Ethics and Sustainability Governance of International Value Chains, advanced undergraduate seminar, University of Münster
Course description: Child labor, deforestation, environmental pollution, human rights abuses – there are many sustainability issues in international value chains that need to be solved. This interdisciplinary seminar gives an overview of governance tools that governments, NGOs and private actors have developed to improve the economic, social and environmental sustainability of international production and consumption. From international trade agreements to local fisheries councils, from Fair Trade certifications to public-private partnerships, we will study the accomplishments and shortcomings of many real-world mechanisms on different levels of the global-local and public-private spectrums. The literature covered will include approaches from political science, international law, business ethics and economics that critically examine questions of legitimacy, effectiveness, and representativeness of existing approaches. We will also incorporate many current issues into our discussions.
International Organizations, undergraduate lecture course, University of Münster
Course description: This course is an intermediate-level course in international relations which will focus on the role of international organizations (IOs) in world politics. Its main focus will be on the problems of cooperation in the international system and how international institutions are used, with varying degrees of success, to overcome these problems. Particular emphasis will be placed on students’ ability to think critically, both about the nature of problems that face states as well as development of global governance mechanisms. While international non-governmental organizations will make an appearance, our focus will be on intergovernmental organizations. We will examine their historical origins, design, functions, the international and domestic political forces that impact their operations, and their effectiveness. In order to have a core set of analytical tools we can apply to our study of specific IOs, we will begin the course with a critical consideration of the challenge of cooperation under anarchy and IR scholars’ responses. From a theoretical perspective, we will consider various approaches, such as realist, liberal, constructivist, and institutionalist/bureaucratic arguments, as well as theories of marginalization. Delving into specific IOs, we begin with a historic perspective on the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations. We spend some time on the institutional design and functioning of the UN and its main organs, before moving on to regional organizations such as the European Union and the Organization of American States. Next, we consider how particular global issues are addressed by intergovernmental institutions. We look at collective security (NATO), human rights protection (UNHRC, European and Interamerican Courts of Human Rights), peacekeeping and criminal justice (UN Blue Helmets and ICC), trade and development (World Bank, IMF, WTO), and the environment (UNEP and UNFCCC). We end the semester by reflecting on the future of IOs and their capacity to solve global problems.
Critical Political Economy: Growth, Inequality and Planetary Boundaries, undergraduate seminar, University of Münster
Course description: This course will introduce students to critical perspectives on the global economy and the role of governments and societies in shaping markets, focusing in particular on issues related to development, inequality, growth, and the environment. After reviewing the main schools of economic thought and their contributions to how the economy is structured today, we will turn to thinkers that critically examine the limits of the market in providing social goods; rethink the contributions of economic growth and globalization to development; focus on the consequences of economic inequality on societal welfare; and provide new perspectives on the interplay of consumption, growth and the environment on a planet with limited ecological resources. The focus of this reading-heavy seminar will lie on participatory discussions on the extent to which the authors’ insights apply to current challenges and future directions of economic policy-making.
Methods: Policy Analysis and Impact Evaluation, intensive undergraduate seminar
Course description: Policy makers and analysts around the world are facing difficult policy questions every day. In a world of complex political and socioeconomic interactions, predicting the effectiveness of a particular policy and identifying potential unintended consequences is a difficult task. This intensive seminar provides a first introduction to methods of analyzing policy options and evaluating choices taken in order to inform the public decision-making process. We proceed in two parts. First, we examine prescriptive methods – that is, methods for weighing the costs and benefits of alternative courses of policy action, and deciding which policy “option” represents the best — most effective, most efficient, most equitable, etc. — choice for government action. Second, we look at methods for evaluating policy and program performance after it has been implemented, in order to assess whether or not a policy or program has been working effectively. In this latter part, we will look at different statistical methods (both experimental and quasi-experimental) of isolating the impact of an intervention from the surrounding circumstances in order to draw sound conclusions on the success of a program. Students will therefore become acquainted with a broad toolkit of quantitative and qualitative models and techniques, study real-world examples of their application, and take first steps towards practicing their implementation.
Principles of Sustainable Development, MBA case study course, INCAE Business School