Civil Societies within States.
Corporations, banks, labor unions, religious organizations, and political parties may have branches, affiliations, chapters, associations outside their main place of location.
Many state-societies are multi-ethnic, multi-national, and multi-religious. Ethnic and tribal areas may straddle more than one state.
Civil war is a condition that exists in many countries of the world. Insurgents, rebels, guerrilla movements, organizations practicing terror to gain their ends, and outlawed political movements do in fact play a role in international politics.
Societal communities can become important international actors.
Classifying International Actors by Type of Organizational Structure
Bureaucratic Actors: Almost all international actors are bureaucratic in their organizational structures. Bureaucracies or formal organizations are the most powerful institutions on this planet. All central governments and their local subdivisions are bureaucracies. All large private for-profit business corporations (MNCs and TNBs) are bureaucracies. All IGOs or IOs are bureaucracies. Many, but not all, INGOs and NGOs are dominated by their bureaucratic, professional staff.. Bureaucratic Actors predominate in the global system.
Voluntary Associations: Most mass membership organizations are voluntary associations. They may have a small staff or secretariat of paid, full-time employees, but the bulk of the membership are volunteers who, usually, pay a membership fee to the association. What we generally call interest groups or pressure groups often fall into this category of voluntary associations. Political parties are often this kind of mass membership organization. The organization is often headed by a national leadership who are elected. The leadership and the paid professional staff may come to dominate the organization. If the voluntary organization has a large staff, more than several hundred, we may come to look at it as a bureaucratic organization. The head of the professional staff is often called the General Secretary of the organization. Most NGOs and INGOs fall in this category and have a bureaucratic component to their voluntary membership base.
Individuals and Families: Ultimately all human societies, including the global system, are made up of individuals. Individuals are born into and live in families. Extended families may form clans and tribes. Bonds of blood may produce ethnic communities or what I have called societal communities.
Societal Communities. Societal communities refers to social groupings that share common cultural characteristics based on blood relationships, common ethnicity, common language, common religion, and common national identity. They share common cultural traits. There may be traditional positions of leadership recognized by the community. There may be a recognized tribal chief, elders, wise persons, witch doctors, priest, or other authority. Max Weber described these leadership positions as "traditional."
But, societal communities may also generate charismatic leaders. Charisma is a quality of leadership which seems to arise spontaneously. It is difficult to define rationally but can readily be observed. Some leaders attract large crowds of followers and others do not. Whatever it is that makes them popular may be summarized as charisma. These leaders are neither traditional authority figures, nor do they occupy any official position of authority. They may ultimately become elected to some position of legal-rational authority.
Social groupings are groups that are culturally bound together. They do not have formal, legally-defined authority structures. But social groupings can form voluntary associations, which in term generate a formal leadership. Social groupings become organized social groups. Not all Irishmen belong to the Ancient Order of the Hibernians. But this fraternal organization was originally established to assist Irish immigrants to the United States facing discrimination. The organized group helps the broader, culturally connected social grouping.
Other Classification of International Actors
Individuals, Organized Groups, The Central Government, Society as a Whole, the State, Regional Balances, The Global System
Societal Components: Public Opinion, Interest Groups, Political Parties, Iron Triangles, Military-Industrial Complex, Think Tanks, Public Officials as Foreign Policy Makers
Dr. Harold Damerow