Spring 2022 - POL 346 D100

International Organization (4)

Class Number: 5071

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 4:30 PM – 8:20 PM
    WMC 3535, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Six lower division units in political science or permission of the department.



An examination of the structures and processes and the main substantive decisions of the United Nations and related international organizations. Based upon in-depth study of the UN Charter, the Security Council, General Assembly, Secretary-general and Secretariat and their constitutional and political interactions since 1945, with special attention to the theory and practice of international organization advanced by the principal Western countries, the Soviet Union and Soviet bloc, the People's Republic of China and leading Third World countries.


International organizations (IOs) now govern all areas of world politics – from human rights to finance. In this class, we explore why states create IOs, and whether and how IOs exercise authority in world politics. We begin by examining how IOs underpin the liberal international order, and their relationship to states. We then turn to a careful review of how the UN functions, and how IOs govern in key issue areas including security, trade, and development. In the third section of the course, we examine special cases of international courts, and IOs’ relationship with NGOs. The final portion of the class looks at two issues making headlines -- Brexit and climate change – and see how IOs help and hinder international cooperation.

Course Format

The course will meet once a week for four hours, and be in lecture/seminar format. We will have informal discussions during class time, as well as discussions of current events.



By the end of the semester, you should:

* Be able to explain why IOs exist, and the extent and sources of their independence from states.

* Be able to identify major international organizations and how their work addresses issues in world politics.

* Understand how IOs contribute to international cooperation.


  • Participation 10%
  • Presentation 10%
  • Research Essay 30%
  • Midterm 25%
  • Final Exam (Take-Home) 25%



Hurd, Ian. 2018. International Organizations: Politics, Law, Practice, 3rd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Other readings, will be on reserves

Department Undergraduate Notes:

The Department of Political Science strictly enforces a policy on plagiarism.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.