At the core of globalization is the notion of interconnectedness or interdependence. This notion takes shape as an increasingly global market for many manufactured and agricultural goods and investments, in the ability to connect with just about anyone in the world at any time, and in the presence of daily products from far-flung places that no longer seem exotic. This interconnectedness also means that what happens in one part of the world often affects people’s lives in another, in both positive and negative ways. Globalization has its proponents and its detractors, but it is not a choice—it is simply a reality of modern life.
In this course, we will
- understand how the interconnectivity of our world’s financial systems increases the risk of a localized economic problem becoming a global crisis;
- inspect the global supply chain that makes it possible to get common products made more quickly and more cheaply;
- study the changes that have facilitated this supply chain’s expansion;
- complete a run-through of the supranational organizations, institutions, and worldwide framework of legal agreements that have allowed global trade to expand;
- investigate how seemingly unrelated events around the world can coalesce to cause problems at home;
- look at how globalization has created new markets for everything from avocados to Hollywood movies;
- study the evolution of technology over the past century, especially the innovations that have made our world feel profoundly smaller and more interconnected;
- zoom in to understand just how much internet use has increased in the twenty-first century; and finally
- zoom out to appreciate how cultural juggernauts like the Harry Potter series transcend borders and create a common global vernacular.