S1716 Global Governance for Peace and Security, Cooperation and Development (Global Challenges core)

De Vido Sara

The purpose of the course is to apply the notion of global governance to six different situations linked to peace and security, cooperation and development.

The course will start with a brief general overview of some traditional notions of international law, such as State and ‘international community’, in order to understand how this community has developed over the centuries and is facing the challenges posed by globalization. The analysis of new key players, such as international organizations at the turn of the 20th century, “networks” established after the most recent financial crisis, non-state actors, NGOs and transnational corporations, will enable the students to reflect on the current meaning of the ‘community of nations’, and its legal offshoot, ‘the law of the nations’. How is contemporary global governance different from the community of States emerging after Westphalia in 1648?

The course will then investigate further several aspects: the first one is the prohibition of the use of force. How has this principle developed in international law? The students will explore some of the most recent crises regarding that prohibition, including Iraq, Libya and the ongoing Syrian crisis. We will discuss peace-keeping and peace-building operations. The second aspect concerns the outlawing of international crimes. In that context, students will analyse the evolution of international criminal law from the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals to the International Criminal Court (ICC), also focusing on jurisprudence, which will furnish topics for discussion in class (one of them, for example, will be the recent Al-Madhi case, examined by the ICC, regarding the destruction of cultural heritage). The difference between international crimes and transnational crimes will be underlined by providing, as a third aspect, a careful analysis of certain transnational crimes, such as international terrorism (in particular the case of ISIS), money laundering, corruption, human trafficking, illicit trafficking of cultural property, environmental degradation. Our analysis will highlight the main characteristics of these crimes and, taking account of the students’ preferences, will concentrate on two or three cases.

The study of global governance cannot exclude international human rights law. The protection of human rights is an essential element of peace and development. In particular, the course will focus on refugees’ rights as a fourth aspect of our analysis of global governance. As fifth aspect, the course will focus on cooperation and development, linking this issue to environmental rights, starting from the analysis of the UN General Assembly’s 1986 Declaration through to the affirmation of this right in customary international law. Finally, as a sixth aspect, the course will consider health emergencies. In particular, the students will explore the reaction of the World Health Organization and other organizations to the zika virus. Violence against women as a public health concern will also be a subject for analysis.



The course will include lectures and seminars. During the seminars, the students will be invited to prepare the readings related to the topic (readings may be documents, judgments, short papers). Students will choose topic A or B. The aim is to discuss the topic in an open debate once a week or once every two weeks. Classroom interaction is encouraged. Students are invited to propose issues that have been raised in their country of origin. The week before the scheduled seminar, the lecturer will provide the students a list of questions related to the readings in order to guide their analysis and the debate.