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This content is taken from the The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies's online course, International Affairs: Globalisation. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds Welcome to this FutureLearn course on globalisation. In this course, we’re going to tackle some of the really big questions about this world we live in, focusing on globalisation. But let’s start with some small questions. Who am I? And what is this course? I’m a professor of international economics here at the Graduate Institute in Geneva. For 30 years, I’ve been reading, writing, and researching matters of economic integration. In addition to my academic work, I’ve long been involved in policy, an interest that really got started after I worked in the White House of President George Bush Sr. Since then, I’ve been regularly involved with policy matters in governments all around the world. So let me tell you about the course itself.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds Over the next few weeks, we are going to cover a shorter, less demanding version of a course that I teach here to interdisciplinary master’s students at the Graduate Institute. The course is based on a book I recently published with Harvard University Press. It’s called The Great Convergence– Information, Technology, and the New Globalization. Many of the readings will be extracted from that book. The course is organised around four really big questions. The first is, what is globalisation and why is it so controversial? The second question is, has globalisation always been as it is today? The third is, why is globalisation’s impact so different across nations and across groups within nations? Finally, we get to future globalisation.

Skip to 1 minute and 41 seconds What will it be like and how should we prepare for it?

Introduction to the course

Welcome to this Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies’ online course!

This course explores some key aspects of globalisation, focusing on the economic impact and the historical context.

Lead educator

My name is Richard Baldwin, and I am a professor of international economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, in Geneva. I am also the President of a European-wide network of over 1000 economists called the Centre for Economic Policy Research, and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the economic policy portal VoxEU.org. In addition to my research and teaching, I advise governments and international organisations around the world on globalisation and trade policy issues. In terms of government service, I served as a Senior Staff Economist for the Council of Economic Advisors under President George Bush senior. In 1990-91. I did my PhD in economics at MIT with Paul Krugman and I subsequently published a half dozen articles with him.

The course is largely based on a book I published in 2016: “The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization” (Harvard University Press).

Course outline

The course is four weeks long with each week organised around big questions:

  1. What is globalisation and why is it so controversial?
  2. Was globalisation always like it is today?
  3. Why is globalisation’s impact so different across nations and within nations?
  4. What drives anti-globalisation today? What will future globalisation look like and how can we prepare for it?


Each week is organised into several stages, called “Activities” and each Activity is organised into a few “Steps”. The Activities and Steps are designed to be followed in order. Typically, we start with a video that frames the main concepts, followed by a reading, and some form of “active learning” step that engages learners directly. Learners who want to go deeper into the topics will find links to extra reading or video materials.

Learning goals

At the end of the course you will be able to:

  1. Understand what globalisation is today.
  2. Understand how globalisation has changed over time.
  3. Understand why its impact is so varied and controversial.
  4. Understand the forces shaping future globalisation and understand how one might prepare for future globalisation.

Join the discussion

By sharing your experiences and perspectives with other learners, you and other learners will feel more engaged, will learn more, and will remember more. The more you give, the more you get!

Why don’t you start by introducing yourself? For example you might share where you are from, what you hope to get out of this course, and what sort of background knowledge you have about globalisation.

Companion Graduate Institute, Geneva course on “Global Governance”

I encourage you to check out the Graduate Institute, Geneva other FutureLearn online course which explains on Global Governance.

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This video is from the free online course:

International Affairs: Globalisation

The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies