GV4K4      Half Unit
The Politics of Globalization

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Mathias Koenig-Archibugi


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Global Politics. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Students on the MSc Global Politics are guaranteed access; compatibly with this provision, the course is capped at two groups.

Course content

This is the core course of the MSc Global Politics. It examines the nature, the causes and the political consequences of globalization in a variety of domains, including security, culture, the economy, and the environment.  The course aims at enabling students to assess the extent of continuity and transformation in key areas of global politics.

The course will analyse how globalization shapes and in turn is shaped by, politics within countries, between countries and beyond countries. It will introduce the main approaches to the study of globalization and examine how it affects patterns of conflict, cooperation and competition between a range of politically relevant actors, including governments, political parties and citizens: great powers: intergovernmental and nongovernmental organisations: global companies and other non-state groups. These patterns of patterns of conflict, cooperation and competition will be illustrated with examples drawn from a variety of policy domains, such as security, economy, environment, health and migration. The course will also assess the challenges to and opportunities for democracy in a global age.


This course is delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures totalling a minimum of 25 hours in the Michaelmas Term. Some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of online and on-campus lectures and seminars. There will be a reading week in week 6 of the MT for private study and assessment preparation.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to produce one written essay plus one short presentation in the MT on topics assigned to them.

Indicative reading

  • Held, David, Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt  and Jonathan Perraton (1999), Global Transformations, Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Scholte, Jan Aart (2005). Globalization: A critical introduction. Second edition. Houndmills Basingstoke: Palgrave.
  • Acharya, Amitav (2017): After Liberal Hegemony: The Advent of a Multiplex World Order. In: Ethics & International Affairs 32: 3. 271-285.
  • True, Jacqui. "Explaining the global diffusion of the Women, Peace and Security agenda." International Political Science Review 37, no. 3 (2016): 307-323.
  • Amitav Acharya (2016) ‘Idea-shift’: how ideas from the rest are reshaping global order, Third World Quarterly, 37:7, 1156-1170.
  • Valentini, Laura (2014). No global demos, no global democracy? A systematization and critique. Perspectives on politics, 12(04), pp.789-807.
  • Zürn, Michael, 2016. Survey Article: Four Models of a Global Order with Cosmopolitan Intent: An Empirical Assessment. Journal of Political Philosophy, 24(1), pp.88-119.
  • Hooghe, Liesbet, and Gary Marks. "Cleavage theory meets Europe’s crises: Lipset, Rokkan, and the transnational cleavage." Journal of European Public Policy (2017): 1-27.
  • Xiao, Ren (2013). Debating China’s Rise in China. In: Friedman, R., Oskanian, K., & Pardo, R. P. (Eds.). After Liberalism?: The Future of Liberalism in International Relations. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Koenig-Archibugi, M.  (2018) International Organizations and Democracy: An Assessment. In: L. Cabrera (ed.), Institutional Cosmopolitanism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Fuchs, Doris (2013). Theorizing the Power of Global Companies. In:  J. Mikler (ed.) Handbook of global companies, Wiley, 77-95.
  • Fairfield, Tasha. "Structural power in comparative political economy: perspectives from policy formulation in Latin America." Business and Politics 17, no. 3 (2015): 411-441.
  • Wilson, Kalpana. "Worlds beyond the political? Post-development approaches in practices of transnational solidarity activism." Third World Quarterly (2017): 1-19.

A reading list with further readings will be provided at the beginning of the teaching term.


Essay (100%, 4000 words).

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2020/21: 36

Average class size 2020/21: 12

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills