Geography of the Global Economy ( GEOG 424 )


This course examines the actors, processes, and policies relevant to understanding the global economic system.

  1. How does the global economy work?
  2. How is it changing?
  3. What are the pieces and how do they fit together?
  4. What can we do to shape outcomes within this system?

In the first section of the course we examine these questions in the context of the 2009 World Development Report produced by the World Bank. The report has as its focus “Economic Geography” with a particular focus on the role of cities in development. We will emphasize the differing
assumptions made by economists and geographers with regards to processes of economic development and the impact of globalization.

In the second portion of the class we will focus on specific industries and firms within those industries in an attempt to put the broader
concepts from Part 1 into an applied context. Using in-class interviews with individuals engaged in different parts of the global economy we will gain an understanding of the complexity of this system and the challenges faced by its participants.

In Part 3 of the class we draw from the literature on alternative understandings of the global economy and its possibilities and link this literature to broader debates about global capitalism, international economic policy, and social welfare. Bringing together the broad themes from Part 1 and the applied responses and strategies gleaned from Part 2 we will attempt to synthesize both macro and micro-scale understandings of the present economic system.

Gen Ed designation(s):



Undergraduate Course

Geography field:

Human Geography (20s)