SUM4029 – Global Governance for Sustainable Development

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content


This course provides a thorough overview of the theory and practice of global governance, emphasizing  issue areas central to sustainable development. We critically discuss how norms, rules, institutions, and practices that structure relations between states and non-state actors contribute to solve pressing global problems in specific issue areas in the absence of global government. We further learn about the main obstacles to reaching such solutions, and how progress may occur. The course gives insight into to the main theoretical perspectives on global governance and their foundation in theories of world order. It seeks to contextualize the emergence of the concept of global governance in the post-Cold War era, and discuss recent developments in the light of a new global distribution of power, resources and struggles for domination. The course moreover provides in depth insight into the main actors of global governance (including states, inter-governmental organizations, private companies, and non-governmental organizations) and the relationship between them. It also provides in-depth empirical knowledge of current processes of global governance in the areas of health, natural resource management, energy, climate change, finance, nutrition and food production, poverty reduction and economic redistribution.

Learning outcome

At the end of this course, students:

  • have advanced knowledge about different theories of global governance and how they are embedded in different historical moments and political projects.

  • thoroughly understand the main actors and institutions of importance to global governance for sustainable development. Understand the obstacles to and premises for the reaching of solutions to pressing global problems of climate change, energy, health, natural resource management, economic redistribution and poverty reduction and democratization.



You may apply to be a guest student at SUM. Please follow these instructions.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

A bachelors degree. 

Recommended previous knowledge

Specialization equivalent to at least 80 ECTS within subjects from the humanities or social sciences, sustainable development, or equivalent relevant subjects. 


Students are expected to actively take part in all the lectures and seminars. 


4-hour written exam. Assessment guide.

Digital examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Examination support material

Students may use a language translation dictionary at this exam.

  • Language translation dictionaries may be used in examinations. A language translation dictionary is defined as a dictionary that simply gives equivalent words or phrases in two languages, without further explanatory text or description.
  • You may bring a maximum of two dictionaries.
  • Electronic dictionaries are not to be used in examinations.
  • Dictionaries must be unmarked and free of notations.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language