Final-MAX132-fall09-syllabus - MAX 132 GLOBAL COMMUNITY...

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M AX 132: G LOBAL C OMMUNITY Fall 2009 Our world is changing, and we are changing with it. The human beings who inhabit the various corners of the earth have become increasingly inter-connected in all sorts of ways -- economic, cultural, and political. Many people use the term “globalization” as shorthand for all of this. Yet there is much controversy about what it all means. For many of its advocates, globalization represents progress on a world scale, the spread of free markets bringing with them economic rationality and efficiency, new opportunities, the promise of materially richer lives for increasing numbers of the world’s people. Some critics of globalization see it as a threat to the sovereignty of their home country, and to the special culture and way of life they associate with their national identity. Still others see in globalization a system for institutionalizing the power, privilege and disproportionate wealth of the United States. To critics, globalization connotes not global progress so much as a heightening of the powers of corporate capitalists to pursue profit through the intensified exploitation of the earth’s people and its natural environment. Far from being of purely academic interest, these different interpretations of globalization go to the heart of political, economic, and social struggles which will determine what kind of world we will live in. MAX 132 is designed to help you become informed about globalization and its multi-dimensional nature and controversies. Four substantive units make up the course. First, in Unit I we examine some preliminary ideas about what globalization and global community might mean and why it matters. Then in Unit II we explore the politics of the emerging global economy from a variety of perspectives: workers, multinational corporations, nation-states, and international organizations. Unit III focuses on trends and debates about globalization's cultural consequences, including whether societies worldwide are becoming homogenized or polarized through increased interaction. Finally, Unit IV considers global challenges such as climate change and the depletion of oil supplies and asks whether we are able to achieve “global community” to a degree sufficient to meet these emerging global challenges. The five learning objectives of MAX 132 are: (1) to increase your understanding of the global economy and society; (2) to build your awareness of multiple perspectives on global issues; (3) to improve your critical reading and argumentation skills; (4) to help you become a more effective writer; and (5) to enable you to enter into globalization-related debates in an informed and thoughtful manner. MAX 132 is included on the Basic List of the Social Sciences in the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum as defined in
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This note was uploaded on 05/05/2010 for the course MAX 132 taught by Professor Miraglia during the Fall '08 term at Syracuse.

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Final-MAX132-fall09-syllabus - MAX 132 GLOBAL COMMUNITY...

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