POLS6014 International Organisations
Course Code: POLS6014
Course Tutor: Dr Nils Metternich (Department of Political Science)
Length: One term (Spring Term)
Teaching: 20 hours lectures/seminars
Assessment: Two 2,000 word essays (40/60%)
Credits: 0.5 course units, 4 (US) 7.5 (ECTS)
About this course
International cooperation and conflict are so common that we often take them for granted. But how does international cooperation and conflict come about? How and why do states form institutions that constrain or foster inter-state behaviour. The first part of the course focuses on the major theories and concepts of interstate cooperation and institutions. We begin by discussing the dominant perspectives on IOs— e.g. neoliberal institutionalism—and its critics, which include realism and constructivism. The second part of the class is dedicated to the emergence of international cooperation from a network perspective. We will be introduced to the major institutions in the areas of the environment, human rights, and global markets. The class concludes with a discussion of the role international organizations can play in promoting peace and deterring armed conflict.
Throughout the course, students will assess how well international organisations accomplish their stated goals and be expected to identify the challenges facing international organisations in the modern world.
By the end of the course students will:
- Have developed an understanding of the difficulties associated with global governance and how those difficulties affect (1) the willingness of states to enter into organisations, (2) the design of international institutions, and (3) how well institutions function.
- Be able to critically evaluate theories and concepts in international cooperation and global governance.
- Be able to understand the role that institutions play in creating international policy, and assess how well these institutions serve their functions, including how the challenges facing institutions affect welfare at all levels—the organization, their member governments, and individual citizens.