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Advocacy and governance to address global challenges in a more geopolitical world


Admission requirements

MSc International Relations and Diplomacy students.


This elective course will zoom in on how global challenges are discussed and addressed in a world where great powers are increasingly assertive. Topics covered will include climate change, food and water scarcity, the Sustainable Development Goals/ Agenda 2030, global health and migration. For each of these topics their relevance for development and security will be discussed. It will moreover be discussed how multilateral fora address them and how non-governmental organisations (NGOs, philantrophy), the private sector and local governments (cities) contribute to agenda-setting and action on the ground. The course will use theories on governance of global public goods, influence of NGOs in global governance and venue shopping. It will point to the advantages and disadvantages of formal and informal modes of governance from a legitimacy and effectiveness point of view. Specific attention will be given to the role of great powers (China, US, Russia and EU)

A course outline will be available on Blackboard. Overviews of the prescribed literature, and other documents for each week will be posted on Blackboard as well.

Course objectives

After successfully completing this course, students:

  • Have knowledge of and insight into the magnitude of contemporary global challenges and how they are discussed in international political debates.

  • Have bolstered their writing and presentation skills

  • Know more about international advocacy on global challenges


To be announced by OSC staff.

Mode of instruction

The course comprises introductory lectures and class presentations prepared by students. Guest speakers with expertise on specific global challenges may be invited. Class attendance is required and active participation is appreciated.

Course Load

5 EC

Assessment method

  • Course participation (10%)
    Students are expected to actively participate in this course and attend all sessions

  • Advocacy paper of max 2 pages (20%)
    Students are asked in groups of 3-5 students to draft a position paper of max 1000 words by a (group of) (imaginative) NGOs, private sector or local governments on a global challenge. The position paper should be clear on what the problem is, what their “ask” is and who is addressed.

  • Group presentation (30%)
    In groups of 3-5 students presentations of max 15 minutes are made on topical issues discussed in class. Students are expected to present to a superior (i.e. Head of State, Minister, Philantropher, CEO of private sector, Director of NGO).

  • Final essay (40%)

Students will be asked to write a short essay of 2500 words max on a specific global challenge and how global governance can be improved for it to be addressed more effectively. Students will first submit an abstract of 200 words max and after this is approved write the full essay.
Guidelines for the papers (incl. deadlines, formatting instructions, grading criteria and tips for writing) will be posted on Blackboard.
Failed partial grades or components should be compensated by passed partial grades or components. The calculated grade must be at least 5,5 to pass the course. It is not possible to re-sit a partial grade or component once you have passed the course.


Important information relevant to the course will be available on Blackboard.

Reading list

The prescribed literature, case law and other materials will be announced on Blackboard. Students are encouraged to search for additional sources in preparation of the papers. Tips on where to find relevant sources will be provided on Blackboard as well.


Use both uSis and Blackboard to register for every course.


Dr. Louise van Schaik


This course is an elective course designed for second year MIRD students.
This elective is conditional on at least 5 students registering for this course.