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Global politics: online courses

This page provides an overview of massive open online courses (MOOCs) for all those interested in international relations, global politics and the activities of international organizations.

What is a massive open online course, you can read here.

Changing Global Order

This course deals with international relations, peace and security. The course will help students gain insight into conflict resolution and the role international and regional organizations play in a changing world.

Duration: 7 weeks, 4–7 hours/week.
Language: English; subtitles available in English and Spanish.
Provider: Leiden University; Coursera.

Course introduction video.

Course syllabus:
Week 1. Theories of international relations.
Week 2. The changing world order: rising powers and international institutions.
Week 3. Conflict, conflict resolution and security.
Week 4. Regional organizations in global affairs.
Week 5. NATO in a changing world.
Week 6. Reforming the United Nations Security Council: strategies and proposals.
Week 7. Handing in the UNSC reform groups proposals

Contemporary Issues in World Politics

The course describes the post-World War II international order, its breakdown and resultant transformation.

Duration: 6 weeks, 4–6 hours/week.
Language: English.
Provider: University of Naples Federico II; edX.

Course introduction video.

Course syllabus:
Week 1. The driving forces of international politics. The world order after World War II.
Week 2–3. Change in the post World War II order: the transformation of Central and Eastern Europe; the dissolution of the Soviet Union; disorder in the Balkans – dissolution of Yugoslavia; the short lived American preponderance – the First Gulf War, the American occupation of Iraq.
Week 4. Redressing the balance: the rise of Chinas and the return of Russia (Georgia, Ukraine and Syria). The challenge of humanitarian disasters – western interventions (Bosnia, Kosovo).
Week 5. The challenge of humanitarian disasters – western interventions (Rwanda, Somalia). The challenge of terrorism and the war on terror.
Week 6. Failed aspirations for political change – the Arab Spring and its aftermath. Perennial problems and frozen conflicts.

EU Policy and Implementation: Making Europe Work!

In this course, the participants will learn how EU policy is made, and how it is implemented by the member states. They also will discuss the challenges of the European multi-level governance structure.

Duration: 5 weeks, 2–3 hours/week.
Language: English.
Provider: Leiden University; Coursera.

Course introduction video.

Course syllabus:
Week 1. Understanding policy and the European policy process.
Week 2. EU decision-making.
Week 3. Transposition.
Week 4. Implementation.
Week 5. Redesigning EU policymaking.

Geopolitics of Europe

The course offers a dynamic program on both tensions and issues within the European Union, as well as its interactions with the rest of the world.

Duration: 7 weeks, 2–3 hours/week.
Language: English.
Provider: Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po); Coursera.

Course syllabus:
Week 1. The variable-geometry maps of the European territory: who and what determines and set the EU boundaries?
Week 2. The European integration, a pioneer political and territorial project.
Week 3. The major outer challenges for Europeans by 2050: what is the impact of the world on the EU?
Week 4. Europe in the world space: between power, influence and marginalization.
Week 5. East – west VS north – south: the new dividing lines in Europe?
Week 6. Europe in the eyes of the world: perceptions and expectations with regard to the European Union in large regions of the global space and to the emerging countries.
Week 7. To go further: 2016: the European Union crisis is getting more acute.

Global Diplomacy: Diplomacy in the Modern World

The course promotes a better understanding of diplomacy, its practice, principles and past application.

Duration: 5 weeks, 1–2 hours/week.
Language: English.
Provider: University of London; Coursera.

Course introduction video.

Course syllabus:
Week 1. What is diplomacy?
Week 2. Success and failure in diplomacy.
Week 3. The qualities of a “good” diplomat.
Week 4. Diplomacy in action.
Week 5. Reflections on diplomacy.

Global Diplomacy: the United Nations in the World

The course introduces the history of the establishment, structure and activities of the United Nations.

Duration: 7 weeks.
Language: English.
Provider: SOAS, University of London; Coursera.

Course syllabus:
Week 1. Introduction.
Week 2. The UN today: what is it?
Week 3. Where did the United Nations come from, and why?
Week 4. Power in international politics: how does the UN Security Council work?
Week 5. What is the place of human rights in international politics?
Week 6. Emergency help: how does the UN respond to crises?
Week 7. Where next for the UN?

Global Politics

Course participants will consider the current global order and its future.

Duration: 5 weeks, 4–6 hours/week.
Language: English.
Provider: University of Naples Federico II; edX.

Course introduction video.

Course syllabus:
1. The globalization of knowledge.
2. Building a world order.
3. The current international order.
4. From the society of states to a society of peoples.
5. Order maintained: military hegemony.
6. Disorder emerges.
7. Global goods, global harms.
8. Adaptive organizations.
9. A brave new world.
10. Towards a world government?

Globalization: Past and Future

Course participants will consider whether globalization is a new phenomenon or a cyclical pattern throughout human history.

Duration: 4 weeks, 2–4 hours/week.
Language: English.
Provider: SDG Academy; edX.

Course introduction video.

Course syllabus:
Week 1. Waves of globalization in history.
Week 2. Ocean-based globalization: 1500–1800.
Week 3. The Anglo-American world: 1800–2000.
Week 4. The new globalization.

International Affairs: Global Governance

The course helps to understand the fundamentals of global governance. Participants will explore the processes and institutions finding solutions for global challenges.

Duration: 4 weeks, 3 hours/week.
Language: English.
Provider: Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies; FutureLearn.

Course introduction video.

Course syllabus:
Week 1. The visible and invisible: international summits and norms of global governance.
Week 2. The global regulatory toolkit: hard law and soft law.
Week 3. Blended governance mechanisms.
Week 4. Beyond state to state solutions: public-private partnerships.

International Cyber Conflicts

The purpose of the course is to familiarize students with what cyber threats and cyber conflicts are and why they occur. In addition, the course covers what the international community is doing to combat cyber threats and increase cyber security.

Duration: 5 weeks, 2 hours/week.
Language: English.
Provider: State University of New York; Coursera.

Course syllabus:
Week 1. Introduction to cybercrime.
Week 2. Internet governance.
Week 3. Cyberwarfare and international conflicts.
Week 4. Cyberwarfare and international law.
Week 5. Interpersonal trust and trust among nations.

International migrations: a global issue

This course aims to improve knowledge of main challenges and current trends in international migration.

Duration: 9 weeks, 2 hours/week.
Language: English; subtitles available in English and French.
Provider: Sciences Po; Coursera.

Course syllabus:
Week 1. Globalization of migration.
Week 2. Refugees and environmentally displaced persons.
Week 3. Europe.
Week 4. France and international migration flows.
Week 5. Citizenship and migration.
Week 6. Borders.
Week 7. Right to mobility and global governance.
Week 8. Bibliography.
Week 9. Maps.

Security and Safety Challenges in a Globalized World

The course will introduce you to the broad theme of safety and security in an increasingly complex world.

Duration: 6 weeks, 3–5 hours/week.
Language: English.
Provider: Leiden University; Coursera.

Course introduction video.

Course syllabus:
Week 1. Global challenges and wicked problems.
Week 2. Safety and security.
Week 3. Perspectives and levels.
Week 4. Case studies.
Week 5. Security and safety in practice.
Week 6. Case study: explore, understand, do.

Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice

This course gives an introduction into the field of terrorism and counterterrorism studies.

Duration: 6 weeks, 4–6 hours/week.
Language: English; subtitles available in English, French Spanish and Ukrainian.
Provider: Leiden University; Coursera.

Course introduction video.

Course syllabus:
Week 1. The essence of terrorism.
Week 2. Researching terrorism and counterterrorism.
Week 3. Five assumptions on terrorism.
Week 4. Five assumptions on counterterrorism.
Week 5. Dealing with terrorism and the future.
Week 6. Making headlines today – foreign fighters.

Understanding Europe: Why It Matters and What It Can Offer You

The course teaches how the European Union works and what opportunities the EU can offer.

Duration: 6 weeks, 2–4 hours/week.
Language: English; subtitles available in English and French.
Provider: HEC Paris; Coursera.

Course introduction video.

Course syllabus:
Week 1. Why the European Union?
Week 2. Who is the European Union?
Week 3. What the EU can do?
Week 4. How does the EU work?
Week 5. What can the EU do for you?
Week 6. What can you do for Europe?

Understanding Terrorism and the Terrorist Threat

The course will explore questions relating to the who, what and how of terrorism studies, by introducing students to cutting-edge research and the experts investigating these topics.

Duration: 6 weeks, 4–6 hours/week.
Language: English; subtitles available in English and Spanish.
Provider: University of Maryland, College Park; Coursera.

Course introduction video.

Course syllabus:
Week 1. Introduction.
Week 2. How do we study terrorism?
Week 3. Individual radicalization.
Week 4. Terrorist group dynamics.
Week 5. Terrorist operations.
Week 6. Al-Qa'ida case study.

Why Do People Migrate? Part 1: Facts

This course provides a general introduction to the conditions of refugees, asylum seekers and irregular migrants worldwide and an overview of the terminology used.

Duration: self-paced.
Language: English.
Provider: European University Institute (EUI); Iversity.

Course introduction video.

Course syllabus:
1. Introduction. Irregular migration and asylum.
2. Europe and the Middle East.
3. Americas.
4. Asia and Oceania.

Why Do People Migrate? Part 2: Theories

The course approaches migration as a constant phenomenon in human history and examines main theories which can explain migration.

Duration: self-paced.
Language: English.
Provider: European University Institute; Iversity.

Course introduction video.

Course syllabus:
1. Migration as a global phenomenon.
2. Why migration starts?
3. Why migration continues?
4. Examples.

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