IR5005 - Global Governance

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about global governance and international organisations in theoretical-conceptual terms as mechanisms to steer and solve problems of international/global scope. You will explore one or more international organisation to understand whether and how these organisations are able to meet the demands required for that purpose, studying in depth both their normative and institutional framework. This will include studying the main actors and bodies of an organisation, the organisation’s aspirations set out in the respective charter as well as key policy development over time.

Historic case studies or policy analysis will be used to supplement your understanding of the successes or failures of the international organisation to meet its own aspirations and/or facilitate international cooperation.

Subject to staff availability, the international organisations analysed may include the United Nations, the European Union, NATO, etc.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn by engaging with a carefully selected reading list and attending lectures which will introduce key concepts and theories, such as the reasons why international institutions exist, how they work and what they do. Seminars will expand on these issues and deepen understanding through group work and discussion

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your academic development will be facilitated through engagement with the academic literature and by talking with peers and academics about your understanding of the literature. The module lead and module tutors will provide ongoing feedback on your learning during contact time in class (i.e. lectures and seminars), and offer office hours to further discuss any questions that you may have. A module Blackboard site will provide access to online reading lists and other learning material, enabling further study beyond lectures and seminars.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Analyse and critically discuss the institutional structures of (select) international organisations and their ability to respond to challenges of international cooperation
2. Critically analyse the complexities of selected policy sectors and/or case studies

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Investigate and analyse problems, applying and connecting concepts and theories to historic and emerging case studies and data to begin to challenge ‘common sense’ explanations of politics and your own understanding of politics

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. The ability to synthesis complex information and to construct an argument based upon evidence
5. Presentation skills, especially presenting my ideas on the literature I have read for the module

How will I be assessed?

Formative feedback will be provided on an ongoing basis in seminars (and lectures).

Summative assessment consists of two 2,000 word essays, each worth 50% of the overall grade, which will assess your critical understanding of institutions and policies of (select) international organisations.





Module abstract

The continuing existence (and growth) of global, transnational and international problems requires mechanisms of governance that are equally global in scope. Global governance, traditionally defined as “governance beyond the [nation-]state” (Rosenau) is the collective sum of processes and institutions that facilitate the process of problem-solving and cooperation.

This module will discuss the role and functioning of international organisations in global governance to illustrate how states, and increasingly non-governmental organisations, solve problems in situations of interdependence.

Course info

UCAS Code L2L2

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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