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The theory and practice of global governance is a dynamic, complex and increasingly important dimension of world affairs. While there is no universally-accepted definition of global governance, for our purposes it describes institutionalized collective action among governments and other actors to manage their affairs beyond the level of the nation state. International organizations–broadly defined to encompass inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and multi-stakeholder arrangements that may include corporations and sub-state actors–are central to the field. Employing a multi-disciplinary lens, we look at the norms (both legal and non-legal), policies, procedures and standard practices of these institutions. In addition to courses on the organizations themselves, course offerings cover substantive areas in which international institutions play a significant role, such as conflict management, human rights, the environment, development, migration, and international trade. Students who specialize in the field acquire a) basic knowledge of the nature, functions and forms of global governance; b) an understanding of the role institutions play in the development and implementation of international law and policies; c) an understanding of the practices of international institutions, including how law and politics interact in them; and d) an ability to think critically about the significance of global governance arrangements to contemporary world affairs. Career opportunities include inter-governmental organizations, the diplomatic corps and other government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and positions in private sector firms that engage with international organizations and related government offices.  

Field Advisor

Ian Johnstone

Research Centers

Center for International Law and Governance 

Field Requirements

In addition to the required course, MALD students must take two courses from the list below. 

In addition to the required course, MGA students must take five courses from the list below, at least one of which must address multi-stakeholder/transnational governance. 

MALD: 3 courses in field of study 

MGA: 6 courses in field of study 

Total Credits Required

MALD: 9.00 credits 

MGA: 18.00 credits 

Core Course Requirements

ILO L220 International Organizations 

Field Electives

DHP D216M Networks, Analytics, and Organizations I 

DHP D220 Processes of International Negotiations  

DHP D225 Conflict Resolution Practice 

DHP D230 Humanitarian Action in Complex Emergencies 

DHP D232 Gender, Conflict and Culture in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies 

DHP D234 Humanitarian Leadership: The Political and Policy Challenges of Being in Charge 

DHP D238 Current Issues in Global Immigration Policy  

DHP D239 Forced Migration 

DHP D241 Climate and Migration  

DHP D280 U.S.-EU Relations in the 21st Century: A multidisciplinary Analysis of Transatlantic Affairs  

DHP D284 Europe in the Changing World Order 

DHP P202M Security Sector Reform: Conceptual and Contextual Issues in Peacebuilding 

DHP P203 Analytic Frameworks for International Public Policy Decisions 

DHP P222 Development Aid in Policy and Practice 

DHP P225 Design, Monitoring and Evaluation of Peacebuilding and Development Programming 

DHP P228M Advanced Evaluation and Learning in International Organizations 

DHP P253 Sustainable Development Diplomacy 

DHP P257 Corporate Management of Environmental Issues 

DHP P284 The EU as an International Actor 

DHP P292 The End of the World 

EIB B223 Informal and Underground Finance  

EIB B230 Managing NGOs and Social Enterprises 

EIB B242 Innovation Models for Building Inclusive Businesses 

EIB B252 Corporate Social Responsibility in an Age of Globalization 

EIB B254M Cross-Sector Partnerships 

EIB B264 Strategic Marketing for Non-Profit Organizations 

EIB B291 Leadership: Building Teams, Organizations, and Shaping Your Path 

ILO L200 International Legal Order 

ILO L201 Public International Law  

ILO L209M International Treaty Behavior 

ILO L210 International Human Rights Law 

ILO L213 International Criminal Justice 

ILO L214M Transitional Justice 

ILO L215 Ethics in the Practice of Foreign Affairs 

ILO L221 Actors in Global Governance 

ILO L222 Selected Issues in Law of the Sea 

ILO L223 International Environmental Law 

ILO L224 Peace Operations 

ILO L240 Legal and Institutional Aspects of International Trade 

ILO L250 Law and Development 

ILO L264 Non-Proliferation Law and Institutions 

ILO L270 International Law Practicum 

Electives in Multi-stakeholder/Transnational Governance (MGA only)

DHP D216M Networks, Analytics, and Organizations I 

DHP P228M Advanced Evaluation and Learning in International Organizations 

DHP P253 Sustainable Development Diplomacy 

DHP P257 Corporate Management of Environmental Issues 

EIB B223 Informal and Underground Finance  

EIB B230 Managing NGOs and Social Enterprises 

EIB B242 Innovation Models for Building Inclusive Businesses 

EIB B252 Corporate Social Responsibility in an Age of Globalization 

EIB B254M Cross-Sector Partnerships 

EIB B264 Strategic Marketing for Non-Profit Organizations 

EIB B291 Leadership: Building Teams, Organizations, and Shaping Your Path 

ILO L221 Actors in Global Governance 

Skills Requirements (optional)

The field does not require any skills courses, but the list above includes the following courses that teach skills that are valuable for careers in the field. 

DHP D216M Networks, Analytics and Organizations I 

DHP D220 Processes of International Negotiations 

DHP D225 Conflict Resolution Practice 

DHP D234 Humanitarian Leadership: The Political and Policy Challenges of Being in Charge 

DHP P203 Analytic Frameworks for International Public Policy Decisions 

DHP P225 Design, Monitoring and Evaluation of Peacebuilding and Development Programming 

DHP P228M Advanced Evaluation and Learning in International Organizations 

EIB B291 Leadership: Building Teams, Organizations, & Shaping Your Path 

ILO L270 International Law Practicum   

Practicum Requirement (MGA only)

In addition to the six-course requirement, MGA students must take either the International Law Practicum or an ad hoc practicum, which will vary from year to year.