Honors Seminar on Global Civilization  /   Spring 2009

Noémi Giszpenc   < g i s z p e n c n @ m a i l . m o n t c l a i r . e d u >

Course Description:
Mon & Wed, 8:30 - 9:45 AM, Location: CO 121
Who are the players on the global stage? And who’s getting played? Where does the game take place? Who’s the referee? Who is on the sidelines or outside the arena altogether? Who thinks the game is fun, and who is getting hurt? We’ll find out more about the Global Game through readings, viewings, discussions, role-plays and more. We’ll address questions such as: What caused the financial crisis? Is free trade a good idea? What’s going on with food and gas prices? Why do we go to war so much? What needs to happen to fix the environment? What helps countries develop? This is a seminar course, so students are expected to bring plenty of curiosity and a lively imagination.

Syllabus (HTML)

Professor: Noémi Giszpenc

Noémi Giszpenc graduated from M.I.T. in 1998 with degrees in economics, science journalism, and chemistry. After graduating she worked as a research assistant at the World Bank and as an associate editor at the Nonprofit Quarterly (a national publication for non-profit managers). She then worked at Ownership Associates, Inc. (a consulting firm addressing the needs of companies with employee ownership). She completed a Master's Degree in Community Economic Development at Southern New Hampshire University in 2005 and is now a freelance writer, editor, researcher, and teacher.

Other HONP-103 Courses
Prof. Alcalay had his students work on an in-depth report.

Paper Assignments

The first paper for the course is due in class, Monday, March 9.

The second paper for the course is due in class, Monday, April 27.

Take-home Final

Due Monday, May 11

Class Evaluation

Presentation on Framing "Global Civilization" at the Levin Institute.

Course Texts

Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World by the National Intelligence Council

The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria.
Scanned pages will be uploaded as needed throughout the course.

Field Guide the Global Economy by Sarah Anderson, John Cavanagh, and Thea Lee.
Scanned pages will be uploaded as needed throughout the course.

CIA World Factbook

Reinventing the Bazaar: A Natural History of Markets by John McMillan.
Scanned pages will be uploaded as needed throughout the course.

"Things Are Getting Better or Worse, Depending On What You Count," by Donella Meadows.

"Is GDP a satisfactory measure of growth", an interview with François Lequiller.

"A Man for All Seasons", by John Judis.

"An iPod Has Global Value. Ask the (Many) Countries That Make It.", by Hal R. Varian.

Selections from The Geography of Transport Systems, by Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue et al.

"Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences", by Paul Krugman.

"When a flow becomes a flood", The Economist, January 24, 2009.
Class 1:
January 21
187 Largest Global Entities
Lesson 1: Intro (html)
Assignment 1
Country Info Reports from Students
Class 2:
January 26
Lesson 2: Who are the Global Players?
Answers to the International Bodies Game
Assignment 2
World Economic Forum
World Social Forum
Class 3:
January 28
Lesson 3: Microeconomics
Class Notes 3
Assignment 3
Class 4:
February 2
Lesson 4: Macroeconomics I
Class Notes 4
Assignment 4
Class 5:
February 4
Lesson 5: Macroeconomics II
Assignment 5
Class 6:
February 9
Lesson 6: Trade I
Assignment 6
Class 7:
February 11
Lesson 7: Trade II
Class Notes 7
Assignment 7
Class 8:
February 16
Class Notes 8: Trade III
Assignment 8
Class 9:
February 18
Lesson 9: Finance
Assignment 9
Class 10:
February 23
Lesson 10: Global Financial Crisis & Response
Class Notes 10
Economist article by Dani Rodrik on whether global financial regulation is a good idea: "A Plan B for global finance"
Assignment 10
Class 11:
February 25
Lesson 11: Development--What do we think it is?
Class Notes 11
Assignment 11
March 2
Class 12:
March 4
Lesson 12: Development--How do we promote it?
Class Notes 12
Assignment 12
Class 13:
March 9
The first paper is DUE TODAY.
Class notes 13: Sustainable Development
"Top 10 Myths About Sustainability" from Scientific American
Assignment 13
Class 14:
March 11
Lesson 14: Environment--Climate Change
Class Notes 14
Assignment 14
Class 15:
March 23
Lesson 15: Environment: Managing a Public Good
Class Notes 15
Assignment 15 REVISED
March 25 Review of class to date.
Class 16:
March 30
Lesson 16: War and Peace Not yet live.
Assignment 16
Class 17:
April 1
Lesson 17: War and Money Not yet live.
Assignment 17
Class 18:
April 6
Lesson 18: War, Terrorism, and "Failed States"
Assignment 18
Class 19:
April 8
Lesson 19: International Crime
Assignment 19
Class 20:
April 13
Lesson 20: Responses to International Crime
Assignment 20
Class 21:
April 15
Lesson 21: Women
Assignment 21
Class 22:
April 20
Lesson 22: Demographics
Assignment 22
Class 23:
April 22
Earth Day
Lesson 23: Health
Assignment 23
Class 24:
April 27
Lesson 24: Education
Assignment 24
Class 25:
April 29
Lesson 25: Culture, Identity & Religion
Assignment 25
Class 26:
May 4
Last Day
Lesson 26: Creating a Harmonious Heterogeneous Society
Assignment 26