Course Cover Image Governance 440/Global Studies 440: Global Governance and Law

Welcome to Governance 440/Global Studies 440: Global Governance and Law. This three-credit, senior-level course provides an overview of the theoretical debates on law as governance in an increasingly globalized world. This course examines the sources and practice of law and governance at the global level. The focus is on the political and ideational forces that have shaped the development and evolution of international law and institutions and processes of governance at the global level. It considers competing theoretical arguments on the sources of international law, reviews the historical evolution of international law and global governance and then moves on to a closer examination of more contemporary issues involving international law and global governance. Among the specific issues considered are the legal and governance practices surrounding the use of force, human rights, the environment, and global economic relations. Following are some of the relevant questions posed by this course. Where does international law come from? How do norms and laws develop in the global realm? What role do ideas and material interests play in this development? Why do states co-operate? Does law influence how states behave? How does governance function without government at the global level? Who is being governed? Who participates in governance? How accountable is global governance and how could it be more accountable? The course will consider these and other questions in looking at various legal instruments and governance practices, including the United Nations, multilateral economic institutions, and international criminal tribunals. Rather than review institutions and structures of government, the course examines the sources of law and the practices of governance and how and towards what ends they function in the contemporary global society.

Governance 440/Global Studies 440 does not assume that students already have a background in international law and global governance. The textbooks and course materials in the Reading File are meant to offer a sophisticated introduction to some of the key concepts and how those concepts can be applied to contemporary practices. Together with the commentary in the Study Guide, the readings for Governance 440/Global Studies 440 introduce the interdisciplinary terrain of the study of law and governance and situate these discussions in the context of contemporary theory and practices at the global level. Particular attention is paid to the ways in which states, international organizations, and transnational nongovernmental organizations impact how the use of force, human rights, economics, and politics are regulated globally.

The three textbooks for the course offer complementary perspectives on a variety of significant contemporary issues in the area of international law and global governance. The first, The Politics of International Law, is an edited collection that explores different approaches to understanding the sources of law at the global level. More theoretical in orientation, it includes chapters devoted to efforts to establish law in different areas of global activity including the use of force, intervention, human rights, climate change, and economic relations The second textbook, Lawless World, explores the role of the United States and Great Britain in recent efforts to establish a system of law to govern such areas as human rights, climate change, trade, investment, and the use of force and other measures in the war on terror. The author, while critical of many recent practices by these two governments, does demonstrate the role that political power and political interests have played in shaping the design of rules and practice of governance in the contemporary global community as well as the implications of international law for states. The third textbook, Contesting Global Governance: Multilateral Economic Institutions and Global Social Movements, is a highly accessible overview of non-governmental interventions (women’s, labour, and environmental movements) into the function of multilateral economic institutions (the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization. A selection of articles in the Reading File will complement these texts by offering additional insights into the historical origins of international law and global governance, the role of dominant powers in shaping law and governance, and the influence of global social movements in the design, adoption, and implementation of international law and global governance, among others. In addition to these required readings, you should regularly read national and international newspapers to note the different ways in which global governance and international law are discussed and practiced. Especially useful news sources for this exercise include the Globe and Mail, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Economist, Le Monde diplomatique, and the Guardian Weekly. As well, a number of useful websites such as those from inter-governmental organizations (IGOs) and non- governmental organizations (NGO)s are worth consulting both for your research papers and for general interest. Suggested supplementary readings are listed in the Assignment Manual and the reference lists at the end of each unit in the Study Guide are also useful.

The Student Manual accompanies this course and is designed to supply essential information about the course, the course materials, and the procedures you should follow to complete the course successfully. Before you begin your study of GOVN/GLST 440: Global Governance and Law, please read the Student Manual and the Assignment Manual through carefully. If you have any questions about the course itself, or how to proceed with your studies, contact your tutor.

The Commentaries in the Study Guide introduce selected aspects of global governance and international law in a new era marked by such phenomenon as globalization, the “war on terror,” and seemingly unprecedented attempts to invent new standards of international law in areas as diverse as military intervention and climate change. The subject of international law and global governance is vast and changing continuously, and it is not possible to cover all of it in a single course. The choice of issues selected for study reflects their significance for contemporary politics, but also that they represent an interesting and important mix of political, economic, and ideational considerations. Each unit should be seen as a sampling of some of the recent thinking on international law and global governance rather than an exhaustive overview of the literature. Students will, however, develop an understanding of the intellectual terrain of international law and global governance in a globalized world.