MA Peace and Conflict Studies

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Global Governance

Course unit fact file
Unit code POLI70422
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course provides a critical introduction to the field of global governance. It explores the changing rules and practices involved in attempting to govern world politics. The course does so through exploring four questions about global governance explicitly – what, how, who, and why. It also uses key sites of important innovation in global governance as the empirical examples to explore these questions about the subject: health,  environment, the global economy (finance, development), and security.


This course aims to:

- Provide an advanced introduction to the field of Global Governance.
- Critically examine key conceptual approaches.
- Critically engage with key aspects of the literature.
- Identify new areas of scholarly engagement.
- Enhance students' critical, evaluative, analytical and communicative skills.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will:

- Have developed a comprehensive and considered understanding of the field.
- Have developed a critical understanding of the scholarly literature.
- Be able to work with and be critical of key conceptual approaches.
- Be able to identify salient issues and new areas for research within the discipline.
- Have enhanced critical, evaluative, analytical, communicative and problem-solving skills through participation in class discussions, research and problem-solving activities, a presentation and an essay.

Teaching and learning methods

The course consists of ten two hour seminars.  Prior to each seminar (apart from the introductory session) students are expected to read at least three pieces from the key readings list for the week, and to do some research into an issue of contemporary global governance to be specified by the tutor. Seminars include an exploration of the general empirical context for each week’s theme, a critical engagement with the theoretical literature, and an investigation of a specific issue in contemporary global governance in relation to the themes and theories discussed. Most seminars also include a collaborative presentation by a group of students drawing on a seminar theme and a class discussion of the issues raised.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 10%
Written assignment (inc essay) 75%
Oral assessment/presentation 15%

3,000 word assessed paper, (75%); a seminar presentation (15%); and participation (10%).


Recommended reading

Suggested preliminary reading:

  • Thomas G. Weiss and Rorden Wilkinson (eds) International Organization and Global Governance (London: Routledge, 2014).
  • Paul F. Diehl and Brian Frederking (eds), The Politics of Global Governance: International Organizations in an Interdependent World, (London: Lynne Rienner, 2010), 4th edition.
  • Sophie Harman and David Williams (eds) Governing the World? Cases in Global Governance (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013).
  • Margaret P. Karns and Karen A. Mingst (eds) International Organizations: The Politics and Processes of Global Governance (London: Lynne Rienner 2009), 2nd Edition.
  • Rorden Wilkinson and Steve Hughes (eds), Global Governance: Critical Perspectives, (London: Routledge, 2002).

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 130

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Silke Trommer Unit coordinator
Perla Polanco Leal Unit coordinator

Additional notes



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