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Thesis Seminar: International Organisations, Global Governance and Transnational Actors



Objective: Over 2 blocks, students prepare their research proposal and write their master thesis.

Content: The seminar focuses on the multitude of institutions and actors operating at the international or transnational level. This includes but is not limited to international organizations (EU, ASEAN, UN, NATO, BRICs, WTO, etc.), the members (or member states) of these international organizations, as well as non-governmental actors (corporations, banks, NGOs, transnational activists and social movements, religious organizations, epistemic communities, lobbyists, etc.). A series of questions define the scope of this seminar: How do these actors interact at the global level and what “rules” (formal and/or informal) regulate their interactions? What governance patterns emerge out of interactions between these actors? How has nation-state sovereignty and power been undercut by IOs and non-governmental actors? Who controls decisions and policies at the international level? To what extent are IOs “agents” of their members? Can these actors be considered “legitimate” and/or “democratic”? What type of “power” do these actors wield and to what effect? How can we understand the external dimension or foreign policy of international organisations like the EU, ASEAN or BRICs?

Methods of Instruction

Lectures and working groups (block 3), individual meetings (block 4)


Karns and Mingst (2010), International Organizations. The Politics and Processes of Global Governance, second edition. London: Lynne Rienner.


The final grade will be based on the thesis.


Monday 6 Feb till 28 May, 15.00 – 17.00 hrs., in SA29 (except 6 and 13 Feb. SA23, 9 Apr Easter Monday, 30 Apr Queensday, 21 May 1A03 and 28 May Pinksteren) and
Thursday 9 Feb, till 31 May, 13.00 – 15.00 hrs., in 1A03 (except 9 and 16 Feb SA29, 23 Feb 0A33, 1 March 1A15, 8 March room TBA and 15 March 1A11)