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Master in Economic Law, 2nd year: global governance studies (GGS)

Programme Description

As our geopolitical and geological world enters the anthropocene, the Global Governance programme enlarges the intellectual horizon of students by drawing on insights from other disciplines, while including more traditional courses on international litigation, arbitration and human rights. Reinforcing the new institutional emphasis at Sciences Po on the ‘political humanities’, it elevates this programme to a global or planetary level and teaches students to ask the most searching critical questions about meaning-rather-than-measuring in our ‘catastrophic times’. A core trio of ‘vertebrate’ courses sets the tone by introducing students to critical conceptual tools as well as cutting-edge issues involving legal responses across time and space to contemporary challenges in both nature and society. The specialisation remains path-breaking since its creation over a decade ago in linking global governance studies to international law (public and private), while encouraging unique forms of legal scholarship at a global level. 

Methodologically, it offers a deliberately comparative and transdisciplinary perspective on global issues, emphasising multiple cultural viewpoints. Epistemologically, it rests on a pluralistic conception of the legal field in a global context, encouraging students to break the frames of traditional state-centred legal discourse in public and private international law and to think how to design legal tools for social innovation. Accordingly, the first semester will focus on fundamental concepts, followed by coursework choices that will allow students to pursue some more practice-oriented courses, if desired.

Global Governance Studies is a one-year M2 level specialisation, which requires fluent working English, open to Economic Law Master’s Degree-seeking students, who study alongside colleagues on joint Master’s Degrees in partnership with the law schools at Columbia University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, Northwestern University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Virginia. The specialisation is also part of the programme in Global Business Law & Governance, hosted jointly with Columbia Law School and the University of Paris I.

Instruction is predominantly in English, but students may opt for course offerings in French. The overall intake of students is approximately 50 and elective classes are smaller by design. The richness of this programme lies in the interaction between students from different institutions and countries, with differing aspirations, horizons and cultural backgrounds; in the equally varied faculty and guests, who contribute views of globalisation from the South and the East; in the compulsory common core of course offerings, which prevents the usual gap between the study of business law and economic governance on the one hand, and issues of social justice, development and human rights on the other.


Fundamental courses are taught in English. Elective options are taught either in English or in French. Students may expect to take the following courses:

Mandatory courses (3 per semester):

  • Alterity on the Terms of the Law - Horatia Muir Watt (Fall) - Prerequisite
  • Contemporary legal issues, topics and methods in private international law - Horatia Muir Watt (Spring) 
  • World Making and Public International Law - Jean d’Aspremont (Fall) - Prerequisite
  • Key themes of public international law - Jean d’Aspremont (Spring)
  • Cosmopolitics and the Laws of Climate - Alain Pottage (Fall) - Prerequisite
  • Contemporary issues in climate change law and governance - Alain Pottage (Spring)