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Optioneel keuzevak: Introduction to International Relations and Organizations



In this course, the international political system is analyzed. The main elements of power and the influence of the main players and groups are dealt with as well as their interaction in conflict and cooperation. The most important international organizations are sketched, particularly the United Nations and its related institutions, as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and a number of regional organizations.

Course objectives

The goal is to enable international and Dutch students to better understand international politics, the role of international organizations and the way they influence national states and other entities in the in the global system.
Completion of this course is required to participate in the Masters courses on Current Issues of International Politics, or Peace-building after Conflict.

Timetable Monday 3/9 t/m 22/10 2012 Time 14-16 hrs Room: SB45, except for 3/9 in SA-41 and 17/9 in Gorl/Hav

  • Exam: Tuesday 30/10 from 10-12 hrs in FSW room SB -11

  • Re-exam: Monday 14/1/2013 from 9-12 hrs in USC

Mode of instruction

Lectures, writing three one-page papers, and class discussion

Assessment method

During the course, students are asked three times to write in English or Dutch a one-page answer to questions raised by the instructor. At the end there is a written exam of 5 questions, four of which deal with the lectures, material handed out in class and the textbook and one tries to assess the ability to apply the acquired understanding to a hypothetical policy question in the UN. The questions should be answered in English or Dutch.

The final grade is 1/3 the average of the three one-pagers asked during the course, and 2/3 the average of the five exam answers, all on a scale of 0 (=no answer) to 10 (could not possibly be better). Grade 6 is a just-satisfactory answer.

Course material is also obligatory for the papers and exam as far as it is set out in sheets, handouts and other information media.


Prof. dr. J.J.C. Voorhoeve.

Reading material

  • James L. Ray en Juliet Kaarbo, Global Politics, Houghton Miffin, 9th edition.

  • Other material handed out during the course.


This course does not use Blackboard.



Contact information

By email: Prof. dr. J.J.C. Voorhoeve