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Course, academic year 2022/2023
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Global Governance: The US in International Organizations and Regimes - JMM690
Title: Global Governance: The US in International Organizations and Regimes
Czech title: Global Governance: The US in International Organizations and Regimes
Guaranteed by: Department of North American Studies (23-KAS)
Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences
Actual: from 2018
Semester: summer
E-Credits: 5
Examination process: summer s.:
Hours per week, examination: summer s.:1/1, Ex [HT]
Capacity: unknown / unknown (20)
Min. number of students: unlimited
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
State of the course: not taught
Language: English, Czech
Teaching methods: full-time
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
Guarantor: PhDr. Jan Hornát, Ph.D.
Examination dates   Schedule   Noticeboard   
Last update: PhDr. Jan Hornát, Ph.D. (28.11.2018)
Despite the claims of emerging multipolarity, the United States is still the world's hegemon. For this reason, its relations to and positions vis-a-vis any international institution are pivotal for the effectiveness and functionality of the given institution. Reluctance of the United States to cooperate on the international level may ultimately hinder any attempts at collective security and perspectives of global governance. The political and economic clout of the US is thus significant enough to have major influence in any international institution and organization (albeit this clout is in relative decline) - therefore, in order to comprehend the workings and architecture of international institutions, which have been designed in large part by the US itself, it is important to understand the US positions and relations with these institutions. The course will firstly discuss the theoretical questions of why states cooperate through international institutions? what are the processes of decision-making in international institutions? what are the setbacks of international cooperation and how do major IR theories interpret international cooperation? In the second bloc, the course will examine particular cases of US influence and positions in international institutions, its current challenges and potential for future cooperation.
Aim of the course
Last update: PhDr. Jan Hornát, Ph.D. (28.11.2018)

The goal of the course is to introduce students to various IR perspectives on inter-state cooperation, examine the logics of cooperation and point out potential gains and losses when states cooperate. The theoretical discussion will serve as a necessary interpretative framework when looking at US engagement in and design of international institutions.

Course completion requirements
Last update: PhDr. Jan Hornát, Ph.D. (05.02.2019)

1. Students will be required to attend classes regularly, read assigned texts and be active in discussions - this activity will constitute 20 points of the final grade.

2. Midterm paper: each student will prepare a 1400 - 1700 word essay on a topic related to global governance. The particular question will be formulated in class. This activity will constitute 40 points of the final grade. Midterm will be due on 25 March 2019.

3. The final test will constitute 40 points of the final grade. The test will focus on concepts and topics discussed in class and will be based on mandatory readings.

In order to pass the course, students will need to gain more than 64 points (out of 100 possible).


100 - 91 points: A

90 - 81 points: B

80 - 75 points: C

74 - 70 points: D

69 - 65 points: E

less than 65 points: F (fail)



If student fails to meet deadline of midterm paper, each day of late submission mean -2 points off final grade.


Class ethics
(A) Any use of quoted texts in briefing papers must be acknowledged. Such use must meet the following conditions:

1.       the beginning and end of the quoted passage must be shown with quotation marks

2.       when quoting from periodicals or books, the name(s) of author(s), book or article titles, the year of publication, and page from which the passage is quoted must all be stated in footnotes or endnotes;

3.       internet sourcing must include a full web address where the text can be found as well as the date the web page was visited by the author.

Please, use the style of Chicago Manual of Style.

(B) In case the use of any texts other than those written by the author is established without proper acknowledgement as defined in (A), the paper will be deemed plagiarized and handed over to the Disciplinary Commission of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Last update: PhDr. Jan Hornát, Ph.D. (11.02.2019)

Course schedule (2019)

1.       Course introduction and requirements (21.2.2019)


Bloc I: Theory


2.       Theorizing international cooperation and international organizations – realist, liberal institutionalist and constructivist perspectives (28.2.2019)

Mandatory: Karns, Margaret P. and Karen A. Mingst, International organizations: the politics and processes of global governance (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2004). Chapter 2 – “The Theoretical Foundations of Global Governance”.

Optional: Abbot, Kenneth W. and Duncan Snidal, “Why States Act through Formal International Organizations”, The Journal of Conflict Resolution 42 (1), 1998: 3-32.


3.       Expectations and output – questions of the legitimacy of international organizations (7.3.2019)

Mandatory: Steffek, Jens, “The output legitimacy of international organizations and the global public interest”, International Theory 7 (2), 2015: 263-293.

Optional: Hurd, Ian, “Legitimacy, Power, and the Symbolic Life of the UN Security Council”, Global Governance 8 (1), 2002: 35-51.


4.       The principal-agent problem and the socialization effect of international organizations (14.3.2019)

Mandatory: Graham, Erin, “International organizations as collective agents: Fragmentation and the limits of principal control at the World Health Organization”, European Journal of International Relations 20 (2), 2014: 366-390.

Optional: Kent, Ann, “China's International Socialization: The Role of International Organizations”, Global Governance 8 (3), 2002: 343-364.


Bloc II: The US Government and International Organizations


5.       Executive agreements and US Presidential powers in foreign policy (21.3.2019)

Mandatory: Zoellick, Robert, “Congress and the making of US foreign policy”, Survival 41 (4), 1999: 20-41.

Optional: Krutz, Glen S., and Jeffrey S. Peake, Treaty Politics and the Rise of Executive Agreements: International Commitments in a System of Shared Powers (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2009). Chapter 1 – “Treaties and Executive Agreements: A History”.


6.       Class cancelled (28.3.2019)


7.       The post-war institutional bargain and US approach to multilateralism (4.4.2019)

Mandatory: Ikenberry, John G., “State Power and the Institutional Bargain: America's Ambivalent Economic and Security Multilateralism” in Foot, Rosemary, S. Neil MacFarlane, and Michael Mastanduno, eds. US Hegemony and International Organizations: The United States and Multilateral Institutions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).

Optional: Reisman, Michael W., “The United States and international institutions”, Survival 41 (4), 1999: 62-80.


Bloc III: US Power and Influence in International Organizations


8.       The idea of collective security - The Security Council and US power (11.4.2019)

Mandatory: Krisch, Nico, “The Security Council and the Great Powers” in Lowe Vaughan etl (eds.). The United Nations Security Council And War: The Evolution Of Thought And Practice Since 1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).

Optional: Miller, Lynn H., “The Idea and the Reality of Collective Security”, Global Governance 5 (3), 1999: 303-332.


9.      Easter holiday (18.4.2019)


10.    The (ir)relevance of NATO after the Cold War – a US perspective (25.4.2019)

Mandatory: Goldgeier, James M., “NATO expansion: The anatomy of a decision”, The Washington Quarterly 21 (1), 1998: 83-102.

Optional: Layne, Christopher, “US Hegemony and the Perpetuation of NATO”, Journal of Strategic Studies 23 (3), 2000: 59-91.


11.    US and international tribunals and courts (2.5.2019)

Mandatory: Birdsall, Andrea, “The ‘Monster That We Need to Slay’? Global Governance, the United States, and the International Criminal Court”, Global Governance 16 (4), 2010, 451-469.

Optional: Paulus, Andreas L., “From Neglect to Defiance? The United States and International Adjudication”, European Journal of International Law 15 (4), 2004: 783–812.


12.    The role of the US in international financial institutions (9.5.2019)

Mandatory: Vreeland, James Raymond, The International Monetary Fund: Politics of Conditional Lending, New York: Routledge, 2007, Chapters 2 and 6 – “Who controls the IMF?” and “Reform the IMF?"

Optional: Wade, Robert Hunter, “US hegemony and the World Bank: the fight over people and ideas”, Review of International Political Economy 9 (2), 2002, 215-243.


13.    UNCLOS: Maritime law and the US (16.5.2019)

Mandatory: Smith, Leland Holbrook, “To Accede or Not to Accede: An Analysis of the Current US Position Related to the United Nations Law of the Sea.” Marine Policy 83, 2017: 184–93. 


Optional: Hudzik, Elizabeth M., "A Treaty on Thin Ice: Debunking the Arguments Against U.S. Ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea in a Time of Global Climate Crisis", Washington University Global Studies Law Review 9 (2), 2010: 353-370.


14. Final test (23.5.2019)

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