This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to the contemporary world that focuses on the ideological, political, economic, and cultural dimensions of globalization. The class considers the principal actors, institutions, processes, and power relations that have shaped the challenges and opportunities associated with globalization, drawing on case studies to explore selected world issues in greater depth.
When this course was first taught in the early 2000s, economic globalization seemed in full swing, with free trade agreements and World Trade Organization negotiations fueling ever-greater flows of goods and investment. But, under the surface, things were beginning to change. The 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the “war on terror” put a chill on the idea that we were headed towards ever-greater global integration and cooperation. Then the 2007-08 financial crisis hit, and the world shuddered. More than a decade out from that crisis, and more than two decades out from the infamous “battle in Seattle” (1999 Anti World Trade Organization protest in Seattle), where it is commonly believed the anti-globalization movement was founded, we see a turn towards regionalism, nationalism, and extremism—just as the unprecedented challenge of climate change and pandemics calls for greater collective action. What’s going on in our world? GS101 is an exploration of this question. In this online course, you will learn about the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of global change. More importantly, you will be provoked to reflect upon and debate tough issues such as human migration, environmental crisis, inequality, and the shape of democracy.
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
You will note that we use a variety of different materials for this course, including a small textbook that is not really a textbook; a slightly larger textbook that is really a textbook, which helps to ensure students are introduced to core concepts and foundational debates within Global Studies; a few academic articles; some readings from various kinds of journalistic or quasi-academic sources; as well as some podcasts and videos. The weekly load is somewhat variable; please check the syllabus and plan accordingly so you are prepared for the busier weeks. Week 5, Week 6 and Week 10 are particularly heavy weeks.
Steger, Manfred B. (2020) Globalization: A Very Short Introduction. 5th Edition, New York & Oxford. Available in Book Store.
Orend, Brian (2019) Introduction to International Studies (2nd Edition). Don Mills: Oxford University Press. Oxford University Press. Available in the Book Store.
Both required texts for the class are available from the Wilfrid Laurier Bookstore
ARES materials: Quite a few of the readings are accessible to you via Laurier Library Reserves (also known as ARES). You will see ARES availability signalled on the syllabus.
Web links: Many of the materials for this online course are available via web links. Please ensure you visit these as they too are essential components of the class content
There will be a multiple-choice quiz following each of the three course modules. You must do all three quizzes. Each quiz will be worth 15% of your final mark. If you get over 80% (12/15) on all three quizzes, you will get a 2% bonus grade at the end of the course.
Each quiz will be multiple choice and will be based entirely on the completed module. Quiz 1 will include lessons 1-4, Quiz 2 will include lessons 5-8, Quiz 3 will include lessons 9-12. Quizzes will be based on all components of the lessons including assigned readings, podcasts, movies, discussions, and “for your eyes only” sections. Each quiz will consist of 15 multiple choice questions. Once you access the quiz, you will have 30 minutes to finish it. Access to the quizzes will be available on the last day of the lesson week beginning 7:00 a.m. on day seven and closing at 11:59 p.m. on day seven. For exact dates check the course calendar located on the bottom left side of the MYLS homepage.
Learning to share and debate ideas is a fundamental part of your academic training. Weekly online discussions are thus a central part of the course and, as such, you will be expected to participate in online discussions each week. This means reading/viewing/listening to the content of each week’s lessons and submitting your responses to the discussion questions throughout the week.
Each week’s lesson has a discussion component that you are required to finish at the end of the lesson. These discussions are worth 2% of your mark per week. The purpose of the group discussions is to engage with your classmates about the concepts you have been learning throughout the lesson. It also offers me a way of seeing what you are thinking in relation to the lessons. To facilitate discussion, you must post your first response by Day 5 at the latest. You also must post before you can see anyone else’s posts. To receive the full 2%, you must make it evident that you have completed the readings and lesson, so be sure to check the How to Write a Good Discussion Post before you begin the process. Most discussion posts should be around 200 words.
Every week there are also “for your eyes only” learning activities that consist of questions and suggested activities. These are not marked but are included to assist you in focussing on the learning activities associated with the week’s lesson and should be completed as part of each lesson.
There are twelve weeks in the class I will count your top 10 weeks for discussion marks
SEE THE DISCUSSION GRADING SHEET FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO GET TOP MARKS.
On occasion, you will be asked to answer some survey questions that are separate from the Discussion posts and the for your eyes only posts. The first one begins in week one and is worth 3% of your overall grade. The other 2% will come from intermittent surveys at other times in the term. The surveys are all opinion based. The first one is worth 3% of your mark the other ones are worth 1% each.