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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sabine Lang
POL S 527
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in International Relations Research

Examination of current topics in the theory and practice of world politics. Content varies according to recent developments in the field and research interests of the instructor.

Class description

The seminar focuses on the role of nongovernmental organizations in national and transnational governance. NGOs are frequently perceived as providing the blueprint for 21st century citizen engagement and democratic renewal in public affairs. Yet with increasing numbers and reach of NGOs, questions about the sector’s legitimacy and accountability emerge: Whom do NGOs actually represent and speak for? To what degree do governments and international organizations rely on the sector’s input in policy formulation as well as on its role as service provider? What are the power dynamics when NGO networks operate transnationally? We will critically engage with the growing literature on the role of non-state actors in politics and explore conditions that inform NGO engagement, NGO networks, the spaces in which activism and advocacy are practiced as well as questions of legitimacy and accountability.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Sabine Lang
Date: 02/27/2014