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Globalization in the Contemporary World


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 6
  • Convenor: Dr Olivia Sheringham
  • Assessment: a 1500-word book review (30%), 3000-word essay (60%) and weekly reading journal (10%)

    Module description

    ‘Globalisation’ is one of the most important intellectual and social phenomena of the contemporary moment, yet its meanings and effects are widely contested. From the financial crisis to climate change, it is clear that local issues can have global impacts, and, equally, global pandemics, corporations, markets and other phenomena impact upon local lives in multiple and uneven ways.

    In this module we critically engage with globalisation, exploring some of the key ways in which the concept has been theorised, and how it has been used as a lens through which to understand social change. In addition to engaging with the key debates, we will focus on themes such as urban change, migration and identities, and the globalisation of food and religion. Central to our critical engagement with the concept will be a focus on alternative processes and narratives of globalisation, and we will contemplate what the future of globalisation might look like.

    Indicative syllabus

    • What is globalisation?
    • Economic globalisation, trade and inequality
    • Political globalisation: beyond the nation state?
    • Cultural globalisation: convergence or hybridity?
    • Globalisation from below: social movements and the politics of identity
    • Globalisation: postcolonial and decolonial perspectives
    • Globalisation, migration and diaspora
    • Global geographies of food and religion
    • (Anti)globalisation and climate justice
    • What future(s) for globalisation?