Issues in Global Economy
GLS 300 -Fall 2009
Monday and Wednesday, 3:00 - 4:20 PM
Mahar 202

     Said Atri
     Mahar 431A
     Office Hours:
     Monday: 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM
     Wednesday: 12:15 PM  - 2:00PM
     and by appointment


Course Description

Global economic resources are scarce and, for the most part, unequally distributed among nations. The contemporary issues in the global economy arise from the dynamics of the economic relations among nation states as each attempts to better position itself in the increasingly interdependent and competitive world. While the economic benefits of specialization and trade have long been recognized and trade among nations has been going on and growing for many hundreds of years, only in the past fifty years or so the general political conditions of the world have become stable enough to allow for steady and worldwide expansion of economic interactions. The trade expansion has occurred despite the Cold War and continuing conflicts in many parts of the world. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union which coincided with economic liberalization (and, in some cases, economic chaos) around the world the pace of growth in international economic relations has markedly accelerated. While trade and economic interdependence among nations have greatly contributed to the rapid economic growth in many parts of the world they also have made most economies susceptible to macroeconomic instabilities. The still ongoing economic recession that, according to many observers, was triggered by the crisis in the subprime mortgage market in the United States has become a worldwide recession affecting both developed and developing economies.

Today over 27 percent of the world’s output is exported and about 14 percent of its total investment is directly invested outside the national borders of the countries from which investment funds originate. International trade and investment, no doubt, have brought economic prosperity and higher standards of living to many people around the world, including millions in less developed countries, while causing some hardships on certain population groups. The distribution of the new wealth has been very unequal. In fact, in the past two decades, the gap between the poor and the rich nations has widened. In the year 2006, about 75 percent of the world’s $48.5 trillion output was produced by 15 percent of the world’s population living in developed countries. In that year, 41 percent of the world’s population lived in countries with an average per capita income of $750 — close to half of these countries had per capita incomes of less than $450.

The still ongoing economic recession

This course is a study of the dynamics of the global economy and the challenges the world is facing in its way toward a freer and more competitive global economic environment. After a summary review of the structure of the world economy, we will turn our attention to the basic economic problems all nations face. A brief review of some economic principles and tools of analysis will then follow. We will next examine the role of international trade (and finance) and the function of the market in dealing with economic problems. Next, we will look at the special challenges that developed and developing countries encounter in pursuing economic growth in an increasingly competitive economic environment. In our discussion of economic integration we shall study the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with an emphasis on the US-Mexico economic relations. We shall try to pay extra attention to the challenges that developing countries face in their attempts to participate in the global market. Finally, we will have a look at the international monetary and financial systems and the role of international and regional institutions in the world financial scene.

Course Objectives
The principle objective of this course is to provide students with an in-depth appreciation for the dynamics of the world economy and the political and economic challenges nation states face in their pursuit of economic prosperity in an increasingly open and competitive global economic environment.
Students will:

Supplementary References
Manfred Steger, Globaalization: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press: 2003

Michael Weinstein, Globalization: What's New? Columbia University Press: 2005

Mark Kesselman, The Politics of Globalization, A Reader, Houghton Mifflin: 2007

Paul Collier, The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest countries Are Failing and What Can be Done About It, Oxford University Press: 2007

Thomas L. Friedman, The World is Flat: Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 2005

Robert Gilpin and Jean M. Gilpin, Global Political Economy: Understanding the International Economic Order, Princeton University Press: 2001

John Cavanagh and Jerry Mander, Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A Better World is Possible, Berrett-Koehler Publishers: 2002

Russell D. Roberts, The Choice, Printice Hall

J. F. Rischards, High Noon: Twenty Global Problems, Twenty Years to Solve Them, Basic Books, 2002

Saskia Sassen, Globalization and Its Discontents, The New Press, New York: 1998

Timothy A. Wise, Hilda Salazar and Laura Carlsen, Eds., Confronting Globalization: Economic Integration and Popular Resistance in Mexico, Kumarian Press, Inc., Bloomfield, CT: 2003

Douglas A. Irwin, Free Trade Under Fire, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ: 2009

The Course Outline

              The Theory of Trade: Comparative Advantage
              The Gains from Specialization and Trade
              A Review of the Historical Trends of International Trade
               International Trade and Economic Development               The Case of Developing Countries
              The Widening Gap between the Poor and the Rich
              Structural Changes in Trading Economies
              The Effects on Women and Children
              The Roles of International Organizations               Are Developing Countries Getting their Fair Share of Capital?
              The Implications of Free Capital Movements
              Globalization and Technology Transfers
              Globalization and Labor Mobility: Immigration Issues                 The Political and Economic Implications of Regional Economic Integrations
                The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
                A Look at the Economic Performance of Mexico under NAFTA
                The Politics of NAFTA
                Labor Mobility: Immigration                  Economies of Scale
                 Winners and Losers
                 The Role of the Government in a Globalized World
                 Strategic Trade Policies                    The Changing Role of International Trade and Financial Organizations                     Globalization and Poverty: The Losers and the Winners
                    Globalization and Women
                    Globalization and Labor
                    Globalization and Environment
                    Globalization and Democracy

Examination Schedule
Weight %
Quizzes and Classroom Participation 
Exam I
Wednesday, October 7
Exam II
Wednesday, November 11
Group Essays/Presentations 
November 16 - December 9

Group Essays
The class will be divided into study groups of  4 to 5 students (depending on the class size) . Each group will split into two debating teams. From a list of topics provided by the instructor each group will choose a topic (or question) to study. The two debating teams in each group will adopt opposing positions relative to the question or the topic of their study. The results of each group's study would have to be presented in writing in two separate 1500 to 2500-word essays. In addition, the two teams in each group will present and debate their views and findings in a classroom presentation. All written essays must be submitted to the instructor by December 2. The instructor will schedule the classroom presentations/debates during the last two weeks of the semester and, if needed, on the scheduled Final Exam day ( December 16, 2:00-4:00 PM). The written essays and classroom presentations will carry 30 percent weight in the evaluation of students’ performance in the course.

Intellectual Integrity
Intellectual integrity on the part of all students is basic to individual growth and development through college course work. When academic dishonesty occurs, the teaching/learning climate is seriously undermined and student growth and development are impeded. For these reasons, any form of intellectual dishonesty is a serious concern and is therefore prohibited.

Attendance Policy
Students are strongly urged to attend classes regularly and keep up with the course coverage and other assignments. Participation in class discussions is also valued highly by the instructor. Excessive absences could have an adverse effect on the student's final course grade. A make-up test or quiz is given only when a student misses a test as a result of professionally diagnosed and treated illness and other verified extenuating circumstances. Make-up tests may or may not have the same format as the scheduled test.

Note: If you have a disabling condition which may interfere with your ability to successfully complete this course, please contact the Disability Services Office.

Contact Information:
Office: Mahar Hall, Room 431 A
Telephone: (315) 312-3954