POLS319-22S1 (C) Semester One 2022

International Organisations: The United Nations and Contemporary Challenges

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 21 February 2022
End Date: Sunday, 26 June 2022
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 6 March 2022
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 15 May 2022


An advanced undergraduate course examining international organisations with a special focus on the contemporary role of the United Nations.

International Organisations have become pivotal actors on the global stage today, addressing pressing concerns such as international public good, trade, environmental challenges, international security, as well as the ever critical issue of world poverty.
This course provides an introduction to the historical and theoretical foundations of International
Organisations by peering into the specific world of International Governmental Organisations. After
exploring the literature on International Organisations, the course sets out to dissect the United Nations. This organisation will be discussed as a key example of international governmental organisations’ structures, functions, discourses and politics. Several case studies will be discussed. The overarching aim of the course is to bring students to reflect on the relevance, effectiveness and practices of International Organisations in our globalising world, as well as the pressing issues of legitimacy that they bring forth.

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain knowledge on the history of international organisations and their multidisciplinary underpinnings (Attributes: 1, 3, 5);
  • Critically reflect on the strengths and failings of the main theories informing the study of international organisations (Attributes: 1, 3, 5);
  • Building on diverse case studies, demonstrate an ability to analyse how a range of socio-political and economic motives impact the efficiency of international organisations (Attributes: all);
  • Bring student to critically reflect on their own viewpoints on global governance and its actors (Attributes: all).
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Biculturally competent and confident

      Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

      Engaged with the community

      Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Any 30 points at 200 level from POLS, or
any 60 points at 200 level from the Schedule V of the BA, or
the Schedule V of the BCom.

Timetable 2022

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 10:00 - 12:00 Jack Erskine 340
21 Feb - 10 Apr
2 May - 5 Jun
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 11:00 - 12:00 Jack Erskine 101
21 Feb - 10 Apr
2 May - 5 Jun


Pascale Hatcher


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
In-class debate 20% Students will be asked to prepare a debate. This will involve a 1,500-word essay, as well as taking an active part in the class discussions.
Essay 35% 3000 words
Final exam 30%
Informed Participation 15%

Textbooks / Resources

All the material required for class is available on Learn.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,597.00

International fee $7,200.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences .

All POLS319 Occurrences

  • POLS319-22S1 (C) Semester One 2022