The Evolution of The State: Discuss Today’s Challenges to Statehood

Localizing Global Changes

Andreas von Staden
Andreas von Staden is Assistant Professor of Political Science


Andreas von Staden is Assistant Professor of Political Science, especially Global Governance, in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg. His principal research interests revolve around the ways in which law and politics interact in regional and global governance. Past and current research addresses such issues as compliance with the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, the role of the principle of subsidiarity in multi-level governance systems and empirical approaches to legitimacy.

Module Summary:

This Module introduces you to one of the most prevalent actors in international relations: the nation-state. It will familiarize you with the history of the nation-state, today's challenges to statehood and the rise of non-state actors such as social movements, transnational networks, multinational corporations and others. In addition, you will gain basic and advanced knowledge about the principles of International Law and its intersections with International Relations as well as deal with examples from the real world such as the questions about ‘United Nations Convention against Torture’.

Educational Goals:

  • You will be familiarized with the concept of the nation-state and the new challenges to statehood.
  • You will get the opportunity to analyze and critically assess problems and constellations in International Relations and International Law such as the concepts of sovereignty and intervention, human rights law and international criminal law etc.
  • You will be provided with practical skills concerning active participating in controversial discussions, presenting and supporting your own arguments and elaborating a well-structured research paper.


  • Writing two papers concerning the questions about ‘United Nations Convention against Torture’ and its practical use.
  • Preparing a presentation for interactive Discussion Board session as well as commenting on the posts of at least two other participants and responding to at least two comments made on your own post.
  • Preparing the final research paper on an international-law-related topic of your choice. The final paper determines your final grade and can only be submitted if the previous tasks were passed.

Key Facts:

  • 8 ECTS
  • 12 weeks
  • 1.195 Euro
  • Optional On-site Workshop in October each year

Register Now