SOCU2112 Global Political Economy
Part A: Written Component (10%)
For the written component, students are required to submit written answers to set questions on each week’s readings. Submissions must be printed and handed in to your tutor at the beginning of workshops during Weeks 2-11.
Each set of responses is worth 1% of the marks available for the course, for a possible total of 10%. Responses to the set of questions for each week should total between 50 and 100 words.
• you are required to answer all of the set questions listed, in order to be eligible to receive marks for the task
• your answers should be in your own words, rather than merely quoting the set text
• you may use dot points if you wish (ie. complete sentences are not necessary)
• it is best to read the required readings with the set questions in mind, rather than reading without a clear purpose.
Students will be assessed in terms of: i) adequate and appropriate written responses to the questions.
Tutors will assess students’ fulfilment of the criteria each week and provide ongoing feedback throughout the semester. Feedback may be verbal and/or in written form.
Part A: Written Component Questions
Capitalism today: neoliberalism and social democracy
1. List three ideas that characterise a neoliberal approach.
2. List three ideas that characterise a socially democratic approach.
3. How did Keynes and Hayek differ in their views on how the economy should
4. Name one Australian policy that is based on a neoliberal approach and one
that is based on a socially democratic approach.
Global crises: the product of contemporary capitalism?
1. How does Klein understand the term ‘shock doctrine’, a term also used in
Commanding Heights? Name three case studies that she cites.
2. What does Klein mean when she describes states as being ‘corporatist’ (p.
3. For Hedges, what makes capitalism ‘apocalyptic’?
Alternative models of political economy
1. What are the core elements of the plan outlined by Allen in the six dot points on pages 191-192?
2. Why does Allen argue that socialism is more ‘efficient’ than capitalism? What reasons does he give for this?
3. Schuman argues that ‘China has not been a workers’ paradise’. Why is this the case?
4. What does Fisher mean by the term ‘capitalist realism’?
Globalising production and consumption
1. What is the ‘race to the bottom’ (p. 199), discussed by Oatley?
2. What are two ways to regulate MNCs outlined by Oatley that minimise
exploitation and maximise contribution to nation states?
3. As described by Hills and Welford, in what ways does the state benefit from
the manufacturing of Coca Cola in India? What are the consequences?
4. In your view, do the positives outweigh the negatives?
Global security and militarism
1. What do Feinstein et al mean by the term ‘opportunity costs’?
2. What is the ‘revolving door’ they refer to and why do they see it as being problematic?
3. According to the authors, how does the arms industry manage to avoid greater scrutiny and calls for transparency?
Financial markets and crises
1. Summarise ‘Part I: How we got here’ of Inside Job in two to three sentences.
2. How do investment banks such as Goldman Sachs defend their actions in the film?
3. Why is the Trump administration seeking to roll back the Dodd-Frank Act? In your view, should the finance industry be subject to more or less regulation
Global labour migration
1. What is the difference between a ‘structural’ and a ‘reductionist’ account of migration (p. 84)? Why do Rupert and Solomon argue that we need a structuralist account?
2. What is ‘remittance income’? Why is it important for LCDs?
3. As shown in the Four Corners episode ‘Slaving away’, what threats do migrant workers face which make it difficult for them to speak out against exploitative work conditions?
4. In what ways are women especially vulnerable in the context of labour
Political economy of global media
1. According to Errington and Miragliotta, what is the role or purpose of the media in a democracy?
2. In what ways do the profit-seeking motives of private media companies conflict with their role as the ‘fourth estate’?
3. What is the ‘politics of mutual patronage’ (p. 157) to which Tiffen refers?
What does he mean by this term?
4. Tiffen states: ‘Murdoch’s capacity to affect how regulations are enforced has probably been more important than his capacity to change policies through legislation’ (p. 186). Identify one example of this ‘capacity’ discussed in the reading.
Globalising public services
1. What is the ‘prison-industrial’ complex?
2. How does Loewenstein explain the exponential growth of private prisons in the US?
3. Why does he view the privatisation of prison facilities as problematic?
4. Why hasn’t health care in Australia been entirely privatised, according to
Boxall and Gillespie?
5. Should health care in Australia be wholly privatised? Do you think it will be
in the future?
— Week 11
Development and aid
1. Seitz and Hite outline a ‘market approach’, a ‘state approach’, and a ‘civil society approach’ to the alleviation of poverty. What is meant by each of these terms?
2. Which approach do you think has the potential to achieve poverty alleviation?
3. What is the difference between ‘hard’ power and ‘soft’ power, discussed by
4. For Sheldrick, what does the example of South Korea demonstrate?
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