Bertrand Badie’s “Espace Mondial”: A MOOC for a Global View

Updated 1 April 2020: Ideas aren’t under lockdown! All our MOOCS are available on Coursera, including Bertrand Badie’s indispensable and popular course, “Espace Mondial”. #KeepLearning

22,000 fans: that’s more than a Beyoncé concert at the Bercy arena in Paris. It’s also the number of people who have taken Bertrand Badie’s online class since 2014. From a small village in Morocco to La Réunion island and Mexico, whether in an office or on a couch, while doing laundry or cooking a meal, students of all ages and from all over the world all acclaim Bertrand Badie’s MOOC, “Espace mondial”. And, fortunately for non-French speakers, the course is back, by popular demand, on Coursera with a new international and multilingual version.

In January 2014, Bertrand Badie, Professor of International Relations at Sciences Po, was lecturing at a somewhat unusual podium: for the first time, his course “Espace mondial” became open to everybody, for free, and easily accessible on the platform France Université Numérique (FUN). Two versions later, his classes have travelled all over the world and reached 22,000 online students between 15 and 85 years of age. This first edition was an important step in spreading Sciences Po knowledge, but an ever bigger one was made on June 3rd, 2019, with the opening of the international version of the course on the American platform Coursera.

Delivered in English and with subtitles available in Arabic, Mandarin, French, Portuguese, and Spanish, this new cycle of “Espace mondial” is now accessible to an even wider audience than that of the first edition, which was already diverse, with nearly 15% of students signing in from countries other than France. 

Available on demand and in 6 languages

In Mexico, Brazil, Morocco, Senegal, Chile, Madagascar, China and the USA… As well as in the Var, rural Aquitaine, the village of Sausset-les-Pins and New Caledonia: the enthusiastic reviews from virtual students map out a “community of intellectual interest” - as one student put it - without borders. Similarly, the new edition represents a lifting of language barriers for students who are not fluent in French: “I’m Filipina and I don’t speak a high level of French,” says one student, “but thanks to the subtitles and the worksheets I was able to understand and improve my French as well as my understandings of the global space!”

With the new multilingual edition on Coursera, the MOOC is able to go further in what another student calls “the global space of knowledge”, a field that does away with class, age, and societal distinctions. The testimonies combine the voices of a 56-year-old former farmer, a student from the Ivory Coast, a psychologist, an engineer, a textile designer, and a retiree delighted to be “returning to the classroom” that he “left when he was 16 to work in a factory.”

A course declared “of public interest” by 22,000 virtual students

“I finally feel like I can better understand our world and its mechanisms.” “Bertrand Badie has sharpened my perspective.” “Your lessons help us maintain a certain critical approach towards current events.”: despite their differences, these users share, with an immense intellectual satisfaction, their gratitude for having been able to access this “exciting and addictive” “public-interest course”, to use one student’s description. 

Already a great number of students have reported listening to the classes again, “at night, when the whole house is sleeping”, “while doing the housework”, or “first thing in the morning before going to work”. For old and new followers of “Espace mondial” alike, the new version in English available on Coursera offers more flexibility: with a shorter format that is available on demand, all sessions are available at the same time: students can move through the course as and when it works for them. Another benefit of the new version is the addition of over 200 maps, diagrams and photos to accompany the 9 hours of video material, as well as a many texts, multiple choice quizzes, and discussion forums. 

“This geography-history class combining philosophy, law, and human sciences is a real lesson in humanity, and I feel it should be spread around the world immediately”, said one student, whose wishes have now come true on Coursera! 

Find out more

Jacques Chirac: Ambition and Flair

Jacques Chirac: Ambition and Flair

With the death of Jacques Chirac, a light goes out on a chapter of French political history and on one of Sciences Po’s most illustrious alumni. During his three years at the Institut d’études politiques, from 1951 to 1954, France’s former president would take his first strides into the dazzling career that was to follow.

More
The Choice for Ecology: From Awareness to Action

The Choice for Ecology: From Awareness to Action

Aliénor Parmentier graduated from PSIA in 2017. The very next day, she created her own consulting agency for innovative, collaborative and sustainable projects. She participated in the creation of a zero waste café in Lorient, Code Ø, and is the head of communications and zero waste workshops there.

More
Prof. Kevin Parthenay: “The Romanticism of Latin America”

Prof. Kevin Parthenay: “The Romanticism of Latin America”

Latin America is a continent of writers, of passion, and of revolutions. But that’s not all! In his class “International Relations in Latin America”, Kevin Parthenay invites students on the Poitiers campus to take up a new perspective of this continent that, far from taking a back seat, is at the heart of many global dynamics. 

More
FEMPO: Period-Proof Underwear Made in Sciences Po

FEMPO: Period-Proof Underwear Made in Sciences Po

FEMPO are the first period-proof underwear made in France. When Fanny Abes, at the time a third-year student in Vancouver, met Claudette Lovencin, the idea for the product was born. They are now both Sciences Po graduates. We met with them to speak about their career paths and business.

More
Prof. Marine Denis: the Geopolitics of Climate Change

Prof. Marine Denis: the Geopolitics of Climate Change


What does it mean for a region such as South-East Asia to be simultaneously an agent and a victim of climate change? Or for a country like China to be recognised at once as one of the biggest polluters and one of the pioneers of environmental diplomacy? When large-scale international organisations can decide to survey… or to punish? The debate begins! This way to the “environmental galaxy”, where we find Marine Denis and her brilliant students...

More
The Historic Class of 2020

The Historic Class of 2020

After two years pursuing a Master’s degree or five years pursuing first a Bachelor’s and then a Master’s, the Class of 2020 has obtained their prestigious Sciences Po diploma! But they’ve also accomplished something completely unprecedented: they completed their final semester in the midst of a pandemic. What impact will this historic period have on their lives in the future? Until we find out, here are the profiles of a class unlike any other. Congratulations graduates of the Class of 2020!

More

"From history to herstory": a new look at old galleries

Cécile Fara and Julie Marangé met on the first day of their Master’s degrees at Sciences Po. Together they founded Feminists of Paris, an organisation that offers walking tours and museum visits ‘through the lens of feminism and gender equality’ in Paris, Lyon, and Bordeaux. Cécile and Julie spoke to us about their entrepreneurial experiences with Feminists of Paris and how the history of feminism in France resonates today. 

More