Power in Global Politics

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

Modular value: 20 credits

Module Convenors: Dr Marco Vieira

Aim of the Module

Power permeates all forms of political relations. It is no surprise then that the concept of power is central to the study of 'politics'. In particular, scholars of global/ international politics are interested in 'power' relations between states, organizations and individuals at the broadest level of their interactions. Power, however, is an essentially contested concept. Thus, the central goal of this module is to illuminate and critically discuss theoretical views on 'power' in relation to their application to global politics.

The module is organised in form of seminars where the students will engage directly with the arguments drawn from the assigned readings. Each session will begin with a short presentation by one student on the assigned reading, followed by questions from a nominated discussant and general class debate.

The module can be taken with the 'Rising Powers and Global Order' module in the second semester, or as a stand-alone module.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Understand and critically reflect upon the qualitative break that 'globalisation' marks with the past
  • Analyse different ways of defining and conceptualising 'globalisation'
  • Assess critically the parameters of economic and political factors within globalisation
  • Situate theoretically and empirically the different facets of globalisation within their local, national, regional and global governance contexts


  • A 2000 word paper drawing from the contents of your assigned presentation (40%).
  • A 4000 word essay on a topic of your choice (a list of suggested topics will also be provided on Canvas). The topic must be previously discussed with and approved by the module convener and include a case study (60%).
  • Participation in class discussions will be part of the formative assessment of this module. It is expected that all students actively take part in class debates drawing from the required readings for each week.

Related modules:

Related courses:

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.