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Government & Politics   >   Global Governance

Introduction: Realism and Liberalism

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Global Governance

In this course, Professor Natasha Lindstaedt (University of Essex) explores some key areas of global governance. In the first module, we are introduced to the key concepts of Realism and Liberalism, detailing their different attitudes towards conflict in international relations. The second module takes an in-depth look at two key international institutions: the United Nations (UN) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). In the third module, we explore some international financial institutions alongside their strengths and some criticisms. In the fourth module, we apply our discussion of global governance to a key issue today – climate change – before rounding off in the fifth module with a broad consideration of power. We think about soft power, sharp power, economic power and military power, relating what we have learned about Realism and Liberalism to the international system as it exists today.

Introduction: Realism and Liberalism

In this module, we look at Realism and Liberalism in depth, focusing in particular on: (i) the key arguments made by these two theories of international relations; (ii) when and why these theories became popular; (iii) Liberalism’s foundational belief in the usefulness of international institutions and historical context for this; (iv) Realism's sense of the apparent inevitability of international conflict in a bipolar system and historical context for this.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Lindstaedt, N. (2021, November 09). Global Governance - Introduction: Realism and Liberalism [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Lindstaedt, N. "Global Governance – Introduction: Realism and Liberalism." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 09 Nov 2021,

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Prof. Natasha Lindstaedt

Prof. Natasha Lindstaedt

Essex University