PECN 600

Senior Seminar: Political Economy of Globalization

Professor: Douglas R. Nelson

Office: 108 Tilton Hall

Phone: 865-5317



Something called “globalization” appears to have become a large concern to a number of people. Localized public protest to liberal international economic policy has occurred relatively often in the era since the Second World War, but large-scale, nationally visible political protest really only begins with the politics leading up to the creation of NAFTA. Since then, the most visible reflection of this concern was the activity in Seattle surrounding the meetings seeking to launch a new round of international trade negotiations. Much of the rhetoric on all sides of this public discussion proceeds with very little attempt to be clear on key concepts, the relationship between such concepts, or their empirical status. This makes it very difficult for most of us to locate our own position in this discourse. In this course, we seek to 1) Give a more concrete meaning to globalization and to study its impact on 2) the domestic political economy and 3) the international political economy.

For a course like this to work, while recognizing that each of us will have strong opinions on at least some topics, it is important to give alternative positions a fair hearing. Thus, we will be reading material from a wide variety of political, methodological, and normative positions. The main sources of readings for this course will be:


David Held, Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt, and Jonathan Perraton (1999). Global Transformations: Politics, Economics and Culture. Stanford: Stanford University Press.


David Held and Anthony McGrew, editors (2000). The Global Transformations Reader. Oxford: Blackwell.


Paul Hirst and Grahme Thompson (1999). Globalization in Question. Cambridge: Polity Press.


James Mittelman (2000). The Globalization Syndrome. Princeton: Princeton University Press.


Robert O'Brien, Anne Marie Goetz, Jan Aart Scholte, and Marc Williams (2000). Contesting Global Governance: Multilateral Economic Institutions and Global Social Movements. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

In addition, there will be a small number of readings drawn from other sources available for purchase (at cost) in the Murphy Institute office.

Evaluation of Performance: This course is a seminar. That means active participation from all students in every class. So that you will be able to discuss the issues and the readings, every member of the seminar is responsible for having read all of the required material by the class in which it is to be discussed. There is a substantial amount of reading, so it is essential that you keep current with the reading. In addition to class participation, your performance in this course will be evaluated on the basis of:


1) One research paper (100 points);

2) Two short papers (50 points each, 100 points total); and

3) A final essay–question distributed on the last day of class and due 3 May. (100 points).

To earn an A, you must earn at least 270 points out of the total of 300 points available [if no one earns 270 points, the highest single score will earn a grade of A]. To pass the course you must earn at least 120 total points. Grades between these limits will be determined on the basis of your performance relative to that of the class as a whole.

With regard to the research paper. Every member of the seminar is required to produce a research paper on some aspect of the political economy of globalization. These papers must be original work, plagiarism will not be tolerated. Broadly speaking, I expect papers in the 25-35 page range. To ensure that topics are well-established and suitable for the course, I require a proposal due no later than the fifth meeting of the course (7 February). Late proposals will result in a 10 point penalty to be assessed on the paper’s final score. Research papers are due at the last regular meeting of the course (25 April). Late papers will not be accepted, and will earn a score of 0 points.

With regard to the short papers. The short papers will be reaction papers. A reaction paper is a short (i.e. 3-5 page) paper discussing some aspect of the relevant debate. In the reaction paper you must explicitly discuss all of the readings for that topic and evaluate some aspect of their discussion. Note: “evaluate” does not mean “agree or disagree with” but, rather, means identify the source of some disagreement between authors, explain why you think the disagreement is interesting/important, and explain why (given the arguments and evidence developed in the readings) one of the positions dominates the other. The reaction papers are due in class on the date we discuss the readings, late papers will not be accepted and will earn a grade of zero.

With regard to the final essay. Instead of an in-class final examination, I will distribute an essay question whose topic will be broadly synthetic, and will contain parts that require you to draw on all main material in parts II and III of the course. The question will be distributed on 25 April, your essays will be due in my office by 1:00pm on 3 May, late papers will not be accepted and will earn a grade of zero. I expect the essay to be in the 5 to 7 page range, and definitely not to exceed 10 pages.

PECN 600: The Political Economy of Globalization



Week 1. Course Introduction.


-Global Transformations, Introduction


-Contesting Global Governance, Chapter 1.

I. Globalization: Some First Issues


Week 2. Globalization: What is it?


-Global Transformations Reader, Introduction.


-Globalization in Question, Chapter 1.


-Global Transformations Reader, Part I.


-The Globalization Syndrome, Introduction and Chapter 1.


Week 3. Sovereignty At Bay?


-Global Transformations, Chapter 1


-Global Transformations Reader, Part II.


-The Globalization Syndrome, Chapter 11.


7 February: Paper Proposals Due

II. Economics of Globalization


Week 4. A (Newly?) Global Economic System


-The Global Transformations Reader, Part IV.


-Globalization in Question, Chapter 2.


-The Globalization Syndrome, Chapter 2.


-R. Lipsey (1998). “Galloping, Creeping, or Receding Internationalization”. International Trade Journal; V.12-#2, pp. 181-191.


-M. Bordo, B. Eichengreen, D. Irwin (1999). “Is Globalization Today Really Different than Globalization a Hundred Years Ago?”. in S. Collins and R. Lawrence, eds. Brookings Trade Forum–1999, pp. 1-72.


Week 5. International Trade


-Global Transformations, Chapter 3.


-Globalization in Question, Chapter 4


-Contesting Global Governance, Chapter 3


-M. Slaughter and P. Swagel (1997). “The Effect of Globalization on Wages in the Advanced Economies”. IMF Working Paper, ##WP/97/43.


-E. Leamer (2000). “Foreigners and Robots: Assistants of Some, Competitors of Others”. In A. Deardorff and R. Stern, eds. Social Dimensions of US Trade Policies. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, pp. 19-52.


Week 6. Globalization and Migration


-Global Transformations, Chapter 6.


-The Globalization Syndrome, Chapter 3.


-N. Gaston and D. Nelson (2000). “Immigration and Labour-Market Outcomes in the United States: A Political-Economy Puzzle”. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, V.16-#3, pp. 1-11.


Week 7. Multinational Firms and the Globalization of Production


-Global Transformations, Chapter 5


-Globalization in Question, Chapter 3.


-R. Feenstra (1998). “Integration of Trade and Disintegration of Production in the Global Economy?”. Journal of Economic Perspectives; V.12-#4, pp. 31-50.


-R. Caves (1983/1996). “Income Distribution and Labor Relations”. Chapter 5 of Multinational Enterprise and Economic Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


-P. Hirst (1997). “The Global Economy: Myths and Realities”. International Affairs; V.73-#3, pp. 409-425.


-J. Crotty, G. Epstein, and P. Kelly (1998). “Multinational Corporations in the Neo-Liberal Regime”. in D. Baker, G. Epstein, and R. Pollin, eds. Globalization and Progressive Economic Policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 117-143.


Week 8. International Finance


-Global Transformations, Chapter 4


-Globalization in Question, Chapter 5.


-M. Obstfeld (1998). “The Global Capital Market: Benefactor or Menace?”. Journal of Economic Perspectives; V.12-#4, pp. 9-30.


-J. Stiglitz (2000). “Capital Market Liberalization, Economic Growth, and Instability”. World Development; V.28-#6, pp. 1075-1086.


-F. Mishkin (1999). “Global Financial Instability: Framework, Events, Issues”. Journal of Economic Perspectives; V.13-#4, pp. 3-20.


-P. Krugman (1998). “Saving Asia: It's Time To Get Radical”. Fortune; V.138-#5, pp. 74-80.


-B. Eichengreen, (2000). “Taming Capital Flows”. World Development; V.28-#6, pp. 1105-1116.


-K. Rogoff (1999). “International Institutions for Reducing Financial Instability”. Journal of Economic Perspectives; V.13-#4, pp. 21-42.


-Contesting Global Governance, Chapter 5

III. Broad Consequences of Globalization


Week 9. Globalization, Welfare State and Racing to the Bottom


-Globalization in Question, Chapter 6.


Week 10. Globalization and National Culture, Is There a Problem?


-Global Transformations, Chapter7.


-The Global Transformations Reader, Part III.


Week 11. Globalization, Poverty, and the Environment


-Global Transformations, Chapter 8


-The Global Transformation Reader, Part V.


-The Globalization Syndrome, Chapter 10


-Contesting Global Governance, Chapter 4


-J. Kirton (2000). “Trade and Environmental Quality”. In A. Deardorff and R. Stern, eds. Social Dimensions of US Trade Policies. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, pp. 129-158.


Week 12. Globalization and Gender


-Globalization Syndrome, Chapter 4.


-Contesting Global Governance, Chapter 2


-Sen, Gita. 1996. “Gender, Markets and States: A Selective Review and Research Agenda”. World Development; V.24-#5, pp. 821-829.


Week 13. Regionalism, Multilateralism, and International Political Integration


-The Globalization Syndrome, Part II., Chapter 9.


-Contesting Global Governance, Chapter 6.


Week 14. What, If Anything, Should We Do About Globalization


-Global Transformations, Conclusion.


-Global Transformations Reader, Part VI.


-The Globalization Syndrome, Chapter 12.


-The Retreat of the State, Chapter 13.


25 April, Research Paper Due, Final Exam Question Distributed