Course date

15 July - 2 August, 2002
Application deadline:
15 February, 2002
Course Director(s): 

Roger Coate

Department of Government and Sociology, Georgia College & State University/ Department of Political Science, University of South Carolina, USA

Timothy Shaw

Institute of International Relations, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
Course Faculty: 

Leslie Armijo

Reed College, Portland, United States of America

Victor Bojkov

University of Sarajevo, Centre for Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Vladislav Kravtsov

Walker Institute of International Studies, University of South Carolina, Columbia, United States of America

Paula L'Ecuyer

University of South Carolina, Walker Institute of International Studies, Columbia, United States of America

Maria Nzomo

University of Nairobi, Institute of Diplomacy & International Studies, Kenya

This course is designed to enhance the professional development of young scholars and practitioners who are interested or actively engaged in research, practice, and/or teaching about governance and how to create and manage partnerships with diverse elements of society for promoting and sustaining human development and security. It will offer participants an in-depth analysis of the forces that affect and challenges that confront local, national, and global governance in the twenty-first century and various steps that might be taken to enhance the effectiveness of international institutions in responding to those challenges.

Course Level and Target Audience

The course is designed specifically for young scholars and other professionals from developing and transitional societies who have a university degree, hold a teaching job at a college or university in their home country or work as an administrator or a professional, and possess a basic knowledge about sustainable human development, governance issues, and world affairs. Graduate students with teaching experience may also apply. We encourage applications from a wide variety of disciplines, intellectual traditions, and professional orientations.

Course Content

The course is organized around one of the late-twentieth century’s most challenging intellectual and practical puzzles—a puzzle that challenges the core of the interstate legal order's foundations in state sovereignty. Individuals and groups acting in the name of states and intergovernmental organizations have generally found the policy mechanisms under their control to be insufficient for responding effectively to war (internal and interstate), poverty, malnutrition, pandemic diseases, environmental degradation, resource depletion, and the multitude of other threats to human security. For their part, nongovernmental organizations and other civil-society actors seldom possess sufficient resources, authority, or the requisite capacity for launching successful large-scale policy initiatives and therefore exert only meager influence on global developments. Building and sustaining cooperation between public and civic-based entities has proved to be an elusive objective.

Stated in a slightly different way, initiating and sustaining effective international responses to threats to human security require the integrated engagement of civic (that is, nonstate) with public (that is, state) entities at and across all levels. Yet, the foundation of the UN system in the principle of the inviolability of state sovereignty greatly constrains and inhibits UN agencies from engaging civic and sub-national state entities constructively. In this context emerges an overriding challenge: how to generate and sustain effective cooperation both horizontally across differing autonomous organizational domains, legal jurisdictions, and sectors of society and vertically across time as well as across different levels of social aggregation from the micro level of individuals—in their roles in groups, organizations, and communities—to the macro level of representative governance in international forums.

In the context of this puzzle, the course analyzes the nature and evolution of global governance as it relates to the promotion of human security. By global governance, we mean those procedures and practices that exist at the world (or regional) level for the management of political, economic, and social affairs. "Governance" is distinguishable from "government" and can occur with or without governmental apparatus. Thus the act of governance can and does take place at different locales and levels. This course examines governance processes holistically with particular emphasis placed on transnational governance relationships. It explores the numerous factors, forces, and tensions that have given rise to and underpin contemporary global governance processes and structures and that link those processes to the promotion of human security in micro [that is, local] settings.

The course is organized around a number of interrelated foci. We begin by exploring the question "what is governance?" In that general context, we will investigate the relationship between global governance and the creation and maintenance of democratic open societies at the local and national levels. Participants will seek to identify the constellation of factors and forces that have conditioned the evolution of contemporary governance processes and structures. Particular attention will be focused on the globalization of certain liberal ideological ideas, constitutive principles, and normative structures that underpin much of contemporary world order. Class readings and discussions will explore the nature and implications of the dialectic between liberalism and other competing systems of thought.

Second, the course focuses on evolving meanings of security. It explores the global value dialectic over peace and security and the transition from a narrow definition of security—national security and protection from physical military aggression—to the much broader concept of human security—meaning that individuals sense and perceive themselves increasingly secure. Global governance and human security are inextricably linked, and the notion of human security focuses international organizational attention directly on individuals and their circumstances, and thereby constitutes a subtle challenge to state sovereignty. To make people psychologically secure may, under some circumstances, be the antithesis of making the governments of states and their territorial boundaries physically secure. Human security is directly linked to the satisfaction of fundamental human needs and sustainable human development. It emphasizes the psychological end state of human development instead of the more mechanical process of developing. Enhancing human security is what development is all about. Class activities will explore this important relationship.

Third, the course analyzes the competing forces and tensions that underpin global governance and condition the authoritative allocation of human needs and values. Participants will examine the evolving dialectics between numerous forces and tensions, such as integration and fragmentation, globalization and localization, and universalism and relativism. Particular attention will be paid to identifying and analyzing those forces that serve to undermine and limit the authority, legitimacy, and competency of the national state and state-centered international order. In addition, participants will critically analyze the nature and content of global discourses about governance and security to identify ideas, constitutive principles, and structures of meaning that underlie those discourses and practices and associated practices.

In the context of this turbulent world environment, one thing is clear: humankind resides in a multicultural world in which even the remotest areas are permeated by the capitalist global economy and a wide variety of transnational social institutions. If human security and open societies are to prevail, they must do so in that context. In this regard, special attention will be focused on global political economic concerns. Participants are challenged to reconceptualize international relations and global governance in non-state-centered terms and to move beyond state/nonstate conceptualizations such as "domestic"/"foreign," "inside"/"outside," or "we"/"they." Class activities will explore the concept of civil society and will discuss the ways in which diverse agents and forces of society can be brought more effectively into our models and theories of governance. Special emphasis will be placed on identifying actual and potential partnerships between and among international institutions, governmental entities, and those diverse, often contradictory, and sometimes conflictual social forces and entities that lie beyond state control.

Traditional approaches to multilateralism and global governance have been predominantly hierarchical, concentrating on great power relationships. Such a top-down approach, however, obscures important aspects of dominant-subdominant relationships at the international level and reifies and promotes certain ideas and constitutive principles held by the most powerful participants. In recent years, however, an increasing body of literature has emerged, which challenges such a traditional orientation. These new approaches to multilateralism and global governance will be analyzed, as they relate to the intellectual puzzle being explored. Particular emphasis will be placed on identifying implications for enhancing the effectiveness of international institutions for promoting human security. Finally, it explores the nature, plausibility, and possibility of reforms in international institutions that would be required to bring civil society more fully and effectively into global policy processes.

Larger Context of the Course

This course is a component of a much larger transnational research and professional development program for young scholars and professionals in the social sciences and humanities—a project titled "Creating Effective Partnerships for Sustainable Human Security." This United Nations University (UNU) project, coordinated by course co-director Roger Coate, is being undertaken in partnership with the CEU, the Office of the UN Secretary-General, the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), the International Studies Association (ISA), and numerous other academic institutions and professional associations. The core mission of the course proposed here and the associated SUN 2001 course, titled "Global Governance and Human Security in a Globalizing World," as well as that of the larger project, is the professional development of young scholars and professionals from emerging democracies worldwide. Emphasis is placed on establishing self-sustaining interdisciplinary professional networks among scholars and practitioners from different nationalities, cultures, professions, and disciplines. An important goal of the course and project is to enhance young scholars’ substantive knowledge and theoretical understanding of processes of global governance, especially as related to building and sustaining effective partnerships between international institutions and civil society for promoting human security. Other important goals include: facilitating young scholars’ access to and engagement with global and regional academic and professional communities, UN agencies and staff, and transnational internet-based research networks; facilitating access for young scholars in remote locations to information, resources, and institutional arenas related to their research needs and interests; facilitating exchange and cross fertilization among scholars and practitioners of multilateralism from around the world; enhancing the training of young scholars from regions with emergent or re-emergent civil societies in the design and conduct of research through an ongoing series of workshops and seminars of which this special five-week course would be a part; establishing mentorship relations, linking young scholars with their more senior colleagues around the world. The larger project would also provide opportunities for young scholars to gain "hands-on" experience in the work of UN agencies through a program of fellowships as well as through direct involvement in ongoing research activities in UN agencies. The course has been designed to lay the foundation for accomplishing these goals. In the context of the larger project, this specific summer university course will serve as the preparatory course for subsequent regional mini-courses in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. These regional workshops will be followed by a series of global workshops and seminars in which the participants from the various regions will be given the opportunity to participate together. Those global workshops and seminars will be held in conjunction with the annual meetings of ACUNS and ISA, held respectively during June and March each year. Participation in those global sessions will give participants the opportunity to become engaged in larger scholarly communities and will provide the follow through necessary for promoting effective professional development. Also, priority will be placed on creating transnational research networks among the participants so as to ensure that the learning process transcends the course and workshop settings and is sustained on an ongoing and ever-evolving basis.

Course Format

The course will be conducted in a mixed in-residence/distance learning format, consisting of three interrelated modules.

Module One – The first part of the course entails a two-week distance-learning module to be held July 1 – 14, 2002. This time will be spent interacting with the course directors over the Internet, using email and web-based communications, to introduce the course and prepare participants for the in-residence part of the course.

Module Two – The second part of the course will be held in residence at CEU in Budapest from July 15 – August 2, 2002. This face-to-face part of the course will be conducted in a mixed format, including daily lecture/discussion sessions, seminar sessions, Internet-based research and grant-seeking workshops, interactive workshops on topics such as brokering partnerships and human rights, production of a research design paper, individual and group panel presentations, and periodic informal "forum" sessions during which small groups of participants discuss intellectual and other issues of common concern. Each participant is expected to produce a written research design and to present it orally on a panel at a mock professional conference. There is no formal grading in the course, but participants whose performance is especially exemplary may be invited to participate on a continuing basis in the larger research program of which the course is a part. Each participant will be assigned one or more faculty mentors, with whom to work during the term.

Module Three – Optional distance education format, August 19 – November 29, 2002. This time will be spent interacting over the Internet, using email and web-based communications, with mentors and research groups to complete and revise research papers, grant proposals, workshop proposals, and/or research reports.