International institutions provide order and meaning; they structure and facilitate cooperation in the international system, they organize international various policy fields in international politics. This seminar provides an introduction to the main theoretical debates in international relations (IR) regarding the relevance, emergence, design, effectiveness, management, change and contestedness of international institutions in general and international organizations in particular. Apart from the theoretical lenses of the major IR theories of realism, neo-liberal institutionalism and constructivism, we will also discuss feminism, critical theory, and some transfers from organizational theories. While some empirical examples will be included for illustrative purposes, the seminar is theory-oriented and is intended to give students a solid foundation in the study of international institutions. At the end of this seminar students should be able to give first assessments of differing theoretical approaches in relation to events and structures in international politics.

Semester: ST 2022