International Organizations POLITIC5081

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course examines the role of international organizations (IOs) for international politics and introduces students to the effects of organizations, like the World Bank, IMF, or NATO, for international cooperation.


One two hour session (lecture + seminar) held weekly for 10 weeks.

Requirements of Entry

Open to postgraduate students only.


The summative assessment consists of two parts:

1. Essay of 3000 words (60%)

2. Three quizzes taken in class, of which only the best two will count towards the final grade (20% each)

Course Aims

This course introduces students to the study of International Organisations (IOs) and Global Governance, and the core concepts, key theoretical debates and empirical approaches to the study of IOs. It aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop a sophisticated understanding of how key IOs across various issue areas (such as peace and security, trade, finance and development) are governed, why they exist, what their key organisation features are, and how effective (or not) they are in solving global governance problems. The course also aims to connect academic debates to contemporary events and policy discussions on the role of IOs in an increasingly interconnected world.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able:

■ Critically assess leading theoretical explanations within the field of IR and related disciplines for why IOs exist, how they operate, and how they influence the behaviour of both states and non-state actors

■ Compare a variety of IOs in different areas of global governance in terms of their organisational features, membership, and rules

■ Evaluate the effectiveness of IOs in developing and sustaining cooperation, utilising empirical insights from the existing research literature

■ Advance reasoned and factually supported arguments in writing

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Completion of summative assessment components.