Postgraduate

Modules

Modules

POL8059 : The United Nations and Global Governance

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the study of global governance by examining the role, politics and processes of the United Nations (UN).

Related to this, the module:

• Discusses the key theories and concepts related to the study of the UN and global governance.

• Explores the origins and historical roots of the UN and global governance.

• Examines the function of the UN's main organs and their role in the organisation's decision making process.

• Highlights the activities of the UN in different areas of policy and global governance.

• Demonstrates that the UN is central to global governance as a key actor and a site of global policy making.

Outline Of Syllabus

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the study of global governance by examining the role, politics and processes of the United Nations (UN). For over 70 years, the UN has been at the centre of an emerging network of global governance. For much of this period of time, the role and purpose of the UN has been contested. The UN continues to be dogged by controversy and disputes about its role and legitimacy. At the same time, however, the organisation's 193 member states, NGOs and private citizens have looked to the UN to play a lead role in finding solutions to many of the issues that characterise the global world in which we live - conflict and disorder, poverty and the abuse of human rights.

The module examines the activities of the UN with regards to each of these issues as well as the principal organs (for example Security Council) that make up the UN and play a key role in the organisation's decision making process. In examining the UN's activities and decision making, the module demonstrates that the UN is central to current and future global governance as a key actor within global politics and a site of global policy making.

Outline syllabus:

1 The UN and global governance – introduction and overview.

2 The UN and global governance – concepts and approaches.

3 The origins and historical roots of the UN and global governance.

4 Principal organs 1: the Security Council.

5 Principal organs 2: the General Assembly and Secretary-General.

6 The UN, global governance and global civil society

7 Peace and security: peacekeeping

8 Human development: MDGs and SDGs

9 Human rights: promoting and protecting

10 The future of the UN and global governance

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching102:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1180:00180:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The two hour weekly seminar will involve a combination of a presentation by the module leader and student led discussion. Key readings and related questions will be assigned for each seminar. These key readings and related questions will form the basis of seminar discussion. Some discussion will take place in small groups followed by 'whole group' discussion and debate. The themes of the seminars will relate to the theoretical, methodological and substantive issues outlined in the module aims. In each seminar, students will have the opportunity to ask questions, raise issues of interest, present their own ideas and arguments, and receive formative feedback from module leader on these ideas.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper1M1004000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The research paper is an appropriate way of assessing research and writing skills as well as the ability of students to apply what they learn in seminar to research questions relevant to their programmes.

Reading Lists

Timetable