Elective course; Governance specialization
International relations theories often characterize the international system as anarchic and focus on interactions between nation-states. In the absence of a higher authority and to manage these interactions, international organizations (IOs) are said to have become prominent players in the international system. The primary purpose of such intergovernmental arrangements is the realization of collective goals through cooperation.
This course critically examines the role and performance of IOs while also looking at their future prospects. Part one offers a survey of the key events in the history of IOs. Part two analyzes the incentives for states to establish IOs. It examines major conceptual debates related to the motivation, formation and effectiveness of IOs. Schools of thought are not just theoretical, rather they often influence the perception of policymakers engaged in foreign policy making and shape their views about what IOs can/should and cannot/should not do. You will apply different theoretical frameworks by debating a concrete policy case.
Part three looks at the future prospects of IOs. Against the background of changing global power dynamics and ever more pressing cross-border challenges, there have been urgent calls on policymakers for an institutional and substantive review and redesign of multilateral organizations. Three trends stand out and are being analysed. First, the accountability, legitimacy as well as the performance and effectiveness of IOs. Second, rising powers such as the BRICS have called for changes in the governance and management of IOs. Third, the globalization of production and the associated changing balance between “private” and “public” has led to calls for IOs to provide global public goods (GPG).