The United Nations
Main Aim(s) of the Unit:
The United Nations is undoubtedly at the centre of world events and students of International Relations need to understand its manifold roles if they want to fully grasp the workings of contemporary World Politics. Whether it is peacekeeping, dealing with the struggle against terrorism, strengthening human rights, dealing with the problem of global environment or dealing with the divide between industrialized countries and the developing world, there is hardly an issue or a diplomatic forum in International Relations in which the UN does not play some kind of role.
In this unit a comprehensive analysis of the workings of the international organization is provided, Given the complexity of its many programmes and agencies, great care is taken to present an in depth insight into the organizationâ€™s most important organs, committees and mechanisms. At the same time, the analysis will also be subject to an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, its future role and the likelihood of successful reform.
Main topics of study:
The United Nations System
- General Assembly
- Security Council
- Economic and Social Council
- Trusteeship Council
- International Court of Justice
- Subsidiary Organs
- Specialized Agencies
Role and Function
- Theories: Realism, Idealism, Institutionalism
- Primary Tasks (core work)
- Expansion of the Concept of Security
Collective Security Development
- Limitations and Possibilities
- Prohibition on the Use of Force: Concept and Extent, Exceptions, Problems, League of Nations
- UN Charter: Pacific Settlement of Disputes, Threats to and Breaches of Peace, Acts of Aggression, Regional Agreements
- Development of War
- Disarmament and Arms Control
- Terrorism: Legitimization of Military Action, Other Legal and Political Measures, The War against Iraq
Human Rights: Codification of Norms
- UN Charter
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Civil Covenant
- Social Covenant
- Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- Convention Against Torture
- Rights of Women
- Migrant Workers
- Three Generations of Human Rights
Human Rights: Protection Mechanisms
- State Reports
- Individual Complaints
- Treaty-based Bodies
- UN Organs
- Humanitarian Interventions
- International Criminal Jurisdiction
- International Criminal Court and Future Challenges
Economic and Environmental Issues
- Gap between Industrialized and Developing Countries
- The UN Charter
- Multilateral Co-operation
- Humanitarian Aid and Population Issues
- Environmental Concerns
- UN Bodies
- Institutional: Finance Reform, Security Council, General Assembly
- Peace Maintenance: Brahimi Report, Standby Arrangement
- International Law
- Global Governance
- Future Scenarios
- Building Blocks
Intended Learning Outcomes for the Unit
On completion of this Unit learners will have:
- Gained a scholarly understanding of the workings of the United Nations including its various Â agencies, programmes and mechanisms.
- Gained an ability to analyze critically the operations of the organizations and assess its strengths and weaknesses.
- Gained an ability to research and assess other international organizations playing a crucial role in global politics.
- Developed an independent and critical ability to gather, organize and analyze relevant primary and secondary evidence so as to present coherent and clearly reasoned arguments which address specific problems as they arise in World Politics and as they are discussed in various Â diplomatic forums.
- Developed a valuable range of key skills and personal attributes for a wide variety of careers.
Learning and teaching strategies used to enable the achievement of learning outcomes:
Learning should take place on a number of levels, principally through lectures, but centres should also encourage seminars, presentation and class discussion, including review and analysis of current issues.
Formal lectures should provide a foundation of information on which the student builds through directed learning and self managed learning outside the class.
Assessment methods which enable student to demonstrate the learning outcomes for the Unit:
Written examination: 3 hours duration 100%
The United Nations: An Introduction – Gareis S.B. and Varwick J. (2005 â€“ translation from 3rd edition) (Palgrave Macmillan)
Guideline for Teaching and Learning Time
50 hours: Lectures / Seminars / Tutorials / Workshops
Lectures/ Seminars/Tutorials/Workshops â€“ tutorial support includes feedback on assignments and may vary from college to college according to local needs and wishes
50 hours: Directed learning
Directed Learning â€“advanced reading, research and preparation, background reading, group study and portfolio
100 hours: Self managed learning
Self managed learning â€“ working through the course text, use of the web, Interaction with other students.