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2017/2018  KAN-CPOLO1047U  Theories of International Law and Politics

English Title
Theories of International Law and Politics

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc i International Business and Politics, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Maj Grasten - MPP
Main academic disciplines
  • Philosophy and ethics
  • International political economy
Last updated on 22-06-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Identify and explain the main theories of international law and place them in historical context.
  • Describe how the main theories of international law distinguish between international law and international politics.
  • Identify and explain what role non-state actors (i.e. natural and legal persons, international organisations) play in international law according to the main theories of international law.
  • Explain how international law, as it is currently understood by modern theories of international law, is relevant to the activities of international businesses and organisations.
  • Apply the theories of international law studied in the course to specific cases involving issues relevant to international organisations or businesses.
Theories in International Law and Politics:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
A new exam topic must be approved by the course coordinator. This applies to all students (failed, ill, or otherwise)
Description of the exam procedure

Students are expected to develop a topic for their exam paper themselves, which is usually an application of the theoretical background studied in the course to modern and current problems of international law.

Course content and structure

The course will cover the main theories of public international law, including sociolegal theories, positivism, critical legal studies, feminist theory, and liberalism as well as selected texts in modern political philosophical approaches to the international legal order. 

The course it focuses both on the fundamental theoretical and philosophical assumptions underlying legal and political theories that seek to explain or justify the international (legal) order as well as on examples of how these theories may be used to analyze specific issues.

Teaching methods
Lectures and discussions.
Feedback during the teaching period
We try to offer feedback in response to your questions and work whenever feasible although please appreciate that there are often time constraints. Please feel free to take full advantage of the ‘office hours’ offered by full-time staff members, although these can never be a substitute for participation in lectures and classes. We also encourage you to ask questions or make comments in class and form self-study groups to secure peer feedback on your work.
Student workload
Preparation time (readings, group work etc.) 130 hours
Lectures / class exercises / “homework cafés” / workshops etc. 30 hours
Exam (incl. preparation for the exam and actual exam period) 48 hours
Expected literature
  • Basak Cali, International Law for International Relations (Oxford 2010) 
  • Plus: a range of academic articles, which will be made available in a Compendium



This is a sample of the literature that will be used. A comprehensive reading list can be found in the course plan that will be published on CBS Learn before classes begin.

Last updated on 22-06-2017