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2020/2021

Global Inequality and Economic Institutions in Historical Perspective

Type: Mago-Lego
Delivered by: Department of History
When: 3 module
Open to: everyone
Instructors: Elena Kochetkova
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3

Course Syllabus

Abstract

This course discusses global inequalities via the lens of the history of economics and regional development. It focuses on economic institutions and their interactions with political, societal, technological and environmental changes to answer the following questions: why is the present world unequal? Why are some regions rich while others are not? Will it change in the future? Why some countries take technological and economic lead, some have a great cultural impact on the others, some give tone to ecological policies while others remain “the rest”? Where and when do conditions necessary for intensive development begin to form? Are they naturally developed or artificially created? While discussing scholarly interpretations and approaches to these issues, the course will emphasize the roles of economic institutions understanding them as diverse practices, rules, and interactions as explained by Douglass North. The course is shaped in a series of lectures and seminar discussions, as well as written and project tasks such as brainstorming, analytical questions, group discussions, small oral presentations, and long and short essays. The course is especially designed to give students deep insight into developments of the globe between the 18th and 21st centuries discussing the following themes: the great divergence; culture and economy; the role of technologies and innovations in economic change; periphery and marginality; colonialism; theories of modernity and modernization; world-system approach; socialism, capitalism and hybrid economic types; natural resources and extractive economies. Combining various forms of teaching and learning, the course will boost analytical and research skills of the students.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The course aims at providing students with a deep insight into the history of global economic inequality with a particular emphasis on institutions.
  • It will provide students with basic background and classic and modern discussions
  • The course also aims at developing students` analytical and methodological skills in interdisciplinary research
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Distinguish between different perspectives by drawing on their knowledge of the discipline
  • Practice a range of research skills and scientific methods for studying history
  • Demonstrate a wide range of generic skills, including skills in communication, information processing, teamwork, critical and creative thinking, computing independent learning
  • Take a creative approach to using new and existing technologies for educational purposes
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction to global inequalities
  • Economic institutions
  • Culture and religion in the production of economic inequalities
  • Do nations choose to be poor and rich?
  • Explaining economic inequalities: capitalism and neoliberalism
  • Explaining economic inequalities: Marxism
  • Extractive and inclusive institutions and their power
  • Modernity and inequality
  • Natural resources: commons and struggles of communities
  • World-System approach and colonialism
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Three questions and one short written essay related to each reading (nine and nine in total)
    Each week prior to the class (by Thursdays 3 p.m.) students are assigned to submit a task (nine in total): three analytic questions (implying substantial reply, not just "yes" or "no") and one page reply on one of them. The questions and reply should demonstrate that the student has read the text carefully and though thoroughly about it. Works are submitted via the LMS.
  • non-blocking Attendance and participation
  • non-blocking Final essay
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.3 * Attendance and participation + 0.4 * Final essay + 0.3 * Three questions and one short written essay related to each reading (nine and nine in total)
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Acemoglu, D., & Robinson, J. A. (2012). Why Nations Fail : The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (Vol. 1st ed). New York: Currency. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=590177
  • Douglass C. North. (1991). Institutions. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.F9F5C9D3
  • Marx, K., & Engels, F. (2001). Capital : A Critique of Political Economy. Electric Book Co.
  • Max Weber. (2016). The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Dancing Unicorn Books.
  • Milanović, B. V. (DE-588)129847402, (DE-627)481953531, (DE-576)162238487, aut. (2016). Global inequality a new approach for the age of globalization Branko Milanovic.
  • Polanyi, K. (2014). The Great Transformation : The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time (Vol. Unabridged). Boston, Mass: Beacon Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=715728
  • Seal, T. E., & Diamond, J. (2018). Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.
  • Walt Whitman Rostow. (2020). The Stages of Economic Growth : A Non-Communist Manifesto. Barakaldo Books.

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Institutions, institutional change and economic performance, North, D.C., 1990
  • Jeffrey G. Williamson. (2011). Trade and Poverty : When the Third World Fell Behind. The MIT Press.
  • Milanovic, B. (2014). Global Inequality of Opportunity : How Much of Our Income Is Determined By Where We Live?
  • Ostrom, E. (2015). Governing the Commons : The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1077401