2021 - Spring - Domestic Politics and International Cooperation

Undergraduate course, University of Mannheim, Department of Political Science II - European Politics, 2021

The goal of this course is to further familiarize students with questions surrounding international cooperation. The focus lies on approaching international cooperation from a “two-level” perspective, in which governments are situated between national and international actors. Initially, we will develop an understanding of Putnam’s two-level game and look at the bargains that take place on an international and on a national level. Subsequently, we will try to answer questions revolving around the reasons for delegating to international organizations or why there is variation in the design of international organizations.

Course Structure and Objectives

The 14 sessions of this course are structured in three blocks. First, we will discuss the “two level game” as a theoretical foundation of scholarship on international cooperation. Then we will cover, in-depth, the domestic level. Finally, we will look at some of the results of international bargains, try to answer questions of institutional design and try to figure out whether the cause of cooperation failure is to be located on the national or the international level.

  • Deepen your knowledge of varying forms of international cooperation with examples
  • Introduce you to the analytical framework of the two-level game by Putnam (1988)
    • Enable you to critically assess cooperative regimes
  • Critically read scholarly literature
  • Further develop your own ideas about foreign policy
  • Help you with a research project from paper idea to final product

Download syllabus here


Putnam, R. D. (1988). Diplomacy and domestic politics: The logic of two-level games. International Organization, 427–460.