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2023/2024  BA-BEBUO1019U  Europe and Global Megatrends

English Title
Europe and Global Megatrends

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory (also offered as elective)
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
  • Ole Willers - Department of Organization (IOA)
Main academic disciplines
  • International political economy
  • Organisation
  • Political Science
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 29-11-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding about the nature of megatrends, as forms of grand social challenges
  • Describe key megatrends affecting Europe as opportunities and constraints for businesses, states and societies
  • Use the analytical skills learned in previous courses - specifically approaches they have met in the political economy - as well as the new theories taught in this course, in order to analyze how EU institutions could address and solve the challenges posed by the megatrends
  • Define and analyze a relevant policy problem pertaining to one or two of the four megatrends drawing upon a range of qualitative and quantitative sources
  • Communicate and discuss the research results clearly, using appropriate terms and concepts.
Course prerequisites
This is an advanced course and students are expected to have acquired good knowledge about the European Union. The course also draws upon a range of theories and approaches introduced in previous courses of the European Business program, including Varieties of Capitalism, Growth Models, theories of European integration, and welfare regimes.
Students who lack this knowledge are required to familiarize themselves with the above theories and concepts prior to the start of the course.
For a basic understanding of the functioning of the European Union, we suggest reading the book: Simon Bulmer, Owen Parker, Ian Bache, Stephen George and Charlotte Burns (2020): Politics in the European Union. 5th edition. Oxford University Press.
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. 10 pages
Assignment type Essay
Release of assignment An assigned subject is released in class
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Students who did not hand in an assignment for the ordinary exam must submit a new assignment.
Students who did not pass the ordinary exam are allowed to resubmit an improved version of the initial essay.
Description of the exam procedure

The exam question will be introduced during the beginning of the course and the students are allowed to work on the assignment throughout the period of the course.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This course deals with “megatrends” or ‘driving forces that are observable now and will most likely have significant influence on the future' in terms of the challenges and opportunities they pose for states, businesses and societies in the European context.


The course material focuses on four megatrends 1) New Forms of Social Change, 2) The Climate Crisis 3) New Forms of Technological Disruption, 4) Shifts in Global (Economic) Power. Each ‘global force for change’ brings about challenges and opportunities for societies, business and states in different sectors and industries.


Those challenges and opportunities that derive from each megatrend are discussed separately in each lecture around selected topics throughout the whole course.


The lectures and exercise classes explore the observable implications of the megatrends for the rapid shifts observed in the European economy and society. As such, they discuss each megatrend in terms of how it shapes and is shaped by firms, states and cities.  To make sense of these analytical linkages, the course introduces a set of focused concepts, theoretical frameworks and cases dealing with critical issues such as labour markets, natural resources, financial markets, commodity markets, social policy, wealth accumulation, green investment, digitalization and cyber security, and global trade disputes. The lectures discuss and touch upon each megatrend at both the global and the European level for private and public sectors, as well as for  societies.


The theoretical and conceptual backbone of this course is introduced in two first two lectures, dealing with competing conceptualizations of the state in the economy. These approaches – spanning theories of the regulatory state, the entrepreneurial state, the market-oriented state, and the self-regulation promoting state – provide different theoretically informed understandings about the relationship between state and market actors in dealing with emerging risks and long-term trends. Further, the readings and the lectures will enable students to synthesize the knowledge and skills acquired in the program as a whole, including in courses such as ‘Denmark in Comparative Perspective’, ‘Internationalization beyond Europe and Qualitative Methods’, or ‘Political Economy of European States.’ 


The course is an integrative platform for the European Business program, mobilizing the knowledge and skills develop through the program in order to understand and analyze the complexity and the challenges that the megatrends pose to European businesses, societies and states.


Nordic Nine: You will learn how to formulate and answer policy questions related to global megatrends shaping the European political economy in ways that pose trade-offs between competitiveness, security and a compassionate society. You will develop arguments, critically reflect on conventional wisdom and assess the plausibility of your suggestions about how to deal with the megatrends (NN2, NN3, NN6, NN8). You will learn how to approach key societal challenges and ethical dilemmas with conceptual depth and analytical rigor and clarity by identifying and articulating the tradeoffs entailed by alternative policy approaches to the megatrends (NN3, NN4, NN5). 



Description of the teaching methods
The course consists of a combination of lectures and exercise classes, both organized around a concrete megatrend. Students obtain knowledge through participating in groups discussions, lectures, and exercise classes. Each lecture starts with main questions, key terms and theoretical framework relevant to the megatrend and then continues with exploring the implications of the megatrend for specific issues faced by European businesses, states and societies. The exercises will deepen these aspects and, most importantly, will link the take-home lessons from the lectures and readings to the knowledge acquired by the students in previous EB courses.

All content will be available on Canvas, which will be structured according to the activities of each week where lectures and exercise classes are carried out.
Feedback during the teaching period
Student feedback will occur regularly throughout the course in the following venues and ways:
1. Students are encouraged to take advantage of office hours for a one-to-one dialogue with lecturers. Office hours can be made use of individually, as well as, by groups and can be booked by contacting the respective teacher.
2. During exercise classes, student will receive feedback from both lecturers and fellow students on specified discussion questions.
Student workload
Preparation time 122 hours
Lectures 36 hours
Exam 24 hours
Expected literature

Mazzucato (2015): The green entrepreneurial state. Online:



Saxenian, A., & Sabel, C. (2008). Roepke lecture in economic geography venture capital in the “periphery”: the new argonauts, global search, and local institution building. Economic geography, 84(4), 379-394. https:/​/​www.tandfonline.com/​doi/​full/​10.1111/​j.1944-8287.2008.00001.x


Majone, G. (1997). From the positive to the regulatory state: Causes and consequences of changes in the mode of governance. Journal of public policy17(2), 139-167.


Renckens (2020). Private governance and public authority. Introductory chapter. Online:



Helleiner (2021). The Neomercantilists: A global intellectual history. Introduction chapter. Online:


Last updated on 29-11-2023