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Non-state actors


Admission requirements

The course is only available for students of the MSc Public Administration


This course explores the various ways in which non-state actors engage with international organizations. We will consider the various strategies used by non-state actors to influence international organizations and under which conditions these strategies prove effective. We will also take into account how international organizations themselves draw on the support of non-state actors to increase the efficiency and/or legitimacy of their operations.

Finally, we analyse the various ways in which non-state actors operate across multiple levels of governance when trying to influence policy-makers, including the international level. In this course, students will be introduced to well-known theories of global governance. Such theories will be illustrated with current examples from global politics, involving a diverse set of non-state actors (businesses, NGOs and epistemic communities) and their engagements with various international organizations (e.g. United Nations, World Trade Organization).

Learning objectives

After taking this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the role of non-state actors in policymaking across different levels of governance

  • Understand the different opportunities and constraints offered by different political settings, national and international

  • Understand the different capacity of collective action and influence of different types of non-state actors



Methods of instruction

Interactive lectures, seminars.

Study load

Total study load is 140 hours.

Method of assessment

Two written assignments (40-50), participation (10).

You can find more information about assessments and the timetable exams on the website.
Details for submitting papers (deadlines) are posted on Blackboard.
On the Public Administration front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website, uSis and Blackboard.

Students will be permitted to resit an examination if they have taken the first sit and have a mark lower than 5.5 or with permission of the Board of Examiners.

Resit written exam
Students that want to take part in a resit for a written exam, are required to register via uSis. Use the activity number that can be found on the ‘timetable exams’.


The Blackboard site will be made available no later than one week before the start of the course.

Other course materials/literature

Readings will be announced in the course syllabus. The readings for the first week of the course will be announced a week in advance 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.


Dhr. Dr. Afonso