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2019/2020  BA-BEBUO1019U  Europe and Global Megatrends

English Title
Europe and Global Megatrends

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in European Business
Course coordinator
  • whole
    Cornel Ban - Department of Organization (IOA)
This course wll be offered for the first time in spring 2020
Main academic disciplines
  • International political economy
  • Organisation
  • Political Science
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 15/04/2020

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Demonstrate knowledge of megatrends and their impact on the European context
  • Describe key megatrends affecting Europe as opportunities and constraints for business
  • Build on what students have learned in previous courses - specifically approaches they have met in the political economy-as well as the new theories taught in this course to analyze how EU institutions could address the challenges posed by the megatrends
  • Define and analyze a relevant policy problem pertaining to one or two of the five megatrends drawing upon a range of qualitative and quantitative sources
  • Communicate and discuss the results clearly, using appropriate terms and concepts
Europe and Global Megatrends:
Exam ECTS 7.5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 5 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 48 hours to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer and Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
The student can choose either to resubmit the original assignment with amendments or to write a new one.
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This course is a form of applied scholarship that deals with global megatrends, or systemic changes in the conventional ways of approaching key challenges situated at the intersection of business and society in the European context.


Specifically, it will explore the fundamentals of select environmental and societal megatrends as they manifest themselves in Europe and assist students with writing in practical ways about the challenges posed by one or more megatrends. In terms of structure, the first part of the course will introduce the concept of megatrends as a useful way to frame, understand and practically deal with drastic, systemic and global transformations of the extent political, societal and economic order.


Next, the course will use peer reviewed articles and case studies to zooms into five specific megatrends: financial instability, the climate crisis, fast paced job automation, the reemergence of trade conflicts and rising inequality. This part of the course also looks at how each of the are currently addressed by EU governance institutions and processes. Since the emphasis falls on the contemporary relevance of megatrends, the specific choice of the megatrends will vary from year to year and will be presented in the course plan on CBS Canvas. 


Finally, the last part of the course will assist students to formulate research questions and carry out theoretically and methodologically structured research about one or more megatrends from the perspective of a specific European company. To this end, it  will help students integrate theories taught in previous EB courses into the study of megatrends as well as new aproaches.


Thus, the course builds on the comparative political economy approach used in Denmark in Comparative Perspective and the Political Economy of European States by teaching students how to translate the insights of that literature into concrete interventions and business opportunities for firms in the European context. For example, the course employs theoretical perspectives taught in previous political economy-courses (e.g. relating to Varieties of Capitalism, welfare state regimes and welfare state transformations). These familiar theories are complemented in these course with more recent ones, such as growth regimes and  macroeconomic theories of runaway inequality. There are also very good complementarities there that come from Kaleckian economics as translated by CPE/IPE in the past few years. Furthermore, the knowledge and skills acquired in Business and European Governance will be further developed through the forging of linkages between distinct megatrends and the ways they are currently being governed using a “real world,” applied approach that was not the focus of that course.


Yet this is also a course that goes beyond a mere integration task. Its basic assumption is that understand the impact of global megatrends from a business perspective, three main bodies of political economy theory that have not been hitherto taught at CBS are needed.


The first is the growth regime theory, which emphasizes the synergies and the tensions between between global economic constraints, the relative importance of different “demand drivers” of growthand domestic politics. 


The second theory is complex interdependence, a new approach in international political economy that draws on complexity theories, ecology, and information theory to overcome the limitations of the conventional Open Economy Politics approach to explain change, coevolution and the information–entropy cycle that bedevil environmental, political and economic crises.


Finally, the third theory is the political economy of microfinance, a bespoke to the study of megatrends in our highly financialized market economies and whose main contribution is to shift the study of finance from the micro to the macro level of analysis.



Description of the teaching methods
Pedagigically, the course aims to bolster students' capacity to integrate previous EB courses and translate their insights and knowledge into the practical platform of short corporate memo. As such, the course will use blended learning by combining traditional classroom methods and independent group research with e-learning platforms that multiply opportunities for collaboration across research teams.

Online and offline course content will be combined in bespoke ways. The instructor will upload pre-recorded lectures, leaving the classroom time for activities whereby students benefit the most from direct interaction. The main activity of this kind is going to be team-level advising sessions conducted by the instructor, followed by end of session presentations. These sessions will be accompanied by structured exercises. Mock grading exercises on a first draft of the exam paper to be conducted by peer students from a different group will strengthen the incentives for cooperation across groups.
Feedback during the teaching period
All groups receive feedback on a 1 page paper

Student workload
Preparation time 150 hours
Lectures 32 hours
Exam 24 hours
Expected literature

Oatley, Thomas. "Toward a political economy of complex interdependence." European Journal of International Relations(2019): 1354066119846553.


Baccaro, Lucio, and Jonas Pontusson. "Rethinking comparative political economy: the growth model perspective." Politics & Society 44.2 (2016): 175-207.


Blyth, Mark, and Matthias Matthijs. "Black Swans, Lame Ducks, and the mystery of IPE's missing macroeconomy." Review of international political economy 24.2 (2017): 203-231.


Gingrich, Jane. "Did State Responses to Automation Matter for Voters?" Research & Politics 6.1 (2019): 2053168019832745.


De Ville, Ferdi. "Understanding EU trade politics after TTIP, Trump and Brexit." Comparative European Politics (2018): 1-13.


Wright, Christopher, and Daniel Nyberg. "An inconvenient truth: How organizations translate climate change into business as usual." Academy of Management Journal 60.5 (2017): 1633-1661.


Mertens, Daniel, and Matthias Thiemann. "Building a hidden investment state? The European Investment Bank, national development banks and European economic governance." Journal of European public policy 26.1 (2019): 23-43.


Gabor, Daniela. "The (impossible) repo trinity: the political economy of repo markets." Review of International Political Economy 23.6 (2016): 967-1000.


Giordono, Leanne S., Michael D. Jones, and David W. Rothwell. "Social Policy Perspectives on Economic Inequality in Wealthy Countries." Policy Studies Journal 47 (2019): S96-S118.


Desai, Vandana, and Rob Potter, eds. Doing development research. Sage, 2006.

Faff, Robert W. "A simple template for pitching research." Accounting & Finance 55.2 (2015): 311-336.

Last updated on 15/04/2020