Mike Rossi


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Courses » Globalization » Syllabus

Content: Globalization: Syllabus


The structure of this class will NOT simply entail lectures and note taking. Readings will be followed by projects meant to demonstrate the student’s ability to apply the concepts and knowledge learned. You are encouraged to challenge all conceptual formulations and develop your own approaches to problems discussed in the course. Do not simply take the arguments in the readings as be-all, end-all proclamations.

WARNING: There are no formal prerequisites for this course, but this is not a course for the faint of heart, the lazy, or the downright apathetic. THIS CLASS IS HARD! The material is thorough, the workload is heavy, and I hold a lot of expectations. Do NOT take this course if you are not going to do the work!

Grading Weights

Students’ final evaluation will be determined by the following categories:

Work Result Weight Due
Class assignments 20% Session XXX
Two 10-15 page papers 30% Session XXX
Final exam 30% Session XXX
Class participation 20% All sessions
Due Dates

Late papers will result in a deduction of 1/3 of a grade each day they are late. There are no extensions.


While I do not provide a formal mid-term, you are expected to turn in frequent assignments, and on occasion, work in groups. All class assignments must be submitted in hard copy. You are responsible for making up lost assignments.



Final Exam



Because the class will rely heavily on discussions of the readings and critically analyzing points and counter-points to many arguments, it is critical you attend class prepared, and arrive having completed the required reading. I will call on students who do not appear to be participating, and I may give unannounced quizzes if I feel the class, as a whole, is not keeping up. In short, the course requires active participation by all class members. Remember, 20% of your participation evaluation could mean the difference between an A and a B.

Provided Work Material



Introduction - What is Globalization?


The course begins by introducing the course structure and requirements. It gives a broad overview of what we will be discussing and how you will apply what you learn to real-world examples. The first reading is an exercise in methodology about improving the learning process through “problem posing”, as opposed to simply “banking” information through passive memorization. This will prepare you for how to approach the class discussions and course readings.

Your first assignment is to find 5 different definitions of the term “globalization”. Three should come fromscholarly books or articlesresearched in the library. Do NOT use the Dictionary or the Encyclopedia! Two should come from the Internet (NOTWikipedia). Each definition should be approximately 100 words. This essay should not only be different definitions of the term, but an understanding of the significance of how the term is being used by those defining it. Indicate which definitions, if any, you find most useful. You may also point out where definitions differ from one another.

Paper is due Week 2

Session 1


  • Paulo Freire: Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Chapter 2, pp. 57-74 (website)
Week 2


  • Peter Berger, “Four Faces of Global Culture”, National Interest
  • Tom Friedman: The Lexus and the Olive Tree, pp. xi – 43
  • Ben Barber: Jihad vs. McWorld, Chapter 19, “Securing Global Democracy in the World of McWorld”, pp. 268 – 292
  • Saskia Sassen, Globalization and its Discontents, Chapter 1, pp. xix-xxxvi


  • Richard Falk, “State of Siege: Will Globalization Win Out?” International Affairs, vol. 73, no. 1, January 1997, pp. 123 – 36
  • Thomas Friedman: The World is Flat, Chapter 2, “Ten Forces the Flattened the World pp. 51 – 77

Week 2 Class 1 – First Paper Topics Given

Week 2 Class 2 – What is Globalization Assignment Due

II - Measuring Globalization's Technological and Economic Impact


How do we know that globalization is not some fad created by the media or a catch-all phrase by isolationists and protectionists? Is the “era of globalization” any different from previous periods of economic expansion? Do we measure globalization solely on the amount of economic change or do we also need to look into political, social and cultural realms as well? How are we to understand the apparent dichotomy between advanced industrialized countries and less-developed nations? Is there justification to differentiating between “core” and “periphery”, “North” or “South”, “West” or “East”?

Weeks 3 - 4


  • Robert Gilpin, The Challenge of Global Capitalism, Chapter 1 - 2, 15-52, and Chapter 10, pp. 293 – 324
  • Friedman, Lexus and the Olive Tree, ch. 4, 6, 7, pp. 44-72; 101-111; 112-142
  • Barber, Jihad vs. McWorld, ch. 1-3, pp. 23 – 58
  • Joseph E. Stiglitz, Globalization and its Discontents, Chapter 1, pp. 3 – 22
  • Sassen, Globalization and its Discontents, Chapter 10, pp. 195 – 215

Selective (choose at least two from Group 1)

  • Daniel Drenzer, “Bottom Feeders” Foreign Policy, Dec. 2000, pp. 64 – 70
  • P.J. O’Rourke, “The Godfather Decade: An Encounter with Post-Soviet Corruption”, Foreign Policy, December 2000, pp. 74 – 80
  • Gideon Rachman, “The Hard Evidence that China’s Soft Power Policy is Working”, Financial Times, February 20, 2007
  • Comment & Analysis, “Not Working: Why France may find its Social Model Exacts too high a Price”, Financial Times, April 16, 2007
  • Comment & Analysis, “Too Big to Fail: Russia’s Oligarchs”, Financial Times, July 28, 2009

Selective (choose at least four from Group 2)

  • Celia Dugger, “An Exodus of African Nurses Puts Infants and the Ill in Peril”, New York Times, July 12, 2004
  • Roger Cohen, “Globalization’s Reality: The Wheel that Turns”, New York Times, November 25, 2006
  • Victoria Burnett, “Tolerant Spain is Booming as it Absorbs Flood of Foreign Workers”, Financial Times, February 20, 2007
  • Andrew Bounds, “Armenia to Give Growth in Economy Priority over Rights”, Financial Times, April 9, 2007
  • Neil McDonald, “Belgrade: A Boom in the Making”, Financial Times, May 30, 2007
  • Bertrand Benolit, “East German Town Discovers a New Powerhouse Role”, Financial Times, June 29, 2007
  • John Reed and Michiyo Nakamoto, “Gone Native: Why Toyota has been Spared an American Backlash”, Financial Times, August 7, 2007
  • Shawn Donnan, “Behemoths Strut their Stuff”, Financial Times, August 15, 2007
  • Lydia Polgreen and Howard French, “In Africa, China is Both Benefactor and Competitor”, New York Times, August 21, 2007
  • Roel Landingin and David Pilling, “Mixed Blessings: The Philippines Leans Heavily on its Diaspora,” Financial Times, August 28, 2007
  • James Kanter, “Uphill Road for Europe to Kick Russia Gas Habit”, New York Times, July 18, 2009
  • Kirk Johnson, “New Energy Injects Hope in a Colorado Steel Town”, New York Times, July 31, 2009
  • Hannah Seligson, “Shut out at Home, Americans go to China”, New York Times, August 11, 2009


  • Paul Krugman and Anthony J. Venables, “Globalization and the Inequality of Nations”, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 110, no. 4 (Nov. 1995), pp. 857 – 880
  • M. A. Thomas, “Getting Debt Relief Right”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 80, no. 5, Sept/Oct 2001
  • Ethan Kapstein, “The Corporate Ethics Crusade”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 80, no. 5, September/October 2001
  • David Dollar, and Aart Kraay, “Spreading the Wealth”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 81, no. 1, January/February 2002
  • Martin Wolf, “Will the Nation-State Survive Globalization?” Foreign Affairs, vol. 80 no. 1, January/February 2001

Week 4 Class 2 – In-class Project

III - The Politics of Consumerism and the Consumerism of Politics


What, or more appropriately,where, did the “market culture” originate? Why is globalization largely considered an American phenomenon? Can we trace an expanding market back to the original ideals of capitalism? Does the globalization of the market benefit everyone equally, or does the market segment towards particular consumer groups? Can we find traces of market strategy in areas other than economics? In politics? In cultural values? In what we eat? In essence, does society regulate the market, or does the market regulate society?

Weeks 5 - 6


  • Lizabeth Cohen, A Consumer’s Republic, ch. 3, pp. 112 – 165
  • Cohen, A Consumer’s Republic, ch. 6, pp. 257 – 289
  • Barber, Jihad vs. McWorld, ch. 3-4, pp. 59 – 87
  • Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation, Introduction, 1 – 10
  • Schlosser, Fast Food Nation, Chapter 1, pp. 13 – 30

Selective (choose at least five)

  • Niall Fitzgerald, “Harnessing the Potential for Globalization for the Consumer and Citizen”, International Affairs, vol. 73, no. 4, pp. 739 – 746
  • Seth Stevenson, “The Cola Wars” New York Times Magazine, March 10, 2002, pp. 38 – 43
  • Amy Cortese, “They Care About the World, and They Shop Too”, New York Times, July 20, 2003
  • Steven Greenhouse “How Costco Became the Anti-Wal-Mart” New York Times July 17 2005
  • Louis Uchitelle, “We Pledge Allegiance to the Mall”, New York Times, December 6, 2004
  • John Holusha, “Growing Appeal of Specialty Food Stores”, New York Times, August 1, 2004
  • Anthony Faiola, “Twilight for the Kimono”, Washington Post, December 13, 2006
  • Emily Wax, “An Ancient Indian Craft Left in Tatters”, Washington Post, June 6, 2007
  • Judith Martin, “Ads nauseum”, Financial Times, August 22, 2009
  • Claire Prentice, “Customers Call for Whole Foods Boycott”, BBC News, August 23, 2009


  • Friedman, The World is Flat, Chapter 2, pp. 151 – 166
  • John Hunter and Joshua Yates, ”In the Vanguard of Globalization: The World of American Globalizers”, Many Globalizations, ed. Peter Berger and Samuel Huntington, pp. 323 – 357

Week 6 Class 2 – In-class Project

IV - The Global Phenomenon of Popular Culture

What are the cultural linkages to globalization? Does it imply a mass psychology in the sense that individual societies or even regions of the world share similar understandings of the process? Does popular culture influence the politics and economic of the region? Does culture shape the market, or can the market also shape the culture of the region? Is the globalization of culture simply American hegemony in the form of Big Macs and Coca Colas, or does the Non-Western world also influence popular trends, foods, fashion, and entertainment in the U.S.?

Weeks 7 - 8


  • Cohen, Consumer’s Republic, Chapter 7, pp. 292 – 309; 331 – 344 (e-reserve)
  • Barber, Jihad, ch. 6-9, pp. 88 – 151
  • Schlosser, Fast Food Nation, ch. 2, 10, pp. 15 – 28; 225 – 252 (e-reserve)
  • Friedman, Lexus and the Olive Tree, ch. 13, pp. 276 – 305

Selective (choose at least two from Group 1)

  • Tamotsu Aoki, “Aspects of Globalization in Contemporary Japan”, Many Globalizations, ed. Peter Berger, and Samuel Huntington, pp. 68 – 88
  • Tulasi Srinivas, “A Tryst with Destiny: The Indian Case of Cultural Globalization”, Many Globalizations, ed. Peter Berger, and Samuel Huntington, pp. 89 – 116
  • Stephen Walt, “Fad, Fevers, and Firestorms”, Foreign Policy, Dec. 2000, pp. 34 – 42
  • Theodore Bestor, “How Sushi Went Global”, Foreign Policy, Dec. 2000, pp. 54 – 63
  • Elijah Wald, “Mitch Miller’s Part in Pop History”, Financial Times, August 22, 2009

Selective (choose at least five from Group 2)

  • Drew Fetherston, “Link to the Neighborhood: Butcher’s Art Keeps Pace with Community Tastes”, Newsday, November 1, 1999
  • Joseph Berger, “The Germans Came, Now They Are Us”, New York Times, October 25, 2003
  • Mark Landler, “A Medieval German Hamlet Keeps the Bulldozers at Bay”, New York Times, July 27, 2004
  • Amy Waldman, “Indians Go Home, but Don’t Leave U.S. Behind”, New York Times, July 24, 2004
  • Franklin Foer, “Of Headers and Hooligans: How Soccer Explains the World” New York Times Book Review, July 4, 2004
  • Neil Buckley, “Showdown in the Big-Box Shopping Aisles” Financial Times, July 6, 2004
  • Giuliano Hazan, “You Are How You Eat”, New York Times, July 6, 2004
  • Julia Moskin, “Here Comes Ramen, the Slurp Heard Around the World”, New York Times, November 10, 2004
  • Lane Hartill, “In Afghanistan, Comedians Joke their Way to Civil Renewal”, Christian Science Monitor, February 23, 2005
  • Marc Lacey, “US Churches Go ‘Green’ for Palm Sunday”, New York Times, April 1, 2007
  • Neil MacDonald, “Zagreb’s Smokers Wake up and Smell the Coffee”, Financial Times, April 17, 2007
  • Enrique Zaldua, “In Spain, No Olé For Bullfighters”, Time, August 6, 2007
  • “Russia’s Cossaks Ride Again”, BBC News, August 9, 2007
  • Simon Hancock, “’Our Pub’s About to Shut ?!?’”, BBC News, March 4, 2009
  • John T. Edge, “A Chili Sauce to Crow About”, New York Times, May 20, 2009
  • Dan Levin, “Genghis Khan Rules Mongolia Again, in a P.R. Campaign”, New York Times, August 3, 2009
  • Alexander Smith, “Keep Your Hands off our Haggis”, New York Times, August 7, 2009
  • Michael Farrell, “Facebook Faces (another) Challenge over Users’ Privacy”, The Christian Science Monitor, August 21, 2009


  • Friedman, The World is Flat, Ch 8, 12, pp. 337 – 373; 477 – 488
  • Hansfried Kellner and Hans-Georg Söfner, “Cultural Globalization in Germany”, Many Globalizations, ed. Peter Berger and Samuel Huntington, pp. 119 – 145
  • János Mátyás Kovács, “Rival Temptations and Passive Resistance: Cultural Globalization in Hungary”, Many Globalizations, ed. Peter Berger and Samuel Huntington, pp. 146 – 182
  • Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation, Afterword “The Meaning of Mad Cow”, pp. 271 – 288

Week 7 Class 2 – First Papers Due. Second Paper Topics Given.

Week 8 Class 2 – In-class Project

V - Globalization and Democratization

Thomas Friedman once said that no two countries that both had a McDonald’s ever fought a war against each other since the time each got its McDonald’s. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, East Germans enjoyed bananas for the first time. After the fall of the Taliban, Afghan residents unearthed their hidden televisions and flocked to reopened cinemas to see Bollywood films. Satellite dishes now dot the Iraqi skyline after the fall of Saddam Hussein. How does globalization affect the spread and popularity of democracy and democratic values? Can states afford to control all aspects of the media as was in the past? Is the Internet the great democratizing instrument that can provide a glimpse of life beyond state-controlled borders? Do globalization and the international values herald democracy, or can it be used by elites to consolidate their hold on power? On the flipside, is the globalization of democracy too much of a good thing? Does putting power in the hands of anybody and everybody suddenly make governance unstable and unable to cater to all needs? For example, do special interest groups in the United States seek to segment political debate towards a narrow group of powerful, and contributing, constituents? What does Zakaria mean by “Illiberal Democracy?” Why does there appear to be little to no push for democracy in regions like the Middle East? How does this deficiency lead to larger issues such as terrorism and international instability?

Weeks 9 - 11


  • Tom Friedman, Lexus, Chapter 8, pp. 145 – 166
  • Fareed Zakaria, The Future of Freedom, ch 4 – Conclusion, pp. 119 – 256
  • Matthew Collin, Guerrilla Radio: Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio and Serbia’s Underground Resistance, ch. 3 – 4, pp. 65 – 131

Selective (choose at least three from Group 1)

  • Barber, Jihad, ch. 15, pp. 219 – 235
  • Yunxiang Yan, “Managed Globalization: State Power and Cultural Transition in China”, Many Globalizations, ed. Peter Berger and Samuel Huntington, pp. 19-45
  • Peter Schneider, “The New Berlin Wall”, New York Times, December 4, 2005
  • Joseph S. Nye, “Globalization’s Democratic Deficit”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 80, no. 4 July/August 2001, pp. 2 – 6
  • Francis Fukuyama, “After Neoconservatism”, New York Times, February 19, 2006

Selective (choose at least five from Group 2)

  • Alan Wolfe, “The New Pamphleteers” New York Times Book Review, July 1, 2004
  • Sabrina Tavernise, “Long Stifled, Iraqis Make Most of Change to Vent on Talk Radio”, New York Times, August 31, 2004
  • Nicholas Wood, “Cabby’s a Politician, Taking Voters for a Ride. Honestly”, New York Times, September 24, 2004
  • Michael Theodolou, “Iran’s Bloggers Get Caught in Crossfire of ‘War on Terror’”, Christian Science Monitor, February 2, 2005
  • James Brooke, “How Electronics are Penetrating North Korea’s Isolation”, New York Times, March 15, 2005
  • Ian Fisher, “Turkish Writers Say Efforts to Stifle Speech may Backfire”, New York Times, October 6, 2006
  • Vincent Boland, “Touching the Nerve of Turkishness”, Financial Times, July 23, 2007
  • Rachel Morarjee, “The Rap King of Kabul”, Financial Times, March 24, 2007
  • Haig Simonian, “Black Sheep: How Switzerland swung towards the Far Right”, Financial Times, October 31, 2007
  • James Drummond, “Once Off Limits, and now Seen on YouTube”, Financial Times, December 10, 2007
  • Bill Carter, “With Rivals Ahead, Doubts, for CNN’s Middle Road”, New York Times April 27, 2009
  • Fred Weir, “Young Moldovan Voters Get the Last Tweet”, Christian Science Monitor, July 30, 2009


  • Friedman, The World is Flat, ch. 13 – 14: pp. 489 – 530
  • Saskia Sassen, Globalization and its Discontents, ch. 3: “America’s Immigration ‘Problem’”, pp. 31 – 53

Week 11 Class 2 – In-class Project

VI - Globalization's Ongoing Challenges

How do organizations such as Al Qaeda spread their anti-globalization messages throughout the world? Is globalization experiencing its inevitable backlash from the “periphery” or is Islamic terrorism just as globalizing as McWorld? What steps must industrialized countries, particularly the United States, take to meet the new international challenges in the wake of the Cold War era? Is Barber correct when he asserts that too much of either Jihad or McWorld is a bad thing? Is globalization all that Friedman says it’s cracked up to be? Have we leveled the playing field or have we just eliminated barriers that were previously erected to protect us?

Weeks 12 - 13


  • 9/11 Commission Report, Chapter 2: pp. 47 – 70
  • Barber, Jihad, ch. 10, pp. 155 – 168 and ch. 14, pp. 205 – 216
  • Friedman, The World is Flat, ch. 9: pp. 374 – 400
  • Stiglitz, Globalization, ch. 9: pp. 214 – 252
  • Barber, Jihad, 2001 Introduction, pp. xi – xxxii

Selective (choose at least two from Group 1)

  • Jagdish Bhagwati, “Coping with Anti-Globalization” Foreign Affairs, February 2002, pp. 1-7
  • Barry Yeoman, “False Prophets: Inside the Evangelical Christian Movement that aims to Eliminate Islam”, Mother Jones, June 2002, pp. 43 – 49
  • Craig Whitlock and Steve Coll, “Terrorism Tempers Shift to Openness”, Washington Post, April 18, 2005
  • Richard McGregor, “More Powerful than Ever: How the Communist Party is Firming its Grip on China”, Financial Times, October 12, 2007
  • Gideon Rachman, “Illiberal Capitalism: Russia and China Chart their own Course”, Financial Times, January 9, 2008

Selective (choose at least three from Group 2)

  • Patricia Leigh Brown, “Enabling and Disabling Ecoterrorists”, New York Times, November 16, 2003
  • Friedman, “Cursed by Oil”, New York Times, May 9, 2004
  • Faye Bowers, “Terrorists Spread Their Messages Online”, Christian Science Monitor, July 28, 2004
  • James Brandon, “Koranic Duels Ease Terror”, Christian Science Monitor, February 4, 2005
  • Sara Miller Llana, “Rising Censorship Among World’s Oil Powers”, Christian Science Monitor, May 24, 2007
  • Jens Erik Gould, “In Venezuela, Speak no Ill of Hugo”, Time, July 24, 2007
  • Ferry Bierdermann, “Hizbollah Mixes Gore and Kitsch in Museum Celebration of War Heroes”, Financial Times, August 14, 2007
  • Andrew Jack, “Climate Change Bites”, Financial Times, April 25, 2007


  • 9/11 Commission Report, Chapter 12, pp. 361 – 383
  • Oliver Roy, Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah (Columbia University Press, 2006)
  • Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (Yale University Press, 2001)

Week 13 Class 2 – In-class Project

VII - Globalization in Perspective: What Have we Learned?
Weeks 14 - 15 Required
  • Fareed Zakaria, The Post-American World (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2009), pp. xi – xxx

Week 14 Class 1 – Second Papers Due

Week 15 Class 1 – In-class Project

Your assignment is to work in groups developing questions for the final exam. You are to come up with essay-oriented questions and rationales explain why you think they are important.

Week 15 Class 2 – Last day of Class – Concluding Remarks and Course Evaluations!


©Michael Rossi – http://michael-rossi.demokratio.info