nl en

International Organizations and the Promotion of Good Governance


Admission requirements

MSc International Relations and Diplomacy students.


The course focuses on contemporary research and thinking around important aspects of the functioning of international organisations: the promotion of good governance by IOs for development purposes, politicisation of international governance and international organisations, international bureaucratic politics, the interaction between international organisations and states and citizens, norm diffusion by international organisations.

The course analyses international organisations through the prism of cutting edge research into their rules and norms, tools and capacities as international bureaucracies. IOs are affected by state interests and bargains, norms and organisational structures and have both power and ‘pathologies’. In recent decades, global power shifts have also resulted in fragmentation and the creation of new international organisations reflecting the interests and approach of emerging powers. The questions of their effects and purposes will be addressed. All of the above themes will be developed with a view to a variety of organisations and an emphasis on the underlying mechanisms rather than specific organisations.

Course objectives

Students who have completed this course should be able to:

  • Acquire and demonstrate a broad awareness of key analytical and empirical trends in multi-level governance and international organisations

  • Understand the implications of good governance paradigm for development and for IO’s work

  • Be capable to critically engage with the approach and findings of classical and new articles dealing with the power, pathologies, limitations and usefulness of IOs

    • Understand the role different policy tools such as conditionality and public-private partnerships play and the impact they have on countries seeking financial or expert assistance
  • Be able to compare and contrast the ways in which member states of different organisations and regional groups localise different norms in their domestic settings

  • Demonstrate understanding of mechanisms that affect international organisations performance and effectiveness


On the right-hand side of the programme front page of the E-Prospectus you will find a link to the online timetables.

Mode of instruction

The course will be entirely seminar-based. Instructors and students will discuss readings in class based on advance preparation by the students. Key themes will be introduced by the instructor and student discussants and illustrated by guest speakers working in different International organisations.

Study load: 140 hours

Assessment method

  • Preparation of readings and comments and questions submitted in advance: 25%

  • Discussant role: 15%

  • Final paper: 60% (2500 words, with references)

Failed partial grades or components should be compensated by passed partial grades or components. The calculated grade must be at least 5,5 to pass the course. It is not possible to re-sit a partial grade or component once you have passed the course.

Should a student fail the overall course, s/he can complete the course in the next academic year. In cases of exceptional circumstances, a student may apply to the board of examiners for a resit to complete the course in the same academic year.

Reading list

To be announced.


The programme will register the students in Usis based on the group division. Use Brightspace for course information.


Prof. Dr. A. Dimitrova


This course is an elective course designed for MIRD students.
This elective is conditional on at least 5 students registering for this course.
Second year students will get priority.