SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Globalisation and global governance

Module Code:
Year of study:
Year 3
Taught in:
Term 2
This course offers an advanced introduction to the cross-disciplinary, intellectual field of globalisation and global governance. The course is primarily centred on debates that have emerged in relations to the contemporary international political economy. The examination of the politics of economic globalisation is important for how it sheds light on the complexity of modern capitalism, including its structures, processes, and outcomes. The course is organised around a set of prominent debates in three areas: (1) conceptual frameworks, derived from both international relations and the broader tradition of political economy; (2) the post-war history of governing the world economy, including attention to finance, trade, and development; and (3) contemporary crises afflicting the capitalist order, including an examination of the global financial crisis, social inequalities and forms of resistance, and the political economy of the environment. Students are asked to think critically about how the politics of the global economy is conceived and governed, in particular through evaluating issues of power and equity. There are two main questions addressed throughout the module: (1) why and how does the international political economy take its current form?; and (2) how does the international political economy impact on particular actors, including governments; firms and other producers; civil society groups and other people?


153400085 Introduction to International Relations

AND 153400083 Politics of the World Economy

AND/OR 153400077 War and the International OR 153400014 International Politics

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this course, students should be able to demonstrate skills in the following areas:

Course-specific skills

1. Demonstrate detailed knowledge of debates within field of globalisation and global governance, including relevant conceptual frameworks, the international institutional history of the world economy, and major contemporary problems in key issue areas;
2. Demonstrate the ability to articulate one’s own ethical and political positions on questions of the international political economy;

Discipline-specific skills

3. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge on globalisation and global governance, and a critical awareness of current problems;
4. Demonstrate a conceptual understanding that enables you to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline;
5. Evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses;

Personal and key skills

5. Communicate effectively in speech and writing.
6. Work independently and with peers to achieve common goals.
Method of assessment
- One three hour unseen written examination: 60% of total mark.
- One 3000 word essay: 40% of total mark

Method of assessment

Assessment is 40% coursework and 60% unseen examination - all coursework is resubmissible

Suggested reading

Initial readings

Blyth, M. (ed), Routledge Handbook of International Political Economy (IPE): IPE as a Global Conversation (Abingdon: Routledge, 2009).

Gilpin, R., Global Political Economy: Understanding the International Economic Order (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001).

Frieden, J. and Lake, D., International Political Economy: Perspectives on Global Power and Wealth (London: Routledge, 2000).

Ravenhill, J. (ed), Global Political Economy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

Strange, S., States and Markets (London: Frances Pinter Publishers Ltd, 1994).

Walter and Sen, G., Analyzing the Global Political Economy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules