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International Organizations and the Promotion of Good Governance


Admission requirements

MSc International Relations and Diplomacy students.


In the last few decades, international organizations have grown in importance as vehicles for managing global interdependence and, at the same time, as motors of further globalization, transferring policy competences or norms between the national and supranational levels of governance.

This course explores some of the ways in which international organizations use to promote better governance, discusses their effectiveness and the effectiveness of reform they promote. We discuss how and to what extent international organizations are able to provide the governance that is needed as a response to global interdependence and meet local challenges to growth and good governance. We discuss how international organizations understand reform and especially administrative reform, both in countries that are the target of reform and the organizations themselves. In this way, the course provides a crucial link between reforms of governance and the effectiveness and legitimacy of international organizations themselves.

Course objectives

Students who have completed this course should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a broad awareness of the role some of the most prominent international organizations play in governance in various parts of the world, their goals and objectives;

  • Differentiate between approaches to good governance used by various international organizations today and assess their significance for the work of these organizations;

  • Be familiar with criteria for the evaluation of legitimacy and effectiveness of the work of IOs and apply these to the work of one organization of their choice;

  • Understand the role conditionality has played as a policy tool for IOs and its uses and limitations;

  • Apply ideas of public administration reform in an international organization setting;

  • Critically evaluate the effectiveness and ability to promote good governance of international organizations based on existing theoretical frameworks and empirical studies discussed in class.


To be announced by OSC staff.

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 and the presentation by one team per session.

Course Load

5 EC

Assessment method

Participation: 10%
Presentations: 40 %
Final paper: 50% (2000 to 2500 words, with references)

Final papers can be re-taken if failed. For students missing a presentation, a short essay will be assigned instead.

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.


Information relevant to the course will be posted on Blackboard.

Reading list

To be announced.


Use both uSis and Blackboard to register for every course.


Prof. Dr. Antoaneta Dimitrova

Dr. Marinko Bobic