COOL CLASSES: “Governing the Global Economy in Times of Crisis”

COOL CLASSES: “Governing the Global Economy in Times of Crisis”

Class name: ” Governing the Global Economy in Times of Crisis”

Taught by: Associate Professor of Political Science Craig Borowiak


Here’s what Borowiak had to say about his class:

This course explores the evolution of international governance regimes for global finance and global trade. We spend the first half of the semester learning about how countries have managed the flow of capital across borders. We begin with the pre-WWI Gold Standard (the “yellow brick road”) and move through the turbulent interwar period, the Bretton Woods System (1947–1973), and then the rise of neoliberalism. We also spend time discussing the rise of the World Trade Organization.

In the second half of the semester we focus on financial crises, and especially on the 2008 world financial crisis and its aftereffects. This is a political economy course and the students who take it bring a variety of backgrounds. Some have strong economics backgrounds, but little experience with political science. Others have strong political science backgrounds, but little experience with economics. This course offers something to both. I hope political science students take away a new vocabulary for understanding global economic forces. I hope economics students take away a new understanding of how economic forces are deeply embedded in political structures. For all students, I hope they acquire new appreciation for the politics of global finance, a topic that is both extremely challenging and of utmost importance for the current era. I also hope students take away a deeper understanding for how our current economic predicaments (post-2008 crisis) are linked to longer histories of global economic governance and regime change.

Given the current turbulent state of the world and the economic upheavals that have drastically altered livelihoods around the world, I feel it is very important that students acquire political economic literacy so they can better comprehend the global economic forces at work and how those forces might be better governed to avoid future calamities. Many of the policies that will govern global finance for the future are being drafted and negotiated as we speak. And there are plenty of signs that more crises are in the offing. Given all of this, I consider it a civic duty to become educated about global finance and the politics that surround it. I wanted to design a new course that makes a valuable contribution.


See what other courses the Political Science Department is offering this semester.

Cool Classes is a series that highlights interesting, unusual, and unique courses that enrich the Haverford experience. 

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