GV4K8      Half Unit
Global Public Policy

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Mathias Koenig-Archibugi


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

All students are required to obtain permission from the Teacher Responsible by completing the Student Statement box on the online application form linked to course selection on LSE for You. The course is capped at one seminar group and admission is not guaranteed.

Course content

The course examines the process and outcomes of policy-making at the global level. Students can choose an area of specialization from a range of global policy issues, with a focus on those addressed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations. Examples of policy areas covered in the course are environmental governance, with a focus on the protection of forests; global health governance, with a focus on tackling communicable diseases; the promotion of workers' rights in the global economy; the elimination of gender-based discrimination and violence; and the fight against tax avoidance and illicit financial flows. The course considers a range of modes of policy-making, from classic intergovernmental cooperation to novel forms of governance beyond the state such as transgovernmental networks, multistakeholder initiatives, and regulation by non-state actors. The sessions cover the following topics: 1. What are “global”, “public” and “policy”? Does global public policy exist? 2. Who are the targets of global public policy and what are their interests? 3. How to assess the performance of global public policy: output criteria. 4. How to assess the performance of global public policy: input and throughput criteria. 5. Which types and combinations of actors develop global public policies and how does it matter? 6. How are global “problems” framed and interpreted, and how does this affect their solution? 7. Do the delegation of authority and the legalization of global public policy affect its outcomes? 8. What role does deliberation and experimentation play in global policy initiatives? 9. What are the consequences of fragmentation and competition in the overall architecture of global public policy? 10. What are the prospects for building a global polity?


This course is delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures totalling a minimum of 25 hours in the Winter Term. There will be a reading week in week 6 of the WT for private study and assessment preparation.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay and 1 presentation in the WT.

Indicative reading

Koenig-Archibugi, M. (2002) ‘Mapping Global Governance’, in D. Held and A. McGrew (eds) Governing Globalisation. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Koenig-Archibugi, M. (2010) Understanding the Global Dimensions of Policy, Global Policy, Vol. 1(1): 16-28.

Stone D. (2020) Making Global Policy, Cambridge University Press.

Peinhardt, C. and Sandler, T. (2015) Transnational Cooperation: An Issue-Based Approach. Oxford University Press.

Hale, T. and D. Held, eds (2017) Beyond Gridlock. Cambridge: Polity.

Acharya, A., ed. (2016) Why Govern? Rethinking Demand and Progress in Global Governance. Cambridge University Press.

De Búrca, G. (2017). Human rights experimentalism.  American Journal of International Law, 111(2), 277-316.

Carpenter, R. C. "“Women, children and other vulnerable groups”: gender, strategic frames and the protection of civilians as a transnational issue." International Studies Quarterly 49, no. 2 (2005): 295-334.


Essay (100%, 4000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2022/23: 14

Average class size 2022/23: 14

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

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