The system of global governance has changed since the United Nations was established in the 1940s. International organizations have not only become larger, they have also grown in number. Now, these organizations are spun in a complex network that includes states, nongovernmental organizations, and other agencies that operate above the state level. 

Even so, international organizations continue to be deeply rooted in the historical events that gave birth to their rise. The World Health Organization (WHO), International Labor Organization, and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization  have grown in size and scope and interconnectedness—yet the way in which they operate has not changed much since their founding. In fact, decisions made during each of their formative periods still impact the way in which these organizations enact reforms, govern their field activities, and respond to changes in the system. This is called “path dependence.”

But this does not

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