Professor Danny Unger Political Science 480

Office: 305 Zulauf DuSable 246

Office Hours: T, W 12:30-1:30 Tu 6:30-9:10



International Law and Organization


This course surveys the fields of international law, international politics, and international governance, focusing on the ways in which law and organizations shape international politics as well as domestic political issues. We will begin by examining different perspectives on the roles of international law and organizations in international politics. We will study the major principles and concepts of international law, looking at international treaties and court decisions as well as custom and actual state practice. We will then look into the history and contemporary activity of various international organizations. We will try to understand how international organizations are created and what purposes they are designed to fulfill, looking at how they actually operate and change over time. To understand the impact on international relations of both international law and international organizations, we will explore issues such as security and peacekeeping, environmental concerns, human rights, economic and social development issues, and international justice concerns.


Required texts

-James H. Wolfe, Modern International Law, An Introduction to the Law of Nations

(Prentice Hall, 2002)

-A. LeRoy Bennett and James K. Oliver, International Organizations, Principles and Issues, 7th edition (Prentice Hall, 2002)

Assigned readings not found in these textbooks will be available online or on reserve at Founders Library.

Course requirements

(Participation in Model UN, to be determined)

Class attendance and participation 20

Six-page (grad students, 12 pp.) analysis of an international organization 20

Midterm exam 20

Final exam 40

General guidance on papers Papers will be graded on the basis of the clarity and quality of their arguments, organization, presentation of relevant facts, and quality of research. All papers must include full and complete citations, including citations of required course readings and lectures. Any paper submitted with less than perfect citations will be returned for rewriting with a ten point (out of 100) penalty. Be sure you understand how to cite sources (your high school practice may not provide good guidance.) Papers also should use standard margins and fonts and have page numbers.


Undergraduate Writing Awards

The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing. Winners are expected to attend the Department's spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 28. All copies should have two cover pages - one with the student's name and one without the student's name. Only papers written in the previous calendar year can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following year's competition even if the student has graduated.

Statement Concerning Students with Disabilities

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework and for which they may require accommodations should notify the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building. CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors. It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of any disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.

Department of Political Science Web Site

Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to 

The Department of Political Science Statement on Academic Integrity

Cheating will not be tolerated in class. There are many types of cheating. The NIU Undergraduate Catalog states that "Students are considered to have cheated if they copy the work of another during an examination or turn in a paper or an assignment written whole or in part by someone else. Students are guilty of plagiarism, intentional or not, if they copy materials from books, magazines or other sources without identifying or acknowledging those sources or if they paraphrase ideas from such sources without acknowledging them.

If any student engages in plagiarism, the student may be subjected to sanctions ranging from a lowered grade on the assignment to academic dismissal (following judicial proceedings) at the discretion of the instructor. If any student aids another student in cheating or engaging in plagiarism, both students will be held responsible for the behavior."


Schedule of lectures and readings

Assigned readings should be done prior to the class meetings for which they are assigned.

January 18, introduction to the course, concepts, and planning

January 25, key concepts in international law, organization, and politics


-Wolfe, chs.1-2

-Bennett and Oliver, chs.1-2

-Charles Krauthammer, "Democratic Realism: An American Foreign Policy for a -Unipolar World," 2004 Irving Kristol Lecture,

-Karl E. Meyer, "America Unlimited?" World Policy Journal, 21:1, Spring 2004, pp.1-14

Feburary 1, subjects and sources of international law


-Wolfe, chs.3-6

-Bennett and Oliver, ch.8

February 8, the origins, principles, and structure of the United Nations


-Bennett and Oliver, chs.3-5

-Alan Petigny and Joshua Zeitz, "Disunited Nations," American Heritage, August/September 2003, 54:4, pp.55-61

-Ken Hanly, "On the (Ir)Relevance of the United Nations" Canadian Dimension, May/June 2003, 37:3, pp.25-26

-Paul Heinbecker, "Washington’s Exceptionalism and the United Nations," Global Governance, 10, 2004, pp.273-79

-Roger Scruton, "The U.N.: Now Less Than Ever," National Review, October 13, 2003, pp.27-29

-Edward C. Luck, "Stayin’ Alive, The Rumors of the UN’s Death Have Been Exaggerated," Foreign Affairs, 82:4, July/August 2003, pp.201-05

-Richard Falk and Andrew Strauss, "Toward a Global Parliament," Nation, September 22, 2003, 277:8, pp.28-29

February 15, UN operations and international law mechanisms


-Bennett and Oliver, ch.16

-Wolfe, chs.13-14


February 22, security issues


-Bennett and Oliver, chs.6-7, 9

-Wolfe, ch.10

graduate students:

-Jean E. Krasno and James S. Sutterlin, The United Nations and Iraq, Defanging the Viper (Praeger, 2003), pp.1-9, 177-86

March 1, peace keeping and peace building


-Allen G. Sens, ""From Peace-keeping to Peace-building: The United Nations and the Challenge of Intrastate War," in Richard M. Price and Mark W. Zacher, eds., The United Nations and Global Security (Palgrave, 2004) pp.141-60

-Ramesh Thakur, "Developing Countries and the Intervention-Sovereignty Debate," in Richard M. Price and Mark W. Zacher, eds., The United Nations and Global Security (Palgrave, 2004) pp.193-208

-Thomas G. Weiss et al., The United Nations and Changing World Politics, Third Edition (Westview, 2001) pp.47-106

March 8, midterm examination

March 15, no class

March 22, territory, sovereignty, and intervention


-Wolfe, chs.9, 11

-Bennett and Oliver, ch.15

-Morten Boas, in Current History, January 2004, 103:669, pp.211-14

-Salih Booker and Ann-Louise Colgan, in Current History, January 2004, 103:669, pp.232-36

-Marina Ottoway, "Nation Building," Foreign Policy, September/October 2002, pp.16-24

-Gareth Evans and Mohamed Sahnoun, "The Responsibility to Protect," Foreign Affairs, November/December 2002, 81:6, pp.99-110

-Jennifer M. Welsh, "Authorizing Humanitarian Intervention," in Richard M. Price and Mark W. Zacher, eds., The United Nations and Global Security (Palgrave, 2004) pp.177-92

graduate students:

-James D. Fearon and David D. Laitin, "Neotrusteeship and Weak States," International Security, 28:4, Spring 2004, pp.5-43






March 29, Human Rights and NGOs


-Wolfe, chs.7-8

-Ramesh Thakur, "Human Rights: "Amnesty International and the United Nations," in Paul F. Diehl, ed., The Politics of Global Governance (Lynne Rienner, 2001) pp.361-87

-Andrew S. Natsios, "NGOs and the UN System in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies: Conflict or Cooperation?" in Paul F. Diehl, ed., The Politics of Global Governance (Lynne Rienner, 2001) pp.388-405

-Clifford Bob, "Merchants of Morality," Social Policy, Summer 2002, pp.37-48

graduate students:

-Joanne Lee and Richard Price, "International Tribunals and the Criminalization of International Violence," in Richard M. Price and Mark W. Zacher, eds., The United Nations and Global Security (Palgrave, 2004) pp.123-38

April 5, women and economic welfare


-Bennett and Oliver, chs.12, 14

-Ellen Dorsey, "The Global Women’s Movement: Articulating a New Vision of Global Governance," in Paul F. Diehl, ed., The Politics of Global Governance (Lynne Rienner, 2001) pp.436-61

- Rebecca J. Cook, "Women," Virginia A. Leary, "Labor," in Christopher C. Joyner, The United Nations and International Law (Cambridge University Press, 1998) pp.181-207

April 12, environmental issues, sea and space


-Bennett and Oliver, chs.11, 13

-Wolfe, ch.12

graduate students:

-Sonia Boutillon, "The Precautionary Principle: Development of an International Standard," Michigan Journal of International Law, 23:429, Winter 2002, pp.429-69

April 19, refugees and terror


-David A. Martin, "Refugees and Migration," in Christopher C. Joyner, The United Nations and International Law (Cambridge University Press, 1998) pp.155-80

-Arthur C. Helton, "Rescuing the Refugees," Foreign Affairs, 81:2, March/April 2002, pp.71-82

-Michael Mousseau, " ," International Security, 27:3, Winter 2002/2003, pp.5-29

-Ruth Wedgwood, "Responding to Terrorism: The Strikes Against bin Laden," The Yale Journal of International Law, 24:559, pp.559-76

-Sebastian Mallaby, "The Reluctant Imperialist," Foreign Affairs, March/April 2002, 81:2, pp.2-7

graduate students:

-Edward C. Luck, "Another Reluctant Belligerent: The United Nations and the War on Terrorism," in Richard M. Price and Mark W. Zacher, eds., The United Nations and Global Security (Palgrave, 2004) pp.95-108

April 26, the future of global governance


-Bennett and Oliver, ch.10

-Anne-Marie Slaughter, "Governing the Global Economy through Government Networks," in Michael Byers, ed., The Role of Law in International Politics (Oxford University Press, 2000) pp.177-205

-Martha Finnemore and Kathryn Sikkink, "International Norm Dynamics and Political Change," International Organization, 52:4, Autumn 1998, pp.887-917

May 3, review. Papers on IOs due.


-Wolfe, ch.15

-Bennett and Oliver, ch.17

May 10, Final exam, 6-7:50 p.m.



Questions to address for paper on International Organizations:

Who created it, when, and why?

How is the IO set up?

How are decisions made within the IO?

What are the funding (or other necessary resources) sources for the IO?

How does the IO exercise influence (why does anyone pay attention to it?)

What are the big issues confronting the IO today?

What are the principal sources of the IO’s problems or weaknesses?

What efforts have been made in the past to fix these problems? What have been the outcomes of these efforts?

Sample websites

World Trade Organization,

International Monetary Fund,

World Bank,

United Nations,

International Labor Organization,

Arab League,

Organization of American States,

European Union,

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe,

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation,

Organization of African Unity,

North Atlantic Treaty Organization,

International Atomic Energy Commission,