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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Robert Farkasch
BIS 362
Bothell Campus

Contemporary Political Ideas and Ideologies

Explores the juncture of political ideology with political experience in the context of such widespread ideas as nationalism, democracy, and socialism, and their diverse manifestations in contemporary political movements and systems.

Class description

This interdisciplinary course will investigate the role of selected ideas and ideologies in current global political theory and practice. It seeks to unpack various components of globalization so as to identify their nature and diverse consequences while distinguishing economic phenomena from cultural and political processes. Globalization, as defined in this seminar, will refer to the reduction of barriers to the exchange of goods, services, and ideas across national borders. The course is divided into four sections. The introductory section looks at the ways in which globalization is conceptualized. Various theories about globalization will be examined followed by an introduction to the liberal, realist, and Marxist/alternative perspectives to provide a more focused economic overview of the underlying issues and competing ideologies that shape our world. The second section expands our understanding of the economic effects of globalization. Does globalization enrich or impoverish the global population? Does globalization imply an era of permanent financial instability? Does the increase in capital mobility enable or constrain labor? Are states hampered in their ability to regulate their economies? The third section of the seminar will cover three recent debates concerning globalization: the question as to whether there is an American empire, cultural imperialism and “Hispanic” migration to the United States. The final section looks at the political ramifications of globalization. Are international and nongovernmental organizations more important actors? What is the future of the nation-state? Does globalization imperil our sense of democracy? The seminar will conclude with the debates over whether contemporary global political economic processes are beneficial or detrimental.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Mid-term, Final Exam and an Essay.

Recommended preparation

Please try to read The Economist Magazine, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal.

Class assignments and grading

Written exams and a paper.

Participation: 10% Mid-term: 30% Critical Book Review: 20% Final: 40%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Robert Farkasch
Date: 09/30/2007