Fall/Winter Timetable

POL380H1S L0101

Topics in International Politics

International Organization


International organizations (IOs) now govern all areas of world politics – from human rights to finance. In this class, we explore why states create IOs, and whether and how IOs exercise authority in world politics. We begin by examining how IOs underpin the liberal international order, and their relationship to states. We then turn to a careful review of how the UN functions, and how IOs govern in key issue areas including security, trade, and development. In the third section of the course, we examine special cases of international courts, and IOs’ relationship with NGOs. The final portion of the class looks at two issues making headlines -- climate change and the conflict in Ukraine – and see how IOs help and hinder international cooperation.


Hurd, Ian. 2020. International Organizations: Politics, Law and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 4th edition.

Format and Requirements