New semester is upon us! I’m teaching a seminar on Globalization for the first time ever. I’m excited: this is the sort of topic I would have really enjoyed learning about as an undergrad, but somehow never found my way into the right courses.
If you check out the course materials section of this website, you’ll find my syllabus for the class. The first unit will be a brief review of fairly mainstream international economics — trade, finance, migration, who wins/loses etc from globalization, and should we ever argue against globalization. It will be an in-depth reading of chapter 18 in CORE’s The Economy, and I’m happy to have the time to give a dense chapter its due. The second half of the course is where I go nuts: students will be reading and discussing Immanuel Wallerstein’s World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction and Giovanni Arrighi’s The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power, and the Origins of Our Times. What I am hoping for is an anti-Guns, Germs, Steel experience for my students. We’ll see how it goes!
Last semester, my chief experiment was to let go of my death grip on a textbook for my Political Economy of Global Finance; when I taught the course as a new hire at URI and as a new prep, I was really hesitant to lean into non-textbook teaching. We covered far less technical material about exchange rates, and while I would have liked to review some of that material with them, I think on balance it was a better class. I also introduced shadow banking, tax havens, and money laundering for the first time to this syllabus, as well as a discussion of crypto-currency. I think it’s a fruitful arena to explore going forward, though I didn’t have enough time at the very end to really think about the international potential or implications of block-chain financial technology, or the problems with Bitcoin itself, rather than crypto-currencies generally.