Course content

The course is divided into three parts. The first part introduces the students to the main institutions at the global arena. This part will review several major institutions, their practice and history as well as the scholarship that studied their behavior. The second part delves deeper into the insights provided by the literature about the behavior of international organizations. Unlike the first part, the second part will not address each institution sequentially. Instead, it will review the scholarship that tried to answer the main questions raised by the practice of international organizations. The third part situates international organizations in a global arena. It will study how these organizations interact with each other and how the legal landscape is shaped by their existence and activity.

This course is part of iCourts Excellence Programme (iEP) – International Law and Courts in a Global World, see 'Remarks' below.

Learning outcome


Students will learn to identify the main international organizations. They will learn about the history of these organizations, their past actions and decisions, the people who staff them, and the challenges they face. Students will learn to understand the way these organizations work from a strategic perspective. They will be acquainted with the legal and political constraints that affect these organizations. They will explore the strategies these organizations apply to counter these constraints. Based on that acquired knowledge, students will be able to explain numerous phenomena and power struggles in the global arena.


Students will exercise analytical thinking, which will help them to address the complex problems in the field of international organizations. They will learn to think critically about judgments and legal procedures and to assess the impact of procedure on substantive outcomes. Students will learn to criticize and to examine legal theory as well as papers and books from other fields, mainly political science. Students will learn the basic tools of empirical (mainly quantitative) research which will give them, at first, an ability to review other people's work and, with some later practice, the ability to conduct such research themselves. Furthermore, by getting a comprehensive picture of an entire field, students will improve their ability to conduct independent research --particularly their skills of identifying the most salient contributions to the literature. Through exercises in class and discussion with the instructor, students will learn to present their acquired knowledge and their own critical thoughts on the issue in a clear and precise manner. The final exam will give students a chance to improve their writing skills and to deal with complicated questions in a more thorough way.


Students will take out from the course a competence to learn new fields in legal theory and in other disciplines such as political science, economics, and sociology. Students will acquire the competence to engage with new types of literature in a critical way and to identify the key arguments in scholarly work they will encounter in the future. By analyzing the flaws and pitfalls in empirical quantitative work of others, students will learn to avoid these mistakes in their own research. The acquired knowledge on international organizations will help students understand the procedures in these organizations and work in collaboration with them. It will also give students the ability to understand other complex bureaucratic system and national courts.

In order to understand the written materials, follow the discussions in class, contribute comments, participate in the group exercises, and write the final exam students should be proficient in reading, listening, speaking, and writing in the English language.

Please observe, this course is part of iCourts Excellence Programme (iEP) – International Law and Courts in a Global World. Students who sign up for the iEP become iCourts Student Fellows and will get a unique opportunity to become part of the research environment of iCourts – the only centre of excellence in law in Denmark. The iEP is open to all Danish and foreign MA students at the Faculty. All iCourts courses may be taken individually but only students who complete at least three of the 15 ECTS courses offered by the centre will receive a certificate confirming their participation in the iEP. Read more about the programme: http:/​​/​​​​icourts/​​teaching-and-doctoral-training/​​master-excellence-programme/​​

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Written examination, 3 days
Assigned individual written assignment, 3 days
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Students are assessed based on the quality of their exams. This quality is judged first, according to the demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the mandatory reading materials and the lectures taught during the course; second, according to the analytic skills demonstrated by the exam with special emphasis on the skills systematically developed during the course; and finally, based on the ability to communicate these ideas accurately and coherently.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Seminar
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 356,5
  • English
  • 412,5