The Political Economy of Global Governance

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
Course Description: 

Elective course; Governance specialization

In this course, we seek to gain an in-depth understanding of the evolution, the contemporary dynamics and the future prospects for governing the global political economy. We will proceed in four steps. First, we discuss the historical evolution and conceptual foundations of global governance including the growing asymmetry between on the one hand a globally integrated economy and on the other nation states that remain trapped by their own territorial sovereignty. This includes an examination of the role of “global value chains” and “global wealth chains”. Second, we examine a range of policy responses at the disposition of policy makers to address this asymmetry. Third, we analyze the rise of a parallel even competing institutional order led by China and explore how these geopolitical shifts impact global governance. Fourth most recently, rising populism manifested in events such as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump are challenging the very foundation of the global institutional order that is supposed to address an increasing functional need for global governance and the growing demand for global public goods. We scrutinize populism’s rationales and its proposed policies responses to globalization.

Learning Outcomes: 
By the end of the course students should:
  • be able to understand the evolving geopolitical and geo-economic environment and how it affects the debate on global governance.
  • be literate in key themes, concepts and debates concerning global governance, including concepts of interdependence and globalization and how each differ in their impact on state sovereignty and public policy making and the provision of (global) public goods.
  • have been exposed to the concepts of global value and global wealth chains.
  • critically situate the emergence of risings powers led by China as well as recent backlashes against globalization revealed by Brexit and the election Donald Trump.
  • be able to account for and critically appraise a variety of policy tools currently employed by governments responding to the policy challenges posed by globalization.

Participation: 10%
Reflection sheets/quizzes: 15%
Presentation (individual/teams): 20%
The precise nature of the group work will be decided and announced once the total number of course participants is known.
Policy paper: 55%
Students will write a policy paper (3,000 words) on a selected global governance issue surveying and analyzing current policy responses and possible policy options. The policy paper constitutes the main individual ‘practical exercise’ of the course.