Geneva: Global Governance, Economic Development, and Human Rights (Summer)

Global governance is a complex and dynamic process through which public, private, and civil society actors having different, and sometimes conflicting, interests and perspectives seek to address common issues and problems. This intensive course critically examines contemporary global governance structures and efforts with a particular focus on achieving economic development that is environmentally sound and socially inclusive. Students gain an in-depth understanding of the many different roles that states, inter-governmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations play in global governance in the early parts of the 21st Century.

The course is designed for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students who specialize in international relations, political science, public health, development and environmental studies, and other related fields. It draws on the unparalleled resources of Geneva as a hub of global politics and policy-making. The course combines rigorous coursework and extensive in-class discussions on key governance challenges with field trips to the offices of international organizations working on development, environment, and human security issues as well as topical presentations by professionals located in Geneva and working in international affairs.

The presence of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the International Red Cross, and more than 250 other major organizations contribute to the uniqueness of Geneva. Located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, the population is one-third non-Swiss, making it one of Europe’s most international metropolitan centers. All coursework and field trips will be carried out in English, the common language of Geneva’s multilingual and cosmopolitan community.

Program Curriculum

All students enroll in one required course. The course carries four Boston University credits.

Required Course

All students are required to enroll in this course:

CAS IR 421/GRS IR 621: Global Governance, Economic Development, and Human Rights (4 credits)

(Formerly CAS IP 502.) Examines the roles of international “governing” institutions (the UN, NGOs, etc.) in the development of lower-income countries and the integration of human rights policies into such activities. Includes guest speakers from global organizations such as the WHO and the UN.

For more information, please refer to the course syllabus*.

*Please note that this syllabus is only a draft and may be subject to change.

Program Details

Program Dates
  • Summer Term: Late May to mid June
  • Upon successful completion of the program, students earn four Boston University credits.
  • Geneva Housing: Students are housed in a newly renovated student residence hall centrally located in town.  It is located on a street adjacent to Lake Geneva and only a few blocks from the main classroom/administrative building of the program. The residence is a former hotel which has been renovated to accommodate students in a dormitory-style set-up. Participants of the program are placed in doubles or triples and share bathrooms. Rooms are completely furnished. Wireless Internet access is available throughout the building. A light breakfast is provided each weekday morning. There are also communal kitchens on each floor. Sheets and basic cooking utensils will be provided. Access to public transportation, which extends to all parts of the city, is close to the facility.
Application Deadline
  • Summer Term: March 1 

Download a description of the Geneva: Global Governance, Economic Development, and Human Rights Program.

Program Staff

The Geneva: Global Governance, Economic Development, and Human Rights program is administered by staff in  our Boston and Geneva offices. In Boston, a program manager facilitates the admissions and pre-departure procedures, and maintains contact with students prior to their arrival in Geneva. The Boston Office also houses administrative personnel who are responsible for everyday operations. In Geneva, the staff comprises of a director and administrative, academic, and housing personnel.