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Global systems and global governance

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 simply of 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 global systems and governance

To access the full range of post-16 teaching resources from the GA, visit our Online Teaching Resources section. To access our A level publications, visit the GA online shop.


Thinking Global, Looking Local

Excerpts from Simon Oakes’ GA Annual Conference lecture, addressing global systems and governance, part 2 (starting from 6 minutes 45 seconds) and part 3.

Part 3 


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