COURSE TITLE: Opportunities and Issues in Globalization
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course creates awareness of the nature, development and implications of the powerful spread of trade and finance flows across the modern world. It analyses the positive and negative aspects of globalization and alerts students to the opportunities for responsible extension of economic activities (trade in particular) to countries, regions and parts of the world very different from Canada. The ethical, developmental and environmental dimensions of globalization will be integrated with the business aspects and options.

Same as BUSI 461.

Prerequisites: ECON 203
  • Caneque F. C. & Hart S. L.. 2015. Base of the Pyramid 3.0, Sheffield, Greenleaf Publishing 
  • McKinsey Quarterly. Registration (free) is required. Provides the business perspective on globalization from one of the foremost global consulting firms in the world.
  • Course Readings, as set out in the outline (references available on Moodle)
  • Class Handouts
Assignments/Cases 35%
Class participation 15%
Mid-term exam 25%
Final Exam 25%
COURSE OBJECTIVES: This course intends to make Economics and Business students aware of the enormous impact of and reaction(s) to the phenomenon known as globalization. A broad description of the current “global  economy”,  how  it  developed  and  the  way  it  currently  functions,  will  set  the  tone  for evaluating its impact and considering opportunities within it. It will further raise awareness about the highly contested nature of the current form of globalization as well as the likely future path and  outcome  of  the  fossil-fuel  based  inter-linkages  in  today’s  world.  Students  will  be encouraged to evaluate the current trends and outcomes from a Christian (or other normative) viewpoint and to consider whether alternative ways forward are necessary and feasible. 

A substantial part of the course will explore new prospects and ways for using global business opportunities  responsibly  in  order  to  extend  (and  share)  sustainable  economic  well-being  to parts  of  the  world  where  people  have  been  largely  by-passed  by  the  heralded  benefits  of globalization. 

Use  will  be  made  of  case  studies  of  various  forms  of  globalised  economic  enterprise  and students  will  be  allowed  the  chance  to  design  and  develop  ways  of  expanding  economic activities  from  a  Canadian  base  that  hold  promise  of  sustainable  and  mutually  beneficial outcomes for all participants.

The objectives of the course will thus be:
  • Familiarisation with the current form and impact of globalization and global business;   
  • Familiarisation with some of the main issues that have arisen from globalization and global business in the recent past;   
  • Discussion and evaluation of the various critical and apologetic responses to the outcomes of current globalization, including that of Canadian business;     
  • Development of a nuanced normative and practical perspective on how global business can be made sustainable and beneficial to the bulk of the world’s people;   
  • Analysing case studies of how globalized enterprise has worked and can work to the benefit or to the detriment of businesses and communities in different parts of the world, particularly in the poorer parts of the globe;     
  • Identifying new practical options and opportunities for global business enterprise that serves the common good and sustains the environment.
COURSE OUTLINE: 1. Defining globalisation

Globalization today refers to the complex array of impacts that arise from the increasing tendency for national borders to be crossed by people, goods, services, financial resources and information – made possible by the development of sophisticated communication technology.

It denotes the increasing unification of the world's economic (but not yet political) order through reduction of such barriers to international economic interaction as tariffs, export fees, import quotas, financial controls, and laws and standards on labour and ecological impacts . The goal is to increase overall material wealth - as expressed in goods and services - through an international division of labour and the expected accompanying efficiencies flowing from
international relations, specialization and competition. 

The term is most closely associated with the idea of economic globalization: the integration of national economies into the international economy through regional and multilateral economic cooperation; unfettered trade, foreign direct investment and capital flows; migration, the spread of technology, and military presence to safeguard existing interests. 

However, globalization in its fullest sense is recognized as being driven by a combination of economic, technological, socio-cultural, political, and ecological factors. The term can thus also refer to the transnational circulation of ideas, languages, or popular culture through acculturation. 

Arguing against a mainly optimistic view, stands an alternative approach that stresses how globalization also has substantial negative impacts in all its dimensions. It is argued that it contributes to the decrease of life-chances for a big part of the world’s poor majority while expanding benefits mainly for a small, already affluent part; that it reduces the sovereignty of national governments to act on behalf of its citizens; that it homogenises inter-cultural contacts while increasing the possibility of international and intra-national conflict; and that it accelerates the worrying deterioration of the ecological carrying capacity of the natural world.

2 Measuring and describing globalisation  
3 The context of globalization:  Organizations and agreements

4 Debate about the Effects of Globalisation

A huge amount of literature (both popular and academic) has grown over the last two decades arguing the two (or three) sides of the question whether globalization is good or bad on balance.  Some overviews are given by;
5 Reasons and Possibilities for going beyond the stalled debate
6 Expanding opportunities for the majority of the world’s population

Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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