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POLSC312: International Organizations

Unit 1: Foundations of International Governance and Government   International Organizations, as a subfield of International Relations, has been shaped by two fundamental concepts: global government – the formal institutions and global governance – and the decision-making processes.  It is the intertwining of these two dynamics that gives rise to various interpretations of what are essential political questions – who gets what and why – in a global context.  Despite the inherently interdependent nature of governance and government, this first unit will separate them for a more thorough understanding of their distinctiveness.  Subsequently, we will turn our attention to the interplay between international organizations and international law.
 
A first consideration of global governance includes a brief look at historical circumstances that have posed challenges for decision-making in a global context.  While the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia (ending the 30 Years War) is generally credited with the birth of the state system, we will limit our considerations to more contemporary dynamics: the Cold War and post-Cold War periods, intensifying globalization (economic, political, social, etcetera), and expanding civil society.  Concepts such as balance of power, sovereignty, and legitimacy round out our initial examination of governance and lead to a discussion of global government.
 
Exploring global government also begins with a foundation of historical contexts; here, however, we will reach back to the pre-World War I and inter-war years before considering post-World War II developments in formal international institutions.  A categorization of those institutions based on the membership, primary functions, and mandates (scope of their activities) provides a foundation for later units that will compare and contrast various global and regional international organizations.  Terminology such as ‘intergovernmental,’ ‘nongovernmental,’ and ‘transnational’ will be delineated along with ‘global,’ regional,’ and ‘sub-regional’ designations.
 
Having completed a brief introduction to the governance and government concepts, our attention turns to international law and international organization(s) relationships.  The last subunit herein differentiates among the various sources of international law and reflects on some of the major issues that confront the nexus of law and organization: implementation, compliance, and enforcement.  For those individuals not familiar with international law, this serves as an introduction to relevant aspects of the topic; it provides a refresher for those who have already studied international law.

Unit 1 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 3.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 1.75 hours

☐    Subunit 1.2: 1.75 hours

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Define and distinguish between international governance and government. - Discuss the challenges and approaches to governance. - Discuss the history of international institutions from pre-WWI to the present. - List, characterize, and differentiate between the various categories of international organizations. - Discuss the relationship between international organizations and international law.

1.1 What Is the Difference Between Governance and Government?   1.1.1 Governance — The Process   1.1.1.1 Historical and Contemporary Challenges of Governance   - Reading: International Monetary Fund: James Boughton and Colin Bradford’s “Global Governance: New Players, New Rules” Link: International Monetary Fund: James Boughton and Colin Bradford’s “Global Governance: New Players, New Rules” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire
article.  As you are read, consider the following questions: what is
global governance?  What are some key examples of global governance
in action during the 20th century?  Also, identify various
challenges that the 21st century presents for global
governance.       
    
 Reading and answering the questions above should take approximately
45 minutes to complete.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.1.1.2 Approaches to Governance: Multilateralism v. Unilateralism   - Reading: Project Syndicate: Joseph S. Nye’s “Multilateralism vs Unilateralism” Link: Project Syndicate: Joseph S. Nye’s “Multilateralism vs Unilateralism” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the brief article.  In this article, Nye discusses the differences between multilateralism and unilateralism through the context of contemporary U.S, foreign policy.  Make sure you can define both terms.  Also, what are the advantages and disadvantages for a state when it engages multilaterally with other states? 
 
Reading this text and answering the question above should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
 
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1.1.2 Government — The Institutions   1.1.2.1 Key International Organizations   - Reading: World Affairs Council’s “International Organizations” Link: World Affairs Council’s “International Organizations” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read through the list of IGOs.  How many do you recognize?  Optionally, you may click on any IGOs of interest to learn more about each organization.
 
You should take approximately 15 minutes studying this resource.
 
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1.1.2.2 A Brief History of International Organizations   - Reading: University of Ghent: Encyclopedia of Law and Economics: Alexander Thompson and Duncan Snidal’s “International Organization” Link: University of Ghent: Encyclopedia of Law and Economics: Alexander Thompson and Duncan Snidal’s “International Organization” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, scroll down to bottom of the webpage, and click on the “#9800” link to download the PDF file.  Read pages 693-698 (up through Section 6).
 
Thompson and Snidal present a broad overview of the history of international organizations.  Make sure you are familiar with the following treaties and why they are important to the history of international organizations: 1648 Treaty of Westphalia; 1713 Treaty of Utrecht; Congress of Vienna; Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations; Bretton Woods agreements; and the United Nations.  
 
This reading should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
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1.2 What Is the Relationship between International Organizations and International Law?   1.2.1 International Organizations and Sources of International Law – Codification, Case Law and General Principles   - Reading: Northwestern Law’s “Sources of International Law” Link: Northwestern Law’s “Sources of International Law” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the information on this webpage.
 
There are four broadly recognized sources of international law.  Make sure you are familiar with each.  Why are IGOs also now being considered a source of international law?
 
This reading should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
 
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1.2.2 International Organizations and International Law Processes   1.2.2.1 Implementation, Compliance, and Enforcement   - Web Media: YouTube: University of California TV’s “The International Criminal Court and Opposition to the Court” Link: YouTube: University of California TV’s “The International Criminal Court and Opposition to the Court (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and watch the entire video.  In this video, the panelists discuss the emerging role of the International Criminal Court (ICC).  What are some of the roadblocks that IGOs, including the ICC, face in implementing and enforcing recognized international law?
 
Viewing this video and pausing to take notes should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
 
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