Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Political Responsibility in a Globalized World
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 11 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,500 word essay  60%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  40%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Critically reflect on political responsibility through political theory and IR theory (especially in contrast to global ethics)
2. Critically discuss the problematic of national government in a globalized world
3. Critically reflect on global instrumentalism and global republicanism
4. Demonstrate advanced ability to move between normative and empirical theorizing
5. Demonstrate advanced ability to harness empirical case studies to theorizing
6. Demonstrate appropriate research and writing methods to analyze individually the overall problematic of political responsibility and political leadership


Week 1. Introduction/Global Challenges

Week 2. The proliferation of 'responsibilities' in a globalized world: Foregrounding political responsibility and the global/national complex

Week 3. Theories of government and political duty

Week 4. The duty to govern global problems: Efficacy

Week 5. The duty to govern global problems (I): Legitimacy and Political Authority (The Language of Republicanism)

Week 6. The duty to govern global problems (II): The language of Republicanism (cont.)

Week 7. Cession of Sovereignty: Political Responsibility, Judgment and Leadership

Week 8. Case Study: The Domination of the Global Economy

Week 9. Case Study: The Domination of Climate Change

Week 10. Case Study. The Domination of Migration/Immigration

Week 11. Conclusions

Brief description

The module looks at the question of political responsibility in a globalized world. Under conditions of interdependence, there are a number of critical global challenges that are not being met politically - economic, environmental, migratory, and nuclear. During the last two decades there was liberal hope that international regimes and organizations would spur global political invention. What with the fall-out of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the financial crisis of 2007-9, and the present tensions between Western and emerging powers, this hope has receded. To one side of the question of the 'special responsibilities' of global powers, this module focuses on the political articulation of the national and the global as both a concrete and just way to address the question of political responsibility in a globalized world.

The module analyzes these responsibilities and duties from the perspectives of task-efficacy - the duty of government to manage a people's needs - and of republican legitimacy - the duty of government to keep the state's citizens free from domination. Rehearsing carefully each perspective with regard to global threats, the module shows how: 1) global challenges are the immediate object of government responsibility; and 2) how this responsibility entails the risk of judging when sovereignty should be delegated upwards or not. The module attempts to provide a theory of global/national political responsibility that is relevant to both developed and developing nation-states. It looks at three interrelated cases to illustrate its main argument: the threats of the global economy, of climate change and security, and of global migration flows/challenges of development.

This module brings together political theory, international relations theory, international economics, and basic climate, security and development studies.


The module provides an additional module that will form part of the baskets of two degree schemes: Critical International Politics, and International Relations. It will be an optional module for students of other degree schemes in the department and the Institute, for example students of International Security Studies, Global Politics and Postcolonial Politics.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing. They will be required not only to acquire information and make academic judgements about it but also to communicate their analytical conclusions clearly and effectively. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Some of the teaching sessions will involve small group discussions in which all students will be required to participate and communicate. Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the academic staff and the fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources and deciding (under guidance) the topic of their essays. The need to meet deadlines for assessed work will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as BIDS and OCLC).
Personal Development and Career planning The seminar discussions in particular will help to develop students' verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay and a case study report, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards their portfolio of transferable skills
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; all the forms of assessment will require that the student develop problem-solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: examine issues from differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to problems; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills The assignments will require the students to develop their research skills in order to locate appropriate research resources and present the results in a coherent and analytical manner.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of skills that are specific to the subjects that contribute to this module. These skills will help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas about the internet and social media. Such subject specific skills include: Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the topic Evaluate competing perspectives Demonstrate subject specific research techniques Apply a range of methodologies to complex problems
Team work Team-work skills are an essential component of this module. Students will frequently be required to work together during teaching sessions. Much of the core learning students will do will come through sharing and debating their ideas with their peers.


This module is at CQFW Level 7