Contesting Globalisation

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSGA2GS4074

Semester and Year Offered: Winter 2019

Course Coordinator and Team: Sunalini Kumar

Email of course coordinator: sunalini[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: BA; registered as full time MA Global Studies student.

Aim: The course will be offered to second semester MA-GS students as a compulsory core course. It addresses the contemporary and interdisciplinary focus of AUD, and in particular of the school of global affairs. This course will expose students to myths and realities of globalisation while making them aware of the philosophical foundations, contextual histories and genealogies of the concepts and issues that these myths and realities derive from. Students will be provoked to problematise and critically engage with concepts and issues pertaining to state, sovereignty, democracy, governance, empire, justice, human rights, identity, hegemony, and social movements.

Course Outcomes:

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

  1. Understand key concepts in globalization – empire, nation-state, sovereignty, development, good governance, human rights, protest, crisis, social movements, global, globality and globalisation - and how these relate to each other.
  2. To appreciate the historical and conceptual complexity of globalisation.
  3. To promote critical engagement with the immediate environment - questions of power, state capacity, governance, justice, equity, access as they appear in students' lives in a globalising world.
  4. Connect the abstract and theoretical to the concrete in specific situations in the field of politics.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  1. The Problem: Nation, Sovereignty and Other Quaint Ideas: This unit will introduce students to the idea of the modern nation-state and the purported dilution of statehood within globalisation. As an alternative to this narrative of rise and decline, it will attempt to offer the thesis that globalisation is the latest re-figuration of old empires.
  2. The Solution: International Order or Global Disorder? In this unit, the postwar international order will be understood through a series of critical readings on governance, international institutions, global democracy, human security and the idea of global justice. The growing consensus that the Bretton Woods institutions have failed to solve the problem created by the world wars has led to a rethinking of the idea of order itself.
  3. The Crisis: Hydra-Headed Threats of a Globalising World: This unit will further explore disorder in the global world through two modules – the first will seek to understand if the Washington Consensus is over; and the second will look at specific threats: environmental, war, data privacy, arms control, internal security.
  4. The Discontents: Protesting Publics and New Imaginaries: The protest or discontent against globalisation appears to have witnessed two distinct moments – one celebrated as the Seattle protests; the other not so distinct and is marked by inchoate protesting publics and anarchic political imaginations, which is celebrated as “defiant” by one scholar (Daniel Dasche) and as ‘multitudes” by others (Hardt and Negri). This unit will also introduce students to the concept of social movements including ‘globalisation/democracy from below”.

Assessment Details with weights:

The course will have three types of assessment situations.

  • Continuous assessment mode on the basis of their participation in class and their engagement with the material. This involves primarily short pieces (combined: 35%)
  • The second assessment will involve an individual project/long essay on the investigation of a chosen theme (30%).
  • The third assessment will be final examination (35%).

Reading List:

  • Ritzer, G. (2010) Globalization: A Basic Text, Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 33-62.

  • Strager, M. (2009) Globalization: A Very Short Introduction, London: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-16.

  • Ellwood, M. (2005) The No-nonsense Guide to Globalization, Jaipur: Rawat Publications, pp. 12-2
  • R. Keohane and J. Nye Jr, (2000) ‘Globalization: What’s New? What’s Not? (And So What?)’, in Foreign Policy, No 118, pp. 104-119.
  • Klein, N. (2008) The Shock Doctrine London, Penguin UK.
  • McGrew, A. (2011) ‘Globalization and Global Politics’, in J. Baylis, S. Smith and P. Owens (eds.) Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 14-31.
  • Vanaik, A. (ed.), (2004) Globalization and South Asia: Multidimensional Perspectives, New Delhi: Manohar Publications, pp. 171-191, 192-213, 301-317, 335-35
  • Björn, W. ‘Modernity: One, None, or Many?: European Origins and Modernity as a Global Condition’ in Daedalus, Vol. 129, No. 1, Multiple Modernities, Winter 2000, pp. 31- 60.
  • Nayyar, D. (ed.) Governing Globalisation: Issues and Institutions, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • Held, D. (1995), Democracy and the Global Order: From the Modern State to Cosmopolitan Governance (Stanford: Stanford University Press).
  • D. Howlett, (2011) ‘Nuclear Proliferation’, in J. Baylis, S. Smith and P. Owens (eds.) Globalization of World Politics, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 384-397.
  • J. Kiras, (2011) ‘Terrorism and Globalization’, in J. Baylis, S. Smith and P. Owens (eds.) Globalization of World Politics, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 366-380.

  • S. Castles, (2012) ‘Global Migration’, in B. Chimni and S. Mallavarapu (eds.) International Relations: Perspectives For the Global South, New Delhi: Pearson, pp. 272-285.
  • S. Tadjbakhsh and A. Chenoy, (2007) Human Security, London: Routledge, pp. 13-19; 123- 127; 236-243.
  • Acharya, (2001) ‘Human Security: East versus West’, in International Journal, Vol. 56, no. 3, pp. 442-460.
  • Kumar and D. Messner (eds), (2010) Power Shifts and Global Governance: Challenges from South and North, London: Anthem Press.
  • P. Dicken, (2007) Global Shift: Mapping the Changing Contours of the World Economy, New York: The Guilford Press.
J. Close, (2001) ‘The Global Shift: A quantum leap in human evolution’, Available at, Accessed: 19.04.2013.


  • Films and multimedia on globalisation.