Global systems and global governance

About this core theme

Greater connectivity between people, places and environments across the globe means that movements of goods, people, technology and ideas have become easier and the systems which facilitate and direct these flows have become truly global in reach and impact. This core theme requires students to describe and explain how citizens, states and non-state actors make and remake our contemporary world at various geographical scales.

Global systems can include the environmental, political, legal, economic, financial or cultural systems that help to make and remake the world we live in. Students should have an understanding of the geographical concept ‘interdependence’ whereby in reality our world is no longer composed of just independent nation-states; but with states operating concurrently in international arenas. Increased interdependence and transformed relationships between people, states and environments have prompted attempts at a global level to manage and govern aspects of human affairs.

Global governance and management refers to the rules, norms and laws that regulate global systems. Governing bodies include the United Nations, European Union and the World Trade Organisation, just to name a few. Students must recognise that although attempts of global governance can promote growth and stability for our global systems, it can also exacerbate geographical inequalities and injustices between citizens and places, such as human development and rights, population movement and immigration and access to markets for goods, services and capital.

Resources to support your teaching

Article bundles

Global systems and global governance: article bundle (Geography Matters)

This bundle of twelve articles have been written by members of the GA’s Post-16 and HE Phase Committee and published in their annual ‘Geography Matters’ newsletter. These twelve articles (download contents page) have been selected to support teachers when planning ‘Global systems and global governance’ for the 2016 A level. The bundle is free for GA members to download.

Global systems: journal article bundle (Geography)

This bundle of five articles were published in the journal, Geography, an internationally renowned academic journal which publishes high-level research. These five articles (download contents page) have been selected as they offer subject knowledge for teachers on global systems. The bundle is available to buy with substantial discounts for GA members.

Global governance: journal article bundle (Geography)

This bundle of five articles were published in the journal, Geography, an internationally renowned academic journal which publishes high-level research. These five articles (download contents page) have been selected as they offer subject knowledge for teachers on global governance. The bundle is available to buy with substantial discounts for GA members.

Videocasts

These short videocasts can be used in lessons with students.

Interdependence

The idea of interdependence is a relatively new concept for studying the earth, and this video explains how understanding current environmental change through interdependence with human factors is necessary to grasp how we change the planet. A level geography requires a broad understanding of both physical and human geography, and the issues discussed here relate to both.

An interdependent world

This three minute video looks at the contested fragility of our world. When the first images of our planet from space emerged, many commented on how the earth was a fragile ‘blue marble’. Here, Joe Smith suggests that it is in fact our place on earth that is fragile, not the earth itself. Our relationship with this planet is more one of dependence than interdependence.

Time

This two minute video describes the geographic consequences of time, and how it can be used to better understand the interdependence of humans and the environmental system. It is therefore necessary to understand interference to truly understand the challenge of climate change at A level.

Other resources

Geographical Association 2015 conference

Dr. Simon Oakes delivers an exciting session at the 2015 Geographical Association Conference in Manchester. His session titled "Thinking Global, Looking Local: Teaching the new Human Geography from 2016" supports our Eduqas AS/A level Geography qualifications first teaching in September 2016. Part 2 and Part 3 videos are all about the ‘Global systems and global governance’ core theme.

Part 2 (starting from 6 minutes 45 seconds)

Part 3 

Global Cities workshop materials

This session, which was delivered during a CPD training course for post-16 geography teachers In 2013, examined contemporary urban themes: the distinctive nature of ‘world’ cities within the global economy and society; the changing distribution of large urban centres; the processes at work in the world's largest cities and the knowledge and skills candidates need to tackle these issues to A level standard.

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