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2023/2024  BA-BINBV2302U  Giving Up on Globalization?

English Title
Giving Up on Globalization?

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for BSc in International Business
Course coordinator
  • Edward Ashbee - Department of International Economics, Goverment and Business (EGB)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalisation and international business
  • International political economy
  • Political Science
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 25-01-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
At the conclusion of the course a participant should be able to:
  • Identify and evaluate the core features of debates about globalization, “deglobalization” and “decoupling”
  • Outline and assess the theoretical frameworks that seek to explain contemporary deglobalizing processes
  • Evaluate the implications of deglobalizing processes for global governance and patterns of economic development
  • Evaluate the implications of these processes for firms and business organizations
  • Relate concepts and theories to empirical evidence
  • Construct and sustain coherent and structured arguments in a well-reasoned manner using frameworks, approaches and methods drawn from business studies and the social sciences and based upon an understanding of competing perspectives.
Giving up on Globalization?:
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 Written assignment
Release of assignment The Assignment is released in Digital Exam (DE) at exam start
Duration 7 days to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The examination paper will consist of questions drawn from the syllabus. Sample questions will be published ahead of the exam and considered in an assignment workshop. 

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Until recently “globalization” was widely regarded as an established fact. National barriers, it was said, were breaking down. As a consequence, supply chains were increasingly trans-national in character and markets were being homogenized. We became very familiar with the idea of freewheeling capital and labour. Furthermore, the argument went, globalization and the complex forms of interdependence upon which it rested laid a basis for more peaceful relations between nations. And they offered immense economic benefits through processes of specialization and trade and the principle of comparative advantage. It was generally conceded that there were of course losers from globalization but, we were assured, those losses would for the most part be short-lived and localized.


Even before Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war, all of these assertions had begun to look very dated. In many countries, the losers have flexed their political muscles. Governments are reasserting their sovereignty over markets. Nationally-bounded industrial policies are seemingly making a comeback. Trans-national supply chains suddenly look vulnerable. The risks attached to globalizing processes have come to the fore.


This course considers the extent to which we should now talk about “decoupling”, “deglobalization”, “deglobalizing processes”, or perhaps “slowbalization”. It assesses the different methodological yardsticks that can be employed and asks whether globalization been abandoned, reconfigured or simply modified? Alternatively, was “globalization” always an exaggeration and are invocations of “deglobalization” similarly exaggerated?


These questions are directly tied to international political economy (IPE) and international relations (IR) and the competing theoretical frameworks associated with both disciplines. The course will consider four such frameworks. First, deglobalization can be understood in terms of policy learning as a consequence of successive exogenous shocks which have highlighted the risks facing businesses as well as the fragility of extended supply chains and the readiness of states to weaponize trade and resource dependence. Second, it might well be argued that the inherent weaknesses of the post-war liberal international order, the limited capacities of bodies such as the World Trade Organisation, and the partial commitment to trade liberalization opened the way for those who sought their dismantling. Third, deglobalization, insofar as it has taken place, can be seen in terms of Karl Polanyi’s “double movement” as a effort to secure social protection (at least for some) against the growth of untrammelled market forces unleashed by globalizing processes. Variants on this approach suggest that there have been long epochal waves of globalization and deglobalization or point to the political revolts of recent years seeking to reassert the sovereignty of nations over markets. Fourth, globalization has been represented as a front for Americanization and US hegemony. From this perspective, current trends have been caused by the rise of other powers, most notably China, as they seek to establish a secure economic footing (by at times bolstering their domestic markets) and alongside this long-run American decline.


Within this overall context, the course surveys the consequences of these processes. Is neoliberalism, often seen as the corollary of globalization, now dying, dead, or being reconfigured? Although sometimes hidden under the guise of “national security” is it being displaced by economic nationalism? Is industrial policy back in fashion? Will trade wars become more commonplace? Will data sovereignty and cyber-sovereignty become the new normal? Are economic tensions likely to lead to strategic and military tensions?


Furthermore, what are the consequences for different business sectors? Are firms adopting new hedging strategies? How are they adjusting to new limits on labour mobility? Are multinational corporations now reshoring, near-shoring or “friend shoring”? Do particular types of firm “win” in the current climate whilst others “lose”?


Nordic NineIn sum the course places business knowledge within a broad economic and political context, explores the ambiguous character of relevant economic data, assesses the responses of  firms to shifting conditions and promotes critical thinking. 

Description of the teaching methods
The course will be structured around interactive classes with opportunities for questions and student contributions. All students will be encouraged to participate fully. We facilitate the formation of study groups so that the assigned reading is approached collectively and there is a basis for relevant activity outside of the classroom.
Feedback during the teaching period
There will be an assignment workshop to ensure that students approach the examination assignment in a considered and structured way. Furthermore, students are encouraged to form study groups consisting of 3-5 students. Each such study group will be offered a staff office hours session so as to ‘test’ ideas and engage in dialogue.
Student workload
Preparation time (assigned readings, group work etc) 130 hours
Classes and workshops 38 hours
Exam (including exam preparation) 45 hours
Expected literature

Peter A.G. van Bergeijk (2019) Deglobalization 2.0: Trade and Openness during the Great Depression and the Great Recession, Edward Elgar.


* Please note that this is available as on online book in the CBS Library.


Last updated on 25-01-2023