International Organizations (POLS 541)

2015 Spring
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Political Science(POLS)
Brooke Luetgert,
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Doctoral, Master
Discussion based learning,Guided discovery
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What role do International Organizations (IOs) play in world politics? Why do states establish supranational and international institutions, and what determines both their design and evolution? How do international and domestic forces impact their effectiveness and function? This course provides an in-depth look at the theory behind and practice of IOs and focuses on both theoretical and methodological issues related to IOs. It looks at the interaction between international law and politics as exemplified by the United Nations, international financial institutions (the IMF and World Bank), selected regional organizations (NATO and EU), and the WTO. Finally, and considers their substantive work in areas such as the promotion of democracy, peace and security, human rights, and sustainable development. Primary goal is to understand the interplay between interests, institutions and information in defining how IOs influence world politics.


familiarize students with the literature on international institutions, particularly in light of how institutions generate and modify actors' beliefs;
aid students in skillfully criticizing scholarly work while positioning their own research and perspective in IR; and
guide students to devise their own research agendas while completing a research paper by the end of the semester.


This is a PhD and advanced MA-level seminar on the study of international institutions. The course introduces students to this field of research by exposing students to some seminal and classical works as well as more contemporary research.


1. Develop and deepen the current and advanced knowledge in the field with original thought and/or research and come up with innovative definitions based on Master's degree qualifications 4

2. Conceive the interdisciplinary interaction which the field is related with ; come up with original solutions by using knowledge requiring proficiency on analysis, synthesis and assessment of new and complex ideas. 3

3. Evaluate and use new information within the field in a systematic approach. 3

4. Develop an innovative knowledge, method, design and/or practice or adapt an already known knowledge, method, design and/or practice to another field; research, conceive, design, adapt and implement an original subject. 2

5. Critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation of new and complex ideas. 5

6. Gain advanced level skills in the use of research methods in the field of study. 4

7. Contribute the progression in the field by producing an innovative idea, skill, design and/or practice or by adapting an already known idea, skill, design, and/or practice to a different field independently. 4

8. Broaden the borders of the knowledge in the field by producing or interpreting an original work or publishing at least one scientific paper in the field in national and/or international refereed journals. 5

9. Demonstrate leadership in contexts requiring innovative and interdisciplinary problem solving. 2

10. Develop new ideas and methods in the field by using high level mental processes such as creative and critical thinking, problem solving and decision making. 5

11. Investigate and improve social connections and their conducting norms and manage the actions to change them when necessary. 1

12. Defend original views when exchanging ideas in the field with professionals and communicate effectively by showing competence in the field. 5

13. Ability to communicate and discuss orally, in written and visually with peers by using a foreign language at least at a level of European Language Portfolio C1 General Level. 4

14. Contribute to the transition of the community to an information society and its sustainability process by introducing scientific, technological, social or cultural improvements. 2

15. Demonstrate functional interaction by using strategic decision making processes in solving problems encountered in the field. 4

16. Contribute to the solution finding process regarding social, scientific, cultural and ethical problems in the field and support the development of these values. 3

1. Develop the ability to use critical, analytical, and reflective thinking and reasoning 5

2. Reflect on social and ethical responsibilities in his/her professional life. 4

3. Gain experience and confidence in the dissemination of project/research outputs 5

4. Work responsibly and creatively as an individual or as a member or leader of a team and in multidisciplinary environments. 2

5. Communicate effectively by oral, written, graphical and technological means and have competency in English. 5

6. Independently reach and acquire information, and develop appreciation of the need for continuously learning and updating. 5

1. Develop a thorough knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in the field and apply them in research design and data analysis. 5

2. Assess the impact of the economic, social, and political environment from a global, national and regional level. 5

3. Know how to access written and visual, primary and secondary sources of information, interpret concepts and data from a variety of sources in developing disciplinary and interdisciplinary analyses. 5

1. Design and model engineering systems and processes and solve engineering problems with an innovative approach.

2. Establish experimental setups, conduct experiments and/or simulations.

3. Analytically acquire and interpret data.

1. Begin to grasp historical evolution and contemporary character of world politics. 5


  Percentage (%)
Assignment 30
Term-Paper 50
Participation 20



David Baldwin, ed. Neorealism and Neoliberalism. Columbia University Press, 1993.
Robert Keohane. After Hegemony. Princeton University Press, 1984.
Lisa Martin & Beth Simmons, eds. International Institutions. MIT Press, 2001.
Mancur Olson. The Logic of Collective Action. Harvard University Press, 1965.