Global Diplomacy: the United Nations in the World

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Description

When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

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About this course: The course offers a well-researched and broad-ranging primer to the United Nations system. Consisting of an introduction to the complex UN family and its history, and a series of ‘snapshots’ of key UN functions, which are used to explore important UN themes and help learners develop important analysis, communication, and policy-based skills. The course is aimed broadly at people interested in learning more about the United Nations system, assuming a level of interest but no necessary previous knowledge, whilst also offering offering sufficient up to date research and new critical perspectives that it will also be of interest to people with more expertise or academic f…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: The course offers a well-researched and broad-ranging primer to the United Nations system. Consisting of an introduction to the complex UN family and its history, and a series of ‘snapshots’ of key UN functions, which are used to explore important UN themes and help learners develop important analysis, communication, and policy-based skills. The course is aimed broadly at people interested in learning more about the United Nations system, assuming a level of interest but no necessary previous knowledge, whilst also offering offering sufficient up to date research and new critical perspectives that it will also be of interest to people with more expertise or academic familiarity with the topic as well. The main aim of the course is to provide this wide-ranging introduction in a self-contained, but in-depth form, alongside the important practical skills necessary to understand and discuss UN affairs, and potentially lay the groundwork for greater engagement in future – either in civil society or in further study.

Created by:  University of London, SOAS University of London
  • Taught by:  Dr Dan Plesch, SOAS University of London, Dr

    Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD), SOAS
Level Beginner Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.7 stars Average User Rating 4.7See what learners said Coursework

Each course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects.

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University of London The University of London is a federal University which includes 17 world leading Colleges. Our International Programmes were founded in 1858 and have enriched the lives of thousands of students, delivering high quality University of London degrees wherever our students are across the globe. Our alumni include 7 Nobel Prize winners. Today, we are a global leader in distance and flexible study, offering degree programmes to over 50,000 students in over 180 countries. To find out more about studying for one of our degrees where you are, search for 'London International'. SOAS University of London

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Introduction
An overview of the MOOC


1 video, 3 readings expand


  1. Video: Welcome to the MOOC
  2. Reading: Read me first
  3. Reading: Course Outline
  4. Reading: General Readings


WEEK 2


The UN Today: what is it?



This week will introduce the idea of the United Nations as a system of more-or-less connected agencies that exist to address a wide range of world problems, and provide an overview of how different parts fit together to constitute the modern United Nations system.


2 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: UN Today - Introduction
  2. Video: What is the UN Today?
  3. Reading: The UN Today: what is it?
  4. Discussion Prompt: What is the UN today?

Graded: The UN today, what is it?

WEEK 3


Where did the United Nations come from, and why?



This week will provide an overview of the historical circumstances of the beginning of the UN – what early UN agencies were, what were the influential powers and groups at the early negotiations, and what values the UN was founded on, with comparisons to modern-day approaches.


2 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: Where did the UnitedNations come from, and why ? - Introduction
  2. Video: Where did the UN come from and why?
  3. Reading: Where did the United Nations come from, and why?
  4. Discussion Prompt: Where did the UN come from and why?

Graded: Where did the UN Come from and Why?

WEEK 4


Power in international politics: how does the UN Security Council work?



This week will use the UN Security Council as a primer to the issue of relative power in international institutions. After examining the structure and operations of the Council, it will encourage students to examine the fundamental issues that determine its existence, including the status of the five permanent members, its ability to carry out its function, and the prospects for reform.


2 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: How does the UN Security Council work - Introduction
  2. Video: How does the UN Security Council work?
  3. Reading: How does the UN Security Council work? - Reading

Graded: How the UN Security Council works?

WEEK 5


What is the place of human rights in international politics?



This week will address the question of human rights at the UN, introducing the basic documents and declarations that underpin much UN activity. It will introduce the wide range of UN declarations on this topic, how they came about, and then examine potential criticisms of modern UN conceptions of human rights


2 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: Human rights in international politics? - Introduction
  2. Video: Human rights in international politics?
  3. Reading: Human rights in international politics? - Reading

Graded: What is the place of human rights in international politics?

WEEK 6


Emergency help: how does the UN respond to crises?
This week will introduce the family of UN agencies involved in humanitarian work, and begin to unpack their relationships with each other and role in responding to conflict.


2 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: How does the UN respond to crises? - Introduction
  2. Video: How does the UN respond to crises?
  3. Reading: How does the UN respond to crises? - Reading

Graded: Emergency help: how does the UN respond to crises?

WEEK 7


Where next for the UN? [OPTIONAL]



In this week, students will have a chance to review and draw together what they have learned over the previous weeks, and develop analysis skills when assessing how different priorities. This exercise will also introduce the issue of practicality and organisational politics to it, giving students an opportunity to consider how the issues they have examined might be affected by the process of implementation.


2 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: Where next for the UN? - Introduction
  2. Video: Where next for the UN?
  3. Reading: Where next for the UN? - Reading
  4. Peer Review: Where next for the UN?
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