Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY available in the spring

Note from Dr. Hayes-Boh:
Are you looking for a spring-semester course that counts toward the geography departmental electives? Are you interested in how economies work? Do you want to recommend a truly excellent course to a friend from another discipline? One of our very talented visiting lecturers (and a BSU geography graduate) Prof. Phil Birge-Liberman is offering a dynamic, challenging, and informative course in economic geography.

The description and objectives from his syllabus are provided below. Here is Hayes-Boh's shorter definition: Economics without the limiting assumptions.

Sign up today, and learn how the world really works.

GEOG 350: Economic Geography
Professor Phil Birge-Liberman

Class Meetings: Wednesday 1:50pm-4:30pm
Spring 2011

This course examines some of the historical and contemporary factors that shape the global economy and current spatial economic order. This entails studying processes—such as economic restructuring, changing production systems, and the internationalization of trade and industry as well as studying the role of various actors in the economy— including states, producers, organized labor and consumers. We will unpack the term ‘globalization,’ which is so widely used to explain contemporary economic relations and explore the causes, effects, representations, contradictions, costs and benefits of globalization.  We will begin the course by discussing economic geography as a concept, sub-discipline and discourse. We will then study the historical development of the capitalist economy, including the role of new technology in changing production systems and the geography of firms. We will learn that economic change is accompanied by increasing inequality both across and within regions. This will lead to a discussion of economic development as a product of globalization. According to the World Bank, 2.8 billion people live on less than $2 a day. We will explore the contradictions of globalization marked by record corporate executive earnings at the same time as falling real wages for the average worker; new technologies that improve production and yet inefficient and uneven distribution; U.S. economic dominance and yet a shortage of secure well- paid jobs in the United States. The course will conclude with an examination of the current challenges facing the global economy including the greening of the economy and the role of consumption in changing our society.

To develop an understanding of the political economy approach within economic geography.
To connect the historical development of the capitalist economy to contemporary shifts in the spatial organization of production and consumption.
To critically analyze globalization and be able to explore the connections between economic,
political and social processes shaping our globe.
To examine how local and regional economies are implicated in global economic restructuring.
To investigate the causes and patterns of spatial inequality.
To develop critical thinking skills to examine the world around us and representations thereof.

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