Sociology | Advanced Topics
S660 | 23259 | Hung

Topic:  Development and Globalization

This course is an introduction to the methodologies, major theoretical
approaches, and ongoing debates in the sociological study of global
political economy. The goal of the course is to equip students with
the necessary knowledge to either (1) devise a research project that
addresses one of the key issues in the field of development and
globalization, or (2) enrich their micro- or meso-level research in
any other fields of sociology by situating the particular social
processes under scrutiny in the macro-level context of global
political economy.

The course is divided into two parts, the first part covers
established theories and research traditions in the sociology of
development, with a special attention to how they address the trend of
contemporary globalization. The second part deals with the
cutting-edge research on novel phenomena that emerge under globalization.

Particular themes in the first part include (1) classical and ongoing
debates about the historical origins of capitalism; (2) survey of
major development theories including modernization school,
world-system analysis, statist theory, and social capital theory of
development; (3) the system of inter-country stratification and the
debate about how globalization affects this system; (4) Commodity
chains and the new international division of labor under
globalization; (5) the “varieties of capitalisms” school, with a focus
on comparing American, European and Japanese capitalisms; (6) debates
about women’s role in development.

Themes in the second part include (1) theoretical debates and
empirical studies of the origins and dynamics of the globalization
process; (2) literature on global cities/world cities, with a focus on
the research on the hierarchy and network of world cities, as well as
the debate about whether world cities are replacing national economies
as the most salient spatial units of global capitalism; (3)
neo-institutionalist theories and the debate on whether institutions
and cultures in different parts of the world are converging or
diverging under globalization; (4) issues of global governance, with a
focus on the emerging research on transnational business elite and
transnational state formation, as well as the debate about the demise
of nation-states; (5) impact of the emergence of Asia as a new “growth
pole” on the global capitalist system; (6) research on transnational
social movement networks that challenge the globalization process.

The class will be run in a seminar format. Intensive engagement with
the readings and active participation in class are expected.