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PS - "It Is Still the Economy, Stupid!": Conflict and Cooperation with and between International Organizations


InstitutionArbeitsstelle Internationale Politische Ökonomie
SemesterSoSe 2011
RaumGarystr. 55 Raum 121

Do 14.00-16.00

Standards accounts of international organizations (IOs) used to highlight mutual benefits of cooperation and hardly ever questioned their role. The likes of the World Bank, the International Monetary (IMF), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United Nations (UN), and the European Union (EU) have developed multiple complex webs of interactions amongst each other and with states and nonstate actors alike. Increasingly, however, scholars point to cases in which IOs do not facilitate cooperation but intensify conflict, or are the source of conflict in the first place. This course is designed to familiarize students with dominant IPE theories and perspectives by studying particular cases of conflict and/or cooperation on global economic issues in which IOs have been enmeshed. Rather than believing that IO involvement always creates mutual benefits for all actors involved, we start from the working hypothesis that IOs are janus-faced institutions that can launch and promote cooperation as well as create and intensify conflicts.
The course is organized as follows. After a brief introduction of what the main theories have to say on cooperation (I), we delve into the different forms of cooperation between IOs (II), and betweens IOs and states and nonstate actors (III) to assess under what circumstances cooperation or conflict flourishes. We close with an in-depth examination of the IMF-EU cooperation in crisis lending to Latvia and Greece (IV). Apart from the main "grand" theories, medium-range explanations are introduced at the beginning of each section from II to IV. The case studies on cooperation comprise not only the IMF and the EU but also the World Bank, the WTO, and the EU.
This course is given in English, and all assessments are to be taken in English. Thus, students ought to have a good command of the English language. The course literature is accessible via Blackboard. Apart from active participation, students need to give a presentation to receive a "Teilnahmeschein" and, additionally, write a term paper to receive a "Leistungsschein."

Master IB
Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies
Banner Blackboard
SFB 700
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