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Architectures of International and European governance



Many societal problems transcend the borders of the nation-state. Economic developments and trade, crime and terrorism, climate change, natural disasters and international monetary and financial crises are not confined to national territory. To cope with these matters, nation-states have partially delegated competencies upwards to European Union and international bodies. The number of international and EU institutions, laws, rules and norms has, accordingly, tremendously increased over time. As a result, we face a divers and complex institutional architecture of international governance.

This course offers an advanced understanding of core themes in the theory and practice of the various architectures of international and European governance. We will study the interlocking organizational, and multi-level dimensions of the international and the EU’s political-administrative arrangements. The course deals with theoretical and conceptual frameworks for the study of international organizations, and international public administrations, as actors in global politics and in international policy-making in a comparative and systemic perspective. We will study these architectures from a political science and public administration perspective on institutional design and structural choice: the architectures reflect constellations of power balances between international organizations, national governmental actors, corporations, interest groups, social movements and/or civil society organizations. The key questions that we will address is how the various modes of governance relate to each other; how each evolves, what the role of various (state and non-state) actors is, how we should evaluate these modes from a perspective of legitimacy, accountability, delegation, and representation.

Course objectives

  • To have an understanding of the key literatures on the design, structure, and functioning of international organizations and new modes of international and European governance

  • Advanced knowledge of the key mechanisms and factors through which international and European systems of governance evolve through time and are designed under various political, economic and social conditions

  • To systematically assess and to critically judge the capacity and capability of various international and European institutional architectures to address transboundary problems and challenges

  • To reflect on the relevant normative and ethical issues, particularly on issues of legitimacy, accountability, effectiveness, and democracy

  • Function effectively in a team, potentially with multiple disciplinary and cultural backgrounds

  • Ability to effectively identify and synthesize existing primary and secondary literature in order to address a question or problem at hand.


On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Blackboard.

Mode of instruction

Weekly seminar sessions.

Course Load

Seminar: 21 ( 7 ×3)

Further structured study (case analyses, individual assignments, peer review): 19

Self-study: 100

Assessment method

Individual assignments 30%
Case Study Report 20%
Individual Paper 40%
Peer Review 10%


The course will be available at the latest two weeks before the start of the course.

Reading list

TBA on Blackboard.


Use both uSis and Blackboard to register for every course.
Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. Some courses and workgroups have a limited number of participants, so register on time (before the course starts). In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.
Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted here.


Names and email adresses for more information (contact hours):