The Global Economy (in English)

Universidad Pablo de Olavide

Course Description

  • Course Name

    The Global Economy (in English)

  • Host University

    Universidad Pablo de Olavide

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Economics, International Economics, International Relations, International Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course description

    Global Economy is situated within the subfield of International Political Economy (IPE). As such, we begin the course by reviewing the different approaches to IPE, before entering into the various debates on globalization (what drives it, who are the winners and losers etc.). Topic 2 is dedicated to Global Trade. We begin by tracing the evolution of the global trading regime from GATT to the WTO, identifying its principal structural changes, broadening agenda, contested nature, and uncertain future. We will then address some of the broader challenges facing multilateral trade in the contemporary era, not least rising US-China trade tensions. Topic 3 focuses on Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs), explaining what regionalism is and why countries do it, giving an overview of RTAs around the world. Special attention here is paid to the European Union (the most developed form of RTA, to date) and its trade relations with the US.

    After the midterm exam we turn to the Environment (Topic 4), reviewing contemporary challenges and concerns, tracing the evolution of the system of ‘global governance’ and evaluating the effectiveness of public/private sector initiatives to promote sustainable development and tackle climate change (e.g. sponsoring renewal energy, setting up emissions trading schemes etc.) in the context of a competitive global economy.

    The following two modules tackle the International Monetary and Financial system. Topic 5 begins by studying the structure, functioning and demise of the Bretton Woods system, considered vital for any understanding of the contemporary ‘unregulated’ international monetary system and the connected debates international fora, most notably the in G20 meetings and BRIC summits. Special attention is paid to the eurozone, dollarization and US-Chinese financial and monetary relations. Topic 6, on the other hand, focuses on the causes and effects of the ‘explosion’ of global finance from the 1970s onwards, analysing recent/on-going financial crises and the effectiveness of the regulations introduced, both at the national and international level to mitigate them. Attention will also be paid to the present inflationary cycle. Although China is referred to throughout the course, its meteoric rise merits special attention. The final unit Topic 7 explores China’s evolution and the many ways it has impacted the global economy, and multiple challenges generated. The course ends by examining the dynamics of US-China rivalry.

    Course objectives

    The aim of this course is to introduce the students to the main debates surrounding the nature, effects and attempted management of the Global Economy, identifying its most important post-war structural developments (e.g. formation and collapse of Bretton Woods, globalization, evolution of the WTO, increase in regional integration, emergence of China etc.) and examining contemporary challenges to its well-being (e.g. financial instability, trade tensions, global imbalances, underdevelopment, rising inequality, environment crises, geopolitical rivalries etc.).

    Course Requirements and Grading

    This course is designed to incentive the student’s participation and active discussion. In this sense every subject will be accompanied by mandatory readings that will be addressed in class. Students will be required to complete assigned readings/summarize articles etc. outside class and to actively participate in class discussions, which will be reflected in their ‘participation’ grade. (N.B.: ‘being there’ does not = ‘participation’). Assessment for the course consists of class workshops, one midterm presentation (oral) and a final written paper and oral defense. The paper and presentations will be in groups; however, the presentation grade will be granted individually.  

    The distribution of the final grade is the following:

    Class workshops 20%  

    Midterm presentation 20%

    Final paper defense 20%  

    Final paper 25%

    Participation 15% 

    Class Schedule

    (This is only a general guide and may be subject to change)

    WEEK 1: January 25th

    • Presentation of course
    • Introduction: Approaches to IPE

    WEEK 2: January 30th/February 1st

    • Globalization: Key Debates
    • General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade (GATT)

    WEEK 3: February 6th/8th

    • World Trade Organization (WTO) I
    • WTO II

    WEEK 4: February 13th/15th

    • Critiquing the WTO
    • Doha Round and Beyond

    WEEK 5: February 20th/22nd

    • QUIZ + Debate preparation
    • Debate; Contemporary challenges

    WEEK 6: February 27th/March

    • 1st US-China Trade Relations
    • Explaining Regionalism
    • Regional Cooperation in a Global Context

    WEEK 7: March 6th/8 th

    • European Union
    • US-EU Trade Relations

    WEEK 8: March 13th/15th

    • Challenges and Concerns; Sustainable Development

    WEEK 9: March 20th/22nd

    • Evolving System of Global Governance
    • Climate Change; Renewable energy

    WEEK 10: March 27th/29th

    • Emissions trading
    • The Bretton Woods System

    WEEK 11: April 3rd/5th

    • No Classes (Semana Santa)

    WEEK 12: April 10th/12th

    • Collapse of Bretton Woods
    • Post-Bretton Woods monetary system
    • US-China monetary/financial relations

    WEEK 13: April 17th/19th

    • Globalization of Financial Markets
    • Understanding financial crises
    • The 2008 financial crisis: causes, effects & regulation

    WEEK 14: April 24th/26th

    • No Classes (Feria de Abril)

    WEEK 15: May 1st/3rd

    • No Class (Workers’ Day)
    • Contemporary situation

    WEEK 16: May 8th/10th

    • TOPIC 7: CHINA
    • Evolution Effect on global economy
    • US-China rivalry

    Final Exam: May 12th -17th


    This course has no textbook as such: relevant readings will be uploaded to Blackboard. 

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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