International Organizations

Academic year
Subject Area
Political Science – International Relations
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites


Teaching Methods

The learning process in this unit is based on a differentiation between lectures and seminar sessions. The first privilege the analysis of concepts and the work on the information concerning the different IO object of study and the second privilege debates on specific features of each organization.

Learning Outcomes

Overall objectives

This unit aims at familiarizing students with the multilateral regulation of international relations and with the knowledge of the history, structure and decision-process of some of the most relevant international organizations (IO).

Specific objectives

  • Identification of the dynamics leading to the emergence of IO and their interpretation according to different theoretical lens.
  • Identification of IO’s operating and decision-making procedures
  • Identification of the concrete capacities of international governance of IO

Generic competencies

  • Cognitive: understanding of the intergovernmental nature of IO and of the most important IO’ purposes, historical specificities and political debates
  • Methodological: bibliographic research and literature review; contents analysis; identification of contrasting arguments and their complexity

Social: sustaining positions in public debates; rigorous written communication; capacity of selecting information

Work Placement(s)



  1. Origins and historical development of the phenomenon of international organization
  2. A general theory of IO: structure, decision-making process, competences and human and financial resources
  3. The universal IO: the UN and its specialized agencies
  4. Regional IO: NATO, Council of Europe, Organization of the Security and Cooperation in Europe, African Union.
  5. An assessment of multilateralism in the contemporary world system.

Head Lecturer(s)

André Filipe Valadas Saramago

Assessment Methods

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%

Continuous Assessment
Intermediate test and participation in class : 100.0%


BENNETT,A.LeRoy;OLIVER,James K.-International organizations:principles and issues.7th ed.. Upper Saddle River:Prentice Hall,2002.
MULDOON Jr.,James P.-The architecture of global governance:an introduction to the study of international organizations.Boulder:Westview Press,2004.
MULTILATERALISM under challenge?:power,international order,and structural change.Ed.Edward Newman,Ramesh Thakur and John Tirman.Tokyo:United Nations University Press,2006.
ORGANIZAÇÕES internacionais:teoria geral:estudo monográfico das principais organizações internacionais de que Portugal é membro.João Mota de Campos[et al.].Lisboa:Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Serviço de Educação,1999.
RIBEIRO,Manuel de Almeida;FERRO,Mónica-A Organização das Nações Unidas.2ª ed..Coimbra : Livraria Almedina,2004.
RITTBERGER, Volker; ZANGL,Bernhard-International organization:polity,politics and policies. Basingstoke:Palgrave Macmillan,2006