The theory and practice of international organizations is a dynamic and increasingly important dimension of world affairs. The field is at the intersection of international law and politics, and its core approach is inter-disciplinary. Students are given the opportunity to study the norms and rules that govern international relations and the institutions where those rules are formulated and implemented. In addition to survey courses on international organizations in general, course offerings cover substantive areas of international activity in which institutions play a central role, such as peace operations, human rights, the environment, and international trade.
Students who specialize in the field acquire:
- basic knowledge of the nature and functions of international institutions – both formal organizations and less formal arrangements;
- an understanding of the role institutions play in the development of international law and policy; and
- an ability to think critically about the significance of international organizations to contemporary world affairs.
Career opportunities for those who specialize in the field include inter-governmental organizations, government agencies and non-governmental organizations. The field is also helpful for positions in private sector firms that interact with international organizations and related government offices.