International Institutions

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Theresa Squatrito CBG 8.08


This course is available on the MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact, 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.


All students are required to obtain permission from the Teacher Responsible by completing the Student Statement box on the online application form linked to course selection on LSE for You. Admission is not guaranteed.

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.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of  40 hours across Michaelmas and Lent Term. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of online lectures and in-person seminars/seminars delivered online.

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

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 formative essay in the MT and 1 comparable formative assessment in the LT.

Each seminar participant is required to give presentations on seminar topics.

Indicative reading

Volker Rittberger, Bernhard Zangl, Andreas Kruck and Hylke Dijkstra. 2019. International Organization: Polity, Politics and Policies, Third Edition, London: Red Globe Press

Ian Hurd. 2018. International Organizations: Politics, Law, Practice, Third Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Aggarwal, V. K. and Dupont, C. (2014) Cooperation and conflict in the global political economy. In: Ravenhill, John, Global political economy. 4th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Fehl, C. (2004) 'Explaining the International Criminal Court: A 'Practice Test' for Rationalist and Constructivist Approaches', European Journal of International Relations 10(3): 357-94

Niemann, A. (2006) ‘Beyond Problem-Solving and Bargaining: Genuine Debate in EU External Trade Negotiations’, International Negotiation 11: 467–97


Essay (100%, 4000 words) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2016/17 - 2018/19 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 18.9
Merit 49.5
Pass 25.3
Fail 6.3

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2019/20: 24

Average class size 2019/20: 12

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information