HUWISU | Winter on Campus
Subject Course

Global Governance: Power, Structure and Agency

Global institutions, politics, and ideas – no matter what, the countries of this world are connected. To analyze global governance, one must take into account networks, diluted power, fragmented organizational structures, and renewed competition between great powers. What role does Germany play? Who are the indispensable nations? What kind of cooperation is needed to save the planet? Whose global order is it?

Course Period
Jan. 8, 2024 – Jan. 26, 2024 
Social Sciences, Politics & History
Course Levels
Class Size

max. 18 participants

Credits and Certificate

Participants will receive 6 ECTS credit points and a certificate if they attend classes regularly (at least 80% attendance) and participate actively. Additionally, six weeks after the end of the course a Transcript of Records is issued by Humboldt-Universität.

Application Deadline
Nov. 15, 2023, or when participant quota is reached
Course Fee

This course will give an overview of how global governance works in a world of networks, diluted power, fragmented organizational structures, renewed great power competition, and exceeded planetary boundaries. The focus will be on the actors, institutions and ideas of world politics today – from the UN family and Agenda 2030 to Great Powers to thematic alliances such as the OECD.

Some hope Germany will take on the mantle of “leader of the free world”. While it is true that Germany has entered a phase of “new responsibility” in its foreign policy, and remains strongly committed to the liberal order and global sustainability, it is becoming more and more difficult for such powers to project its influence into the global order. The course will take this German perspective as a starting point to try to understand the state of global governance more broadly.

Who are the indispensable nations? Who are the spoilers? What kind of cooperation is needed to save the planet? Whose Global Order is it? How to save the world?

We will look at multilateralist and unilateralist behavior of states, and also at recent efforts to bring more sustainability to global governance. We will also identify non-Western visions of global governance. Finally, the course will revolve around the question of how to make the global liberal institutionalist order (and ultimately, our planet) more resilient in the face of new authoritarian challenges – after all, this is what Germany and other countries like it are striving to do.

Course structure
  • You will receive a total of 45 hours (one lesson equals 45 minutes; 11 hours per week)
  • The lessons are held four times a week
  • Lessons will comprise lectures, group work, discussion sessions, excursions


The courses are grouped into different time tracks.
Your course will take place in "Track C".

Monday: 5.05 pm – 6.35 pm & 6.45 pm – 7.30 pm
Tuesday: 1.30 pm – 3 pm & 3.20 pm – 4.50 pm
Wednesday: 1.30 pm – 3 pm & 3.20 pm – 4.50 pm
Thursday: 9.00 am – 10.30 am & 11.00 am – 12.30 pm



Cultural activities
HUWISU offers a fine selection of interesting extra-curricular activities and aims to give all participants an unforgettable stay in Berlin. Your program includes excursions, sport activities and social gatherings providing you the opportunity to get to know the city, the university and to meet students from all parts of the world. The costs for these offers are included in the course fees.

Activities and tours we offer regularly: Federal Chancellery, German Parliament, House of Representatives, Topography of Terror, Political Archive, Museum Island, Kreuzberg Tour, Daytrip to Potsdam, Exhibitions…

Language Skills
English B2
Motivation Letter
About one page in English
Student Profile

Undergraduate students of all subjects with an interest in German social sciences, politics, economy, and history.

This course is taught in English, including readings in English. For the understanding of the texts and the discussions in class a language level B2 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) is required.

The minimum age requirement is 18 years.

Dr. Christian E. Rieck

Christian E. Rieck is an Associate Professor at the Chair of War Studies at the University of Potsdam. He also teaches at the interface between international relations and contemporary history at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, as well as at Humboldt, his alma mater.

He is a frequent guest lecturer at universities around the world, most recently at the University of Belgrade, the University of Costa Rica and RSIS in Singapore. After studies in Bayreuth, Seville and at HU Berlin, he earned a postgraduate degree in Latin American Studies at the University of Oxford.

Previous posts include stints at Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Berlin, the German Institute for Global and Area Studies GIGA in Hamburg, as well as a Carlo Schmid Fellowship at the United Nations in Mexico City.

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