International organisations are tasked with solving some of the toughest global problems - from climate change to international conflicts. Understanding their power, limitations and how they make decisions is crucial for our understanding of international affairs and its trajectory. This is particularly so, since many of today's key international organisations were established in the 20th century but face contestation as well as emerging new policy issues. Therefore international organisations are challenged to accommodate these new issues of legitimacy and policy within their existing mandates. Moreover, international organisations must respond to changing power dynamics as newly emerging powers, corporations and civil society actors have become influential players on the international stage.
This course examines how IOs are responding to the challenges of 21st-century global politics. When examining key IOs, like the United Nations, the United Nations Security Council, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organisation and World Health Organisation, we ask questions like how do they work? How are international organisations adapting and maintaining their legitimacy in a challenging environment? What answers do they provide to key issues of world politics?