The Course

By several measures, the global economy was more fully integrated in 1900 than it is today. Thus, the current march of globalization is neither inevitable nor unprecedented. In this course, we will examine the foreign economic policies of the major powers (particularly the United States and Great Britain) that fostered these two eras of globalization. We will also consider the normative arguments made by both the advocates (Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, and Paul Krugman) and the skeptics (Karl Marx, Alexander Hamilton, and Dani Rodrik) of market integration. We will use this perspective to understand and evaluate current trends in the global economy. (Prior experience in economics and/or political science recommended.)

Course Format

Our course meetings will generally take the form of discussions. I will vary my role and influence in the discussion based on the material and topics at hand. At points, I may provide some preliminary exegesis or background to set the stage for our discussion. At other points, I will take a less active role, encouraging students to take the discussion in the directions they find most interesting.

This course will require students to grapple with both positive and normative questions. The former concern facts, which have no moral valence. (e.g. What was the role of the First World War play in bringing the First Era of Globalization to an end?) The latter concern ideals—standards of “right” and “wrong”—and will challenge students to consider what they think “ought” to be. (e.g. Should countries pursue economic integration at the cost of their sovereignty?) I will thus try to balance between ensuring the requisite comprehension of the positive issues and allowing sufficient exploration of the intriguing and important normative matters related to international law.

This course will not assume that students have had extensive background in political science or economics. But it will offer a healthy dose of both!

This Site

The policies for this course are available on this website; and this site contains all of the most recent information about this course. Students are required to read through the site upon enrolling in the course to ensure they are familiar with the course policies, assignments, and expectations.

My policies concerning assignments are available here.

Students enrolled in my courses are required to read all of these policies carefully.

The Instructor

You can find further information about me, James Ashley Morrison, via my website.