course

This course will explore current debates about the governance of the contemporary international system. Different institutional forms, innovations, and ad hoc arrangements for governing multilaterally will be surveyed, including both formal and informal institutional arrangements. Furthermore, we will examine the opportunities and constraints that have resulted from the proliferation of such arrangements.

The Institute has just announced the creation of its latest initiative: the Programme for the Study of International Governance. The new programme will provide a forum for scholars of governance and international organisations to interact with practitioners from the policy world in order to analyse global governance arrangements across a variety of issues.  

Lead by Professor Thomas Biersteker, the programme will focus particularly on the ability of existing governance arrangements to accommodate emerging powers. Its work will include three dynamic activities – a visitors programme; two seminar series; and research projects.

The programme welcomes both funded and non-funded scholars and practitioners to spend up to one year in residence. This highly selective visitors programme intends to create a critical mass of senior scholars, policy practitioners, and graduate students from around the world conducting research on international governance in Geneva.

One of the seminar series is reserved for scholars who will analyse aspects of international governance. The second series has been set up for scholars and practitioners to work together on the substantive matters of international governance and to foster collaboration between academic research and the world of international policy-making.

Research projects will examine international governance across a number of issue domains including UN targeted sanctions, transnational policy networks, comparative security governance arrangements as well as graduate student research projects.

Professor Biersteker, Director of the new programme, was invited to discuss the programme’s ambitions and what will distinguish it from other research centres focusing on international organisations on the Institute’s podcast. In the interview, Professor Biersteker tells how the programme is creating an innovative database on the impacts and effectiveness of UN targeted sanctions that will be an essential tool for scholars and policy practitioners to analyse one of the most significant mechanisms used in virtually every threat to international peace and security. Find out more about the Programme for the Study of International Governance in the Institute’s latest podcast interview.

The programme was launched last Wednesday with an inaugural lecture by Joseph Deiss, former President of the United Nations General Assembly, entitled “Les Nations unies : le forum central de la gouvernance globale”. 

Read Joseph Deiss’s inaugural lecture for the Programme (PDF in French).

Faculty member since 2007, Professor Biersteker previously served as Director of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He has taught at Yale University and the University of Southern California. He is the author/editor of nine books, including State Sovereignty as Social Construct (1996), The Emergence of Private Authority in Global Governance (2002), and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (2007). His research focuses on international relations theory and economic aspects of contemporary global security issues. His recent activities include work with the United Nations’ Secretariat and the governments of Switzerland, Sweden and Germany on the design of targeted sanctions.