International Institutions

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Mathias Koenig-Archibugi CON 4.08


This course is available on the MSc in EU Politics, MSc in EU Politics (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Global Politics, MSc in International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International Relations, MSc in International Relations (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Relations (Research), MSc in International Relations Theory and MSc in Theory and History of International Relations. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The first part of the course introduces the main theoretical approaches that provide alternative explanations for key questions about international institutions: their creation, institutional design, decision-making processes, their impact and their interactions with other international institutions. The second part analyses these key questions with regard to specific international institutions, including the United Nations, the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as well as international institutions in the areas of human rights, environmental protection, and health policy.


10 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT. 8 hours of lectures and 12 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour of lectures in the ST.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Each seminar participant is required to give presentations on seminar topics and write two formative essays.

Indicative reading

Volker Rittberger, Bernhard Zangl and Andreas Kruck, International Organization: Polity, Politics and Policies, second edition, Palgrave, 2012; Ian Hurd, International Organizations: Politics, Law, Practice, Cambridge University Press, 2010. 


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (50%, 4000 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 13.7
Merit 51
Pass 29.4
Fail 5.9

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2015/16: 34

Average class size 2015/16: 12

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Lecture capture used 2015/16: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information