Global Affairs: Actors, Communication and Culture

Module code: MS7006
Module co-ordinator: Dr Bernhard Forchtner

Module Outline

Often described as 'time-space compression', 'accelerated interdependence' or even 'sameness', globalisation remains a problematic notion. While it implies a process of democratisation, which is enabled by the free flow of goods and ideas, it also raises questions about the very nature of power and politics, of actors and their capability to act, in the international system. Understanding the development and dynamics of the so-called 'global village' is impossible without an examination of the media and communications systems. But: how can communication be understood in the interactions and interdependencies of the global world?

In this module you will approach the process of globalisation through an examination of the economic, cultural and political elements of international communications. Together we will identify important actors in the international communications landscape and evaluate their political, economic and cultural power in the international system. We will consider how power and influence are - or might be - changing within the context of globalisation. We will examine how individuals engage with both politics and political entities within the globalised world, and also how their personal identities might be changed because of these relationships. Finally we will discuss issues of democracy and inequality in the global world and debate the role of new media technologies in making the world a more transparent place.


  • 11 hours of lectures
  • 11 hours of seminars
  • 1 hour of tutorials
  • 127 hours of guided independent study


  • Essay, 3,000 words (100%)