Cursos / 1º Ciclo / Faculty of Law :: International Relations

Versao Portuguesa


2º curricular year
Semestralidade: 1st semester


Leading Teacher: Prof. Doutora Joana Castro Pereira
Assistant Professor: Prof. Doutora Joana Castro Pereira

Class type and School hours

Orientação Tutorial : 1 Horas
Teórico-prática : 2 Horas

Main Aims/Objectives

This course aims to provide an understanding of the main universal and regional International Political Organizations from historical, theoretical and practical point of views.

Specific Aims/Objectives

It is intended that students are able to understand International Political Organizations as actors in international relations, as well as their origins, aims, structure, results and current importance. This course also seeks to promote reflection and critical thinking on the present and future of International Political Organizations.

Skills to be acquired

At the end of the course, students should be able to analyze and critically evaluate the role of International Political Organizations in global politics, as well as to collect information and explain data related to the activities of these organizations.

Teaching Procedures

Classes will be as interactive as possible. Reflection and debate in the classroom, written works and the analysis of documents, using audiovisual media whenever possible, will be encouraged. In class tutorial the teacher will guide each student, in order to clarify doubts and supervise the development of the academic work.


Part I – International Organizations: introduction
I.1. Definitions
I.2. Theories of International Organizations
I.3. Historical background
I.4. International Organizations and global governance

Part II – Classification and function of International Organizations
II.1. Membership
II.2. Institutional structure
II.3. Activities: security, welfare and economic relations, environmental conservation, human rights protection

Part III – Policy-making in International Organizations
III.1. Actors´ demands and support
III.2. The decision-making process
III.3. Results

Part IV – Universal International Political Organizations
IV.1. United Nations (UN)
IV.2. UN and peace operations: case studies
IV.2.1. East Timor
IV.2.2. Afghanistan
IV.2.3. Iraq
IV.2.4. Lebanon
IV.3. UN and refugee protection: case studies
IV.3.1. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
IV.3.2. United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
IV.4. UN and development: case study
IV.4.1. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
IV.4. UN and the environment: case study
IV.4.1. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
IV.5.UN and international crime: study case
IV.5.1. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Part V – Regional International Political Organizations
V.1. Council of Europe
V.2. Organization of American States (OEA)
V.3. African Union (AU)
V.4. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
V.5. Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP)
V.6. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Part VI – Prospects for the future of International Political Organizations

Evaluation Type

Continuous assessment includes:
. Two written tests;
. A written work and oral presentation;
. Attendance and participation in class.

Teaching Resources

. Computer and projector for slide shows and multimedia content;
. Articles and other documents related to the field of International Relations.


. International Organizations
. Globalization
. Global Governance
. Security
. Peace
. Environment
. Human rights

Main Bibliography

Author ARCHER, Clive
Title International Organizations
Edition 4.ª ed.
Place New York
Editor Routledge
Year 2014
Author RITTBERGER, Volker; ZANGL, Bernhard; KRUCK, Andreas
Title International Organization
Edition 2.ª ed.
Place New York
Editor Palgrave Macmillan
Year 2012
Title Basic Facts about the United Nations 2014
Edition Revised ed.
Place New York
Editor United Nations Department of Public Information
Year 2014

Complementary Bibliography

Author FREDERKING, Brian; DIEHL, Paul F.
Title The Politics of Global Governance
Edition 5.ª ed.
Place Colorado
Editor Lynne Rienner Publishers
Year 2015
Author KARNS, Margaret P.; MINGST, Karen A.; STILES, Kendall W.
Title International Organizations
Edition 3.ª ed.
Place Colorado
Editor Lynne Rienner Publishers
Year 2015