COURSE: International Organizations and Cooperation

Course content

This course is about international relations and focuses mainly on the question of how international organizations are used at various levels of governance in the international system to promote international cooperation. We will discuss questions such as: Why do states design international organizations and what effects do these institutions have on international and domestic politics? Or more specific: Does the UN Security Council help to keep peace? Why did the international community set up the World Bank or the International Energy Agency? Are international organizations merely a vehicle for major powers to advance their myopic policy preferences? In this course we will analyse obstacles for cooperation in the international system and how international organizations are designed and constructed to overcome these problems.


The course will be structured according to the following headlines:


  1. International Cooperation

  2. Achieving Cooperation under Anarchy

  3. International Organizations & Cooperation

  4. Delegation and Agency in International Organizations

  5. Domestic Politics and International Organizations

  6. The Problem of Compliance

  7. How to Detect Non-compliance

  8. International Courts and Compliance

  9. Military Alliances

  10. Monetary Policies

  11. Environmental Policies

  12. International Law and Human Rights

  13. Conclusion


Bachelorlevel: 10 ECTS
Masterlevel: 7,5 ECTS

Learning outcome

The objective of this course is to enable the students to:

  • Summarize and present major IO theories

  • Review the major arguments and implication of these theories

  • Critically evaluate these arguments

  • Apply these theories to concrete cases

  • Define a research design

  • Conduct an empirical analysis.

This course enhances the students’ ability to analyse complex political science research questions from a quantitative, analytical perspective. The coruse will enable students to conduct their own research, i.e. derive interesting research questions, set up appropriate research designs, apply correct statistical models. The course is relevant for students who aim for a career in, for example, the European Union, international organizations, and the public sector.

This course will consist of a combination of student presentation, discussions and lectures.

A list of primary and secondary texts will be available at the start of the course.


The prerequisites for this course are a good working knowledge of research design and quantitative methods.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Written assignment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment
  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • English
  • 28