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Keywords:

  • Second International;
  • international organizations;
  • domestic factors;
  • IOs;
  • Europe

This article explores the role of domestic factors in international organization dysfunction, exemplified by the failure of the Second International to agree on a common stance and policy for the prevention of the First World War. Focusing on the French and German socialist parties, the two most powerful forces in the Second International, it assesses how domestic factors, such as differences in the dependency on the electorate, internal party structure and party–trade union relationships affected the policy preferences of these socialist parties. It concludes that these domestic differences were the source of discrepancy and lack of orchestrated action among the members of the Second International. As a result of these differences, the Second International failed to coordinate and produce a binding resolution that would commit its members to a uniform action against war, hence culminating in international organization dysfunction.