Accueil > The Changing Role of Non-State Actors in International Affairs

DSPO 2200A - The Changing Role of Non-State Actors in International Affairs

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


No requirements or preconditions. All are welcome. Students having pursued disciplines such as international relations, international law, world politics or macro-economics will benefit from this course and will provide additional insight for students less versed in those subjects.

Course Description

Non-state actors have participated in international affairs for centuries, and never more than today, yet their role remains largely unexplored. This course examines the different types of non-state actors: extra-legal actors such as terrorist groups; religious and spiritual actors; non-governmental organisations; academic and think-tank actors; multinational corporations and transnational businesses such as banks, law firms, accounting firms, rating agencies; global media; and individual moguls. Throughout, the course evaluates the interaction of these non-state actors with states and international organisations. Lastly the course assesses future roles of non-state actors in international relations. The course builds on a project, initiated by Nicholas Dungan, between Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, and Egmont, the Belgian Royal Institute for International Relations


DUNGAN, Nicholas (Formateur, conseiller indépendant)

Pedagogical format

Class sessions will begin with current affairs discussion with maximum possible student participation followed by two student exposés and Q&A open to the full class. The second half of each class will include professor's lecture on the day's subjects plus interactive discussion.

Course validation

Individualized grading based on continuous assessment of student performance including: participation in class discussions; understanding of reading assignments; one mid-term essay prepared outside class; one in-class exposé prepared outside class on a pre-assigned topic; essay-format final exam.


Students will be responsible for keeping up to date with international affairs news, which will be discussed every week at the beginning of class. Additional reading beyond the two required books will be assigned via Moodle. One exposé, one mid-term essay and one in-class final exam in essay format.

Additional required reading

  • Henry Kissinger. World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History. New York: Penguin. 2014.
  • Andreas Bieler, Richard Higgott, Geoffrey Underhill. Non-State Actors and Authority in the Global System. London: Routlegde. 2003.