• Grenoble Ecole de Management

Global Studies: Cultures and Organizations in International Relations

Explore how cultural, institutional and environmental differences can be overcome to create a more cooperative world.

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A  folding screen with camelia in bloom by Japanese artist Hayami Gyoshû, an allegory of harmony.
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 3 of 3
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The CPD Certification Service

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies. Find out more.

Examine whether global cooperation is possible despite cultural differences

We live in a wonderfully diverse world, but with difference often comes conflict. Is global cooperation between humans possible despite their cultural, institutional, and environmental differences? Do ideological confrontations endanger international cooperation?

Find out with this four-week course exploring organisations and cultures across the globe. Evaluate beliefs about the “clash of civilisations” and examine whether our world really is becoming more liberal.

Ce cours peut être entièrement suivi en français. Des traductions françaises sont disponibles, les discussions se déroulant sur un forum francophone.

Découvrir comment et jusqu’à quel point les différences culturelles, institutionnelles, et environnementales peuvent être surmontées pour aboutir à un monde plus collaboratif.

Discover levers and shortfalls in intercultural negotiations

Good negotiation relies on finding a middle ground, but is that possible when cultures are so varied? Our globalised world relies on us finding ways to improve our cross-cultural communication and build bridges.

Discover how we have done this, and where attempts fell short. You’ll consider conflicting ideologies, cultural distinctions, and how modernity and tradition continue to influence these talks.

Review international relations from 1925 to 2025

We live in a different world to 1925 – discover how we have progressed and formed strong international unions since then. You’ll then apply your new knowledge to look at the future, and consider what our challenges will be, and how we may overcome them.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds As different as we are, can we collaborate? With conflicting memories, can we build a world government? When talking about global order what immediately comes to mind are our past failures to make such a world possible, like the League of Nations, two and even three world wars, or failed states by the dozen and the current limit to electoral integrity. There are countless obstacles on the road to peace and prosperity. In the past, taking refuge in cultural values and identities was easier than interacting with foreigners. But living in isolation is not the only barrier to sound globalisation. Norms that once promoted free markets and elections as well as human rights are increasingly contested. Progress is no longer consensual.

Skip to 1 minute and 4 seconds Science has lost its appeal, and universal ethics is replaced by local rules of morality. Alternatives to the left/right divide of the West have become popular in the rest of the world. Confucianism and Islamism are back in the global South. Even in the global North the Republican creed, born during the revolutions of the 18th century, is now contested. Agreements between dozens of powers used to be commonplace. But today, with almost 200 countries, agreements seem unattainable. There are many more stakeholders beyond government, international organisations. While within each nation, minorities weaken its negotiating power. There are good news too. People are attached to world institutions. Inequality and injustice are increasingly criticised. Domination, oligarchy, hegemony are no longer accepted.

Skip to 2 minutes and 7 seconds Rising states endorse the existing rules, like international law or diplomatic protocols. Organisations expand. They address unsolved issues and enduring conflicts. Their networks are stronger. Their legitimacy is less doubted. But the dilemma persists in other guises. We can promote integration of our cultures and regimes into a global compound, or draw a demarcation line with strangers, foreign powers, and multilateral institutions. In this course, you will find fruitful thought about this dilemma and possibly solve it, at least for yourself.


  • Week 1

    A preface to a new world order

    • Universalism and authenticity

      “European” used to mean universal. We now know that certain non-European values are universal and that certain European values are not. There are even universal values that are specific to peoples who have long remained isolated.

    • Modernity and tradition

      Modernity is present everywhere, and was present even before the modern era. Tradition continues in intellectually advanced countries. Liberal thinking is influential but not dominant. "Illiberalism" resists.

    • Conflicting ideologies

      Ideologies take the same ingredients (heritage, religion, tradition, knowledge) and combine and prioritize them differently, which produces considerable opposition within and outside each country.

  • Week 2

    Cultural encounters and cultural conflicts

    • Pretended or true cultural distinctions

      Cultural differences exist and sometimes weigh on people’s visions of the world. On the other hand, history and its narratives artificially induce different relationships with foreigners and other countries.

    • Going alone or getting along

      We are not only dealing with states: cultures, civilizations, people also count, they collaborate or not, and it is hard to make up for past relationships with benevolence and compassion.

    • Intercultural negotiations

      The greater the gap in the negotiators’ cultures, the more difficult it is to settle a dispute: conversely, a shared negotiating culture compensates for the cultural differences.

  • Week 3

    Democratisation and liberalisation

    • Waves of democratisation

      Unsolvable wars and conflicts lead to innovation which is supposed to make the world more livable, provided that all the inhabitants of the Earth benefit, which most of them, rightly or wrongly, think unlikely.

    • Waves of deregulation

      Free trade has always promised prosperity, but has also led to poverty.

    • Setbacks: non linear change

      Progress exists, but it is neither egalitarian nor constant. The hierarchy of national economies, personal fortunes, and inequalities of social class is at one point or another upset or even upturned.

  • Week 4

    Living in isolation or opening up

    • Nationalism, anti-colonialism

      The refusal to integrate into an economy and to accept globalized policy is reflected in passive, hostile or even bellicose reactions to anything reminiscent of yesterday’s colonialism or imperialism.

    • Back to the past: the world in 1925?

      In reaction to globalization, nostalgia is agitating states and societies. The "good old days" of the 19th century, offer comforting memories to those searching for supposed humanity and comfort.

    • A step towards the future? The World in 2025

      States transfer some of their powers to intergovernmental organizations whose increasing clout provides growing power to act. The network which they will often form could be the premises of a new world.

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Who is this accredited by?

European Foundation for Management Development
European Foundation for Management Development:

The European Foundation for Management Development is Europe’s largest network association in the field of management development.

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Improve your knowledge in international studies (including history, theories of international relations and international economics)
  • Compare the way international institutions and national states address the fragmentation of World politics and policies (with the help of intercultural and organizational studies)
  • Reflect upon economic, demographic, geographic, and anthropological data

Who is the course for?

This course will be of particular interest to business and international relations students; professionals working for global businesses; and IGO and NGO experts dealing with intercultural issues.

No experience in Global Studies is required, so this course is suitable for anyone with an interest in global politics and culture who wants to learn more about International Relations, its history, and potential future.

If you’re taking this course as part of the International Relations programme for credit, you’ll be expected to spend 10 hours per week on it. If you’re not taking the course for credit, six hours per week is enough for basic understanding.

This course has been developed by Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM); a leading business school which has achieved international recognition thanks to its expertise in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Who will you learn with?

Pr. of political science, University of Grenoble Alpes & Institut Universitaire de France (Global & Comparative Politics); visiting scholar, Grenoble Ecole de Management

Who developed the course?

Grenoble Ecole de Management

For the past 30 years, Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) has established itself in France and abroad as a leading business school through expertise in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

About this ExpertTrack

Discover the threats facing our world and explore how cultures and organisations can work together to overcome them.

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