A new option has been added to the Social Science program which satisfies Category B-3 International Relations/Global Perspectives. It will be taught Fall 2009, TR 5:20-7:25pm, by Professor Gitika Commuri, who has provided a course description.
Political Science 371: International Organizations. The purpose of this course is to understand the role and significance of international organizations (IO) in terms of redefining global politics. While states continue to play a significant role in global politics, the fact is that economic, political, and cultural globalization has reduced space and time as it were, making problems and solutions vastly more complex. International organizations – both governmental and non-governmental – are institutional arrangements that allow us to manage this complexity. Hence it is imperative to understand what role these institutions play and how they allow us to manage (or not) problems that exist within and across states and societies.
Specific attention will be paid to the manner in which these organizations are influencing political, economic, and social issues. Thus during the course, students will examine diplomatic/military alliances, trade and development, and human rights and the environment and understand what role organizations play in shaping these issues. The focus will be on international and regional organizations, both governmental and non-governmental. The following questions form the framework for the course: Why do international organizations exist? What is their significance? What is their impact on nation-states and local/global politics? How do they help resolve conflict, poverty, development, and preservation of environment among a host of other concerns?
While this course revolves around a wide range of concerns, the examination of certain specific problems that are current will provide students an opportunity to understand the value of international organizations. In order to do so, students will examine the role of international organizations in mediating and resolving/or not, the conflicts in Iraq [war], Afghanistan [nation building and civil strife], and Sudan [Darfur - genocide] and in seeking to address problems of global warming [environment]. Thus the course will touch upon some of the crucial concerns of today’s world.