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 ConsequencesChossudovsky, M and Marshall, A. The Global Financial CrisisGrant, R & Short, J., Globalization and the MarginsHolton, R. Globalization and the Nation-State (2nd edition)Panitch, L. and Gindin, S. The Making of Global CapitalismPerrons, D., Globalization and Social ChangeSchirato, T & Webb, J., Understanding GlobalizationShort, J., Global DimensionsSteger, M., Globalization: The New Market Ideology