This course will first introduce students to the historical, theoretical and practical foundations of the United Nations and its predecessor. Students will be able to define the United Nations structure and functioning, and explain the UN’s main organs and their development. After establishing foundational and structural understanding of the United Nations, this course will then discuss UN’s influence as an intergovernmental organization for public policy and international norm setting in the areas of security, peacekeeping, human rights and development. The international legal underpinnings that guide the UN will be highlighted throughout the course. This course will also discuss the UN as a bureaucracy and examine current and potential structural and operational challenges that lie ahead.