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Core Course Global Order in Historical Perspective


Admission requirements

Admitted to the MAIR programme : Global Order specialization.


What makes the world hang together? This course explores the ways in which things, people, ideas and institutions entangle across time and space to (re)create, what we understand to be, Global Order.

Through key concepts/ideas/mechanisms we will investigate the continuities and changes in the ordering of the modern world. This necessitates interrogating the role of political, economic, institutional, and epistemological systems which have shaped the making of the modern world, through their presence as well as through their erasure. we will look at the different ways in which ideas and practices of state-making, revolutions, imperialism, economic change, institutions, war, law, rights, diplomacy, objects, and technology, among others, underline the historical emergence of the contemporary world.

Here, it is important to highlight the term ‘global’ which necessitates that a Cis White Male perspective, the ‘mythological norm’ – to use Audre Lorde’s term, remain only one of the perspectives on global order. Consequently, while critiquing the racialized, gendered, and ableist conceptions of ‘Global Order’, we will look at the ways in which ‘order’ is theorized and practiced from alternative embodied locations.

Course objectives

The course invites students to critically engage with ideas and practices relating to the historical constitution of the global order. Through a close reading of the mandatory readings in the seminars, the students will not only familiarize themselves with salient concepts, debates and issues around global order, but also learn about historical methods. In the context of the MAIR degree, this is useful because students of the global order specialization are expected to use historical methods in their theses.

In general, the course enables students to develop critical thinking skills in researching contemporary issues. A historically informed, geographically expansive and socially sensitive understanding of key global issues is also crucial to policy making.

Through course assessments, students will develop skills in independent as well as group research, writing and presentation.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

The grading for this course will be based on:

  • Group Presentation: 20%

  • Class participation: 10%

  • Weekly Summaries: 30%

  • Final Essay: 40%

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average. However, students are required to pass every component of the assessment to be able to receive a final passing grade. Re-sits are offered only on the written assignments, if they are found to be insufficient. The resubmission should be made within two weeks of being advised on the insufficiency of the original.

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Following texts offer a representative sample of the readings in this course:

Amitav Ghosh, The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parable for a Planet in Crisis, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2021.

Ann Laura Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule, University of California Press, 2020

Arturo Escobar, Encountering Development. The Making and Unmaking of the Third World, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995.

Benno Teschke, The Myth of 1648: Class, Geopolitics and the Making of Modern International Relations, London: Verso, 2003.

Charles Mills, The Racial Cobtract, Cornell University Press, 1997.

Chris Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World, 1780-1914: Global Connections and Comparisons, Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub, 2004

Enzo Traverso, Revolution: An Intellectual History, London: Verso, 2021

Glenda Sluga, The invention of international order: remaking Europe after Napoleon, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2021

Gloria Wekker, White Innocence: Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race, Duke University Press, 2016.

Gregoire Chamayou, The Ungovernable Society: A Geneology of Authoritative Liberalism, translated by Andrew Brown, Polity, 2020.

James Scott, Against the Grain: A Deep History of Earliest States, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017.

Jasbir Puar, The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability, Duke University Press, 2017.

John Hobson, The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation, Cambridge: CUP, 2004.

John Torpey, The Invention of the Passport: Surveillance, Citizenship and the State, Cambridge: CUP, 2009.

Keisha N. Blain, Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018.

Mark Salter (eds.) Making Things International, Volumes I&II, University of Minnesota Press, 2015-16.

Martti Koskenniemi, The Gentle Civilizer of Nations: The Rise and Fall of International Law 1870–1960, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001

Michel-Rolph Trouillot, ‘Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History , Beacon Press, 1995.

Orne A. Westad, The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of our Times, Cambridge: CUP, 2011.

Oyeronke Oyewumi, The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses, University of Minnesota Press, 1997

Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic. Boston: Beacon Press, 2000

Radhika Mongia, Indian Migration and Empire: A Colonial Geneaology of the Modern State, Duke University Press, 2018.

Robert Vitalis, White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Politics, Cornell Universitry Press, 2017

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous People’s History of United States, Beacon Press, 2015.

Siba Grovogui, Beyond Eurocentrism and Anarchy: Memories and International Order and Institutions, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

Sidney Mintz, Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History, Penguin, 1984.

Silvia Federichi, Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation, Automedia, 2004.

Vijay Prashad, The Darker Nations, A People's History of the Global South, New York: Left Word Press, 2007


Enrolment through [My Studymap] ( is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga


Not applicable.