Junior Seminar: Crisis and Crash, Global Markets, and National Strategies: Understanding Who Succeeds, Who Fails, and Why

Course Description

The radical collapse of the financial markets has brought dramatic policy responses in the United States and around the world. Was the debacle the product of too little regulation, or too much? Should government be stepping in to"bailout" financial interests or is it a necessary rescue of the broader economy. All these questions force us to consider the political foundations of the marketplace.

This course begins by examining the changing balance of economic and political power as new economic titans arise and establish powers struggle. There are a number of steps to usefully understand that shifting balance. First, we have to step back to the political creation of the market system. Second, we have to consider the multiple flavors of capitalism and their historical origins. Third, we explore the evolving logic of value creation in the global markets, the place of outsourcing and the meaning of information technology. Indeed, the course will argue that globalization is in fact a sequence of national and regional stories played out on a larger stage. Fourth, we then examine what countries have done and the choices they now have to adapt to radical changes in the marketplace. An important purpose of the course as we proceed through this substantive material is to develop the analytic tools needed to understand historical development and today's choices. As part of that we will develop the analytic writing skills essential in all professional life.

A junior seminar fulfills an upper-DIV requirement for the major.

Subfield: Comparative Politics

Preference will be given to upper-division political science, economics, and political economy majors with a 3.3 GPA.


Political Science Majors of Junior or Senior status, with a minimum overall GPA of 3.3. Students must place themselves on the waitlist through TeleBEARS in Phase II. Selection and notification will occur around January 9, 2012.


1. Cohen, Steven and Bradford Delong. (2010) The End of Influence: What Happens when other Countries have the Money. Basic Books, New York, N.Y. 

2. Rodrik, Dani. (2011). The Globalization Paradox. W.W. Norton and Company, New York, N.Y.