World Politics

University Programme Course Overview

World Politics

  • Professor: Hélène Thiollet
  • Session: June
  • Language of instruction: English
  • Number of hours of class: 36

Objective of the course

This course relies on both theoretical and empirical (case studies) approaches to help students craft their own analysis of world politics. It proposes an interdisciplinary perspective of international issues, using the methods and frameworks of a variety of social sciences fields, including sociology, history, comparative politics, international relations, and political economy.

Download the 2020 course overview for "World Politics" (pdf, 339 KB)


This course offers an interdisciplinary approach to World Politics, combining conceptual tools, historical insight, and empirical evidence. It introduces students to core concepts, such as power, security, cooperation, sovereignty, identity, multilateralism from various disciplinary perspectives including global history, political science, comparative politics, political theory, international relations, international political economy, sociology and international public law. In order to account for the profound transformation of world politics wrought by globalization, the course explores a vast array of topics and issues ranging from empires, globalization, foreign policy, social movements, wars, terrorism, international organizations, the environment, migration and, to do so, uses different levels of analysis – from the local to the global. Through major themes in international politics students will develop analytical skills grounded in both theoretical and empirical knowledge.

The course is designed for students with a background in at least one of the human and social sciences (sociology, history, political science, economics, anthropology, geography).

Organisation of the course

The first set of sessions introduces and examines key concepts through historical examples including states, sovereignty, empire, globalization, international order, international systems, international society and power.

The second and third sets of sessions will focus on national and multilateral issues and governance looking at migration and environmental governance as key case studies.

The fourth and last set of sessions will explore issues of war and peace, violence, crises and revolutions.

In each session, the instructor introduces the material and opens class discussion based on the readings (a reading list will be provided). At the end of each session, students will present group assignments on specific case studies. The course will end with a final exam.

Main Professor Biography  

Hélène Thiollet is a CNRS tenured researcher at Sciences Po and teaches international relations, comparative politics and migration studies. Her research focuses on the politics of migration and asylum in the Global South, notably in the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. See more information on her recent research

Hélène is leading the Sciences Po team for the H2020 project MigrAtion Governance and asYlum Crises MAGYC (project number 822806) financed by the European Union (2018-2022). She is also the principal investigator for the research project "Politics of Asylum Crises in Europe" (PACE) financed by the French National Agency for Research (ANR), which will be launched in June 2019 for the following 4 years. From 2012 to 2015, she coordinated the French National Agency for Research project “Global Mobility and Migration Governance” (MOBGLOB) with Catherine Wihtol de Wenden.

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