History of International Organisations
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleLET-GESB926
Credits (ECTS)5
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Arts; History;
PreviousNext 1
dr. M.H.C.H. Leenders
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. W.P. van Meurs
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. W.P. van Meurs
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. W.P. van Meurs
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
prof. dr. W.P. van Meurs
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2022
PER 3  (30/01/2023 to 09/04/2023)
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksAccessible to exchange students
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
After completing the course:
  • students have gained knowledge of and insight in the attempts at world government and the functioning of international organisations in particular historical contexts;
  • students are well-equipped to study the dynamics as well as the workings of international organisations;
  • students have acquired knowledge of the main developments and questions of international politics since the early modern period as far as political issues, conventions and institutions are concerned;
  • students understand how international relations are influenced by ideas and practices that exist within and outside of the political elite;
  • students can critically evaluate categories such as ‘nation’ and ‘ethnicity’ and understand the shifting meanings of ‘rights’ by studying them in specific contexts.
From the sixteenth century onwards, European states increasingly came into contact with people and cultures on other continents. This led to a dramatic shift in international politics and, subsequently, new ideas about world government developed. What forms should the political relations between Europe and the outside world take? Much attention has been paid to the role of nation-states and the hegemony of great-power governance in international politics. This course discusses attempts at world government, such as the Peace of Utrecht, and international organisations, such as the League of Nations and the United Nations, but also looks beyond this perspective. It offers a historicized and long-term overview of how the history of international organisations was shaped by great powers as well as groups and ideas outside of this political elite. We will examine how European states maintained diplomatic contacts with Asian and African states and societies, how early modern ideas of human rights led to new forms of intergovernmental organisation, how imperial agendas shaped the world and how urgent issues such as climate crisis shape global economic and political cooperation.

Presumed foreknowledge
Foreign exchange students may sign up for this one course in English. ECTS: 5.0 or 6.0 (additional paper).

Note for exchange students: 
You cannot take this course if your English proficiency level is not at least B2 (TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC or Cambridge). A statement from your home university won't be accepted.
Test information


Required materials

Instructional modes
Attendance MandatoryYes

Written Exam
Test weight75
Test typeWritten exam
OpportunitiesBlock PER 3, Block PER 4

Minimum grade

Test weight25
Test typeOral exam
OpportunitiesBlock PER 3, Block PER 4

Minimum grade