Political Science 563B
Spring Term, 2008
Wednesday, 9 a.m. – 12 noon
Tel: (604) 822 6032
Office Hours: TTH 11 am – 12 noon; or by appointment
This seminar examines some key debates about the role(s) of international organisations in international relations and provides an empirical introduction to several major contemporary intergovernmental organisations. It is designed to allow students to deepen their understanding of the various theoretical perspectives on international organisations, gain empirical knowledge about a range of organisations, and think critically about whether, how, and under what conditions international institutions affect world politics.
This seminar sets several interrelated learning goals, which are reflected in the following requirements:
All seminar participants are expected to not only complete but also critically engage with the weekly readings. Especially where theoretical material is covered, this is best achieved by beginning to formulate reactions in writing. Therefore, students are required to submit weekly reading comments for Weeks 2-8. These comments should take each reading in turn, summarise its key argument(s), and state any questions or critiques you have of the reading. Reading comments can be in note form and are due at 2pm on the day before the relevant seminar. I will review them to help structure seminar discussions.
Students are expected to actively participate in this seminar. This requirement has two main components. The first and most important is regular and on-going engagement in seminar discussions. These discussions should be dynamic but constructive. Students do not have to agree with each other (or with me!), but they should take other participants’ opinions seriously and be willing to engage with their ideas and comments. I will ask seminar participants to provide two written and anonymous evaluations of each other’s contributions to seminar discussions (once at mid-term, once at the end of the semester). These evaluations will factor into the seminar participation grades. Please let me know immediately if you have any concerns about these peer evaluations.