International Institutions

This information is for the 2015/16 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 Global Politics, MSc in Global Politics (Global Civil Society), 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 and their impact on state behaviour and domestic politics. The second part analyses these key questions with regard to specific international institutions, including the League of Nations, 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 the areas of human rights, environmental protection, and health policy).


8 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT. 9 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 at least one presentation on one of the seminar topics and write two 2,000 (max) word essays from the list of sample exam questions appended to the reading list.

Indicative reading

Ian Hurd, International Organizations: Politics, Law, Practice, Cambridge University Press, 2010; Andreas Hasenclever, Peter Mayer & Volker Rittberger, Theories of International Regimes, Cambridge University Press, 1997; Volker Rittberger, Bernhard Zangl and Andreas Kruck, International Organization: Polity, Politics and Policies, second edition, Palgrave, 2012.


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

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 12.9
Merit 54.8
Pass 27.4
Fail 4.8

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2014/15: 29

Average class size 2014/15: 14

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Lecture capture used 2014/15: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information