Course description

Spring Semester 2018: 19 February to 1 June

Histories of Globalization(s): Themes and Issues in Humanitarian Responses to crises and development politics and practices

The number and scope of international organizations continues to expand so that there are few areas of international politics that are not regulated in some way by an international institution, whether informal norms or formal organizations. What are the main actors of global governance? Why do states establish international institutions? Do these institutions merely reflect underlying power and interests? This course will introduce theories of global governance, assess why and how world politics is organized, and examine applications in security, economic, and environmental policy areas. This will also focus on the interactions between states and individuals within an increasingly legalized international context. The importance of specific international organizations will be examined, such as UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Council of Human Rights, as well as the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly.


The Evolution of International Security
This course will provide students an overview of the evolution of the international security system in the past century. The course will begin by exploring the evolution of the interactions – in peace and war – of sovereign nation states.  We will then reach ‘above’ the confines of state-to-state relations by exploring the historical evolution of international and intergovernmental organisations (such as the UN) and various efforts at integration and cooperation. Lastly, the course will examine the history of international affairs ‘beneath’ the state by exploring various transnational phenomena (such as migration and the impact of non-state actors). Throughout the course, the emphasis will be on the ways in which past and present experiences are intertwined.


Fall Semester 2018: 17 September to 21 December

Global Governance, Prof. Cédric Dupont, International Relations/Political Science

This course is about processes and institutions aiming at managing global challenges and issues. It highlights the multiplicity of stakeholders involved in those processes as well as the variation in governance solutions across policy domains, space and time. Given the current interdependence between nations, an understanding of global governance is essential to anyone interested or involved in world affairs. This course provides a compass to navigate an interconnected world.

This course will have four main parts:

  • Part 1 is an immersion into the world of global governance with a dive into international Geneva, the major hub of governance for an interconnected world; ending with essentially the question of why we need all of this;
  • Part 2 gives an answer to this question : interdependence – between sectors of activity, between domains of activity, between territories, and across time – highlighting examples of each of those four dimensions of interdependence and the limits of governance mechanisms at the national or regional levels;
  • Part 3 presents the variety of actors involved in global governance and the variety of instruments used to regulate the behavior of different stakeholders;
  • Part 4 focuses on the variety of governance processes and instruments (in particular institutions) developed across different domains of activity;

After this course, students should be able to:

  • Understand why an interconnected world needs global governance;
  • Have a sound understanding of the variety of stakeholders in global governance; 
  • Identify different types of rules and regulation at the international level;
  • Differentiate international organisations along a few selected dimensions;
  • This course will be highly interactive and use some innovative learning pedagogy, online materials and groupwork. 

28h over 7 weeks, blended-learning format, equiv. 6 ECTS


The History and Politics of International Organizations, Prof. Davide Rodogno, International History

From the vantage point of the Graduate Institute, this seminar observes and studies Genève Internationale. This readings-based seminar offers a thematic and selective overview on the history and politics of IOs. Participants will engage with and discuss the main features and activities of these strange creatures, their life and death, and their survival instincts over time. Among other things, IOs will be imagined as containers and loci where ideas and people converge and, sometimes, clash; where state and non-state actors set up, negotiate and implement policies, where the art of diplomacy thrive. The seminar offers a critical reflection on the visible and the invisible, on inclusions and exclusions, on ideologies, self-interests and universalist visions embedded in IOs. The declared objective of the seminar is to avoid IO-centric analyses and to enhance a reflection on the limits of these institutions and on the role of other actors, such as nation-states, the private sector or philanthropic foundations. 

28h (2h/14 weeks), equiv. 6 ECTS


Macroeconomic policy in open economies, Prof. Cédric Tille, International Economics

The course reviews the workhorse model of macroeconomics in open economies. Issues covered include balance of payments dynamics, exchange rate determination, transmission of economic policy across countries, and international crises. The course focuses on giving students the core intuition of the analytical framework and develops the policy implications and debates. After the course the students will be able to analyze international linkage and critically assess the current issues in the policy discussions.

28h (2h/14 weeks), equiv. 6 ECTS