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Syllabus Multinational Corporations in World Politics - 58892
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Last update 29-09-2016
HU Credits: 4

Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)

Responsible Department: international relations

Semester: 1st Semester

Teaching Languages: English

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Thauer Christian


Coordinator Office Hours: Sunday, 13-14.30pm

Teaching Staff:
Dr. christian thauer

Course/Module description:
Multinational Corporations (MNCs) are a dominant feature and structuring element of world politics today. This course is an introduction to the debates about MNCs in International Relations and Political Economy. We will discuss the nature, importance and emergence of MNCs, and how and why they matter and exert influence.

The seminar draws on a diverse set of literature and sources: academic books and journal articles, interviews, clips, and documentaries. I recommend in particular one book as a good introduction:

Cohen, S. D. 2007. Multinational Corporations and Foreign Direct Investment : Avoiding Simplicity, Embracing Complexity. Oxford University Press, USA.

Course/Module aims:
Good knowledge of MNCs and FDI in the context of globalization today; good understanding of the theoretical approaches in the context of which these phenomena are explained; analytical skills: relating empirical observations and historical data and narratives to theoretical arguments and discussions; independent research with a variety of sources

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
Critically discuss and relate theoretical approached to FDI and MNCs to empirical observations; conduct independent research on specific topics related to MNCs in world politics; practical application of knowledge to problem-solving from the perspective of policy makers.

Attendance requirements(%):
min. 80%

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: Text discussion, group work, student presentations, lectures

Course/Module Content:
Week 1 (27 February 2017) Introduction

• 1st part: Introduction to the topic; requirements; expectations of participants; questions; introduction to research task
• 2nd part: Research task



Week 2 (06 March 2017) FDI and MNCs: The nature and relevance of the phenomenon

• 1st part:
a.) Conceptual clarifications and methodological challenges: What are MNCs? What is FDI? Why should we care?
b.) Recent trends and developments – some statistics

• 2nd part:
Group work – you are a taskforce installed by the CEO of a major domestic corporation specialized in the production and development of security technology/cars, textiles, oil&gas. Should you go multinational? And if so, why? And if not, why not? What parameters define your decision?


Requires readings:
• Cohen, S. D. 2007. Multinational Corporations and Foreign Direct Investment: Avoiding Simplicity, Embracing Complexity. Oxford University Press, USA. Chapters 1 & 2 (pp. 11-40)
• UNCTAD 2015. World Investment Report, Chapter 1 (pp. 2-21): http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/wir2015_en.pdf



Week 3 (20 March 2017) MNCs and Regulatory Dynamics in the Context of Economic Globalization

• 1st part:
Text discussion
Scenario play – a race to the bottom?

• 2nd part:
Discussion 1: A race to the top?


Required readings:
• A. Chan, and R.J. Ross (2003): Racing to the Bottom. Industrial Trade Without a Social Clause. Third World Quarterly 24:6, 1011-1028.
• L. Mosley, S. Uno (2007). Racing to the Bottom or Climbing to the Top? Economic Globalization and Collective Labor Rights. Comparative Political Studies 40 (8):923-48.



Week 4 (27 March 2017) Transnational networks

• 1st part:
Text discussion

• 2nd part:
Research task: global value chains


Required readings:
• M. Kahler (2009). Networked Politics: Agency, Power, Governance, in ibid.: Networked Politics. Agency, Power, and Governance, Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, S. 1-20
• T. Risse (2013). Transnational Actors and World Politics. In W. Carlsnaes, T. Risse, and B. Simmons: Handbook of International Relations, 426-453.



Week 5 (24 April 2017) Limited statehood and shared sovereignty in a post-Westphalian world


Required readings:
• Krasner, S. D., and T. Risse. 2014. "External Actors, State-Building, and Service Provision in Areas of Limited Statehood: Introduction" Governance 27, no. 4: 545-567.
• Hönke, J. and Ch. R. Thauer (2014). Multinational Corporations and Service Provision in Sub-saharan Africa: Legitimacy and Institutionalization Matter. Governance 27(4), 697-716.



Week 6 (08 May 2017) Varieties of Capitalism

Required readings:
• P. Hall & D. Soskice (2001). Introduction to Varieties of Capitalism. In: Ibid. Varieties of Capitalism. The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1-68.







Week 7 (15 May 2017) Why Do Firms Exist? The Theory of the Firm


Required readings:
• Williamson, Oliver. (1993). The Logic of Economic Organization. In: Williamson, O.E. and Winter, S.G. (1993), The Nature of the Firm: Origins, Evolution, and Development (Oxford University Press), pp. 90-117.
• David Hart: A Political Theory of the Firm. In Wilson, Graham, Wyn Grant, David Coen. The Oxford Handbook of Business and Government. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.




Week 8 (22 May 2017) Theory of the Multinational Firm


Required readings:

• J. Dunning (1995). Reappraising the Eclectic Paradigm in an Age of Alliance Capitalism. Journal of International Business Studies 26(3), 461-491.
• Crouch, Colin (2010): The Global Firm. The Problem of the Giant Firm in Democratic Capitalism. In: Wilson, Graham, Wyn Grant, David Coen. The Oxford Handbook of Business and Government. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 148-172.



Week 9 (29 May 2017) Going global: domestic and international factors


Required readings:

• Q. Li, A. Resnick (2003). Reversal of Fortunes: Democratic Institutions and Foreign Direct Investment to Developing Countries. International Organization, 57(1): 175-211.
• Büthe, T., and H. V. Milner. 2008. "The Politics of Foreign Direct Investment into Developing Countries: Increasing Fdi through International Trade Agreements?" American Journal of Political Science 52, no. 4: 741-762



Week 10 (05 June 2017) Corporate social responsibility


Required readings:

• Thauer, Christian R. (2014). The Managerial Sources of Corporate Social Responsibility. The Spread of Global Standards, Ch1 and 2.
• Banerjee, Subhabrata Bobby (2008), 'Corporate Social Responsibility: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly', Critical Sociology, 34 (1), 51-79.



Week 11 (12 June 2017) California Effects: Diffusion and the Spread of Global Standards


Required readings:
• Greenhill, Brian, Mosley, Layna, and Prakash, Aseem (2009), 'Trade-Based Diffusion of Labor Rights: A Panel Study, 1986-2002', American Political Science Review, 103 (4), 669-90.
• Börzel, Tanja A. et al. (2011). Racing to the Top? Regulatory Competition among Firms in Areas of Limited Statehood. In: Governing Without a State? Policies and Politics in Areas of Limited Statehood. T. Risse (ed.). New York: Columbia University Press, 144-171.




Week 12 (19 June 2017) The Financial Crisis of 2008, and the European Debt Crisis

Movie: The Inside Job.

Required readings:
1. P. Lane (2012). The European Sovereign Debt Crisis. Journal of Economic Perspectives 26(3), pp. 49-68.
2. A. Reisenbichler, A.J. Morgan (2013). How Germany Won the Euro Crisis. And Why Its Gains Could Be Fleeting. Foreign Affairs (June): http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/139520/alexander-reisenbichler-and-kimberly-j-morgan/how-germany-won-the-euro-crisis (20 December 2013).



Week 13 (26 June 2017) End of the term discussion


Required Reading:
Among others:
• A. Chan, and R.J. Ross (2003): Racing to the Bottom. Industrial Trade
• Angrist, Kugler (2007): Rural windfall or a new resource curse? Coca,
• B. Kogut and U. Zander (1993). Knowledge of the firm and the
• Büthe, T., and H. V. Milner. 2008. "The Politics of Foreign Direct
• Cohen, S. D. 2007. Multinational Corporations and Foreign Direct
• Dani Rodrik (2007): How to Save Globalization from its Cheerleaders. The
• Drori, Meyer, Hwang (2009): Global Organization: Rationalization and
• J. Dunning (1995). Reappraising the Eclectic Paradigm in an Age of
• J.A. Scholte, Jan Aart (2008). Defining Globalization. World Economy
• Kahler: Collective Action and Clandestine Networks: The Case of Al Qaeda.
• Krasner, S. D., and T. Risse. 2014. "External Actors, State-Building,
• L. Mosley, S. Uno (2007). Racing to the Bottom or Climbing to the Top?
• M. Kahler (2009). Networked Politics: Agency, Power, Governance, in
• Meyer, Drori, Hwang (2006): World Society and the Proliferation of
• Nobel Prize Committee on O. Williamson, 2009:
• P. Hall & D. Soskice (2001). Introduction to Varieties of Capitalism.
• Q. Li, A. Resnick (2003). Reversal of Fortunes: Democratic Institutions
• R. Coase (1937). The Nature of the firm. Economica 4(16), 386-405.
• S. Kobrin (2001). Soverignty@bay: globalization, multinational
• Shelley (2005): The Unholy Trinity: Transnational Crime, Corruption, and
• T. Risse (2013). Transnational Actors and World Politics. In W.
• Thauer, Christian. The Managerial Sources of Corporate Social
• UNCTAD 2014. World Investment Report, Ch 1:
• W. Henisz (2000). The institutional environment for multinational
31:11, 1471-1502.
741-76.
Actorhood as Dominant Scripts, in: Institutions and Ideology. Research in the Sociology of Organizations. Vol 27, pp. 17-43.
Alliance Capitalism. Journal of International Business Studies 26(3), 461-491.
and Foreign Direct Investment to Developing Countries. International Organization, 57(1): 175-211.
and Service Provision in Areas of Limited Statehood: Introduction"
Carlsnaes, T. Risse, and B. Simmons: Handbook of International Relations, 426-453.
ders.: Networked Politics. Agency, Power, and Governance, Ithaca and
Economic Globalization and Collective Labor Rights. Comparative Political Studies 40 (8):923-48.
enterprise and the international political system.
evolutionary theory oft he multinational corporation. Journal of International Business Studies 24(4), 625-645.
Formal Organization, in Drori, Meyer, Hwang: Globalization and Organization, Oxford University Press, ch. 1.
Governance 27, no. 4: 545-567.
http://libertyparkusafd.org/lp/Hamilton/Globalization%5CSovereignty%20at%20Bay.pdf
http://unctad.org/en/pages/PublicationWebflyer.aspx?publicationid&eq;93
http://www.kva.se/globalassets/priser/ekonomi/2009/sciback_ek_en_09.pdf
In: Ibid. Varieties of Capitalism. The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1-68.
Income, and Civil Conflict in Columbia, IZA Discussion Papers, No. 2790.
Investment : Avoiding Simplicity, Oxford University Press, USA.
Investment into Developing Countries: Increasing Fdi through International Trade Agreements?" American Journal of Political Science 52, no. 4:
investment. Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, 334-364.
Journal of International Trade and Diplomacy, 1-3
London: Cornell University Press, S. 1-20
Responsibility. The Spread of Global Standards." Cambridge University Press 2014.
Terrorism, in: Brown Journal of World Affairs, Vol XI (2), pp. 101-111
Without a Social Clause. Third World Quarterly 24:6, 1011-1028.

Additional Reading Material:
Gereffi, G. and Fernandez-Stark, Karina (2011) ‘Global Value Chain Analysis: A Primer. Center on Globalization, Governance and Competitiveness, Durham, NC: Duke University, <http://www.cggc.duke.edu/pdfs/2011–05-31_GVC_analysis_a_primer.pdf>
o Gereffi, G., Humphrey, J. and Sturgeon, T. (2005) ‘The Governance of Global Value Chains’, Review of International Political Economy, 12(1): 78–104.
o Gereffi, G. and Lee, J. (2012) ‘Why the World Suddenly Cares about Global Supply Chains’, Journal of Supply Chain Management, 48(3): 24–32.
o Gereffi, G. and O. Memedovic (2003). “The Global Apparel Value Chain: What Prospects for Upgrading by Developing Countries?” United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Working Paper.
o Frederick, S. and Gereffi, G. (2011) ‘Upgrading and Restructuring in the Global Apparel Value Chain: Why China and Asia are Outperforming Mexico and Central America’, International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 4(1–3): 67–95.
o Tokatli, Nebahat (2008), 'Global sourcing: insights from the global clothing industry—the case of Zara, a fast fashion retailer', Journal of Economic Geography, 8 (1), 21-38.



Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 0 %
Presentation 15 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 0 %
Assignments 0 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 25 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 60 %
paper

Additional information:
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For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.
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