International relations

Business in World Politics

Module code: L2085
Level 5
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Workshop, Practical
Assessment modes: Coursework, Essay

This module will explore the role of business in world politics from the perspectives of both international relations and management studies.

Drawing on the literature on global governance, non-state actors, co-regulation and private governance, the module will explore different roles that businesses play in world politics, including as lobbyists, partners in governance and agents of implementation. It will also examine whether and, if so, why the role of business in world politics has increased.

Drawing on management studies literature on non-market strategy, corporate political activity and international business, the module will explore the role of the political environment for corporate strategy, and analyse what the non-market environment of business consists of. It will address questions such as why companies engage in world politics, how they choose specific strategies of political engagement, and what the challenges and opportunities of 'thin' regulation at the global level are.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate empirical and theoretical knowledge and understanding of how markets and politics interact.
  • Define key concepts that have been used in International Relations and Business Studies to examine the role(s) of business in world politics, including ‘corporate social responsibility’, ‘global governance’, ‘non-market strategy’, and ‘structural power’, for example.
  • Apply their knowledge and understanding of these concepts to critically analyse real-world cases of business-politics interaction.
  • Identify practical dilemmas that emerge for both managers and policymakers in the era of global markets and global politics.