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Regions in World Politics


Admission requirements

Not applicable


Regions in World Politics
Regions have become a defining feature of international relations, but what role do they play in global governance? In understanding and addressing governance challenges such as conflict, inequality, pandemics and climate change, to name but a few, should we be focusing on the local, national, regional or global level? Does it depend on the issue at hand? How have states and non-state actors contributed to processes of regionalism and regionalization (and what is the difference between these?) Why do some actors adopt a more formal, institutional approach to regional building, whilst others prefer more elastic and informal arrangements? How are regional groupings socially constructed to include certain actors at the expense of others? What is the role of regional hegemons and external actors in regional matters? How can regional developments be theorized so that they may be compared? By studying these questions in different regional contexts, we explore how various factors, be they historical, geopolitical, cultural or other, have influenced the development of regionalism around the world.
The course has two main components. In the first part, we focus on the key conceptual, historical and theoretical dimensions to understanding regionalism around the world. In the second, we will apply this knowledge in a more practical setting of role-plays where we will examine a different case study in from a different world region each week to build a comparative picture of regional approaches to world politics.

Course objectives

This course aims to provide a critical examination of regional processes across the world. Students will explore a variety of regional approaches to key issues and policies, adopting different levels of analysis. One of the aims of this course is to connect academic debates with policy issues. With this in mind, students will learn key transferable skills that they will be able to apply in a work environment, including working in teams and managing group activities, developing creative responses to policy problems, writing policy reports, and finding appropriate academic and non-academic sources. Students will also acquire a foundational knowledge of historical issues and theoretical approaches to understand regionalism today.
By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the issues and processes related to the development of regions.

  • Apply conceptual tools to analyze key events in and processes related to regions.

  • Compare regional approaches across the world, whilst remaining sensitive to local contexts.

  • Demonstrate appropriate cognitive, communicative and transferable skills, develop the capacity for independent learning, critique major texts and approaches on regionalism in International Relations, and lead class discussions.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Following one introductory lecture, the course is taught through 12 x 2-hour seminar sessions that are supplemented by knowledge clips.


Students are required to attend all scheduled sessions, and expected to arrive in class ready to discuss the weekly readings. The lecturer should be informed in writing without delay of a class to be missed for a valid reason, i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances that are beyond the student’s control (such as documented illness, family bereavement, issues with residence permits, victim of crime, train delays, etc.)

Assessment method


  • 20% Individual participation (active in-class participation)

  • 20% Group participation (effective chairing of a role-play session)

  • 40% Group writing assignment (1 x 5,000-word role-play portfolio of documents)

  • 20% Individual writing assignments (2 x 500 word response papers)


The final grade is determined by a weighted average of all assessments. In addition, all written assignments must receive a passing grade for the student to pass the course.


A resit opportunity is available to students whose group and individual writing assignments were marked “insufficient” (below 6) at the first attempt.

Reading list



Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer instructing the seminar group to which you signed up.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga


Not applicable