Political Science 360

POSC 360
International Law and Organization

Catalog Entry

POSC 360. International Law and Organization. (IR)
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisite: POSC 140 for non-POSC majors/minor or POSC 140 and POSC 290 for POSC majors/minors.

This course examines international law and organization in an anarchic milieu of sovereign states. The emphasis is on theoretical foundations and historical evolution.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Topics may include:

I. The International Milieu: Rousseau's Fable of the Stag Hunt
II. The Law of Nations

A. Nature of International Law
B. Sources of International Law

III. Subjects of International Law

A. Development of Law Among Nations
B. The Community of Nations
C. Rights of International Legal Persons
D. Duties of States

IV. The Law & the Individual

A. Individuals Under the Law
B. Jurisdiction Over Persons
C. Responsibilities of States for the Protection of Resident Aliens

V. Territory

A. Title to Territory
B. National Boundaries
C. The High Seas
D. Jurisdiction Over National Vessels
E. Jurisdiction Over the National Air & Outer Space

VI. War

A. Legal Nature of War
B. Laws of War
C. Modern War: Commencement, Effects, Termination
D. Laws of War On Land & In the Air
E. Laws of War At Sea
F. War Crime

VII. International Organization

A. Antecedents
B. The Theory of Collective Security
C. The League of Nations
D. The United Nations
E. Collective Security to Peacekeeping


Detailed Description of Conduct of the Course

This course will be primarily a lecture course. Emphasis is placed on the philosophic grounds and problems of International Law and Organizations.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. To help the student see and understand the origin and sources of the Law of Nations.
2. To allow students to grapple with the paradoxes involved with law in an anarchical milieu.
3. To let students appreciate the difficulties of establishing regular processes of change in a world still attached to diplomatic-strategic conduct as a major mode of interstate action.
4. To acquaint students with some of the major thinkers and notable instances associated with International Law and international organizations.


Assessment Measures

Students are graded on the basis of their completion of an International Law Journal. The Journal consists of student essays on principles of law and organization, thinkers, and case studies. The Journal is collected three times during the semester.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

April 1998 Reviewed M. J. Franck, Dept. Chair