Foto: Matthias Friel
This seminar provides an overview on the state-of-the-art research on informal international institutions. These institutions appear in increasing numbers and across almost all issue areas of global governance, and their influence on world politics has grown steadily in recent years. The core themes of this seminar are a) the motivation of states to choose this form of international collaboration, and b) the broader consequences of these institutional choices. In the first part of this course, we will look at definitions and core concepts of informal international institutions and then focus on three prominent and well-studied cases: the G7, the G20, and BRICs. In the second part, we will discuss related phenomena, such as international summits, treaty bodies, and informal arrangements nested within formal international organizations. Finally, in the third part, we will look more closely into the consequences of the growing importance of informal international institutions for power, effectiveness, democracy, and legitimacy in global governance. This seminar aims to introduce students to the empirical study of informality in world politics. Participants will apply this knowledge to case studies of specific informal institutions.
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