Learning Goals and Outcomes for the Course

Learning Objectives

As an interdisciplinary venture, this course is intended to help students develop an integrated understanding of the political, economic, and ethical implications of globalization, to help students to become well informed about contemporary issues, and to develop skills in political-economic and ethical reasoning.

In this course, students will learn more about the real world importance and impacts of key actors, institutions, and events in the global economic system, including themselves. After taking this course, students will be able to answer advanced social science questions about the global economy:

  • What is economic development? Capitalism? Socialism? Globalization?
  • How is wealth distributed in the global economy?
  • Who controls the global economy, and how?
  • Why have some countries prospered while others lag?

In addition students will learn about several core concepts from ethical theory and how various accounts pertain to the discussion of the real world issues under consideration

  • What is well-being?
  • What constitutes a fair allocation of well-being: what is ‘distributive justice’?
  • Given our account of well-being and fair allocation, how should we respond to questions about economic development, the control of the global economy, and the challenges presented by globalization?

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to identify, distinguish, and summarize core concepts in ethics and international political economy by reviewing the works of philosophers and philosophical schools of thought such as utility theory, theories of justice, equality, etc., as well as the key political and economic figures and theories related to globalization, development, macroeconomic policy, and international economic relations.
  • Students will be able to integrate knowledge and coherently express their critical thinking with regard to the above noted concepts by identifying and articulating connections and controversies across the two disciplinary perspectives offered through this course.


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