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IR200: International Organisation: The Institutions of Global Governance

Session: One
Prerequisites: Candidates must have passed at least one university-level course in the social sciences (politics, sociology, economics, history, law). The course is of particular interest to undergraduate students in politics and international relations, and those with a professional interest in international institutions.

Dr Mathias Koenig-Archibugi
Dr Ulrich Sedelmeier

International Organisations are central to understanding international politics. They play a key role in efforts to achieve international cooperation and global governance. Yet the power, impact, and perceived legitimacy of International Organisations differ widely – across organisations, issues, regions, and over time. A key aim of the course is to understand these differences and their implications for the solution of transnational challenges.

The course will be divided in two parts:

(1) The first part introduces central theoretical approaches that help us to understand key aspects of international organisations: their creation and design, their decision-making processes, and their impact and policy effectiveness. 

(2) The second part applies this analytical toolbox to explain the role of international institutions in specific policy domains, including security, Human Rights, trade, finance, health, environment, migration and labour rights. 

For each domain, the course will analyse the construction of global policy problems, the creation or selection of international organisations aimed at addressing them, the way in which policies are negotiated and decided within those institutions (with special attention to the exercise of various forms of power), the impact of the institutions on the behaviour of states and other actors, and their effect on the problems that motivated their creation.



Ian Hurd (2010), International Organizations: Politics, Law, Practice (Cambridge University Press).
Volker Rittberger, Bernhard Zangl, and Andreas Kruck (2012) International Organization, 2nd edition (Basingstoke: Palgrave).

Lectures: 36 hours Classes: 12 hours
Assessment: Final examination and one assessed essay