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Management in International Administrations



International organizations can play an important and independent role in world politics. But how do these organizations work? How do they formulate and achieve their goals? How do they manage their staff? This course looks inside international organizations by focusing on their administrative bodies, that is, on international bureaucracies such as the European Commission or the United Nations Secretariat.

The course tackles a set of fundamental challenges faced by international administrations: gaining autonomy and legitimacy from member states, building expertise, ensuring that staff is representative in terms of nationality and gender, and managing staff with different ethnic, cultural and educational backgrounds. It also looks at how these organizations innovate and reform themselves.

The course combines the discussion of organizational challenges with the application of these issues to a number of real-world cases, ranging from diversity management in the International Monetary Fund and organizational reform in the World Health Organization to how the European Commission deals with Brexit.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, students will have:

  1. Knowledge and understanding of key theories and concepts relating to the management of international organizations and networks.
  2. Advanced knowledge and understanding of the distinctive nature and challenges of governance and management in an international and multi-level setting.
  3. Ability to identify and apply relevant theories to analyze real-world cases within international administrations.
  4. Ability to prescribe solutions to management problems in international administrative contexts based on in-depth organizational analysis.
  5. Ability to present results of research and case analyses to managers and relevant policy-makers.
  6. Awareness of the challenges of working in a multinational environment, including in leadership positions.


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

Mode of instruction

The course consists of seminars, group work and self-study. Attendance during the seminars is compulsory.

Course Load

Total course load: 140 hours of which:

Seminars 7 x 3 hours = 21 hours
Further structured study (work in groups on cases): 15 hours
Self-study: 104 hours

Assessment method

  1. Oral presentation done in groups (20 % of total grade).
  2. Written policy brief prepared in groups (20 % of total grade).
  3. Individual paper (60 % of total grade).


All course information is made available on Blackboard.

Reading list

To be announced 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 there.


Mr. Dr. J. Christensen