Dr Thomas Gift (Department of Political Science)
One 3,000 word essay
About this course
The late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have brought many unprecedented challenges and opportunities. Globalisation and the flattening of the world mean that countries and individuals are intertwined like never before in history.
Against this backdrop, standards of living in many countries have skyrocketed, millions of people have escaped poverty, and countless others have capitalised on new opportunities in work and life. At the same time, serious problems have emerged that pose a threat to sustained peace and prosperity across the globe.
In this course, we will investigate the nature of these challenges and opportunities, why they have arisen, and what they portend for the future political and economic trajectory of citizens and societies. Lectures, readings, and discussions will revolve around three central questions:
- What is globalisation? Although the concept of globalisation is much contested, we will try both to demystify the language and hyperbole surrounding the idea and to delineate the different types of globalisation processes taking place.
- How is globalisation managed? Having established what globalisation is, we will next examine how individuals, governments, international institutions, and others actors seek to confront this process by maximizing its benefits and minimizing its costs.
- What are the consequences of globalisation? Finally, we will explore the effects of globalisation across a range of topical areas, including: (i) labour markets; (ii) social policy; (iii) growth strategies; (iv) democracy and human rights; (v) migration; and (vi) the environment. By the end of the course, you will better understand what globalisation is, what aspects of modern political and economic systems are due to globalisation, the key advantages and disadvantages of globalisation, and how globalisation influences an array of exigent policy issues.