Global Governance

School: School of Government and Society
Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies

Second year module

Lecturer: Dr Sevasti-Eleni Vezirgiannidou

Global Governance is a very salient issue on the international agenda: it refers to the rule making efforts to sustain cooperation in order to address global problems or concerns. Increasingly the world has to deal with security threats, financial breakdown, development concerns and deteriorating environmental conditions. States try to coordinate their efforts to respond to these challenges through the establishment of international institutions like the UN, the WTO and the treaties governing environmental change. However, states have enjoyed a varying degree of success in setting up institutions to govern common problems, and therefore non-state actors have increasingly been involved in providing intellectual and financial resources to deal with international problems.

This course reviews both state and non-state structures and efforts to resolve common problems of mankind in the areas of security, economy, human rights, development and environment. The first few weeks will be focused on conceptual and historical issues. How do we understand governance? How do international institutions and other actors contribute to the provision of governance? How can we judge their success in doing so? We then move on to examine specific areas of governance and focus on the drivers of progress and the constraints encountered by relevant stakeholders in the areas of security, economy, human rights, development and ecology.

Common themes throughout feature: conflict between North and South; the ability of institutions to contribute to successful cooperation between states; the role of non-state actors in contributing to governance solutions and their relationship to states. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to: 

  • To analyse critically debates and issues relevant to the study of global governance and international institutions. 
  • To engage in constructive discussion about contemporary and historical issues in global governance, and contextualise these discussions with reference to the practices of international relations. 
  • To evaluate the efficacy of governance structures and formulate considered proposals for reform. 
  • To critically evaluate the role of states, international institutions and civil society in achieving or constraining effective governance. 
  • To articulate, concisely and persuasively, both verbally and in writing, issues and policy initiatives in global governance. 
  • To facilitate the development of transferable academic skills including the ability to conduct independent research, the ability to communicate ideas effectively, both verbally and in writing, and the ability to present planned research to an audience of peers.


  • Term One: 1 x 2,000 word assessed work  (50%)
  • Term Three: 2 hour examination (50%)

The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2018. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.