Checking date: 09/05/2024

Course: 2024/2025

International Society
Bachelor in Humanities (Plan: 407 - Estudio: 213)

Coordinating teacher: VACAS FERNANDEZ, FELIX

Department assigned to the subject: International Law, Ecclesiastical Law and Philosophy of Law Department

Type: Electives
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Requirements (Subjects that are assumed to be known)
The course has the objective of analyzing the current International Society of Globalization as general context and in a permanent change. International Relations have the feature of interdependence among the subjects and actors involved in such a process. The study of International Society takes into account its concept, structure and main features; the subjects and actors; the regimes of cooperation developed, not only from the institutional point of view - International Organizations - , but from the practical point of view -human rights, protection of environment, international security and the fight against terrorism and organized crime, the international economic relations and the cooperation to development in the framework of an unequal world-. Those are key topics for the future development of the students. The final goal is to give the students the necessary knowledge in order to make possible their future integration in International Organizations, NGOs, International Business and a lot of professional functions for which the knowledge of this course will be of unquestionable value.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY LESSON 1. Origin and Evolution of the International Society: 1. History of the International Society. 2. From the Classic to the Contemporary International Society. 3. The process to a universal International Society. 4. Challenges to the contemporary International Society. LESSON 2. Structure and features of the International Society: 1. The triple structure of the International Society. 2. A global society: inter-connection and inter-dependency. 3. A close and complex society. LESSON 3. Diversity in the Contemporary International Society: 1. Economic diversity: the North-South conflict and its evolution in the Globalized World. 2. Power diversity: unilateralism versus multilateralism. Bipolarity, unipolarity, multipolarity. Soft power and hard power. 3. Cultural and identity diversity: the cultural factor and the power of identity in the Globalization. LESSON 4. Subjects and actors of International Relations: 1. State, International Organizations, peoples and individuals as subjects of International Law. 2. Actors: NGOs, transnational companies, and international media. 3. The decline of the nation-State in the Globalized International Society. LESSON 5. International Law as the Legal regime of the International Society: 1. General features stemming from the principle of sovereignty of States: normative willingness, decentralization and fragmentation. 2. International sources of law: customs and treaties. Unilateral acts. International Organization resolutions. 3. Basic principles of International Law. Ius cogens norms and erga omnes obligations. 4. International Law applicability: international control, international responsibility, enforced application systems. LESSON 6. International Relations theories: 1. Power and Law in International Relations. 2. Traditional International Relations schools: realism, trans-nationalism and structuralism. 3. Pluralism and complexity in the evolution of the International Relations theories during the XXI Century: neo-realism, neo-liberalism and alternative doctrines. SECOND PART. GREAT CHALLEGES OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY LESSON 7. International protection of human dignity (I): International Law of Human Rights (ILHR) and International Humanitarian Law (IHL): 1. Universal system of human rights protection: conventional and extra-conventional mechanisms. 2. Regional systems of human rights protection in Europe: Council of Europe, European Union and OSCE. 3. Regional systems of human rights protection in America: OAS. 4. International Humanitarian Law: concept and relation with ILHR. Origin and evolution. General principles of IHL, Customary and Conventional IHL. LESSON 8. International protection of human dignity (II): the rights of migrants: 1. Population movements in the International Society: a structural phenomenon of human beings and of the Globalized World. 2. International Migratory Law. 3. European Migratory Law. 4. International protection of people: asylum seekers and refugees. LESSON 9. The Maintenance of International Peace and Security (I): Conceptual approach and peaceful settlement of disputes: 1. The concepts of Peace and Security: Evolution from the Cold War era to the Globalized World. 2. The concepts of tensions, crisis, conflict and dispute. 3. The principle of peaceful settlement of disputes: art. 2.3 of UN Charter. 4. Mechanisms of peaceful settlement of disputes: political or diplomatic mechanisms and jurisdictional mechanisms. LESSON 10. The Maintenance of International Peace and Security (II): the collective security system: 1. The prohibition of the use of armed force in International Law: art. 2.4 UN Charter. 2. Self-defense: art. 51 UN Charter. 3. Chapter VII of the UN Charter: Security Council authorization to use armed force. 4. Regional international organizations and the maintenance of international peace and security: the decentralized system established in Chapter VIII of the UN Charter and its limits. LESSON 11. The Maintenance of International Peace and Security (III): conflict management: 1. Peacekeeping and peace-enforcement: UN peacekeeping operations, legal regime and evolution. Differences from peace-enforcement. 2. Conflict prevention and peace-building: concepts, mechanisms and difficulties. 3. Peace, reconciliation and justice: transitional justice and rights of victims. International Criminal Courts role. LESSON 12. International Society and the fight against global criminality: transnational organized crime and terrorism: 1. Concept and types of transnational crime. 2. The UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. 3. The Absence of terrorism definition in International Law and its consequences. 4. International action against terrorism. Terrorism and human rights. LESSON 13. Environment protection and the fight against climate change in the Contemporary International Society: 1. Human action and its consequences in the environment: climate change and its consequences. 2. Environment International Law: origins and evolution. From the UN Framework Convention to the Paris Agreement (COP21). 3. European Union policy to protect the environment: The 2020 Strategy. LESSON 14. International Society, sustainable development and international economy: 1. International Law for Development: Concept and evolution. 2. From the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs. 2015 Agenda) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs. 2030 Agenda): Analysis of the 17 SDGs. 3. Economic International Law: General approach. 4. Main International economic Institutions: International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organization.
Learning activities and methodology
The techniques used will be the best adapted, taking into account the Schedule. In the theoretical class we use the traditional methodology consisting of an oral exposure of knowledge. Classes in relation to the other techniques will follow their own methodologies. There will be tutorial hours every week. Teachers will follow the Schedule. They can adapt to changes in the course. In short, students must submit case Studies, class Works and other types of elements as self control, written essays, participation in collective activities and assistance to Schedule activities. There will be analysis of key cases present in the current International Society. There will be individual tutorial hours to be published in Aula Global by the Professor.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 30
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 70
Calendar of Continuous assessment
Extraordinary call: regulations
Basic Bibliography
  • BARBÉ IZUEL. Relaciones Internacionales. Tecnos. 2007
  • DIEZ DE VELASCO, Manuel. Instituciones de Derecho Internacional Público. Tecnos. 2013 (18 edic.)
  • FERNÁNDEZ LIESA, CARLOS. El Derecho internacional de los Derechos Humanos en perspectiva histórica. Aranzadi. 2013
  • TRUYOL I SERRA, A.. La Sociedad Internacional. Alianza Editorial. 2008
  • VACAS FERNÁNDEZ, FÉLIX. El Derecho Migratorio, Internacional y Europeo, como límite desde los derechos humanos a la discrecionalidad de los Estados en materia migratoria. Tirant lo Blanch. 2017
Additional Bibliography
  • ARMSTRONG,D. "The Evolution of International Society" en BAYLIS,J., Y SMITH,S. . The Globalization of Wold Politics: an Introduction to International Relations. Oxford. 2008, pp. 36-52
  • BARNETT, M. y SIKKINK, K.. From International Relations to Global Society. Oxford. 2008
  • DEL ARENAL,C. . "En torno al concepto de sociedad internacional", Soberanía del Estado y Derecho Internacional Homenaje al profesor Carrillo Salcedo . Sevilla. 2005, Vol.I, p. 453.

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.