International Organizations

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Smith, Courtney
syllabus description
This course will examine the processes through which international organizations work to design and implement effective policies to address pressing transnational problems. Much of the attention will be focused on the bodies and agencies of the United Nations System, but a wide variety of regional organizations and nongovernmental organizations will also be discussed. The course will begin with an overview of the historical development and basic features of international organizations. Special attention will be devoted to the various actors involved in the political processes of these multilateral bodies, as well as to issues of coordination and compliance. Next students will explore the past and current activities of international organizations in addressing three different sets of global problems: international peace and security, social and humanitarian cooperation, and sustainable development. This background information will set the stage for the most unique feature of the course: students will participate in a Model United Nations simulation of the UN General Assembly. Each student will represent a member state and seek to work with their classmates to draft consensus-based resolutions regarding three global problems selected by the class. During the simulation students will learn the skills necessary for effective group interaction such as working together as a team, conveying your ideas through written and verbal proposals, understanding the perspectives of other participants, and problem solving through negotiation, bargaining, and compromise.