GLOBAL ISSUES (2012/2013, Semester 1) 

 MODULE OUTLINE Created: 17-Jul-2012, Updated: 10-Dec-2012
Module Code GL1101E
Semester Semester 1, 2012/2013
Modular Credits 4
Faculty Arts & Social Sciences
Department Political Science
Timetable Timetable/Teaching Staff
Module Facilitators
DR Dr Kim Hyejin Lecturer
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Learning Outcomes | Syllabus | Workload

This module introduces the emerging field of global studies. Building on ideas about the modern state and international order, it examines how these ideas are being challenged from the perspective of transnational trends and institutions. Among these are the emergence of a global economy, inequalities within and between states, transnational labor and migration, global environmental issues, poverty and development, global consumerism, human rights and global responsibilities, transnational social and political movements, and new patterns of global governance. The module adopts a multidisciplinary approach to reveal different aspects of these issues.

Global Issues
National University of Singapore
Department of Political Science
Semester I, AY 2012-2013

Lecture: Thursday 10.00-12.00
Venue: AS7-0101
Exam: Friday, 07-Dec-2012 (Morning)
Instructor: Dr. Hyejin Kim
Office: AS1/05-47

Module Description
Important aspects of our lives are increasingly global. What happens in one society can have tremendous consequences in another. We are tied together through flows of capital and labor, through media and cultural experiences, and through global politics. This module introduces the emerging multi-disciplinary field of global studies that tries to make sense of this web of inter-connectedness.
In the first weeks of this module we discuss some of the major players in global affairs as well as some big ideas for talking about how these players interact and shape the world. Over the remainder of the semester we examine these actors and ideas in a variety of issue-areas, all of great importance. These issue-areas include natural resources, supply chains, food, the Internet, migration, and culture.
By the end of the course students will have learned:
•   to understand the tension between inter-state, transnational, regional, and global perspectives on global issues,
•   be able to make sense of contested concepts, complex data, and explanatory uncertainty in approaching policy issues,
•   make effective presentations, write and revise essays that are clear, concise, well-argued, and that engage the reader, and provide and receive criticis

Lectures are held weekly. In lecture, Dr. Kim will help guide you through the week’s topic. Besides the readings, she will also introduce materials not found in the texts. Attending lectures and reading will help you to prepare adequately for assignments and the exam. The topics and readings are listed by week in the final section of this syllabus.
Discussion Groups (tutorials)
Lectures are supplemented with discussion groups led by the instructor. Every two weeks you will meet with your discussion group. These sessions give you opportunities to participate in discussions and activities based on class material. Participation in discussion groups accounts for a portion of your final grade. Attendance is mandatory. Good participation involves contributing regular, thoughtful comments and participating in activities in tutorial.
Week 4 (3-7 Sept.)
Week 5 (10-14 Sept.)
T1 Warming-up Reading and Debate
Week 6 (17-21 Sept.)
Week 7 (1-5 Oct.)
Activity I
My Own Globalization Story
Week 8 (8-12 Oct.)
Week 9 (15-19 Oct.)
Activity II
MNCs and their global influences
Week 10 (22-26 Oct.)
Week 11 (29 Oct. -2 Nov.)
Grades will be determined as follows:
Activities Activity I: 5% 20%
Activity II: 15%
Journal Entries 10%
Participation 10%
Term Essay 30%
Final Exam 30%
Assignments (60%)
·        Activity I: My Own Globalization Story (5%)
This assignment asks you to reflect the impact of globalization on life around you. You will be placed into a group of 3 to 4 students to carry out this exercise. Each group will tell us a story about globalization using a series of 10 photographs. These photos should be taken directly by you if possible. In class you will present the photos to your classmates and explain the story we can see through them. During the 12 minutes presentation, the group should explain (1) what those images imply and (2) how and why they show something about globalization. A detailed example will be provided. Tables or graphs can be included (but not more than 1-2 images) among the 10 images.
·      Activity II: MNCs and Globalization (15%)
For this assignment you will work again in the group from Activity I. The goal of this assignment is to assess the impact of a multi-national corporation (MNC). Your group will choose an MNC to investigate. You should research that MNC’s impact worldwide on at least one dimension. Possible issues you might consider include labor, environment, natural resources, and politics. In tutorial you group will give a 20 minute presentation on your MNC and its impact. Presentation groups should submit 2-4 pages summary of contents of their presentation to the instructor one week before the presentation date.
·      Journal Entries (10%)
Every two weeks (W3, W5, W7, W9, and W11), students will submit a one-page paper to the instructor (before 6pm of the lecture date). For each paper, you should select a topic you are interested in that is related to globalization – such as Human Trafficking, Air Pollution, Intellectual Property, Global Warming, Corporate Social Responsibility and so on. Based on the topic, you should find 2-3 news articles (each should be from a different newspaper), summarize them in you own words, and explain why this issue is important and what you think about it.
How to submit: Either hard copy (submitted at the start of the lecture) or soft copy is acceptable.
Penalty for late assignments is 1 point per day.
·      Term Essay (30%)
Students will submit an essay of no more than 1,300 words (about 5-6 double spaced pages). The paper should be argumentative and answer the question below:
“Do multi-national corporations help more or harm more?”
In the paper, you should give examples of at least two MNCs. One can be from your own group project and the other can be from another group project.
The final paper (hard copy) should be delivered to the instructor’s mailbox before noon on Nov. 9. You should also submit a copy by IVLE.
Penalty for late assignments is 3 points per day.
Final Exam (30%): You will sit for a two-hour, closed-book exam that covers topics from the whole semester. More information about the exam and how to study for it will be presented during the semester.
Participation (10%): This portion is based on attendance in tutorials and participation in tutorial discussions.
Attendance Requirement
Students should attend ALL lectures and arrive ON TIME.
Each reading for this module is located below:
·      Bookstore: Textbooks can be purchased at the campus bookstore.
Evgeny Morozov. The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom. Public Affairs, 2012.
Ha-Joon Chang. Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism. Bloomsbury Press, 2008.
Xiang Biao. Global "Body Shopping": an Indian Labor System in the Information Technology Industry. Princeton University Press, 2007.
Pietra Rivoli. The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade. John Wiley, 2009.
·      IVLE: Most other readings can be accessed through the module IVLE page’s “workbin.”
All readings listed below are mandatory. You should read them before attending the lecture for the given week.
Plagiarism is a serious offense. Be sure that written work you submit is original. The Faculty╩╝s plagiarism policy is explained here.
Writing resources: For feedback on an essay draft, you are encouraged to use the services of the Political Science Peers Programme. To schedule a writing conference, sign up online (find the site by searching “NUS political science peers programme”).
Winkler, Anthony C. and Jo Ray McCuen-Metherell. Writing the Research Paper: A Handbook. Seventh ed. Boston, MA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2008.
Plan of the Module, August to November, 2012.
Week 1 (13-17 August): Introduction of Global Issues
Introduction of the lecture, textbooks, assignments, and general information
·      What is globalization?
·      What is your impression of globalization? Positive or negative?  
·      When did we start talking about “globalization”?
Week 2 (20-24 August): Neoliberalism and Governance of the Global Economy
David Harvey. “Freedom’s Just Another Word…” (P5-38) in A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford University Press, 2007. (Online Library)
Thomas L. Friedman. “Tourist with an Attitude” (P3-24) and “The Lexus and the Olive Tree” (25-38) in The Lexus and the Olive Tree. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000 (IVLE).
Ha-Joon Chang. “Introduction,” “Thing 1: There is no such thing as a free market” (P1-10) and “Thing 7: Free-market policies rarely make poor countries rich” (P62-73) in 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism. Bloomsbury Press, 2012. (IVLE)
George Ritzer. “Nothing” (P1-18) in Globalization of Nothing. Pine Forge Press, 2004. (IVLE)
·      What is neoliberalism?
·      Why are some societies rich and others poor?
·      Are markets fair?
Week 3 (27-31 August): The United States and World Order
Charles L. Robertson. “The cold war in the 1960s and beyond” (P126-157) in International Politics Since World War II: A Short History. M. E. Sharpe, 1997. (IVLE)
Chalmers A. Johnson. “Blowback” (P3-33) in Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire. Holt Paperbacks, 2004. (IVLE)
G. John Ikenberry. “The Rise of the American System” (P159-219) in Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American World Order. Princeton University Press, 2011. (IVLE)
·      What is the role of the United States in the world today?
·      What changed in world politics with the end of the Cold War?
·      In what way can international institutions be characterized as “American”?
[Submission day of the first journal entry]
Week 4 (3-7 September): Culture
Samuel Huntington. “Core States, Concentric Circles, and Civilizational Order” (P155-182) in Clash of civilizations. Touchstone, 1996. (IVLE)
Jan Nederveen Pieterse. “Globalization and Human Integration: We are all migrants” (P25-41) and “Globalization and Culture: Three paradigms” (P43-63) in Globalization and Culture: Global Mélange. Rowman & Littlefield, 2009. (IVLE)
Tyler Cowen. “Should National Culture Matter?” (P128-152) in Creative Destruction: How Globalization is Changing the World's Cultures. Princeton University Press, 2002. (IVLE)
Andrew Morris. “”I believe you can fly”: Basketball culture in postsocialist China (P9-32)” in Popular China: Unofficial Culture in a Globalizing Society, edited by Andrew Morris, Richard Levy, Liping Want and Yuezhi Zhao. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2002.
·      Is there a global culture?
·      Are cultures converging or separating?
Week 5 (10-14 September):  Supply Chains and MNCs
Pietra Rivoli. “(P)” in The travels of a T-shirt in the global economy: an economist examines the markets, power, and politics of world trade. John Wiley, 2009.
Marcelo Bucheli and Ian Read. “Banana Boats and Baby Food: The Banana in U.S. History” (P204-227) in From Silver to Cocaine: Latin American Commodity Chains and the Building of the World Economy, 1500–2000 (American Encounters/Global Interactions) edited by by Steven Topik, Zephyr Frank and Carlos Marichal. Duke University Press Books, 2006. (IVLE)
John M. Talbot. “The struggle for control of the instant coffee commodity chain” (P135-161) and “Outcomes of the struggles: Where does your coffee dollar go?” (P163-195) in Grounds for Agreement: the Political Economy of the Coffee Commodity Chain. Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. (IVLE)
Imgeborg Vind and Niels Fold. “City networks and commodity chains: identifying global flows and local connections in Ho Chi Minh City” (P65-89) in Commodity Chains and World Cities edited by Ben Derudder and Frank Witlox. Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. (Online library)
·      What is a supply chain?
·      Why do firms spread around the globe?
·      What are the implications of global divisions of labor?
[Submission day of the second journal entry]
Week 6 (17-21 September): International supply chains and ethical issues
Robert Davies. “The Business Community: Social responsibility and corporate values” (P301-319) and “Global Social Justice: the moral responsibilities of the rich and the poor” (P334-343) in Making Globalization Good: the Moral Challenges of Global Capitalism, edited by John H. Dunning. Oxford University Press, 2003. (IVLE).
Michael T. Klare. “Wealth, Resources and Power: the changing parameters of global security” (P1-26) and “Energy Conflict in the Caspian Sea Basin” (P81-108) in Resource Wars: the New Landscape of Global Conflict. Henry Holt, 2001. (IVLE).
Jeremy Snyder. Exploitation and Sweatshop Labor: Perspectives and Issues. Business Ethics Quarterly 20(2): 187-213. April 1, 2010. (IVLE).
Theodore H. Moran. “Foreign Direct Investment in Low-Wage, Low-Skill
Activities” (P10-22) and “Core Standards for the Treatment of Workers around the World” (P46-65) in Beyond Sweatshops: Foreign Direct Investment and Globalization in Developing Countries. Brookings Institution Press, 2002. (IVLE).
·      Are we as consumers responsible for production processes?
·      Who made my shoes and under what conditions were they made?
·      How do consumers know whether components were obtained legally? Should they care? If so, then what can be done?
·      What can governments do?
·      What can international organizations do?
Recess Week (24-28 September)
Week 7 (1-5 October): Chinese overseas investment
Yevgeniya Korniyenko and Toshiaki Sakatsume. “Chinese Investment in the Transition Countries.” European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. January 2009. (IVLE)
Deborah Brautigam, “Foreign Farmers: Chinese settlers in rural Africa” (P253-272) and “Rogue donor? Myths and realities” (P273-306) in The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa. Oxford University Press, 2009. (IVLE).
Serge Michel and Michel Beuret. “Rolling Out the Red Carpet for the African Continent” (P11-28) and “Uranium Mania in the Sahara” (P95-111) in China Safari: on the Trail of China's Expansion in Africa. Nation Books, 2009. (IVLE).
R. Evan Ellis. “Why China is Interested in Latin America” (P9-22) and “Why Latin America in Interested in China” (P23-32) in China in Latin America: the Whats and Wherefores. Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2009. (IVLE).
Kevin P. Gallagher and Roberto Porzecanski. “Enter the Dragon” (P1-7) and “China and the Future of Latin American Industrialization” (P136-140) in The dragon in the room: China and the future of Latin American industrialization. Stanford University Press, 2010. (IVLE).
·      Is Chinese overseas investment to developing countries a new form of colonialism?
·      What consequences of the growth of Chinese overseas investment do we see?
[Submission day of the third journal entry]
Week 8 (8-12 October):  Innovation and entrepreneurship
Ha-Joon Chang. “Windows 98 in 1997: is it wrong to 'borrow' ideas?” (P122-144) in Bad Samaritans: the Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism. Bloomsbury Press, 2008.
Book from NLB. Boy Who Harnesses the Wind.
A short video will be shown.
·      Why are some places more innovative than others?
·      Where does innovation come from? Education? Culture? Cheap loans? Welfare system?
·      Should Intellectual Property Rights be enforced? Or do they only exacerbate inequality?
Week 9 (15-19 October): Food politics
Robert L. Paarlberg. “Agribusiness, Supermarkets, and Fast Food” (P127-138) and “Who Governs the World Food System?” (P174-189) in Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford University Press, 2010. (IVLE).
David Inglis and Debra Gimlin. “Food Systems and the Local Trap” (P117-134) and “Globalization and Obesity” (P255-265) in The Globalization of Food. Berg Publishers, 2010. (IVLE).
Eriberto P. Lozada, Jr. “Globalized childhood? Kentucky fried chicken in Beijing” (P163-177) and Harriet Ritvo “Mad Cow Mysteries?” (P299-306) in The Cultural Politics of Food and Eating edited by James L. Watson and Melissa L. Caldwell. Blackwell, 2005. (IVLE).
·     How do we get the food we eat? Can we trust foods we buy at our grocery stores?
·     Why is food political?
·     Why do food crises happen?
·     How does the food industry influence nutrition?
·     Should governments be involved in regulating the food industry? Or should it be up to individual choice?
·     What can international organizations and governments do to ensure people get nutritional food?
[Submission day of the fourth journal entry]
Week 10 (22-26 October): Germs and old people (Population, health, and aging)
Jared Diamond. “Lethal Gift of Livestock: Evolution of Germs” (P195-214) in Guns, Germs, and Steel. W. W. Norton & Company, 1999. 
Estair Van Wagner. “Toward a Dialectical Understanding of Networked Disease in the Global City: Vulnerability, Connectivity, Topologies” (P13-26) and Victor G. Rodwin. “Health and Disease in Global Cities: A Neglected Dimension of National Health Policy” (P27-48) in Networked Disease: Emerging Infections in the Global City, edited by Keil, Roger, Ali, S. Harris. Wiley-Blackwell, 2008. (Online library).
Chris Phillipson. “Social Welfare, Aging, and Globalization in a Post-industrial Society” (P57-70) in The Welfare State in Post-Industrial Society
A Global Perspective, edited by Jon Hendricks and Jason Powell. Springer, 2009. (Online library).
The United Nations Principles for Older Persons
·      Why are aging and epidemics issues of global importance?
·      How will societies deal with aging and epidemics?
·      How can we find solutions?
Week 11 (29 October-2 November): Migration: supplying human labor
Xiang Biao. Global "Body Shopping": an Indian Labor System in the Information Technology Industry. Princeton University Press, 2007.
·      How does labor move?
·      What are the regulations?
·      Do poor countries want out-migration?
[Submission day of the fifth journal entry]
Week 12 (5-9 November): Internet and global communication
Evgeny Morozov. “Orwell’s Favorite Lolcat” (P57-84) and “Censors and Sensibilities” (P85-112) in The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom. Public Affairs, 2012.
Rebecca MacKinnon. “Eroding Accountability” (P75-86) and “Facebookistan and Googledom” (P149-168) in Consent of the Networked: the World-wide Struggle for Internet freedom. Basic Books, 2012. (IVLE).
·      Is the Internet liberating?
·      Is the Internet the savior of globalization?
Week 13 (12-16 November): Revision



Workload Components : A-B-C-D-E
A: no. of lecture hours per week
B: no. of tutorial hours per week
C: no. of lab hours per week
D: no. of hours for projects, assignments, fieldwork etc per week
E: no. of hours for preparatory work by a student per week