The development and distribution of new and affordable communication technologies have important impacts on contemporary societies. Changes in the economy, information technologies, and goods- and passenger transport have significant consequences for world trade, social organization, governance, migration, culture and the environment today. Organizations and businesses are being managed and organized in new ways, and production and employment conditions are rapidly changing. Such processes also affect how people experience and understand the world they live in. This is not only reflected in widespread contemporary globalization discourses about risks, vulnerability and political, social, cultural, and economic integration. It also has important impacts on globalization itself. While the world has become more integrated, the role of physical distance has, in many areas, become less important. Simultaneously, however, the local or particular has acquired greater importance in a world where borders and boundaries are challenged. This course is centered on a collection of fundamental themes and key concepts that shall contribute to increased understanding of globalization processes in today's world. Thus, the course can help to put more specialized competence acquired other fields of study in a broader global perspective. The course aims to sensitize students about important globalization processes, as well as central preconditions for, and consequences of, globalization.

Course content

  • Historical preconditions for globalization.
  • Transition from the local and concrete to an ever more abstract and disembedded world, which facilitates interaction and integration on a global scale.
  • Development of new technologies, and consequences of this.
  • Vertical disintegration.
  • Speed and acceleration in communication technologies, work, and social life. Global simultaneity and time-space compression.
  • Global standardization in various areas, including production and products, places, laws and agreements, norms and values. Related questions of cultural imperialism and out-dating.
  • Global connectedness and the emergence of the network-society. Consequences of transnational connectedness in respect to power and powerlessness, global governance, and transnational social and economic integration.
  • The neo-liberal turn.
  • Women and globalization.
  • New ways of organizing businesses and organizations. Important changes with regard to production and employment conditions in a globalized economy.
  • Global mobility, transnational migration, tourists and refugees, diasporas and transnational micro-economies.
  • Social complexity and cultural mixing. Differences between multi-cultural and multi-ethnic societies, creolization and hybridity.
  • Risk and vulnerability in an interconnected world, including climate change, terrorism, industrial and natural disasters. Vulnerability in transport- and digital networks. Fear and decreasing confidence in established expert-systems.
  • Reactions, global protest movements, and reembedding. Identity politics, construction of social boundaries, and the importance of the local and particular in an age of globalization.


This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.