GLOBAL 2: INTRODUCTION TO GLOBAL
SOCIOECONOMIC AND POLITICAL PROCESSES
Office: HSSB 3043
Office Hours: T 1:30-3:30
This interdisciplinary course is designed to introduce students to the study of global socioeconomic and
political processes, interactions, and changes that affect the contemporary world.
“Global” processes are those that
affect people throughout the world regardless of national boundaries – for example, global warming, global commodity
production chains, currency devaluations, migrations, and transnational ethnic and religious movements.
In the last two decades, since most of you were born, the world has changed radically.
The global “Cold War” has
been replaced by countless local conflicts, often driven by ethnic or religious nationalism.
“Fear of terrorism” has
replaced “fear of communism” in the American consciousness.
The United States has embarked on a unilateral course
of foreign policy to pursue its own interests, including launching a pre-emptive war in the name of fighting terrorism,
and making clear that others may follow if our government believes that our national security is threatened.
capitalism seems triumphant, although the “Washington consensus” on the global economy – the notion that free
markets and unrestricted competition provide the key to economic growth – is now being challenged in many parts of
America’s global economic dominance is increasingly threatened by economic growth in Asia and Europe,
while much of Africa and parts of Latin America sink deeper into poverty.
Global environmental problems loom larger
than even before.
The rapid spread of new communications technologies around the world has given rise to new forms
of social and political interactions.
In this class, which is one of the gateway courses for the global studies major, we will try to understand these
developments in their regional and global contexts.
We will also evaluate the ways that scholars have tried to analyze
world systems and global processes and trends.
There are three required texts for the course:
Patrick O'Meara, Howard D. Mehlinger and Matthew Krain (eds.),
Globalization and the Challenges of a New
Century: A Reader
(Bloomington, Indiana: University of Indiana Press, 2000).
This book also contains an
excellent resource bibliography on globalization, including a long list of useful websites (see pp. 461-482)
Sarah Anderson, John Cavanaugh, and Thea Lee (eds.),
Field Guide to the Global Economy
(NY: New Press,
This is an excellent primer on economic globalization (with a point of view, of course), that concludes with
some current responses
Richard P. Appelbaum,
Introduction to Global Studies: Politics and Economics
(Dubuque, IA: Kendall-Hunt,
2004). In the syllabus that follows, this will be referred to as the “Appelbaum Reader”