Cancelled Globalization and its Discontents (Summer 2021)

Course content


The term “Globalization” refers to a process of cultural, political, and economic integration resulting from rapid changes in technology and world politics. There is no doubt that we live in a world that is increasingly global, international and even transnational and globalization is one of the defining features of the contemporary world. However, there is considerable controversy regarding its nature, impact, and future trends.


The study of globalization requires a multidisciplinary approach and by no means is limited to sociology. Therefore, this module will also be interdisciplinary by design, in its critical approach as well as in its multidimensional content. We will explore how the process of globalization is shaping and transforming economic, culture and politics around the world and examines the interplay of all three aspects, as they are all mutually dependent on one another.


With this in mind, the objective of this course is to explore what has come to be known as the sociology of globalization. The module focus on how the process of globalization has shifted or changed pre-existing elements of society, new elements of society that may have evolved in response to globalization, and the social, economic, political, cultural, and environmental implications of the process. These include: theories of globalization; the economic, political, and cultural globalization; the new global inequalities; transnational civil society/transnational social movements; globalization and religion; globalization and the environment, transnational migration; global conflicts and local-global linkages.



This module explores the global nature of contemporary social change. It takes globalization as the master trend reshaping social life everywhere. It deals thematically with the main issues in the debate about the meaning, extent, and consequences of globalization. It uses a multidisciplinary approach, and covers the political, economic, historical and cultural aspects of globalization. The interdisciplinary readings emphasise the political-economic, cultural, institutional, and technological, implications of globalization and allow students to evaluate whether these processes pose opportunities or challenges to individuals, societies, and the global community. This course cannot hope to cover all aspects of globalization adequately, and therefore the content is of necessity selective. Yet (without being narrow) it will provide an intellectually stimulating course which will prepare students for a critical engagement with contemporary debates on globalization


Elective Course

Course package (MSc 2015):

Knowledge, organisation and politics

Learning outcome


Knowledge and understanding

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Discern the many angles of globalization,
  • Critically, understand the historicity of globalization, and its character as a socio ‐political project (including its ideological aspects),
  • Understand the reasons for, and effects of global economic policies and oppositional movements (anti‐globalist) in civil society
  • Appraise the impact of globalization in different contexts through independent research, and appraise national and regional policy responses to the effects of globalization


Intended skill outcomes

Students should also have

  • An ability to synthesize, compare and contrast literatures on globalization
  • An ability to work independently and as part of team
  • An ability to put concepts and ideas into practice
  • Wide-ranging familiarity with the ways in which globalization is experienced, managed and resisted by actors within (and across) different levels of analysis – global, regional, national and local.


Intended competence outcomes:

  • Ability to obtain, analyze, process and transmit information, either oral or written
  • Ability to apply abstract theoretical concepts and other tools in analyzing global issues and processes linked with globalization.
  • Skills to critically study and discuss current global issues events and processes.

Teaching will take the form of lectures, student presentations and class discussions based on the assigned readings

Course materials: Required books.

Most of the required reading assignments for this course are found in the following required text, available through the University Bookstore and a variety of online retailers:

George Ritzer (2011) Globalization the Essentials, John Wiley & Sons

Also required are supplemental articles and book chapters that have been uploaded to Absalon, or a web link will been provided a month before the classes start. The syllabus is also available upon request.

Open to all students. There are no prerequisites, other than a keen interest in Global Studies.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester

Feedback on research proposal. To provide you with an opportunity to develop the topic identified in your initial research proposal into a comprehensive, academic paper

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Free written take-home essays are assignments for which students define and formulate a problem within the parameters of the course and based on an individual exam syllabus. The free written take-home essay must be no longer than 10 pages. For group assignments, an extra 5 pages is added per additional student. Further details for this exam form can be found in the Curriculum and in the General Guide to Examinations at KUnet.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Please see the learning outcome

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 97
  • Exercises
  • 41
  • Exam
  • 40
  • English
  • 206