Global Politics

Course content

Rules, laws and institutions do not simply drop from the sky. Social orders at different scales are produced and reproduced in political dynamics where efforts to consolidate and strengthen rights and authorities are being challenged by bearers of conflicting interests and unequal powers. Rules, laws and institutions connect local and global sites of politics in asymmetrical power relations, and make up political landscapes of regulation and resistance, of recognition and accountability, and of negotiation and conflict.


Global Politics focuses on the production as well as the reception and political and institutional effect of global political connections and disconnections. The agendas of powerful political players – nation states, business consortia, and organisations often from the global North – are mediated through international organisations, conventions and codified practices. This shapes institutional architecture and ideology. However, the reception and effects are virtually always localised and mediated through already existing institutions and actively pursued local agendas. Globalisation does therefore not produce uniform political and institutional outcomes but rather a tremendous variation of ideology, political movement, institutions and law. Especially in weak and fragile states, this tends to happen in unexpected ways.


The thrust of the course is on how global phenomena and dynamics impact local arenas rather than on International Relations, mainstream political science analysis of regime forms, administration, or policy analysis. For these aspects, students are advised to look for elective courses in the second year.

The course provides students with the conceptual tools to analyse and understand institutional dynamics and their consequences for developing countries and emerging economies. Especially, the students will be able to analyse dilemmas, tensions, and conflicts in legal and organisational infrastructures. The course will focus on what constitutes ‘data’ when analysing politics, law, and institutional change. The ability to combine data on policy, law, rules, practice, discourse, protest and conflict that cuts through levels from global to local is essential. This prepares students for engaging with amorphous forms of data in their careers.


Full-degree students enrolled at the Faculty of Social Science, UCPH 

  • Master Programme in Social Data Science
  • Master Programmes in Psychology
  • Master Programmes in Anthropology 
  • Master programme in Global Development
  • Master Programmes in Economics
  • Master Programe in Political Science
Learning outcome

After completing the course, the student should be able to:



  • Describe and define central concepts in global politics.
  • Know why abstractions and concepts are central to the analysis of empirical questions.
  • Show overview of the interconnections between different levels of political fields (global though to local).
  • Show overview over state and non‐state governance systems.



  • Select relevant concepts for institutional analysis.
  • Identify central actors, institutions, processes and norms involved in the social production of political fields.


  • Collect and process relevant information for analysis of political dilemmas.
  • Understand and critically reflect on the multidimensional character of politics in different fields (such as resource conflicts).
  • Analytically connect resource conflicts to conflicts over governance and state formation.

There is a mixture of lectures and in-class workshops. The students will also write a brief essay to exercise their analytical skills. The essay will not be marked but will be assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Teaching material, chapters, articles and film will be made available through the course website.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination
Type of assessment details
Prior to the oral examination students are given 5-7 questions prepared by the course responsible. At the oral examination, students randomly choose one of the questions prepared, and they are then given 20 minutes to prepare their presentation. The preparation is followed by 20 minutes oral examination
All aids allowed

All aids allowed, when the student prepares for the examination. One page of hand-written notes is allowed in the actual examination.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

The re-examination has the same form as the ordinary examination.

The re-examination has the same form as the ordinary examination.If you fail an examination, you will be allowed two more attempts to pass the relevant course. The first re-examination will typically be scheduled immediately following the semester (February/August). The second re-examination will typically be scheduled in the following exam period.

In order to contact to sign up for the re-exam please contact Sanne Kunov, You must sign up no later than 14 days before the re-exam date.

Criteria for exam assessment

See 'Learning Outcome'

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 36
  • Preparation
  • 108
  • Practical exercises
  • 18
  • Exam
  • 48
  • English
  • 210


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 1
See weekplan
Study Board for Global Development
Contracting department
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Department of Psychology
  • Department of Political Science
  • Social Data Science
  • Department of Sociology
  • Department of Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Christian Lund   (5-69727b746a466f6c787534717b346a71)

Christian Lund, Department of Food and Resource Economics

Saved on the 15-05-2024

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