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The Organization of American States (OAS) is the world's oldest regional multifunctional organization. This work provides a clear and comprehensive discussion of this important body, dealing with security, technical cooperation, and the construction of democratic institutions. Providing an incisive analysis of the history, decision making procedures, relevance, functions, and operations of the OAS, this book also examines the organization in the context of the web of international and regional institutions that deal with global governance and international politics in the Western Hemisphere. In this accessible and concise text, Monica Herz seeks to move beyond the well-studied roles of the OAS as a tool of foreign policy and assess the increasing significance of its independent normative and operational activities. Providing an important resource to those seeking to fully understand the activities and impact of the OAS, this work will be essential reading for all students of Latin American politics, international organization, and global governance.