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Level 5

5AAH1074 Globalization Since the 1970s

Credit value: 15
Module convenor/tutorDr David Brydan & Dr Chris Parkes
Teaching pattern: 10 x 1 hour lecture, 10 x 1 hour seminar (weekly)
Availability: Please see module list for relevant year
Assessment: 1 x 1,500 word formative essay, 1 x 3,000-word essay (100%)

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

Assessment pre 2019/20: 2 x 2,500 word essay (50% each)

The modules offered in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand: there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary between years.

Global interaction and exchange have increased on an unprecedented level since the 1970s. The volume of goods traded internationally increased four-fold between 1980-2011. Globalization has transformed institutions and livelihoods throughout the world, King’s College London included. Globalization is everywhere in public speech, used to explain events from the economic crash of 2008 to the election of Donald Trump in 2016. It has become a phrase apparently relevant to every subject and has spawned a massive literature in many different disciplines. For many, it is the phenomenon that defines our age. Yet as discussed in the media it has little actual connection to real events. This module will help students make sense of globalisation by treating it as an historical phenomenon.

Students will consider what has and what hasn't changed in how societies, economies and politics are organized across the world. Students will trace the emergence of technologies and practices which facilitate global interaction, from the container ship to the world wide web. They'll also understand how globalization has been debated, examining the emergence of the idea of globalization, and the history of arguments about what it is and whether it is a good thing or not. 

Finally, students will study its political consequences, charting debates about the effects of global interaction on the choices available to publics and their leaders, and asking how far institutions and individuals are able to shape phenomena which occurs on such a large scale. Has globalization meant the end of the nation-state, even of democracy? In taking course, students will develop a critical set of intellectual tools for understanding one of the major issues of our age.

Provisional Teaching Plan


  1. Introduction: Globalization and the Shipping Container
  2. The Post-War Economic Order and its Collapse
  3. The Shock of the Global: The 1970s and the Crisis of Governability
  4. The Rise of Pro-Market Politics
  5. Debating Globalization
  6. The Knowledge Economy
  7. Social Movements and Anti-Globalization
  8. Global Finance and the Financial Crisis
  9. Globalization and Government
  10. Thinking Globally

Suggested introductory reading 

This is suggested reading and purchase of these books is not mandatory.

 James Cronin, Global Rules. America, Britain and a Disordered World (2014)

 Naomi Klein, No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs (2000)

 Jurgen Osterhammel and Niels P Petersson, Globalization: A Short History (2009)

 Vijay Prashad, The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (2012)

 Peter N. Stearns, Globalization in World History (2009)

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