3 ECTS credits
90 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 6001617FNR for all students in the 1st semester at a (F) Master - specialised level.

1st semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method
Grading (scale from 0 to 20)
Can retake in second session
Enrollment Requirements
De student is ingeschreven in een traject waar het opleidingsonderdeel voorkomt.
Taught in
Faculty of Law and Criminology
International and European Law
Educational team
Claudia Liliana Lizarazo Rodriguez (course titular)
Activities and contact hours
22 contact hours Lecture
34 contact hours Seminar, Exercises or Practicals
30 contact hours Independent or External Form of Study
Course Content

This course advances students’ understanding of the extent to which existing global governance structures (international organisations and related regulatory frameworks) are contributing to the realisation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. It is framed in accordance with the five dimensions of this consensually agreed UN Agenda, or the 5 P’s: prosperity, partnership, people, peace and planet. The dimensions of prosperity and partnership examine how international trade (WTO), investment (World Bank, OECD, regional development banks) and development assistance, including structural adjustment programmes (World Bank, IMF, DAC), contribute to reducing poverty and closing the development gap. It also deals with the new international frameworks that should improve corporate social responsibility and the sustainability of business transactions (OECD guidelines and Business and Human Rights). The people dimension examines how labour (ILO and decent work) and health (WHO and pandemic control) help reduce exclusion and how global governance helps provide relief and refugee protection in humanitarian emergency situations (OCHA, UNHCR, IOM). The planetary dimension examines the global responses to climate change (UNFCCC) and loss of biodiversity (CBD) and how environmental conflicts are being addressed on a transnational global scale. The peace dimension examines the global attempts to prevent war between states (Security Council, Chapter VII, PKO) and war within states (good governance). In each dimension, strengths and weaknesses of existing global governance will be assessed and possible improvements will be discussed. Although the course focuses on the global governance of sustainable development, the role of the EU in each of these dimensions at the global level is also addressed.

Course material
Digital course material (Required) : Globalization International Law and Sustainable Development, Study materials edited by Prof. S. Van Thiel
Handbook (Recommended) : Globalization International Law and Sustainable Development, Books and articles, available in the VUB Library, BIB
Additional info

This course will only be given in English.

All study materials are distributed to the students through Canvas.

Complementary study material: They will be indicated in the outlines of the course, via Canvas 

Learning Outcomes

Algemene competenties

- Conceptualise the economic, social, environmental and political challenges of globalisation and the international framework for Sustainable Development.

- Critically assess whether existing global governance structures (international and regional organisations) and their regulatory frameworks and actions effectively respond to those challenges in line with their statutory documents and the 2030 Agenda.

Draft a joint research paper with a multicultural team, Orally present main research findings 

- Formulate recommendations to improve the working of those global governance structures to respond better to the globalisation challenges.

- Draw solid conclusions on the main frameworks that are needed to realise the objectives of sustainable development and their targets.


The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
LEC Presentation determines 10% of the final mark.
LEC Paper determines 90% of the final mark.

Within the LEC Presentation category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Main findings presentation with a relative weight of 10 which comprises 10% of the final mark.

Within the LEC Paper category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Joint Research Paper with a relative weight of 90 which comprises 90% of the final mark.

Additional info regarding evaluation

Students are requested to form teams (of maximum 4) around a topic of their choice and to produce a Joint Research Paper (in English) that clearly identifies and describes a particular globalisation challenge, analyses and evaluates the relevant action undertaken by the competent global governance structures to address the challenge, and formulates recommendations for further action.

During the last session of December, students must orally present their part of the paper, particularly the main findings, in order to receive feedback from the professors and then,  finish the paper and submit it via Canvas by the end of December.

Allowed unsatisfactory mark
The supplementary Teaching and Examination Regulations of your faculty stipulate whether an allowed unsatisfactory mark for this programme unit is permitted.

Academic context

This offer is part of the following study plans:
Master of International and European Law: Standaard traject (only offered in Dutch)
Master of International and European Law: Standaard traject