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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2018-19

MALS 240 Globalization and Its Discontents

The subject of this seminar is the widespread and contentious belief that humanity has recently entered a new stage of integration called "Globalization." The seminar explores the simultaneous lauding of globalization and resistance to globalization in the politics and cultures of rich and poor regions of the world. Our discussions focus on readings and films that present many different views of globalization ranging from celebration to skepticism to outright hostility. Taking care to avoid both teleological presumptions and technological fetishism, we begin with a historical review of the economic processes most often identified as “globalization," and ponder the implications of research that shows globalization has a long history and that it has been reversible. Then we spend the rest of the term critically examining the relationships between global economic integration and changes in international politics and law, as well as the emergence of diverse transnational, national, and sub-national movements opposed to the dominant ideas and practices of economic and political globalization. These critics include human rights and environmental activists, indigenous peoples, socialists, nationalists, and fundamentalists of many different faiths.


Ronald Edsforth