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Syllabus Multinational Corporations in World Politics - 58892
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Last update 26-10-2017
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:
The course is structured in three parts. The first part serves as an introduction to the topic of MNCs in world politics and provides an overview of the empirical phenomenon. The second part deals with the main theoretical approaches and debates to MNCs in world politics. In the third part, we will look at important empirical cases and developments and analyze them on the basis of the various theoretical perspectives and approaches we dealt with in part two of the course before.

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.
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.;93
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, <–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 %

Additional information:
Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Diagnosis and Support of Students with Learning Disabilities, or the Office for Students with Disabilities, as early as possible, to discuss and coordinate accommodations, based on relevant documentation.
For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.