Globalization 1 - Globalization and Human Security

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Globalization 1 - Globalization and Human Security

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Anthropology, Sociology

  • 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

    Students who have successfully completed the course "Globalization and human security" will have achieved the following learning outcomes:

    A. Knowledge and understanding - Students have acquired knowledge and understanding of:
    (1) how the multifaceted process of globalization affects social inequality and power relations at different societal levels, and in different societies;
    (2) how new forms of social inequality challenge existing social, political, cultural and organizational structures of social inequality, and how these challenges have produced different social, political (policy), cultural and organizational responses;
    (3) how these challenges of (perceived) human insecurity are “managed” and governed from local to global levels.

    Application - Students are able to:
    (4) frame the issue of global social inequality in terms of ‘human security’, and explain global causes of locally/nationally experienced (in)security), global consequences for security issues of local/national behaviour, and global variation in feelings of insecurity and a perceived need for human security.

    Making judgments - Students are able to:
    (5) critically reflect upon existing and possible solutions to these (perceived) problems of human security;
    (6) analyse these issues of insecurity, inequality and human security from multiple perspectives within the social sciences and understand how different disciplines can complement, contradict, or simply ignore each other;

    Learning skills - Students have acquired
    (7) a multi-disciplinary conceptual theoretical toolbox for analysing human security;
    (8) the skilss to develop a written argument about these issues of globalization and human security.

    Globalization – driven by rapid economic integration, enabled by national policies and global governance as well as new communication technologies – involves the deepening interconnectedness across cultures and continents. While this interconnectedness creates new opportunities it also creates new problems and challenges, affecting our lives in all kinds of ways as social processes increasingly play out in a global space. While globalization has helped to lift some societies out of poverty and has created new opportunities for businesses, entrepreneurs and consumers, empirical research shows that globalization also goes hand in hand with deep, and often widening social inequalities between individuals as well as societies, creating new power asymmetries. At the same time that economic, social and cultural capital is concentrated into the hands of highly-educated, highly-skilled transnationally mobile elites, new forms of global competition have destroyed old economic activities and unravelled existing social fabrics. In this context new challenges have arisen to the resilience of our societies, challenges that have elicited various responses both at the societal level and in terms of (global and national) governance.

    Adopting an interdisciplinary perspective throughout, the first course this two-module interdisciplinary thematic specialization will examine how these new challenges can be framed and understood in terms of human (in)security, focusing on how the global and the local interact in producing new (perceived) threats to our security and analysing both global and local societal as well as political (policy) responses to these threats. Indeed, security is one key area affected by globalization, one that has opened up a much broader concept of security than the traditional (state-centric) understanding of national and international security. The rise of non-state, transnational actors such as terrorist groups has for instance also been high on the agenda since 9/11 while others have spoken of “new wars” in which the public and the private have become increasingly mixed, and conflict is both about (natural) resources as well as about identity. New security challenges also arise in the context of climate change and global migration movements in which people – often fleeing from conditions affecting their basic security such as wars, famines, and draughts are constantly uprooted and seeking refuge. These challenges from both an analytical and a normative perspective pose new challenges for national as well as transnational governance, as well as require us to go beyond traditional concepts.

    This course delves into the conceptual and theoretical aspects and possible limitations in the way that the United Nations have coined ‘human security’ as ‘freedom from fear and freedom from want’. We will provide a broader focus in which aspects of social and physical well-being are systematically connected to specific culturally informed ways of coping with risk and uncertainty and making sense of the world. A basic principle of the course is that socio-economic, political and cultural dimensions of human security are not only equally relevant, but also interconnected. Focusing on concrete problems and challenges of human security this course will teach students to draw upon theories, concepts and insights from sociology; political science; political economy; governance studies; anthropology; communication sciences, and organization sciences. Juxtaposing and combining these different yet overlapping perspectives, students will acquire new knowledge and apply these perspectives to concrete empirical cases.

    Lectures and one tutorial every two weeks.

    Written and/or oral examination.

    Bachelor students Faculty of Social Scieces.

    This course is the first course of a two-module interdisciplinary thematic specialization on globalization.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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