Global Politics in Question - POLI3340

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


The module will discuss key issues, events, developments and trends that characterise today's global politics. The precise list of issues to be included will vary from year to year depending on the global political landscape and staff availability, but examples of issues that may be covered in a given year include climate change, globalisation, global dimensions of poverty and inequality, the global economy of waste, religion and global politics, global governance, global aspects of war and conflict, colonialism and imperialism, superpower politics and influence, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, international organisations, refugees and migration etc. The issues chosen will be studied from multiple perspectives, starting from a basic, empirical analysis and progressing towards conceptual and theoretical issues suitable to the module level. Lectures will be complemented by small groups seminars and workshops.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 44
Private study: 256
Total study hours: 300


The module contributes to all programmes offered by the School of Politics and International Relations as well as to joint honours programmes with politics.
Available as an elective module.

Method of assessment

Essay, 3000 words, 50%
Exam, 2 hours, 50%

Reassessment method: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

Reading list (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)

Jenny Edkins and Maja Zehfuss (eds), Global Politics: A New Introduction (London: Routledge, 3rd ed. 2019)

John Baylis, Patricia Owns and Steve Smith (eds), The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 8th ed. 2019)

John Rourke, Taking Sides: Clashing Views in World Politics (McGraw-Hill Education, 18th ed. 2018)

Chris Brown, Understanding International Relations (London: Red Globe Press, 5th ed. 2019)

Joseph Grieco, G. John Ikenberry, Michael Mastanduno, Introduction to International Relations: Perspectives, Connections and Enduring Questions (London: Red Globe Press, 2nd ed 2019)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Identify key issues, events, developments and trends that characterise the contemporary international environment

2. Identify and explain key historical processes that informed and shaped key issues, events, developments and trends in contemporary international politics

3. Identify a limited range of political science tools that can be used to study and analyse the issues, events, developments and trends discussed in the module

4. Describe, study and analyse global political issues, events, developments and trends from multiple perspectives

5. Demonstrate a familiarity with introductory literature on the global issues, events, developments and trends discussed in the module

6. Name and explain basic concepts and theories relevant to the global issues, events, developments and trends discussed in the module

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Engage critically with political phenomena, using a limited range of concepts, theories and methods of political science debate

2. Examine and evaluate different interpretations of political issues, events and solutions to problems

3. Describe, evaluate and apply different approaches involved in collecting, analysing and presenting political information

4. Develop reasoned arguments, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement

5. Communicate ideas effectively and fluently in writing

6. Use information and communication technology for bibliographical searches, data acquisition, data analysis and presentation

7. Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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