Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies

Interrogating Political Globalization

This course considers political globalization and its impact on the state and state sovereignty. To begin with, then, `globalization¿ is, itself, a complex, contested, fluid and flexible concept; it means different things to different people, in different contexts. What it means from a political perspective, to whom and why will be our focal points of inquiry. In particular, we will look closely at the implications of globalization for the state. This is especially salient given the traditional notion of the state as a sovereign authority in an age in which there is a proliferation of international and regional organizations, and of multi-national corporations ¿ many of which have larger sales revenues than the entire economies of most countries in the context of a world economy that appears to be beyond the control of many states. First, we will consider various ideas of globalization, and of political globalization, and their genesis. We then turn to the literature concerned with the seeming transformation of the sovereign state, and of the social relations brought about by globalization. We will also explore ethnographic and critical approaches to the study of political globalization. Throughout the semester, we will be considering how political globalization ¿works¿ as a discourse, how it is experienced, what its attributes might be, what shifts in political- economic power relations the term denotes, and how we might develop a critical approach to its study.
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