Globalisation: Its Meanings, Causes and Consequences

Globalisation has become a buzzword in the social sciences and lay discourse. It is often related to the speeding up of global communication and travel, and the transnationalisation of economic, political, social and cultural institutions. The meaning and causes of globalisation are highly debatable. For the purposes of this module globalisation is defined as a complex, paradoxical set of processes, which are multi-scalar, multi-temporal, multi-centric, multi-form, and multi-causal. It produces fragmentation and integration, divergence and convergence as well as continuities and discontinuities. Their overall effect is to reconfigure asymmetries of power and knowledge and this in turn raises questions about governance, inequalities, and resistance in and across different parts of the world. Selected themes range from MacDonaldization through to Wal-Martization and the current financial crisis.

The course is taught on the basis of ten weekly two-hour seminars with short lectures, a 15-20 min. student presentation, and a general discussion in which all are expected to participate. The topics include: the world market, finance and production, labour and migration, global cities, global media and global culture, sovereignty and nation-states, global governance, global cities as well as financial globalization and crisis.

Select Bibliography:

Bauman, Z., Globalization: the Human Consequences
Chossudovsky, M and Marshall, A. The Global Financial Crisis
Grant, R & Short, J., Globalization and the Margins
Holton, R. Globalization and the Nation-State (2nd edition)
Panitch, L. and Gindin, S. The Making of Global Capitalism
Perrons, D., Globalization and Social Change
Schirato, T & Webb, J., Understanding Globalization
Short, J., Global Dimensions
Steger, M., Globalization: The New Market Ideology