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Emerging Powers in World Politics


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor and tutor: Ali Burak Güven
  • Assessment: a take-home test (90%) and seminar log (10%)

Module description

This module examines contemporary issues discussed in relation to emerging market countries in the fields of comparative and international politics. Amongst the major themes to be covered are shifts in great power politics, the changing institutional architecture of global economic governance, questions of international security and development, emerging power responses to the climate crisis, and the manifold implications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The module also has distinct empirical coverage of individual country cases including China, India, Russia, Brazil and 'middle powers' such as Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey.

Indicative module syllabus

  • Revisiting Great Power Politics
  • Global Economic Governance: Institutions, Old and New
  • Emerging Powers and International Security
  • Emerging Powers and Development Cooperation
  • Emerging Powers and the Climate Crisis
  • The Belt and Road Initiative: Infrastructure as Politics
  • Case Studies I: India and China
  • Case Studies II: Russia and Brazil
  • Case Studies III: Emerging Middle Powers
  • Whither Emerging Powers?

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will:

  • understand the historical problems and patterns that have characterised emerging regions of the world (Emerging Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the European periphery)
  • be able to apply insights from various theories to comparatively assess the political and economic circumstances as well as developmental prospects of several major emerging market countries
  • understand the workings and problems of international development cooperation in the context of large middle-income economies
  • understand key contemporary global trends as seen from multiple scholarly perspectives
  • have developed skills of critical thinking, enquiry, synthesis, analysis and evaluation that can be employed on other modules studied at this level.