Study Abroad and Exchanges

Modules

Modules

POL3095 : The United Nations in a Global World (Inactive)

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the study of international organizations and global governance by examining the role of the UN within contemporary global politics. Related to this, the module:

• Discusses the key theories and concepts related to study of international organisations
• Explores the origins and historical roots of the UN
• Examines the function of the UN’s main organs and their role in the organisation’s decision making process
• Highlights the activities of the UN in different areas of policy
• Demonstrates that the UN is both a key actor within global politics, as well as being a site of global policy-making

Outline Of Syllabus

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the study of international organisations and global governance by examining the role of the United Nations (UN) in contemporary global politics. For over 60 years the UN has been at the centre of an emerging network of global governance. For much of this period of time, the role and purpose of the UN has been contested by the very states that have flocked to become its members.

Since the end of the Cold War and the start of the new millennium, the UN has continued to be dogged by controversy and disputes about its role and legitimacy. At the same time, however, the organisation’s members, NGOs and private citizens have looked to the UN to play a lead role in finding solutions to the many of the issues that characterise the global world in which we live – conflict and disorder, poverty and environmental degradation.

The module examines the activities of the UN with regards to each of these issues, as well as the organs (e.g. Security Council) that make up the UN and play a key role in the organisation’s decision making process. In examining UN activities and decision making the module demonstrates that the UN is a key actor within global politics, as well as being a site of global policy making.

Outline syllabus:

1. The UN in a global world: introduction and overview
2. Studying international organizations: key theories and concepts
3. The origins and historical roots of the UN
4. Key organs and decision-making: the Secretary-General
5. Key organs and decision-making: the Security Council
6. Key organs and decision-making: the General Assembly
7. The impact and influence of NGOs and civil society
8. Peace – making, building and keeping
9. Humanitarian Intervention & R2P
10. Economic and Social Development
11. Human rights
12. UN Reform

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:002hr lectures for more in-depth examination of issues, theories & debates
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00whole module cohort sessions
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures – these will be led by the module leader who will provide an introduction to the topic, as well as an overview of key debates, issues and concepts. Students have the opportunity to discuss and reflect on key debates and issues as they undertake and feedback on work which is completed in small groups. This approach has worked successfully in the past when used to deliver POL 3064 The Third World in Global Development.

Seminars – these will be student led and provide an opportunity to discuss the concepts, issues and case studies that will be introduced and examined in the lectures. Key readings and related questions will be assigned for each seminar. These key readings and related questions will form the basis of seminar discussion.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A50N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M502000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Essay (50%) - the essay will be used to assess students individual knowledge of the subject. In addition, the essay will assess their ability to gather and synthesise information from a wide range of sources, think critically and present their ideas clearly in a written format.

Unseen examination (50%) – the unseen examination will assess the students knowledge and understanding of the ideas, debates and issues that are central to the module. The exam also provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to write succinctly and to time.

Reading Lists

Timetable