International Governance and Law

Subject POLS90023 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 contact hours: A 2-hour seminar per week. Repeat seminars will be scheduled subject to enrolments.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Admission to the Master of International Relations (MIR)

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Avery Poole, Prof Robyn Eckersley


Subject Overview:

This subject provides an advanced introduction to the history, theory, institutions and practice of international governance and law. The subject will provide students with a broad understanding of the evolution of the international system of states, the development of diplomacy, the evolution of international law (including the role of both soft & hard law), the changing form and practice of multilateralism and the emergence of non-state or hybrid forms of power and authority. Key challenges in global governance will be critically explored, including the impact of globalisation on the political autonomy of states; the future of multilateralism; the accountability, representativeness and legitimacy of international organisations and international regimes and the challenge of democratising global governance; the role of non-state actors and civil society; and the challenge of coordinating and harmonising an increasingly dense network of international organisations and regimes.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • Develop a critical understanding of the key issues, challenges, actors, and institutions associated with international governance and international law;
  • Develop an understanding of the relationship between international politics and international law;
  • Develop a critical understanding of the main theories of global governance;
  • Develop a critical understanding of the debates concerning the reform of global governance.
  • 2 x 1000 word briefing papers (20% each) due throughout the semester.
  • A 3000 word essay (60%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A Reading Pack will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • Apply research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;
  • Develop persuasive arguments on a given topic;
  • Communicate oral and written arguments and ideas effectively;
  • Develop cross-cultural understanding.

This subject is a core component of the Master of International Relations course. It is also compulsory in the Master of International Politics 100-point program (teach out) and the Master of Arts International Politics (ASST) for those students who have not completed 166-502.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of International Relations
200 Point Master of International Relations
MA (AS&&ST) International Politics

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