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Global Governance

5. Power

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In this final module, we bring our discussion together with a broad consideration of power in global governance, focusing in particular on: (i) whether institutions of global governance really matter; (ii) if, in fact, the Realists are correct and this really all comes down to a question of power; (iii) the different ‘balances of power’ that have existed over the past century, including the replacement of the bipolarity of the Cold War system by a US-led unipolar system from the 1990s onwards; (iv) the notion of ‘hegemonic stability theory’; (v) the multipolarity of the present international order; (vi) the different forms of power (including soft power, sharp power, economic power, and military power); (vii) the need for global governance in a time of global pandemic.


In this course, Professor Natasha Lindstaedt (University of Essex) explores some key areas of global governance. In the first module, we are introduced to the key concepts of Realism and Liberalism, detailing their different attitudes towards conflict in international relations. The second module takes an in-depth look at two key international institutions: the United Nations (UN) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). In the third module, we explore some international financial institutions alongside their strengths and some criticisms. In the fourth module, we apply our discussion of global governance to a key issue today – climate change – before rounding off in the fifth module with a broad consideration of power. We think about soft power, sharp power, economic power and military power, relating what we have learned about Realism and Liberalism to the international system as it exists today.


Natasha Lindstaedt is a Professor of Government at the University of Essex. She has taught MA and undergraduate courses at the University of Amsterdam, the Vrije Universiteit (VU), California State University (Long Beach), and Ventura College. Her research interests include international development, authoritarian regimes, and 'Third World' politics, and in 2017 she released the work 'Global Politics and Violent Non-State Actors', which explores the emergence of violent non-state actors through a series of contemporary case studies and an interdisciplinary approach.

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Lindstaedt, N. (2021, November 09). Global Governance - Power [Video]. MASSOLIT.

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Lindstaedt, N. "Global Governance – Power." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 09 Nov 2021,

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