CCGL9035 Global Issues

Challenges of Global Governance: Past and Present


Non-Permissible Combination:
CCGL9004 Governance and Democracy in the Age of Globalization /
CCGL9006 Asian Regional Governance in an Age of Globalization

Course Description

This course explores how states and internal organizations confront and solve a variety of transnational problems ranging from climate change to transnational terrorism. In particular, the course examines why international cooperation is often weak or non-existent despite the dizzying number of international challenges that require cross-border cooperation. The course begins by borrowing insights from a number of theoretical paradigms to apply to challenges of global governance. Then, the course applies these theoretical insights into a number of critical issues such as global public health, international financial crises, international law, and humanitarian intervention. Through the examination of a variety of theoretical perspectives drawn from disciplines that range from psychology to economics and political science, students will obtain the analytical skills to evaluate current and salient transnational problems facing policymakers. Since the course covers various aspects related to understanding of international cooperation, students are prompted to reflect on the complex historical, political, and economic issues surrounding the problems that they study.

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and explain the main competing theoretical paradigms on global governance.
  2. Apply the theoretical frameworks discussed during the course to global governance issues.
  3. Understand the emergence of the current world order through different theoretical perspectives.
  4. Judge and evaluate contemporary transnational problems by situating the issue both in its historical and current geopolitical context.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

First semester (Wed)


Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 24
Tutorials 10
Reading / Self-study 36
Consultation with the instructor 12
Group work 12
Assessment: Essay / Report writing 26
Assessment: Presentation (incl preparation) 2
Total: 122

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Performance in tutorials 10
Response essays 40
Take-home test 50

Required Reading

Articles and selected readings chosen by the instructor.

Recommended Reading

  • Brown, C., & Ainley, K. (2005). Understanding international relations (3rd ed.). Palgrave Macmilan.
  • Smith, S., Hadfield, A., & Dunnem, T. (Eds.). (2012). Foreign policy: Theories, actors, cases (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.
  • Snidal, D., & Reus-Smit, C. (Eds.). (2010). Oxford handbook of international relations. Oxford University Press.

Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr W.M. Chow
Department of Politics and Public Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences
Tel: 3917 2393
Email: wilfred.chow@hku.hk
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr W.M. Chow
Department of Politics and Public Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences
Tel: 3917 2393
Email: wilfred.chow@hku.hk