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Global Governance, Politics, and Security

Program Overview

Our students have a passion for international service and enter our program plugged into global networks and a wealth of information, ideas and innovations. The Global Governance, Politics and Security Program (GGPS) at American University’s School of International Service (SIS) leverages these strengths by grounding them in job-ready skills and a deep knowledge of global history and the diverse political and economic systems that have defined and are redefining global governance and security. The GGPS curriculum combines specialized knowledge with professional experience and the methodological training necessary to turn their individual passions into rigorous analysis in the service of practical action and a meaningful career.

All GGPS students take two core courses surveying the history, theory and practice of global politics to understand the analytical big picture before delving into their chosen field of expertise. Our History of Global Politics arms students with an appreciation for the political, institutional and economic forces that have shaped the past and present security landscape and regional and global governance arrangements. In Global International Relations Theory, students learn the central analytical concepts and lenses through which policymakers understand contemporary developments in international affairs. They also review the state of knowledge on fundamental issues such as the causes of international cooperation and conflict, the influence of ideas and institutions, the role of non-state actors, the impact of technological change, the effects of regionalism and globalization, the evolving nature of military and economic power and changing conceptions of identities and interests.

These foundational courses prepare students to pursue a specialization in the field of global governance or global security. Students begin their specialization by taking either Foundations in Global Governance or Foundations in Global Security. Foundations of Global Security examines the theory and practice of security from the use of coercive force in statecraft to sources of conflict and political violence to military strategy to non-traditional security threats like cyber-security, terrorism and transnational organized crime. In Foundations of Global Governance, students are exposed to the different governing arrangements, from treaties and formal organizations to informal practices, at the regional and global level that governments and non-governmental actors use to address collective problems related to human rights, security, energy and the environment, public health, economic development and international markets.

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