Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC2086: Governing the Good Life: Contemporary International Studies

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.

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


NQF Level 5
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Karen Scott (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


How can governments support The Good Life? What part does it play in political ideology and political discourse? Is measuring happiness an appropriate goal for government? This module follows on from POC2085 Imagining The Good Life: from the Agora to The American Dream and moves from the theory of The Good Life to its governance and practice. Through a range of case studies we will look at how various nation states and international organisations have attempted to conceptualise and govern The Good Life.  You will learn how different social, political, economic, cultural and historical contexts have shaped different philosophies of wellbeing across the contemporary world. You will gain awareness of the  similarities and differences in these philosophies and how they relate to dominant political economies and governance regimes. This module uses case studies from Africa, North and South America, Asia, Australasia and Europe. You will have the opportunity to learn about culturally specific philosophies of the good life and how these are related to political histories and economies in those countries. Through a wide variety of case studies you will learn, for example, how different visions of a good life within a country are integrated within mainstream politics and policy, and how good life philosophies can provide coherent narratives or become sources of conflict in times of political transition.

The module is only suitable for students have completed POC2085Imagining The Good Life: from the Agora to The American Dream. 

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