Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2023

Course Description

In recent years, the state-centric emphasis of International Relations has been challenged by the exponential rise and expanding influence of a variety of non-state actors (NSAs) such as international organizations, NGOs, MNCs, violent groups and social movements. In this course we shall examine how such actors shape international relations and influence the behavior of both states and each other. In each of the units, we shall examine a different type of NSA and examine how these actors challenge conceptions of sovereignty, democracy, legitimacy, accountability, ethics/responsibility and power. Side by side, we will learn about key cases and read both classic and recent on the subject.

Student Outcomes

By the end of this class you should come away with the following mix of substantive and academic strengths: 1. An understanding of the range of NSAs and why they matter in IR. 2. An understanding of how NSAs challenge traditional concepts and actors in IR 3. An understanding of key cases and research in this area 4. A solid draft of a research design in an area of your interest 5. Experience and skills in various types of social science writing. 6. The course will fulfill goals 8, 10 and 12 of the University Learning Goals available here