This course focuses on a key mechanism facilitating international cooperation ¿ international institutions. The course examines institutions ranging from informal institutions, or regimes, to formal intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), such as the United Nations and European Union. In exploring the nature of international institutions, the following questions are asked: Why are such institutions established? Why do states choose to act through IGOs instead of on their own? What makes them change over time? What impact (if any) do these institutions have? How do they operate? How do they influence government foreign policies, such as international trade and the use of military force? How do they affect domestic politics, such as on human rights, social welfare, and economic development? The course will begin by focusing on different theoretical perspectives on these questions, and continue by examining international institutions in specific issue areas. The course will also examine the more general successes and limitations of global governance and international organization in world politics.