Area of Study
Business, International Affairs, International Business
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.
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
International Business are one of the multiple dynamics that characterize the global system.
Even though its study has traditionally focused on the process of globalization, the
increasing interaction among governments, the private sector and civil society, which takes
place at different levels and policies, is not necessarily limited to purely economic or traderelated
transactions. Therefore, it is then mandatory for the study of International Business
to include the analysis of key trends in global affairs that are not limited to states and their
political influence. In order to develop successful processes of internationalization, a
professional in International Business must understand how global affairs in the political,
economic, social, environmental, and cultural dimensions influence his or her activities, from
multiple disciplinary, historical, and applied perspectives. Only in this way it would be
possible to understand International Business, not as a specific dynamic, but as agent and
outcome in the context of decision-making processes – that involve both public policies and
private initiatives – that conflux around economic and commercial activities that are more
and more globalized every day.
2. GENERAL OBJECTIVE
To offer students the elements necessary to identify, analyze, and evaluate the dynamics
and challenges in the interaction among global actors at the political, economic, social,
environmental and business levels, within the framework of sustainable development, in
order to understand how these linkages reflect and are incorporated in business
internationalization and international negotiation processes.
3. ANALYTIC DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS
The course is structured around the main concepts in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development. Each of the units will address different topics related to global
affairs, all of them grouped in five categories that comprise the issues addressed by the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Source of image: UNDP (2017)
UNIT 1 – COURSE INTRODUCTION
• To present the contents of the syllabus, key concepts, readings, methodology, rules of
the course, and evaluation.
• To understand the theoretical and policy framework for the study of Global Affairs and
its relationship with International Business.
WEEK 1 – Course Introduction (January 24th)
• Introduction – Contents, readings and evaluation system
• What is Global Affairs?
• The concept of human security
• Understanding global affairs as a business-related topic
• (Required) Business and Sustainable Development Commission (2017) Introduction:
the global goals and why they matter to business. Pp-10-23
• (Suggested) Snarr, Michael T. (2016). Exploring Global Issues. In Snarr, M and Snarr
N. Introduction to Global Issues. Sixth edition. Lynne Rienner Publishers.. pp.1-16
WEEK 2 – The framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (January 31st)
• Historical evolution of the concept of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
• The negotiations of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
• People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnerships as driving concepts
• (Required). UN (2015). Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
• (Suggested) Tagi Sagafi-nejad (2009). The UN Galaxy, transnational corporations and
sustainable development in Mclntyre, J. Ivanaj. S. and Ivanag. V. Multinational
Enterprises and the Challenge of Sustainable Development p. 28-49
UNIT 2 – PEOPLE
WEEK 3 – Food Security and Hunger (February 7th)
• State of the world regarding SDG2 Zero Hunger
• The challenge of food security
• The zero-hunger strategy
• Case studies on the role of the private sector in the promotion of food security
WEEK 4 – Health (February 14st)
• State of the world regarding SDG3 Good Health and Well-being
• Why are health trends relevant for international business?
• Infectious and non-communicable diseases
• Other health risks
• Health systems and funding
• Case studies on the role of the private sector in the promotion of health services
WEEK 5 – Education (February 21st)
• State of the world regarding SDG4 Quality Education
• Why is education still a challenge in some parts of the world?
• Gaps in quality, gender, and educational structures
• Educational systems and funding
• Case studies on the role of the private sector in the promotion of quality education
WEEK 6 – Gender (February 28th)
• State of the world regarding SDG5 Gender Equality and Girls’ Empowerment
• The role of women in development
• Socio-economic dimensions of gender gaps
• Gender-based violence as a global issue
• Women participation in politics
• Case studies on the role of the private sector in the promotion of gender equality and
WEEK 7- Midterm Exam (March 7th)
UNIT 3 – PROSPERITY
WEEK 8 – Poverty and inequality (March 14th)
• State of the world regarding SDG1 No poverty and SDG10 Reduced Inequalities
• Poverty gaps and inequality as a challenge for economic activities and international
• Role of international economic and financial institutions in the fight against poverty and
• Social, political, and economic inclusion
• Fiscal, wages, and social protection systems
WEEK 9 – Employment and Economic Growth (March 21st)
• State of the world regarding SDG8 Decent Work and Economic Growth and SDG12
Sustainable Consumption and Production
• Development oriented policies for productive activities
• Economic productivity and diversification
• Resource efficiency / Sustainable Consumption and Production
• Labor systems
WEEK 10 – Innovation and Infrastructure (April 4th)
• State of the world regarding SDG9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
• Sustainable industrialization
• The role of SMEs and entrepreneurs in the promotion of sustainable development
• ICT as a resource for sustainable development – Case studies from the private sector
• The challenges for Least Developed Countries (LDCs)
UNIT 4 – PLANET
WEEK 11 – Climate change and energy (April 11th)
• State of the world regarding SDG7 Affordable and Clean Energy and SDG13 Climate
• The private sector and the global climate agreements.
• Why are climate adaptation and mitigation important for the private sector?
• Case studies on the role of the private sector in the promotion of the renewable,
affordable, and sustainable energies.
• Private public partnerships for the environment
WEEK 12 – Urbanization and Sanitation (April 18th)
• State of the world regarding SDG6 Clean Water and Sanitation and SDG11 Sustainable
Cities and Communities.
• How water and sanitation becomes a requirement for economic progress and
• Glocalization: Cities as global actors
• The footprint of cities and their impact for international business and economic activities
• Human Settlements
WEEK 13 – Biodiversity, Land and Water (April 25th)
• State of the world regarding SDG14 Life below Water and SDG15 Life on Land
• Nature as economic resources
• Environment and trade for sustainable development
• Access and benefit-sharing
• Ecosystem services in international business
UNIT 5 – PEACE AND PARTNERSHIPS
WEEK 14 – Peace as global pre-condition for international business (May 2nd)
• SDG14 Peace, Justice, and strong institutions as means of implementation for
• Global security and terrorism
• Illegal trade flows and the challenges for international business
• Political risks associated with international business
• Global participation for developing countries and their different actors
WEEK 15 – Partnerships for Sustainable Development (May 9th)
• Other means of implementation for sustainable development
• Global aid and the role of the private sector
• Political and institutional coherence at the governance level
UNIT 6 – CHALLENGES FOR INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
WEEK 16 – Challenges for International Business in Global Affairs (May 16th)
• Risk analysis
• Future prospects
• Transformation in political communities
• Implications for investment, trade, financing, internationalization, and organizational
Midterm (March 7th) 20%
Class discussions (Each class from unit 1 to unit 5) 30%
Research Essay (Due on April 25th) 20%
Global Affairs Challenge Exercise (Due on May 23rd) 30%
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Baron, D. P. (2003). Business and its Environment. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Bartlett, C. A., & Ghoshal, S. (1999). Managing across borders: The transnational
solution (Vol. 2). Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Baylis, J., Smith, S., & Owens, P. (Eds.). (2013). The globalization of world politics:
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Boddewyn, J. J., & Brewer, T. L. (1994). International-business political behavior:
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Cutler, A. C., Haufler, V., & Porter, T. (Eds.). (1999). Private authority and international affairs. SUNY Press.
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Hill, C., Cronk, T., & Wickramasekera, R. (2013). Global business today: McGraw Hill.
Jolly, R., Emmerij, L., & Weiss, T. G. (2009). UN ideas that changed the world.
Indiana University Press.
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