SSST Subjects

PS280  The Role of International Organizations in Global Governance

Political Science


International Relations


Programme(s) where module is offered

  • BSc in Political Science and International Relations

Status (core, option, free choice)



FHEQ Level



Unit Value



Semester taught



Pre-Requisite Modules or Qualifications



Module Code



Module coordinator

Zlatko Hadzidedic


Applicable From



Educational Aims of the Module

  • This module focuses on intergovernmental organisations and their historical origins, ostensible functions, their aims, the international and domestic political forces that impact their operations, and their effectiveness. The module will examine the role of international organizations (IOs) in global politics and as well as their strengths and weaknesses.  
  • We will begin the module by analyzing and studying the main international relations theories and methodological issues, so that we can obtain a core set of analytical tools through which we can evaluate and assess specific IOs. From a theoretical perspective, we shall consider various approaches such as realism, liberalism, Marxism, feminism, and constructivism. From a methodological perspective, we will look at the circumstances under which IOs take action and separate them from the effects of their actions. 
  • After we have a grounding in theory, we will apply this theory to practice by examining case studies through which we will analyze some of the major IOs such as the UN, the World Bank and the IMF, NATO, OSCE, etc. We will evaluate them from a theoretical and practical standpoint and also look at what they signify for human rights, democracy, development, and international socioeconomic issues. We will end the semester with an outlook toward the future of democracy, global governance and international organizations in general.

Module Outline/Syllabus

  • What are International Organizations? Why do International Organizations exist? What role do they play in solving global problems? History and development of International Organizations
  • Theories and International Organizations
  • UN and its bodies; Challenges
  • Security organizations: NATO and OSCE
  • Trade organizations: GATT/ WTO, Mercosur, NAFTA 
  • International Economic Architecture: IMF and World Bank
  • Development: The UN and Development, UNCTAD, World Bank and development
  • The Role of INGOs, MNC 
  • Democracy promotion and human rights (European convention, UN human rights conventions)
  • Global cooperation on the environment
  • The EU and the future of global governance 

Student Engagement Hours

Type Number per Term Duration Total Time
Lectures 30 1 hours 30 hours
Total Guided/Independent Learning Hours 170
Total Contact Hours 30
Total Engagement Hours 200

Assessment Method Summary

Type Number Required Duration / Length Weighting Timing / Submission Deadline
Final exam 1 3 hours 50% End of semester
Mid-term exam 1 2 hours 20% Week 8
Case study presentation
followed by group
1 20 min. 20% ongoing
Article analysis 1 1000 words 10% Weeks 13

Module Outcomes

Teaching and Learning Strategy:

  • Lectures/presentations by the module instructor (ILO: 1-4)
  • Module readings and group discussions in class (ILO: 1-4)
  • Individual and group presentations (ILO: 1,2,4)
  • Individual consultancy with students as needed (including detailed feedback on their work) (ILO: 3,4)
  • Lectures, examples, and tools provided by instructor (PS: 1-3)
  • In-depth discussion and analysis of module readings led by instructor  (PS: 3) 
  • Presentations by students (PS:2)
  • Module readings and class discussions  (TS: 1-4)
  • Lectures and in-class exercises (TS: 1-4)
  • In-class presentations (TS:1,3,4)
  • Article analysis (TS: 1-3)

Assessment Strategy

  • midterm exam article analysis , case study presentation  (ILO: 1-4)
  • Final Exam  (ILO: 1-4)
  • Written Exam (PS: 1,3)
  • Individual Presentation (PS: 3) 
  • Article analysis (PS: 1,2)
  • Mid-term exam, article analysis, case study presentation  (TS: 1-4)
  • Final Exam (TS: 1-4)

Key Texts and/or other learning materials

Set text

  • Pease, K., (2011). International Organizations 5th Edition. Pearson

Supplementary Materials

  • Hurd, I., (2013), International Organizations: Politics, Law, Practice, 2nd Edition, Cambridge University Press
  • Rittburger, V., et al, (2012), International Organisation, 2nd Edition, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Armstrong, D., et al, (2013), International Organisation in World Politics: The Making of the 20th Century, 3rd Edition, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Kaddous, C., (2015), The European Union in International Organisations and Global Governance: Recent Developments, Hart, Bloomsbury
  • Weiss, T., Davies, S., (2008), The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations, Oxford University Press
  • Cogen, M., (2015), An Introduction to European Intergovernmental Organisations, Routledge
  • Gheciu, A., (2008), Securing Civilisation?: The EU, NATO and the OSCE in the Post-9/11 World, Oxford University Press

Please note

This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the module and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided.  More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each module and programme can be found in the departmental or programme handbook.  The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually by the University of Buckingham and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.

Date of Production : June 2016 

Date approved by School Learning and Teaching Committee:

Date approved by School Board of Study :

Date approved by University Learning and Teaching Committee:

Date of Annual Review:


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