PUAF 798C: International Law and International Institutions

Publication Date: 
January 2011


Document Type: 

This class is intended to give you a very general overview of some of the major principles of international law that may aect your work as a policy analyst and some of the main kinds of international organizations you may encounter. It will not make you a lawyer, but it will help you understand what they are saying and why they are saying it.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Understand how treaty and customary law are created and their policy impacts
  • Understand how major international agents--states, corporations, NGOs, and IGOs--interact and influence each other
  • Be familiar with major areas of law such as economic/trade regulations, environmental law, human rights law, and the laws of war
  • Be broadly familiar with major sources of international legal and policy documentation

The course is, by design, "a mile wide and an inch deep." We will be taking a broad survey of issues on the international plane, and I'm trying not to completely overwhelm you with reading, so there is no way we can cover every topic of possible interest. You are encouraged to read other parts of the book that interest you, make extensive use of those documentation sources I promised above to teach you about, and come talk to me about areas of particular interest.