Global Affairs

The major aim of this core course in global affairs is to explore the changing nature of global challenges and the capacity of the existing system of global governance to respond. It is divided into two modules. The first module looks at the bigger picture from an historical and contemporary perspective. The first two sessions frame the major conceptual debates in International Relations. This is followed by five sessions focused on two core themes: the history of globalisation and the evolution of the international system post-WWII. While the first theme is oriented towards China, the second theme centres upon the role of US leadership. The final session addresses future challenges facing global governance.

Module two explores four critical pathways that allow an in-depth study of one particular global challenge: artificial intelligence and big data, climate change and planetary survival, human migration and displacement, and arms control and non-proliferation. Each pathway takes a multi-disciplinary approach. Case studies, statistical analysis, and other forms of data help to provide a more grounded perspective. The final part of the module is aimed at developing scenario-building exercises that, in turn, feed into a concluding session on global agenda setting for the year 2030.


Xue Lan, Cheung Kong Chair Professor of Public Policy and Management, Dean of Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University

Katherine Morton, Boeing Company Chair in International Relations, Schwarzman College; Professor of China’s International Relations, University of Sheffield


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