Oslo Summer School in Comparative Social Science Studies 2008

Theory and Analysis of Dynamics in the Global Economy

Lecturers: Professor Markus Hassler, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany, & Professor Robert Hassink, University of Kiel Germany 

Main disciplines: Development Studies, Economics, Geography and Sociology

Dates: 21 - 25 July 2008
Course Credits: 10 pts (ECTS)
Limitation: 30 participants

This course is designed to understand the changing geography of the global economy, both from a global perspective and from a local and regional development perspective. The focus in the first part of the course will be on describing the changing global economic map, introducing theories and analytical tools to study the changes in the global economy. In addition, the first part will also provide an overview of the role of individual actors, such as states and firms, as well as the driving forces behind the geographical extension of economic activities, which are in particular innovations within logistics and information technologies. After this more general and theoretical first part, the second part will focus on more specific industrial case studies. The case studies are organized in different sectoral groupings. We aim to show within this part of our teaching, how states create an institutional framework for different sectors and how firms utilize these frameworks to localize their economic activities. These inter-relationships between states and firms have distinct impacts on the development of national states but also of regions and specific localities. Therefore, we aim to outline industrial case studies such as the automobile industry, the shipbuilding industry, the textile and clothing industries, as well as the service industry. The presented case studies are largely based on own empirical research conducted in Europe and Asia. Therefore, we aim to present not only the facts of our research, but we also try to provide an overview of methods in use and practical issues for doing research on topics in relation to globalization and regional economic development in Europe and Asia. These diverse issues will be addressed via lectures, films, and analyses of books, articles, chapters, and policy reports.

Essential Books to Purchase and Read


Part I – Framework

Lecture 1: The Changing Global Economic Map


Lecture 2: Towards an Analytical Framework: Global Production Networks


Lectures 3 & 4: Facilitators in Global Economic Change: Technology, States and Firms



Part II – Case Studies

Lecture 5: Changing Automobile Industries in Europe and Asia


Lecture 6: Shipbuilding: Global Shift and Political Disputes


Lecture 7: Textiles


Lecture 8: Governance and International Divisions of Labour within the Clothing Industry



Lecture 9: The Offshoring of Services


Lecture 10: Winners and Loosers of the Changing Geography of the Global Economy


The Lecturers

Robert Hassink is Professor II of Economic Geography at the University of Oslo and Professor at the University of Kiel in Germany. After receiving his PhD in 1992 from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, he has worked as a research fellow, consultant, assistant and temporary professor at several research institutes and universities in the Netherlands, Germany and South Korea.

Markus Hassler is Professor of Human Geography at Philipps-University Marburg in Germany. He joined this University in the summer of 2006. Prior to this he taught for six years as a lecturer at the Department of Geography, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany. He received his PhD in 2000 from the University of Manchester, England and finished his first degree in Geography in 1997 at Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany. During his time as a researcher he spent extensive periods in Southeast Asia and has been a Visiting Researcher at Gadha Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia and the National University of Singapore.

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