Understand how global politics works, and engage in the future
Dr Michael Strange is an Associate Professor in International Relations at the Department of Global Political Studies and coordinator for the master’s programmes in Political Science.
He believes the programme — which has an option to do an internship, go on an exchange study, or choose an elective course — will suit students interested in deepening their knowledge in global political issues.
What is the master’s programme about?
To understand what ‘Political Science: Global Politics’ implies, it helps to consider four key developments we see in our modern world.
First, it is increasingly clear that a number of actors, other than nation-states and the institutions they create (whether international or intergovernmental organisations), impact politics that go beyond the domestic state – that is, transnational or global.
Second, while new information technologies and surveillance legislation mean that the administrative powers of the state have never been stronger, the concept of ‘government’ has become increasingly surpassed by ‘governance’ at the transnational level. Few decisions affecting our lives are taken exclusively within the local national context.
Third, there has been a significant change in how actors, such as NGOs and individuals, challenge existing governance and modes of power. For example, social media has radically changed the transnational political landscape to both enable new forms of protest and contestation, as well as facilitate new political identities.
Fourth, pressing issues such as climate change and terrorism, show that the kinds of problems requiring policy solutions far exceed the confines of any nation-state. That is to say, policy problems are increasingly transnational and therefore require transnational solutions.
The global pandemic seen during 2020 shows these tensions, where we have witnessed both the apparent return of the nation-state as a central political unit, but also its abject failure to protect human welfare, and the desperate need to develop new transnational institutions.
Who would benefit from this programme?
Students must have an interest in these developments, as well as be willing to engage with challenging questions as to how we can better understand our contemporary world.
In addition to the usual demands of a master’s-level course, you can also choose between a one-semester professional internship, exchange studies, or an elective course. That means our students must be able to work independently and have the initiative to make the most of these options.
The programme should be of interest to individuals committed to a career in which knowledge of our changing world is an evident benefit, with relevance to employers including international agencies, non-governmental organisations, transnational businesses, and local or national administrative agencies.
What is the difference between the one-year, and the two-year master’s programme?
The two-year programme builds upon the one-year programme, but the additional year ensures we can provide a much more ambitious range of learning activities; these include the options of an internship, exchange studies, or an elective course.
A lengthened study programme has the additional benefit of providing a more stable academic community among the students, who are expected to engage fully with the range of extra-curricular activities available at Malmö University.