Business, International Relations and the Political Economy

  • Online certificate course
  • Department of International Relations
  • Application code OCC-BEP
  • Starting 2018
  • Short course: Open
  • Location: Global


The Mumbai Stock Exchange fell by 605 points (2.24%) after Brexit was announced - impacting local and foreign businesses, and Asian currencies. In a business environment defined by globalisation and interconnectivity, a firm comprehension of how global events affect markets and businesses is vital.

In today’s volatile and unpredictable global order, it has become increasingly important for decision makers in business to have a grounded understanding of the various political, social, economic, technological and environmental drivers of global change.

This course focusses on the core concepts for understanding globalisation and global change, from the disciplines of international relations, political science, political economy and macroeconomics. It addresses real world problems using historical reflection, conceptual discussion and in-depth case studies. You will explore key events that have shaped the evolution of globalisation from the 19th century until today.

You will analyse, in particular, how corporate organisations are impacted by events such as the 2008 financial crisis, changes in global supply chains, global power shifts and the emergence of China as a global economic power, instability in key areas of the developing world, technological and environmental disruption from automation and robotics to cybersecurity and climate change, and the rise of populism in the western world.

CPD Certified

This course is certified by the United Kingdom CPD Certification Service, and may be applicable to individuals who are members of, or are associated with, UK-based professional bodies. The course has an estimated 80 hours of learning. 

Note: should you wish to claim CPD activity, the onus is upon you. The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and GetSmarter accept no responsibility, and cannot be held responsible, for the claiming or validation of hours or points.

Programme details

Key facts

Registrations close: 30 July 2019

Course start (Orientation opens): 7 August 2019

Module 1 starts: 14 August 2019

Duration: 8 weeks (excluding orientation)

Commitment: 7 - 10 hours per week

Fee: £ 2,100

Course outcomes

  • Learn and apply the analytical and problem solving techniques used by leading LSE researchers who specialise in the disciplines of international relations, political science and macroeconomics
  • Acquire a deeper understanding of the political, social, economic, technological and environmental shifts that have taken place from the 19th century until today as a result of globalisation
  • Cultivate an ability to analyse events from different perspectives, in order to make strategic business decisions
  • Understand and participate in some of the most pressing academic debates centred around the challenges of globalisation

Programme structure

  • Orientation Module
  • Module 1: The evolution of globalisation
  • Module 2: Business, production, and investment in the global economy
  • Module 3: Governing the global system
  • Module 4: Global power shifts
  • Module 5: Contesting globalisation
  • Module 6: Conflict and instability
  • Module 7: Responding to disruptive forces
  • Module 8: Corporate responses to a changing global environment


  • Convenor: Dr Robert Falkner - Associate Professor of International Relations
  • Co-designer: Professor Chris Alden - Professor of International Relations
  • Co-designer: Professor Mick Cox - Emeritus Professor of International Relations
  • Co-designer: Professor Saul Estrin - Founder of the LSE Management Department


This course is presented entirely online, in collaboration with leaders in online education, GetSmarter.

Modules are released on a weekly basis, and can be completed in your own time and at your own pace.

This interactive, supportive teaching model is designed for busy professionals and results in unprecedented certification rates for online courses.

Reading materials

All reading materials for this course will be made accessible to you through the Online Campus. Notes for each module are often downloadable, and you are able to save any information or collateral you use to your personal profile.

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