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Reviewed by George C. Lodge
This is an original and timely analysis of the evolution of international organizations from 1850 to the late 1980s. Craig N. Murphy argues that the thousands of governmental and non-governmental organizations that have come and gone during this long period are reflections of forces emanating from what in the theory of the Italian social scientist, Antonio Gramsci, are called "historical blocs."
These blocs are, as Murphy writes, "a complex of economic, political, and cultural institutions," (p. 26) which direct and shape the development of particular societies in a particular period. A bloc consists of those communities "whose interests are served and whose aspirations are fulfilled" by a particular economic and social system, operating according to a shared ideology (pp. 26 and 27). For the most part, Murphy sees the international organizations which have provided what global governance the world has had as being the products …