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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Global Governance and Africa: Institutions, Actors, Issues (PGSP11297)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaPostgrad (School of Social and Political Studies) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionAs the norm of nation-state sovereignty became widespread after World War II, its limitations became increasingly apparent. Human rights, trade, and environmental norms and standards could not be established by any one state or small group of states; in the absence of a code of global law and universal government, these challenges continue to demand multilateral solutions. While states continue to be major actors in articulating these norms, they increasingly share this task with an array of corporate, social movement, and non-governmental actors, in ways that combine formal and less formal institutional means, contexts, and goals. These actors, goals, and the authority relationships that monitor and enforce them at the transnational level can be termed global governance.

The present conjuncture is an auspicious moment for analyzing Africa's place within an emerging order of global governance. Not only are African actors engaging with an ever-wider array of multilateral institutions and partners, but increased growth and a decline in the number of major conflicts over the past decade herald the possibility of widespread peace and prosperity for the region. Combining an array of disciplinary perspectives, including law, economics, political science, history, and international relations, this course considers some salient central topics in the field of global governance, including institutions, identities, and issues; capacity building; setting, implementing, and monitoring standards; and regional governance, among others. It poses the questions: when and why do global governance arrangements arise? What constitutes their success, and why are some more successful than others? Are there inherent limits to global governance, signs of reversal, or does it represent a secular trend? After introducing salient theories of global governance in the first half of the course, it then reviews its institutional components, its policy functions, and its current controversies, with reference to specific African cases. Although much of the empirical case material discusses African issues and examples, the course's theoretical tool kit is relevant for a wider array of regions, institutions, and issues.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
- The course provides a comprehensive overview of both major theories of global governance, as well as of specific issues and cases pertaining to Africa.
- Students will become familiar with major debates in the area, its features, boundaries, terminology and conventions, and with up-to-date details of specific case studies.
- Students will develop critical and multidisciplinary approaches to studying in Africa in the context of global governance.
- Individual or group presentations will assist students in developing extensive, detailed, and critical knowledge and understanding of their own specific research interests.
- They will further enable students to communicate with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists with different levels of knowledge/expertise, using appropriate methods and a suitably wide range of software that will support and enhance their work.
- Both the presentations and essay will make use of a range of specialised skills, techniques, practices and/or materials, which are informed by forefront developments.
- Both the presentations and essay will enable students to critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills practices and thinking about global governance.
- An end-of-term essay will require students to plan and execute a significant project of research that will demonstrate originality or creativity in the application of knowledge, and further develop research and writing skills.
Assessment Information
Students will be assessed by an end-of-term essay of 3600 words (worth 90 percent of the total mark) and on presentations and participation (10 percent).

The presentations and participation component is designed to promote students' oral presentation skills, and, where appropriate, group work skills. It is comprised of three elements:
1.) Students will first choose their essay topics in consultation with the course convener, and prepare a preliminary bibliography by week 4. This will be assessed primarily by timely completion, although higher marks will be accorded for evidence of thoroughness (at least twenty-five sources identified), quality (primarily major academic books and peer-reviewed articles from leading journals, with web-based sources used judiciously and sparingly), and presentation (clear, correct, and accurate formatting).
2.) The second component is the presentation outline to be handed in on the date of the presentation, identifying the topic area, its significance, and some key analytical questions.
3.) The third component is participation in class discussion, responding to the lectures and classmates' presentations with pertinent questions and comments.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Week 1: Defining Global Governance

Discussion questions: How do global governance regimes differ from other national or international regimes? What are their distinctive challenges? What is their relation to the idea of 'global public goods'? In each regard, with reference to Barber, what contributions can Africa make to our understanding of global governance regimes?

Week 2: Global Governance Institutions: International Organisations

Discussion questions: To what extent, and in what ways, do IOs work together, separately, or in conflict? What are their respective sources of power, and how do these differ among them? What distinctive sources of power do African actors draw from different IOs?

Week 3: Social Identities and Norms in Global Governance

Discussion questions: How do social identities and norms shape the content and functioning of global governance? In what ways and under which circumstances do they serve to reinforce or challenge the status quo? What place does ethnicity play in identity construction, according to Bekker? With reference to Mazrui, what roles do NGOs play in shaping social identities and norms, in Africa and elsewhere?

Week 4: Including and excluding non-state actors in global governance
Discussion questions: What are the processes and mechanisms by which non-state actors get included or excluded? Are these more or less consequential than formal exclusion of state actors in some contexts (e.g. UN Security Council membership)? How and why does the boundary between inclusion and exclusion change?

Week 5: Framing Global Governance Issues
Discussion questions: How are new issues of global salience formulated? How do they get onto the global policy agenda? What factors are likely to contribute to success or failure in this regard? With reference to Easterly, have the MDGs been 'unfair' to Africa in their net effects? Why or why not?

Week 6: Building and Adapting National and Regional Institutions
Discussion questions: Read the World Bank report, 'Capacity Building in Africa'. In what ways could the process of building and adapting national and regional institutions by transnational actors be understood to be distinct from national interests? What role do African (and other Global South) actors play in such processes?

Week 7: Globalisation and Creation of Norms
Discussion questions: How are international norms generated? Is this process different from the ways these norms are disseminated worldwide? How contexts-specific are these processes?

Week 8: The Governance of Setting Global Standards
Discussion questions: How are global standards established, implemented, and monitored? Who 'guards the guardians' or 'observes the observers'?

Week 9: Setting, Implementing and Monitoring Global Rights Standards

Discussion questions: (How) can human rights activists bridge the divide between domestic and global identities and interests? Are human rights standards ever truly global, or at best only regional in nature? Which element of the division of labour over standards is the most difficult: establishment, implementation, or monitoring? Why?

Week 10: Regional Governance Challenges

Discussion questions: What are the theoretical rationales, and practical difficulties, in achieving regional cooperation as distinct from global governance, with specific reference to African regionalisms? Are the challenges primarily cultural and normative, or more concerned with implementation and institutions? To what extent are modes of regional governance supportive of, or a challenge to, global governance?
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list General background readings on global governance
M. Barnett and R. Duvall, eds., 2005. Power in Global Governance. New York: Cambridge University Press.
M. Barnett and M. Finnemore, 2004. Rules for the World: International
Organizations in Global Politics. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
R. Hall and T. Biersteker, eds., 2002. The Emergence of Private Authority in Global Governance. New York: Cambridge University Press.
M. P. Karns, and K. Mingst, 2009. International Organizations: The Politics and Processes of Global Governance, 2nd edition, Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
K.-K. Pease, 2010. International Organizations: Perspectives on Governance in the Twenty First Century, 4th edition, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
N. Serra and J. Stiglitz, eds., 2008. The Washington Consensus Reconsidered:
Towards a New Global Governance. New York: Oxford University Press.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern The course runs for 10 weeks /2 hours per week. A weekly lecture of one hour is followed be a one-hour seminar during which students will discuss required readings and present on their proposed research topics, either individually or in groups. Topics for presentations will be decided during the first week of the term. Readings and materials will be posted on WebCT.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Andrew Lawrence
Tel: (0131 6)50 8427
Course secretaryMiss Lindsay Hunter
Tel: (0131 6)51 1659
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