Master of International Affairs  

Global governance: Global policies, actors and institutions

This course provides a problem-oriented introduction to key concepts of global governance. Global governance as a term “is used to capture the complexity and dynamism of the many collective efforts by states and an increasing variety of nonstate actors to identify, understand, and address various issues and problems in today’s turbulent world” (Karns et al. 2015, 2). Global governance has evolved considerably over the course of history and so have the constellation of actors and problems that defines it. Whether at a global or regional scale, or whether for general or for specific purposes, the provision of (global) public goods through governance mechanisms beyond the state has become increasingly important. This emerging pattern is not necessarily good or without problems and raises questions of legitimacy, accountability and effectiveness. With the increased authority vested in global governance actors, criticism and resistance also increase, resulting in what appears to be a more fragmented landscape of global governance. Taking into account these considerations, this course combines conceptual and applied perspectives on global governance. After the initial introductory sessions, the course will alternate between the in-depth discussion of one or two core concepts in one session and the discussion of concrete cases and applications in the next.