International Organizations (be they IGOs or NGOs) are often poorly understood, but they serve very real and important functions in our world. International relations would be profoundly different if they did not exist. Our goal in this class is three fold. First, we will trace the evolution of studies that address why international organizations are created. Second, we will discuss the functions that international organizations serve and the factors that shape their effectiveness. Third, we will apply this theoretical knowledge to empirical research on international organizations in the fields of political economy, security, the environment, and human rights.
That having been said, it is worth stressing that this is a graduate level course in IO. As a result, we will not be reviewing the design/functioning/operation of individual IOs per se. Our concern is more general: to understand why IOs are created, why they look the way they do, and how we better understand (both theoretically and empirically) the influence that they have.
Edwards, Martin S., "International Organizations" (2015). Diplomacy Syllabi. 98.