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International Law and Politics

International Law and Politics

An intensive summer programme designed to introduce students aged 19+ to the fascinating intersection of International Law and Politics.

A one-week programme, residential in a college of the University of Oxford.

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Course Summary

This course aims to provide students with a solid foundation in the disciplines of international law and politics from both theoretical and applied perspectives. It will introduce students to the fundamental concepts of international law, the philosophy that underpins it and the challenges of its implementation.

By setting out the foundations of international law it will assist students in identifying the sources of international law and institutions that enact and enforce it nationally and internationally and identify the political implications of this framework.

The course will then seek to extend students’ knowledge and understanding of the legal aspects of global politics and will equip students with the fundamental skills required to engage in its study. It will shine a spotlight on how global governance is changing and evolving through international institutions and international courts, ongoing icc investigations. Here, students will engage in a review of some current global challenges and be introduced to a number of ‘disruptor’ concepts and will consider these in relation to current and future global governance needs.

The course will round off with an interdisciplinary debate in to a contemporary problem or issue in international law and politics.

Course Outcomes

By the end of the course students will understand:

  • The fundamental skills required to actively engage in the study of International Law and Politics and to continuously reassess the current legal and political climate around the world
  • The relationships between international law and politics to conduct further research and analysis into these subject areas to gain a deeper understanding and extend areas of study
  • The role of International law in international politics
  • Contribute to ongoing debates into the shape of global governance structures in the future

Course Outcomes

Monday Lecture 1: The Relationships between International Law and Politics – key areas of common focus. Is a global legal system ever likely to exist and what would be the implications?
Seminar 1: The Politics of International Law – discussion of key cases, decisions and political implications
Tuesday Lecture 2: Foundations of International Law and the implications for political analysis
Seminar 2: Investigating inconsistencies between treaty rules in international law
Wednesday Lecture 3: International Criminal law
Seminar 3: International criminal law applied to politics-case studies from around the world
Thursday Lecture 4: Global Governance in Transition- are global governance structures fit for purpose?
Seminar 4: Evaluating the changing dynamics of global challenges for global governance institutions-critical analysis and discussion
Friday Lecture 5: Integrated Law and Politics debate on a contemporary issue- ethics in global affairs
Seminar 5: Presentations, course review and action planning


Assessment Methods

1 x Written Assignment (500-750 words)

1 x Group Presentation


Oxford College Accommodation

  • Location Oxford
  • Ages Ages: 12+, 13-15, 16-18, 19+
  • Bedroom Type Single and twin
  • Bathroom Type En-suite & Shared (single gender)
  • Year Built Founded in 1096 (University of Oxford)

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