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Globalization: Past and Future

Is globalization a new phenomenon or a cyclical pattern throughout human history?

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12,258 already enrolled! After a course session ends, it will be archived.
Starts Jun 17
Ends Aug 31
Starts Sep 1
Estimated 4 weeks
2–4 hours per week
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed
Free
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About this course

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In this four-part mini-course, Professor Jeffrey Sachs argues that we have always lived in a global world. He takes students on a historical and anthropological tour of six distinct waves of globalization and outlines the key factors that drove innovation, technology dispersal and development during these epochs. The course tells the story of a global humanity and asks the question: What lessons can we pull from history to help understand the tumultuous changes underway today?

This course is for:

  • Graduate students and advanced undergraduate students studying international development or relations, economics, sustainable development and other related topics
  • Practitioners in the fields of policy, government relations, international trade, finance and related fields who are interested in the historical context of our current geopolitical environment and technological revolution

At a glance

  • Language: English

What you'll learn

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  • The six waves of globalization, from trade by sea to the fourth industrial revolution
  • Emerging leaders -- the nations pushing progress and dominating the global economy
  • Globalization and sustainable development -- the value of a shared global vision and ethics

Module 1: Waves of Globalization in History

  • Six Major Globalizations
  • Prime Drivers
  • The Eurasian Advantage
  • The Classical World
  • The Medieval Chinese Miracle

Module 2: Ocean-Based Globalization: 1500-1800

  • Sea-Based Globalization
  • Global Trade in Commodities
  • Conquest, Slavery and Genocide in the Americas
  • Imperial Competition
  • The Beginning of Divergence of the West and Asia

Module 3: The Anglo-American World: 1800-2000

  • James Watt Changes the World
  • The Next Comers: US, Germany, Japan and the Rest
  • High European Imperialism
  • The European Immolation and Decolonization
  • US-led Globalization

Module 4: The New Globalization

  • The Eclipse of the North Atlantic
  • Hitting Planetary Boundaries
  • The Information Revolution
  • The Quest for Sustainable Development
  • Global Governance for Sustainable Development
  • Shared Global Vision and Ethics

About the instructors

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