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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Nives Dolsak
SMEA 507
Seattle Campus

International Organizations and Ocean Management

Survey of the manner in which international regimes and organizations attempt to manage and regulate the uses of the ocean. Primary emphasis is on the analysis of the effectiveness of regimes and of processes that support or constrain these organizations. Prerequisite: SMEA 500 or permission of instructor. Offered: jointly with PB AF 538.

Class description

This course examines international regimes to govern international environmental common pool resources and the organizations that manage them. Under what conditions do these regimes emerge? What factors influence their effectiveness? How do they balance protection of global environment with other societal goals such as democracy and equity? Which particular regimes have been developed to govern the oceans? How effective are they and how they influence national, state, local policies and ocean users? What organizations have been developed to manage global oceans and with what success? These are the key issues addressed in this course.

Student learning goals

Development of knowledge of key institutions and organizations governing oceans;

Development of theoretical expertise and analytical skills required for the analysis of their emergence, functioning, and effectiveness;

Critical analysis of data and methods used in such analyses;

Improvement of oral and written communication skills;

Development and design of an empirical research project proposal.

General method of instruction

I use a seminar approach. I expect students to read the assigned readings prior to the class and come prepared to engage in an energetic discussion to identify core issues, engage in theoretical debates, examine policy options, and suggest policy solutions. Students will reflect on the assigned readings in weekly memos and critically evaluate available secondary data. They will also develop a proposal for an empirical research project.

Recommended preparation

Graduate student standing; open to advanced undergraduates by permission of the instructor.

Class assignments and grading

I use a variety of assignments to foster critical thinking and problem solving skills in addition to development of area expertise. Students are expected to write me memos in which they review and critique the assigned readings. Students also review and critically evaluate available secondary data, report on academic empirical research, develop an empirical research proposal, and provide peer-review.

Four memos (35%) Data availability oral and written report (12%) Empirical research project report (8%) Research proposal draft (10%) Peer review comments on research proposal (5%) Research Proposal (30%)


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 Nives Dolsak
Date: 02/13/2012