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OCEU 2105 - Europe and the Political Economy of Globalization

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 40

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

The course begins with a general introduction to our understandings of globalisation, reviewing the literature on and evidence for economic globalisation. In the second section of the course, the impact of globalisation on the autonomy and sovereignty of the nation-state in Europe, the relationship between globalisation and European regionalisation and the policy implications of globalisation in Europe are the focus of attention. The extent to which globalisation can be held accountable democratically and the implications of the global financial crisis are consistent themes of the course. By the end of the course, students will be able to: Demonstrate independent and critical understanding of the most important aspects of globalisation ; Show awareness of the relationship between theory and practice in relation to the international/comparative political economy literatures ; Fully identify the strengths and weaknesses of different theoretical approaches to the study of globalisation and assess critically the competing claims that are made regarding the impact of economic integration on a range of countries; Demonstrate appropriate cognitive, communicative and transferable skills, including understanding complex concepts and theories, exercising critical judgement and using a range of problem-solving techniques; making effective oral contributions and written presentations, utilising specialist primary and secondary sources, and deepening the capacity for independent learning ; Write scholarly and grammatically correct essays that are referenced in accordance with established academic practice.


  • CHAO, Wei-Ting (Teaching Assistant, Phd Student)
  • HAY, Colin (Professeur des universités, CEE)

Course validation

Journal article review 1500 word (50%). Essay 1500 words (50%).

Required reading

  • Hay, C. & Wincott, D. (2012) The Political Economy of European Welfare Capitalism. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan – the closest to a core text for the second half of the course especially
  • Held, D. & McGrew, A. (2007) Globalisation/Anti-Globalisation. Cambridge: Polity
  • Ravenhill, J. (ed.) (2014) Global Political Economy. 4th Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press [the 5th Edition, with fully updated chapters is due to be published on 1st December 2016]

Plans de cours et bibliographies

Part 1: Demystifying Globalisation

Session 1: Introduction: What is Globalisation?

Defining globalisation. What does it mean and what is at stake in defining the term? Globalisation as condition (end-state), process of transition or tendency (to which they are counter-tendencies)? Globalisation as economic, political and cultural interdependence. How global is global? How trans-national is global? The uneven geography of globalisation. The impact of the crisis.
Required reading

  • Held, D. and McGrew, A. (2007) Globalisation/Anti-Globalisation. Cambridge: Polity – chapter 1.

Sessions 2 and 3: Economic Globalisation

What is economic globalisation and is it happening? Are trade and cross-border financial transactions evidence of globalisation? Globalisation as economic interdependence? The hyper-globalisation thesis and the sceptical position.  Evidence of economic interdependence in (and beyond) Europe – trade, foreign direct investment, financial flows.
Required reading

  • Hay, C & Wincott, D. (2012) The Political Economy of European Welfare Capitalism. Basingstoke: Palgrave ‑ chapter 3.
  • Watson, M. (2001) ‘International Capital Mobility in an Era of Globalisation’, Politics, 21 (2), 81-92.

Session 4: The Politics of Globalisation

What is political globalisation and is it happening? Is the EU evidence of and/or an agent of globalisation? Globalisation as post-international relations. The challenge to realism and the defence of realism. Global and regional governance. Perforated sovereignty and the demise or transformation of the nation-state.

Required reading

  • Hay, C. (2013) ‘International Relations Theory and Globalisation’, in T. Dunne, M. Kurki and S. Smith (eds.) International Relations Theory. Third edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Session 5: The Cultural Political Economy of Globalisation

Consumerism and the cultural political economy of globalisation. Globalisation as cultural homogenisation v globalisation as cultural diversification. The McDonaldisation thesis. The anti-globalisation movement – the first genuinely global social movement? The cultural politics of globalisation in Europe.

Required reading

  • Held, D. and McGrew, A. (2007) Globalisation/Anti-Globalisation. Cambridge: Polity – chapter 3.

Session 6: Globalisation and/or Regionalisation

Is regional economic integration evidence of globalisation? Is European integration a form of globalisation or a means of protecting European states from globalisation? Is it a tendency or a counter-tendency to globalisation? What has been the relative pace of globalisation and regional integration in Europe in recent decades? The ‘triadisation’ thesis. Gravity models of trade.

Required reading

  • Hay, C. (2014) ‘Globalisation’s Impact on States’ in J. Ravenhill (ed.) Global Political Economy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Part II: The challenge of globalisation in Europe

Session 7: Globalisation and competitiveness

What is competitiveness, what does an economy need in order to be competitive and what’s globalisation got to do with it? Can competitiveness be measured – and, if so, how? Is competitiveness a ‘dangerous obsession’ and why does Krugman think it is? Can competitiveness be understood differently? What is a ‘competition state’ and how does it differ from a ‘welfare state’?

Required reading

  • Krugman, P. (1996) ‘Competitiveness: A Dangerous Obsession’, in Pop Internationalism. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press — this also appears in Foreign Affairs, March/April 1994, 28-44.

Session 8: Globalisation and capitalist institutional diversity

Do capitalist economies come in varieties – if so, how many and of what type? What characterise liberal and coordinated market economies in Hall and Soskice’s ‘varieties of capitalism’ perspective. Is globalisation an agent of convergence? Is there any evidence for either the simple or dual convergence thesis? How might the global financial crisis lead us to rethink some of this?

Required reading

  • Hay, C. and Wincott, D. (2012) The Political Economy of European Welfare Capitalism. Basingstoke: Palgrave – chapter 6.

Session 9: Globalisation and the future of the nation-state in Europe

How has globalisation been seen as a threat to the sovereignty and autonomy of the nation-state – and how might this be applied to the nation-state in Europe today? Has globalisation precipitated a profound and irreversible crisis of the nation-state or has it (merely) led to a change in its form? What is meant by the ‘competition state’ (Cerny) and is this the new form of the nation-state in Europe today? How might globalisation we held to account democratically and are globalisation and democracy is tension with one another?

Required reading

  • Cerny, P. G. (1997) ‘Paradoxes of the Competition State: The Dynamics of Political Globalisation’, Government and Opposition, 32 (2), 251-74.

Session 10: Globalisation and the future of social democracy

What is social democracy and is there any evidence of its survival in an era of globalisation? Does globalisation reward neoliberalism and penalise social democracy? If so, in what ways and through what mechanisms? What evidence can we find for such mechanisms? What is the ‘third way’ and is it genuinely social democratic or a leftish inflection of neoliberalism? Does the global financial crisis threaten to bury social democracy or might it prove an agent in its resuscitation?

Required reading

  • Giddens, A. (1998) The Third Way. Cambridge: Polity – especially chapter 1.

Session 11:Globalisation and the future of the welfare state in Europe

Is the European welfare state a casualty of globalisation? What has happened to European welfare diversity since the 1980s? Are European welfare states as generous and inclusive as once they were? Is globalisation the key factor here – or are there others? How has the European welfare state been recast and what are its prospects today?

Required reading

  • Hay, C. (2005) ‘Too Important to Leave to the Economists? The Political Economy of Welfare Retrenchment’, Social Policy and Society, 4 (2), 1-9, 2005.

Session 12: The global financial crisis: A crisis of globalisation?

The global financial crisis – what happened and who’s to blame? What does the global financial crisis tell us about globalisation and the way in which it has been governed? How did the crisis unfold and how did it prove contagious? Is this a crisis of debt or growth? What are its lasting legacies likely to be and how might it be solved? Is austerity the answer?

Required reading

  • Hay, C. and Wincott, D. (2012) The Political Economy of European Welfare Capitalism. Basingstoke: Palgrave – chapter 7