Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3109: Politics in a Global Urban Age

This module descriptor refers to the 2018/9 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.


NQF Level 6
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Delacey Tedesco (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


According to popular and academic assessments, we have entered a global urban condition for the first time in history. These narratives suggest that if you want to understand and engage in world politics today, you need to understand the global urban transition. In this module, we draw on urban geography, urban studies and political geography, as well as politics and IR literature, to engage key theoretical debates on the political implications of the urban transition. These debates pose crucial questions for students of politics, IR, and geography, such as: How do global cities, planetary urbanization, and other approaches challenge assumptions of politics defined by state territorial borders? How is global urbanization changing practices of community, identity, and citizenship? Why have cities become the locus for security and terrorism, but also for sustainability and sanctuary? How can studying cities in the Global South help correct the political biases of urban theories based on Western cities and Western politics? What methodologies and approaches are necessary to define, study and engage ‘politics’ in this new urban world? We tackle such questions critically, asking who and what gets brought into – and left out of – this ‘urban’ frame. Throughout the module, we apply these questions and approaches to case studies of places in transition and analyze the spaces, practices and experiences of politics that emerge.


This module is suitable for specialist and non-specialist students studying Politics, International Relations or Geography. While not a pre-requisite, students are advised to complete POC2108 or POC3108 (Political Geographies: Local to Global) prior to undertaking this class.

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