International Organizations

Provided by: Tilburg
Bachelor's degree (EQF level: 6)

After completing the course, studentsare able to summarize the historical antecedents and current developments of international governance and organizations;
can describe and discuss the most important international organizations and international non-governmental organizations with regard to their structure and functioning, their potential and current shortcomings;
can describe and discuss related policy dilemmas at different levels of governance (e.g. national and supranational) on a basic level;
are able to apply different theoretical perspectives from political science, international relations and organizational sociology to explain the structure and functioning of international governance and organizations;
can discuss and evaluate the role of international organizations in dealing with complex global policy issues and wicked problems such as global warming, refugees and conflict resolution and public health on a basic level;
are able to formulate rough outlines of alternative policy solutions to these global complex policy issues and wicked problems involving international organizations and critically reflect on these policy solutions;

Part of the course is a day trip to the Hague to visit the the International Criminal Court, if the Corona situation allows for it. Students will be asked to register beforehand. More information will be available via Canvas as soon as possible.

A considerable amount of the world¿s current big policy issues (many of which can be qualified as `wicked problems¿), whether the current Covid-19 pandemic, civil wars, drug trafficking, global warming, migration and human trafficking or poverty and inequality need an international or even global response. During the last century, many international or supranational organizations were founded and global governance systems developed to tackle these problems. In addition, international non-governmental organizations developed as part of an emerging international civil society and global governance systems. But as international organizations have proliferated, expanded the range of their practices, and arguably increased the level of their influence, major questions remain about their role, relevance and capacities to successfully deal with these global policy challenges and wicked problems. As we can see in the current Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war, the effectiveness of the response is mixed at best. In addition, we also see increasing criticism against the western liberal world order as it developed after World War II and major international institutions have been increasingly put under pressure from powerful national states. Moreover, the international order seems to be in a transition phase from a unipolar world dominated by the United States to a multi-polar world with China steadily increasing its power and influence and Russia trying to (re)assert its power using its military and energy reserves.
The course is designed to enable the participants to better understand and assess the evolution and functioning of international organizations and international governance systems as approaches for coping with or even solving global problems. We will take a broad theoretical perspective in this endeavor but will especially discuss international organizations from an organizational sociology perspective. The course has two parts. In one part, the course will give an introduction to international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), economic organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) or regional organizations such as the European or African Union. In the second part, we will discuss, how international organizations attempt to cope and tackle global complex policy issues and wicked problems such as global warming, conflict resolution and migration as well as global health. We are planning a field trip to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, if the Corona situation permits.

  • Block 1 2022/23

    Course start date 2022-09-01
    Course end date 2022-10-21
    Language English
    Credits 6 (ECTS)
    Grading scheme: Grades will be awarded on a 10 point scale where 6 is the passing grade