Political Science: Global Politics and
Societal Change, one-year master's
I liked the fact that it is a multi-disciplinary programme which addresses aspects of international relations, human rights and peace and conflict studies. As the world is more interconnected than ever before, I think it is important to understand how social, economic and political transformations affect local and global governance.
Elina Natobidze-Airiian, alumni
About the education
The master´s programme Global Politics aims towards you who are interested in global political issues. You will learn how an increasingly complex world, where the global and the local meet, presents us with new challenges and opportunities. The programme provides you with a solid practical base concerning concepts like justice, peace, security, power, culture and democracy. You will learn how to analyse conflicts, international relations and human rights claims and violations.
This is a multi-disciplinary programme with a core of political science which addresses aspects of international relations, human rights and peace and conflict studies. The focus lays on the transformation of society, especially concerning the relationship between the state and other actors such as international organisations and companies.
Changes in political control, from reduced central control towards a greater degree of network control will also be addressed. You will analyze the growing importance of international norms, such as human rights. The emergence of other conflict patterns than those related to socio-economic resources (such as culture, ideology and religion) is important parts of the courses.
These are turbulent political times. International power bases are shifting. Political, economic and military threats merge and reform, presenting new political challenges. Examples from China and Russia prompt us to rethink the widely held belief that democratic reform will follow on the heels of economic progress.
With notions such as 'the war on terror” it is becoming more and more difficult to know what a war is, who fights it, how it starts and how it can end. In the meantime, global inequality is increasing. Half of the world’s population lives in severe poverty, many of them in conflict-ridden regions and/or under failing governments. Problems of development, such as malnutrition, poverty, and preventable diseases, can be solved by a global effort, so why does it not happen?
The one-year master's programme in Global Politics and Societal Change will help you make sense of these issues. It will give you a solid theoretical base concerning the meaning and role of concepts like justice, peace, security, power, culture and democracy.
The programme is thoroughly interdisciplinary and draws on our different strengths at the Department of Global Political studies, including within the fields of international relations, peace and conflict studies, human rights, public policy, as well as ethnography and philosophy.
The programme focuses specifically on the changing nature of global politics and pays particular attention to how new institutions and patterns of conflict and cooperation affect public policy on different levels, including the local level. In addition to advancing a more nuanced perspective on what ‘globalisation’ means, the programme extends students' understanding of politics as a continuous and often very complex interaction of decision-making, institutions, and advocacy on multiple levels.
After graduation you will be prepared for qualified social scientific analysis. You will be well equipped to work with issues like international aid, development, conflict prevention, foreign policy, and human rights fulfillment. You will obatin relevant skills based on the latest research, combined with an ability to manage projects and communicate scientific knowledge to various social actors in the field.
Potential employers could be international agencies, non-governmental organisations, local and national administration agencies and the diplomatic service. You will also be able to go on to do a master's programme or PhD studies after completing your degree.
A Bachelor’s Degree within a social science field, e.g., Political Science, Peace and Conflict Studies, International Relations, Human Rights or a related major field. English B/6
University credits completed 100%
"I felt at home right away"
Originally from the Netherlands, Elina Natobidze-Airiian moved to Sweden to study the master’s programme in political science. After...
"I felt at home right away"
Originally from the Netherlands, Elina Natobidze-Airiian moved to Sweden to study the master’s programme in political science. After graduating, she moved back to work for the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in the Netherlands. Today she lives in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Why did you choose the Political Science programme?
"After doing some online research, I came across Malmö University and this particular programme, which immediately caught my attention. I liked the fact that it is a multi-disciplinary programme which addresses aspects of international relations, human rights and peace and conflict studies. As the world is more interconnected than ever before, I think it is important to understand how social, economic and political transformations affect local, national, European and global governance. Apart from that, political science graduates can work for a wide range of employers, such as the United Nations, the European Union, multinationals and NGOs."
What did you like most about the education?
"I really liked the fact that the programme has a good balance between lectures and seminars unlike many other master’s programmes. In this way, students are encouraged to participate in group discussions and ask the teacher questions. In addition, I appreciated the informal nature of Swedish society where students are free to think creatively and choose how to approach an assignment. I liked that the examination largely relied on doing your own research and academic writing rather than sit-in exams. There was also less emphasis on grades, which made studying less stressful and more enjoyable."
Why did you choose to study a master’s programme?
"After completing my bachelor’s programme I worked full-time for approximately a year. This break from studying gave me an opportunity to reflect on my goals. I realized that I really wanted to invest in my future and to pursue my interests in more depth. Also, I believe that having extra qualifications will make you stand out in the job market. Furthermore, it is a great way to build your network and to connect with likeminded people.
"In my opinion, the importance of studying at master’s level depends primarily on your career ambitions and your interests. A master in Political Science is more an in-depth study of the broader topics that are covered in a bachelor’s programme. Personally, I found it very interesting to pursue politics at a more advanced level. In addition, a master in political science has definitely improved my research and writing skills, which are required in many job positions."
What was your impression of Malmö and Sweden?
"When I first arrived in Malmö, I felt at home right away. The flat landscape, the green areas and the many cycle routes felt pleasantly familiar to my home town in the Netherlands. Apart from that, Malmö is a very diverse and international city and you can easily communicate in English with people. Also, I was surprised by how well-organized, egalitarian and environmentally-conscious Sweden is. In addition, the public transportation works very well and can take you in less than 30 minutes to Copenhagen. Lastly, it is often said that Sweden has a reputation for being an expensive country. However, I believe that it is totally possible to find cheaper options in Malmö as well."
An education that reflects on the changes in society
Peter Hallberg is Associate Professor and Deputy Head of Department at the Department of Global Political Studies. He is pleased with the...
An education that reflects on the changes in society
Peter Hallberg is Associate Professor and Deputy Head of Department at the Department of Global Political Studies. He is pleased with the master's programme and the way that it clearly reflects the rapid changes in the world.
Why is it necessary to know more about global politics?
"The world is changing in a perhaps faster pace than ever before. This means that knowledge about the world is also changing, and I feel that an educational programme that deals with global politics needs to reflect this. As a profoundly interdisciplinary department, we are in a very good position to offer this in, I would say, a natural way. Our focus on how global developments influence the ways in which policies are developed at the local level also seems to me to be highly relevant for those who plan to engage in global issues today."
Who should apply to this master’s programme?
"This programme is well suited for students with a bachelor's degree in social sciences, such as political science, human rights, or peace and conflict studies. I believe that the programme attracts students who not only interested in theoretical perspectives but who want to better understand how a changing world impacts policy choices at the local level, and who want to increase the potential for political and societal change.
In what way does the programme have an international touch?
"The programme deals with global issues and we have a very international student body. In addition, our department is itself quite international. Our teachers are either trained outside of Sweden or they have spent considerable portions of their careers abroad. We also encourage our teachers to do exchanges with partner universities around the world."
You want to emphasise cooperation, why is this so important?
"We believe in combining traditional lectures with small seminar discussions. We emphasise both individual and group work, since we beleive that a modern education in the social sciences should stress that the best results are reached by working together. I believe that cooperation and working together is essential for higher education. I don’t like the idea that higher education institutions are somehow separate from their surrounding society when universities have always played a central role in reform, movements and commenting on current events in the public sphere.
"Since the start, Malmö University’s vision has been that higher education should not be pursued in isolation of the social world. I’d like to think of Malmö University is a public university in the true sense of the term, and that our programme reflects this commitment."
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