RI-SP109 | Spring | 3 ECTS

Quantifying the International: Numbers as Instruments of Representation and Governance

Practices of quantification and measurement have become omnipresent in contemporary global governance. Notably used to set global agendas, monitor performance, and evaluate the impact of policy reforms, quantified knowledge is produced and circulated by a multitude of actors (i.e. IOs, INGOs, think tanks, experts, universities, etc.), on an extensive range of global issue-areas (i.e. poverty, human displacement, climate change, etc.). But what makes these numerical figures and their creators authoritative? How are they constructed? To what ends are they mobilized? Mobilizing an interdisciplinary perspective, this course will bring students to think critically about the intersection between quantification, power, and authority in the global governance of social, economic, and political phenomena. Students will work in pairs to deconstruct one of the Sustainable Development Goals whilst proposing alternative ways of problematizing global policy objectives. This course will be taught in English and French.