In this course, we will read, discuss, and engage the modern literature on international institutions, regimes, and organizations. The focus will be on intergovernmental institutions and agreements. International politics is increasingly institutionalized in all issue-areas. Understanding the dynamics of international conflict and cooperation therefore requires that we understand the sources and consequences of institutionalization.
The course will be theory-driven, with the first few weeks devoted to studying theoretical frameworks used by international relations scholars to understand institutions. Then we will move into empirical applications of these theories. We will address most of the major issue-areas in international politics, including political economy, security, and environmental issues.
My goal in this course is to encourage you to develop your own ideas for research and writing. To that end, the last week of class is set aside for presentation of research proposals by students. The assignments for the course are also designed to move you toward identifying researchable topics for study, preparing
a research proposal, and writing a research paper.