International Institutions

Lesson Plan and Readings: International Institutions

Lesson Plan: International Institutions

Topic: International Institutions

Week #: 5

Estimated Time: 150-180 minutes


Lecture Slides: Available

Required Readings:

  1. “International Organisations” by Shazelina Abidin in International Relations edited by Stephen McGlinchey. CC BY-NC - 7 pages
  2. Kruck, Andreas, and Bernhard Zangl. 2019. “Trading Privileges for Support: The Strategic Co-Optation of Emerging Powers into International Institutions.” International Theory 11 (3): 318–43. CC BY
  3. Sections 1, 2, and 3 in Kaufmann, Wesley, Reggy Hooghiemstra, and Mary K. Feeney. 2018. “Formal Institutions, Informal Institutions, and Red Tape: A Comparative Study.” Public Administration 96 (2): 386–403. CC BY

Total Page Count: 39

Optional Resources:

  1. Keohane, Robert O. “International Institutions: Can Interdependence Work?” Foreign Policy, no. 110, 1998, pp. 82–194. JSTOR,
  2. “Judges urge Security Council to serve interests of all UN Member States”
  3. “Why Japan’s Exit from International Whaling Treaty May Actually Benefit Whales.” 2019. Science | AAAS. January 10, 2019.
  4. Stern, Mark Joseph. 2018. “The Trailer for the New RBG Biopic Says ‘Freedom’ Isn’t in the Constitution. Wait, What?” Slate Magazine. Slate. July 18, 2018.
  5. Melber, Henning. 2019. “Freedom Day in South Africa -- a Reminder of Unfinished Business.” The Conversation, April 24, 2019.
  6. “Single Market Scoreboard – Trade in Goods & Services.” 2019. Single Market Scoreboard. May 6, 2019.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this lesson plan, students will be able to:

  1. Remember the definition of terms related to the study of international institutions
  2. Understand how member states shape international institutions
  3. Apply principal-agent model to international institutions
  4. Analyze examples of withdrawal and non-compliance by member states

Misconceptions of Topic:

  1. International institutions must include all countries in the world (United Nations, World Trade Organization, World Bank, International Monetary Fund)
  2. International institutions operate without oversight from their members
  3. International institutions are powerless


Lesson Component


Lecture: Review learning objectives

Lecture slides

In-Class Activity: Why are states members of some international organizations, but not members of other international organizations?

Lecture slides

Lecture: Formal and informal international institutions

Lecture slides

Watch “The United Nations Conference on International Organization”

Homework: Applying the Principal-Agent Model

Lecture slides

In-Class Activity: What formal international organization are you interested in?

Lecture slides

View Open Yearbook by Yearbook of International Organizations

In-Class Activity: Think-Pair-Share with your nearest neighbor about Freedom

Lecture slides

In-Class Activity: “Why Japan’s exit from international whaling treaty may actually benefit whales”

Lecture slides

Read “Why Japan’s exit from international whaling treaty may actually benefit whales”

In-Class Activity: EU Single Market Scorecard

Lecture slides

Review Single Market Scorecard for Trade in goods and services