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Unit information: Governance, Institutions and the Global Political Economy in 2015/16

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Unit name Governance, Institutions and the Global Political Economy
Unit code SPOLM1073
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Kennett
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit explores some of the key debates in relation to globalisation, governance and the global political economy. It will consider the implications of the changing global political economy for the integrity and autonomy of the nation state and the policy process. As international activity increases does the nation state lose influence or authority? To what extent is power dissipating both upwards (via supranational organisations) and downwards (via decentralisation) and thus ‘hollowing out’ the nation state? This unit will explore these debates paying particular attention to the variable geometry of power among nation states; the tension between ‘geographical space’ and the space of financial flows and global networks; the relationship between supranational and national institutions in the setting of policy agenda: the role and status of international non-governmental organisations and new social movements within international and global policy making; and discourses, theories and policy frameworks for less-developed countries.

The unit will consider the range of approaches to understanding the new institutional structure and patterns of decision-making emerging in this global age. It will focus on the concept of `governance’, consider the various interpretations of and theoretical approaches to the term, and its usefulness for understanding the policy process.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit a student should:

  • Understand the key processes in global political economic transformation
  • Understand the implications of globalisation for the policy process at national and international levels.
  • Have knowledge of the range of actors and different spatial scales involved in the policy process.
  • Be familiar with the theoretical and conceptual debates concerning governance and public policy
  • Be able to identify policy modes and patterns of decision making in public policy.

Teaching Information

This unit will be delivered in 10 sessions of two hours. The sessions will be a combination of lectures and seminars.

Assessment Information

4,000 word essay in which students should demonstrate

  • An understanding of key concepts and theories.
  • Knowledge of the dynamics and processes of political and economic transformation.
  • Familiarity with the range of actors at various spatial scales involved in the policy process.

Reading and References

Kennett, P. (2008) Governance, globalization and Public Policy Edward Elgar Publishing

Held, D. and McGrew, A (2003) The Global Transformations Reader Cambridge: Polity Press

Weiss, T. (2013) Global Governance, Polity Press

Kjaer, A. M. (2004) Governance Cambridge: Polity Held, D. and McGrew, A. (2002) Governing Globalization, Oxford: Polity Press

Cerny, P. (2010) Financial Globalisation, Crisis and the Reorganisation of Global Capital, Rethinking World Politics, 2010 February pp. 245-270.