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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

POLI 3991: Globalization and Its Discontents: The Politics of Economic Change

This web seminar course examines three economic institutions that are central to understanding the processes referred to as “globalization”: the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization. The course develops a framework of the key concepts in discussions of globalization before exploring the political origins and current social consequences of these organizations, and examining related issues of global governance, corporate accountability and global justice.

Learning outcomes

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Find and assess information relevant to issues of globalization on the Internet.
  2. Participate in discussions about globalization in an informed manner.
  3. Explain key terms used in discussions about economic globalization.
  4. Develop a broad definition of globalization.
  5. Discuss different ideologies in favour and against globalization.
  6. Discuss the relationship between politics and economics.
  7. Locate current political and economic discussions within a historical context.
  8. Describe and critique the three political/economic institutions that are central to the process of globalization: the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  9. Analyze case studies on the international role of one or more of these political/economic institutions.
  10. Identify and discuss some of the political consequences of globalization.
  11. Outline and engage in the debates and issues around global governance and global justice.
  12. Sustain an interest in reading, writing, and talking about contemporary issues in globalization.
  13. Adopt a critical but receptive attitude towards alternative perspectives on political and social questions.
  14. Evaluate contesting arguments about globalization and society by applying tests of logic and fact verification.
  15. Develop a reasoned and social science-based approach to dealing with complex political and social questions connected to globalization.
  16. Analyze the complex political and social questions related to globalization and produce informed judgments about them.
  17. Appreciate the importance of the relationship between globalization and the European and North American colonization of the rest of the world.

Course topics

POLI 3991: Globalization and Its Discontents: The Politics of Economic Change includes the following units:

Unit 1: Theoretical and Historical Frameworks for Discussing Globalization

Unit 2: Ideologies of Globalization, and Financial Globalization

Unit 3: Accountability and Democracy under Globalization

Unit 4: Resistance and Alternatives: Is World Justice Possible?

Required text and materials

Students will receive the following textbooks:

  1. Ellwood, W. (2015). Globalization: Buying and selling the world (4th ed). Between the Lines.
    Type: Textbook ISBN: 978-1-77113-245-9
  1. Rodrik, D. (2011). The globalization paradox: Democracy and the future of the world economy. Norton.
    Type: Textbook ISBN: 978-0-393-34128-7

Note: If you have questions about course textbooks or other materials, email OLMaterials.


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

In order to successfully complete this course, you must obtain at least 50% on the final examination and 50% overall. The following chart shows how the final grade is determined for this course.

Assignment 1 : Journal Entires (4) 20%
Assignment 2 : Sustainable Development Goal 25%
Assignment 3 : Follow the Thing 25%
Final Exam (mandatory) 30%
TOTAL 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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