SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Globalisation and global governance

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 3
Taught in:
Term 1

The concepts of “globalisation” and “global governance” are increasingly used as a means of characterising a series of structural changes in international politics. Yet, there is still an ongoing debate regarding the meaning of globalisation, the extent to which it is new or not, and the ways in which it impacts on the state, governance, and world order. The aim of this module is to stimulate advanced thinking and discussion on globalisation and global governance, and to encourage you to think critically about the types of international governance arrangements that are emerging and how they impact on policy-making across a range of issue areas. 

The module addresses the question of governance in a globalising world through an examination of the roles played by international organizations (IOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), global civil society, scientists and experts, religious actors, diaspora groups and other non-state actors. We will examine forms of global governance across a range of issue areas – including security, human rights, migration, and humanitarianism. You will be asked to critically examine what constitutes “good governance” across different issue areas and how it can best be achieved. 

By the end of the module, you should have a solid understanding of current debates regarding global governance and be able to identify various mechanisms of governance that operate beyond the state. More specifically, you should have the analytical tools to examine the functioning of international organisations and non-governmental organisations, as well as some of the ways in which states, international institutions, global policy networks, and various non-state actors interact. You should develop an understanding of both the practical and ethical issues relevant to the governance of globalisation processes.


Introduction to International Relations plus ONE of Politics of the World Economy OR War and the International

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
  1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge on globalisation and global governance, and a critical awareness of current problems;
  2. Demonstrate a conceptual understanding that enables you to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline;
  3. Evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses;
Personal and key skills
  1. Communicate effectively in speech and writing.
  2. Work independently and with peers to achieve common goals.


  • 1 hour lecture per week
  • 1 hour tutorial per week

Method of assessment

Assessment is 100% coursework, based on a 2000 word essay, and a poster/briefing (50% each)  - 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