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IR 542 – International Organizations

1.  Course Number:              IR 542                     Credits:  3         Contact hours: 45


2.  Course Title:                     International Organizations


3.  Pre-requisites:                   Graduate Standing


4.  Course Description:

This course will examine the origins, development, structure, organization, administration and aims of selected international organizations, with particular emphasis on the United Nations.  Particular attention will be paid to the peace-keeping role of the UN and the reform program.  The changed role of international organizations within the context of the post Cold War era will also be analyzed, with special emphasis on NATO and the European Community.  Regional International Organizations will also be examined with an analysis of common geographical, culture and economic factors.


5. Learning Outcomes

Upon Successful completion of this course, students will be able to:


Describe the history of the International Organizations Exam
Analyze the development of the League of Nations into the UN Exam
Examine the problems that have beset the UN, particularly in the inability to resolve conflicts within states Exam
Create a plan for reform of the UN Exam
Develop a comparative analysis of a selected International Organization Presentation
Research, present and defend a paper on a selected example of an international organization . Presentation


6.  Basic Texts:

Title:                International Organizations

Authors:          Archer, Clive

Publisher:        Routledge, Taylor & Francis Books, Ltd, 2001

ISBN:              041524689X



7.  Additional Reading and Supplemental Texts:

As assigned by instructor.



8.  Mode of Delivery:

Classroom instruction. See Addendum for specific details.

9. Course Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Origins of IOs in the th Century
  • The League of Nations
  • Origin of the United Nations
  • Structure of the UN
  • Function of the UN
  • Role of the Secretary General and Security Council
  • The peace-keeping role of the UN
  • The reform debate within the UN
  • Mid-term examination
  • The North-South divide
  • IMF and the World Bank; the debt crisis; the aid debate
  • The UN and the US
  • Selected UN agencies: UNESCO, FAO, WHO, UNHCR
  • NATO origins, structure, post Cold War and the expansion debate
  • The British Commonwealth–sentimental anachronism?
  • ASEAN and the crisis of the Asian Tigers
  • NAFTA and US global predominance
  • ICJ and human rights
  • Integration of the EC
  • Final examination