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International Administration


Admission requirements

The course International Administration is part of the regular Public Administration bachelor programme and of the minor programme Public Administration: Multi-Level Governance and is also available for exchange students.


From climate change to epidemics to migration, many of the most pressing political problems of our time are transnational in character. Yet, political structures are still predominantly national, making it difficult to address cross-border issues in an adequate way. International organisations play an important role in filling this gap. This course introduces students to the wide range of organisations engaged in international governance, from global forums like the United Nations (UN) and regional organisations like the European Union (EU) to economic institutions such as the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) and non-state actors like Amnesty International and Apple Inc.

In the course, we survey the different types of international cooperation and discuss how international organisations vary in their power and capacity to address transnational policy issues. The course approaches these issues from a public administration perspective: International organisations are analysed not only as players on the international arena, but also as bureaucratic organisations in their own right. The course applies familiar issues and concepts from public administration to the study of these international organisations, highlighting the similarities and differences between national and international bureaucracies.

The lectures combine the discussion of central issues in international administration with an application of these issues to real-world cases.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, students will be able to:
1. Describe the main features of important international organisations.
2. Discuss the ability of international organisations to address transnational policy issues.
3. Explain and illustrate public administration perspectives on international organisations.


On the right-hand side of the programme front page of the studyguide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Brightspace.

Mode of instruction

The course consists of lectures, workgroups and self-study.

Attending the workgroups is of great importance for successful completion of the tests. It is the responsibility of the student to appear prepared for the workgroups.

Total course load: 140 hours

Of which:
Lectures: 7 × 2 hours = 14 hours
Workgroups: 7 × 2 hours = 14 hours
Examination: 5
Self-study: 107 hours

Assessment method

Individual paper (40% of final grade).

A final take-home exam with open-ended descriptive questions and essay questions (60% of final grade).

Partial grades can be compensated across the assignments. Partial grades are only valid in the current academic year; partial grades will not remain valid after the exam and the resit of the course.

For further information about the University's exam rules please see: Rules and Regulations.

Reading list

The readings consist of textbook chapters and academic articles announced on Brightspace. The main textbook so far has been: Karns, M., K. Mingst and K. Stiles (2015). International Organizations: The Politics and Processes of Global Governance. Third edition. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.


Register for every course and workgroup via My Studymap or uSis. Course registration via MyStudymap is possible from Tuesday 11 July, 13.00 h
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.

Students can enrol either as part of the Bestuurskunde bachelor track or as a minor from another programme after registration for the entire minor. You will receive the same course but make sure you enrol for the correct track so that your grades are registered properly.

  • Students who take this course as part of a Minor or Exchange programme will be placed in and registered for the minor workgroup by the FGGA course administration.

Leiden University uses Brightspace as its online learning management system. After enrolment for the course in uSis you will be automatically enrolled in the Brightspace environment of this course.

After registration for an exam you still need to confirm your attendance via MyStudymap. If you do not confirm, you will ultimately be de-registered and you will not be allowed to take the exam.
More information on registration via MyStudymap can be found on this page.

Please note: guest-/contract-/exchange students do not register via MyStudymap but via uSis. Guest-/contract-/exchange students also do not have to confirm their participation for exams via MyStudymap.


Dr. S. Diessner
Prof.dr. A.K. Yesilkagit