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UC Berkeley


Globalization and Development

Field Description

The modern world is characterized by two distinctive features: on the one hand social relations (economic, political, and cultural) that link widely dispersed units (globalization), and on the other, levels of productivity unimaginable prior to the 1760s (development). The study of globalization and development focuses on the causes and consequences of these two processes. For example, some research in this field investigates how imperialism, trade, and war have brought peoples into contact in widely diverse ways. Students working in this area might also focus on the consequences of free trade for state sovereignty, the impact of economic competition on social stratification, the effects of the spread of imperial or neo-imperial cultures and resistance to them, and the question of under what conditions material improvements in the human condition (however defined) are either achieved or blocked. Students will find relevant courses across campus in Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Development Studies, Economics, Environmental Economics and Policy, History, Geography, Political Science, and Sociology

Recent ISF Senior Theses

  • Growing Against the Grain: The African Green Revolution and Place-Based Politics in Ugunja, Kenya
  • A Comparative Analysis of Government Censorship Practices in China and Japan from the Early 20th Century to the Internet Age
  • The Dehumanization of the Female Body and the Feminization of Labor in the Maquiladora Industry in Mexico
  • Cultural Differences of Self-Disclosure Trends in Social Network Usage: A Comparison Between the United States and France
  • Economic Effects of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) on Costa Rica
  • All Becomes One in the Basin of the Waterfall: Dialectics and Multiple Trajectories of Samoan History before the year 1900
  • Dependency or Freedom? An Analysis of the Role of Foreign Capital Flows in the Spanish Housing Boom
  • Development Debacles: The Effects of Importing Green Revolutions in India and South Africa
  • “No One Can Bring Us Democracy.” The Role of Faith-Based Community Organizing in Building Sustainable Peace in Post-Genocide Rwanda
  • The Politics of International Trade: Genetically Modified Food in the United States and the European Union. 1990-2010
  • The Effects of Land Management Policies on the Rural Poor in China and Brazil. 1980-2000
  • Microfinance Programs in Haiti: A Barrier to Developmental or a Developmental Boon?

Relevant UC Berkeley Courses

  • Sociology 127: Development and Globalization
  • Sociology 189G: Comparative Perspectives in Sociology: The Global Elite
  • Energy and Resources 175: Water and Development
  • Political Science 138G: National Success and Failure in the Age of a Global Economy
  • Public Health 112: Global Health: A Multidisciplinary Examination
  • Energy and Resources 102: Quantitative Aspects of Global Environmental Problems
  • Economics C171: Economic Development
  • Geography 159AC: The Southern Border
  • Geography 130: Food and the Environment
  • Economics 172: Case Studies in Economic Development
  • Global Poverty and Practice 115: Global Poverty: Challenges and Hopes in the New Millennium
  • African American Studies 112A: Political and Economic Development in the Third World
  • Environmental Economics and Policy C151: Economic Development
  • Development Studies C100: History of Development and Underdevelopment
  • Development Studies 150: Advanced Studies in Development Studies
  • History 160: The International Economy of the 20th Century
  • History 168A: The Spanish and Portuguese Empires in the Golden Age: 1450-1700

Scholarly monographs in globalization and development

Acemoglu, Daron and James Robinson. 2012. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty. New York: Crown Publishers.

Appadurai, Arjun, ed. 2001. Globalization. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Banerjee, Abhijit, and Esther Duflo. 2012. Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty. Reprint edition. New York: PublicAffairs.

Bauman, Zygmunt. 1998. Globalization: The Human Consequences. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Polity Press.

Beck, Ulrich. 2000. What Is Globalization? Malden, MA: Polity Press.

Beck, Ulrich. 2008. World at Risk. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Polity Press.

Cardoso, Fernando Enrique and Enzo Faletto. 1979. Dependency and Development in Latin America. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Centeno, Miguel A., and Joseph N. Cohen. 2010. Global Capitalism: A Sociological Perspective. 1 edition. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Chang, Ha-Joon. 2008. Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism. Reprint edition. New York: Bloomsbury Press.

Clark, Ian. 1997. Globalization and Fragmentation: International Relations in the Twentieth Century. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

Cooter, Robert D., and Hans-Bernd Schäfer. 2012. Solomon’s Knot: How Law Can End the Poverty of Nations. Reprint edition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Cox, Robert. 1994. “Global Restructuring: Making Sense of the Changing International Political Economy.” Pp. 45–59 in Political Economy and the Changing Global Order, edited by Richard Stubbs and Geoffrey Underhill. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Dicken, Peter. 2011. Global Shift: Mapping the Changing Contours of the World Economy. 6th ed. New York: The Guilford Press.

Escobar, Arturo. 1995. Encountering Development: the Making and Unmaking of the Third World. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Evans, Peter. 1995. Embedded Autonomy. States and Industrial Transformation. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Falk, Richard. 1997. “State of Siege: Will Globalization Win Out?” International Affairs 73(1):123–36.

Falk, Richard. 1999. Predatory Globalization: A Critique. Malden, MA: Polity Press.

Fischer, Stanley. 2003. “Globalization and Its Challenges.” American Economic Review 93(2):1–30.

Fligstein, Neil. 2001. “Globalization.” Pp. 191–222 in The Architecture of Markets. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Frank, Andre Gunder. 1998. ReORIENT: Global Economy in the Asian Age. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Geyer, Michael, and Charles Bright. 1995. “World History in a Global Age.” American Historical Review 100(4):1034–60.

Gill, Stephen, ed. 2012. Global Crises and the Crisis of Global Leadership. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Gill, Stephen, and David Law. 1988. The Global Political Economy: Perspectives, Problems, and Policies. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Gilpin, Robert. 2002. The Challenge of Global Capitalism: The World Economy in the 21st Century. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Goldin, Ian, and Kenneth A. Reinert. 2012. Globalization for Development. New York: Oxford University Press.

Hart, Gillian. 2002. Disabling Globalization: Places of Power in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Harvey, David. 1995. “Globalization in Question.” Rethinking Marxism 8(4):1–17.

Held, David, Anthony McGrew, David Goldblatt, and Jonathan Perraton. 1999. Global Transformations: Politics, Economics, and Culture. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Hirst, Paul, Grahame Thompson, and Simon Bromley. 2009. Globalization in Question. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Polity Press.

Hopkins, A. G., ed. 2002. Globalization in World History. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Jones, R. J. Barry. 2014. Globalisation and Interdependence in the International Political Economy: Rhetoric and Reality. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.

Lechner, Frank J., and John Boli, eds. 2011. The Globalization Reader. 4th ed. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Li, Tania Murray. 2014. Land’s End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier. Durham, NC: Duke University Press Books.

Lin, Justin Yifu. 2012. The Quest for Prosperity: How Developing Economies Can Take Off. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Overbeek, Henk W., ed. 1993. Restructuring Hegemony in the Global Political Economy: The Rise of Transnational Neo-Liberalism in the 1980s. London, England: Routledge.

Perraton, Jonathan. 2001. “The Global Economy—Myths and Realities.” Cambridge Journal of Economics 25(5):669–84.

Polanyi, Karl. 1944. The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Radice, Hugo. 1999. “Taking Globalisation Seriously.” Socialist Register 35(35):1–28.

Reinert, Erik S. 2008. How Rich Countries Got Rich . . . and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor. New York: PublicAffairs.

Roberts, J. Timmons, and Amy Hite, eds. 2000. From Modernization to Globalization: Perspectives on Development and Social Change. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Rodrik, Dani. 2011. The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy. Reprint edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Rosenau, James N. 1997. “The Complexities and Contradictions of Globalization.” Current History (November). (This entire issue is dedicated to “The Global Economy.”)

Rostow, Walt W. 1960. The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK.

Rupert, Mark. 2000. Ideologies of Globalization: Contending Visions of a New World Order. London, England: Routledge.

Sassen, Saskia. 2001. The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo. 2nd ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Sassen, Saskia J. 2011. Cities in a World Economy. 4th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Scholte, Jan Aart. 1997. “The Globalization of World Politics.” Pp. 13–30 in The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

Seavoy, Ronald E. 2003. Origins and Growth of the Global Economy: From the Fifteenth Century Onward. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Sen, Amartya. 2000. Development as Freedom. Reprint edition. New York: Anchor.

Shrivastava, Aseem, and Ashish Kothari. 2014. Churning the Earth: The Making of Global India. New York: Penguin.

Sklair, Professor Leslie. 1995. Sociology of the Global System. 2nd ed. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Steger, Manfred B., Paul Battersby, and Joseph M. Siracusa, eds. 2014. The SAGE Handbook of Globalization. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Stiglitz, Joseph. 2002. Globalization and Its Discontents. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Tilly, Charles, Immanuel Wallerstein, Aristide R. Zolberg, Eric Hobsbawm, and Lourdes Benería. 1995. “Scholarly Controversy: Global Flows of Labor and Capital.” International Labor and Working-Class History (47):1–55.

Underhill, Geoffrey. 1994. “Introduction: Conceptualizing the Changing Global Order.” Pp. 17–44 in Political Economy and the Changing Global Order, edited by Richard Stubbs and Geoffrey Underhill. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Walker, Gordon R., and Mark A. Fox. 1996. “Globalization: An Analytical Framework.” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies3(2):375–412.

Wallerstein, Immanuel. 2011. The Modern World-System. 4 Vols. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Waters, Malcolm. 2001. Globalization. 2nd ed. London, England: Routledge.

Activism Readings

The following is a select bibliography of books that address international financial institutions (IFIs) and development aid.


Adams, Patricia. Odious Debts: Loose Lending, Corruption and the Third World’s Environmental Legacy. London, Earthscan, 1991.

Cavanagh, John, and Mander, Jerry (eds.). Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A Better World Is PossibleSan Francisco, CA : Berrett-Koehler, 2004.

Ariel Buira (ed.)Challenges to the World Bank and IMF: Developing Country Perspectives. London: Anthem Press, 2003.

Bateman, Milford (ed). Confronting microfinance : undermining sustainable development. Sterling, VA : Kumarian Press, 2011.

Carroll, Toby. Delusions of development: the World Bank and the post-Washington consensus in Southeast Asia.  New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Cavanaugh, John, Daphne Wysham and Marcos Arruda (eds).  Beyond Bretton Woods: Alternatives to the Global Economic Order. London: Pluto Press, 1994.

Danaher, Kevin (ed.). Fifty Years Is Enough: The Case Against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Boston: South End Press, 1994.

Danaher, Kevin. 10 reasons to abolish the IMF & World Bank, foreword by Anuradha Mittal.  New York: Seven Stories Press, 2004.

Darrow, MacBetween Light and Shadow: The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and International Human Rights LawPortland, Ore., Hart Publishing, 2003.

Drake, Deborah and Rhyne, Elisabeth (eds).  The commercialization of microfinance : balancing business and development. Bloomfield, CT : Kumarian Press, 2002.

Gould, Erica R. Money talks: the International Monetary Fund, conditionality, and supplementary financiers.  Stanford, Calif. :  Stanford University Press, 2006.

Hancock, Graham.  Lords of poverty: the free-wheeling lifestyles, power, prestige and corruption of the multi-billion dollar aid business. London : Macmillan London, 1989.

Karim, Labia.  Microfinance and its discontents : women in debt in Bangladesh. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 2011.

Karunaratne, Garvin. How the IMF ruined Sri Lanka & alternative programmes of success. Colombo : Godage International Publishers, 2006.

Peet, Richard.  Unholy trinity: the IMF, World Bank and WTO. 2nd ed.  London.  New York : Zed Books , 2009.

Pincus, Jonathon and Winters, Jeffrey A. Reinventing the World Bank. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2002.

Rowden, Rick. The deadly ideas of neoliberalism: how the IMF has undermined public health and the fight against AIDS.  London ; New York : Zed Books, 2009.

Sinclair, Hugh.  Confessions of a microfinance heretic : how microlending lost its way and betrayed the poor. San Francisco : Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2012.

Stiglitz, Joseph. Globalization and its Discontents. New York: W.W. Norton, 2002.

Toussaint, Eric. Bank of the south: an alternate to IMF-World Bank. Mumbai : Vikas Adhyayan Kendra, 2007.

Vines, David and Christopher Gilbert. The IMF and its Critics: Reform of the Global Financial Architecture. Cambridge, UK and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Weaver, Catherine. Hypocrisy trap: the World Bank and the poverty of reform. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008.