Course 2019-2020 a.y.


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 23
BIG (6 credits - I sem. - OB  |  M-STO/04)
Course Director:

Classes: 23 (I sem.)

Suggested background knowledge

Students may have already achieved some knowledge in the area of macroeconomics, development economics and political sciences.

Mission & Content Summary


The aim of the course is to explore the evolution of the global economy over the last one-thousand years and to to provide a better understanding of the present complexity. The present situation is, in fact, the outcome of dynamics and processes which can be fully understood when analyzed only in the long (and sometimes very long) run. The outstanding performance of China, the tormented evolution of South-East Asia, the ambiguities of India and the Middle East, the African stagnation and South America’s alternating fortunes are only in part the outcome of recent transformations. They can be fully understood in the light of historical processes. Additionally, in a long-term perspective, the global history of the World as a whole can be seen as the alternation of equilibriums and reshuffling, among which the present is only one episode.


  • Introduction: Globalization in history.
  • The economic decline of Empires.
  • The Industrial Revolution.
  • The First Globalization.
  • The second industrial revolution.
  • The World at war.
  • The American Century.
  • Decolonization.
  • A third industrial revolution.
  • The resurgence of a global economy.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand better the concept of globalization in its manifestations.
  • Apply historical knowledge to the understanding of contemporary phenomena, understanding better their intrinsic nature.
  • Understand the historical roots of present international relations framework and apply the knowledge of historical events to the understanding of the present dynamics in the realm of contemporary geopolitics.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Go beyond a mere factual approach dissecting the historical components of contemporary social, political, diplomatic and economic events.
  • Make use of analytical tools in the examination of historical material, sources and documents.
  • Compare events using alternative sources.
  • Develop skills in academic writing.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


  • The learning method in this course blends traditional frontal lectures with the vision of four movies, all connected to the concept of globalization, plus a group assignment of 800 words commenting the single movies and putting it in relation with the themes developed in the course.
  • In addition, students (in groups) are engaged in two in-class sessions under the guidance of the instructor examining original documents, and producing at home a 500 words group essay criticizing the source and proposing interpretation of the events. The teaching method is completed by in class pop-up questions, some role-playing and the use of Instagram (experimental) as a teaching tool.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
x   x
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)


The assessment of the attending students’ preparation is composed by three items.

  1. A final written exam based on a section of true/false with motivation questions, a section of multiple choice questions, a section of short open questions and the comment of a map/graph or an article related to the course’s contents. This item allows the instructor to provide an evaluation of the students’ acquired knowledge and understanding of facts and concepts provided during the lectures and class activities. This item counts for the 70% of the final grade.
  2. The group essays commenting the movies and the primary sources, written during the course (continuous assessment) which count soverall for 30% of the final grade. These assignments test the ability of the students to apply the knowledge acquired during the course producing critical reviews of empirical evidence.
  3. Class participation (discussion, pop-up questions and other), up to 1 (one) additional point to be added to the final grade, at total discretion of the instructor.


The exam is in a written form and is based on long (one page) open questions about the whole program of the course (50% of the final grade, assessing the understanding of historical events and factual evidence) and on a long critical essay (15 pages, 50% of the final grade) about a book suggested by the instructor, assessing the ability of the student of applying critically historical knowledge on a wide range of topics.

Teaching materials


Attending students benefit of course materials, slides and suggested readings suggested by the instructor, plus a text:

  • A. COLLI, A Global History of Globalization, summing up the contents of the lectures.
  • Students are able to get all the materials they need through the course’s Bboard.


Non attending students base their preparation on the textbook:

  • A. COLLI, A Global History of Globalization, and on the second book to be suggested by the instructor.
Last change 10/06/2019 20:14