Globalization: Challenges in International Economics and Politics

Open to students entering grades 11 or 12 or freshman year of college in the fall
I - June 29–July 17, 2020
II - July 21–August 7, 2020
Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 9:10 – 11:00 a.m. and 1:10–3:00 p.m.
Sue A. Aguilar, Isabelle Delalex, Alexander Gordon, Katharine Jackson

“I’ve gained knowledge in subjects such as politics and economics but best of all, I saw other people’s perspectives on these topics as the class was very diverse.” – Eduardo M. | San Jose, Costa Rica  

Course Description

What is the impact of the resurgence of populism, nativism, and geopolitical competition on foreign relations and economic growth? Is China’s push to turn the renminbi into a global currency a threat or an opportunity? What are the implications of unsustainable level of public debt (U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Asia) on the future of international monetary and financial architecture? Given questions such as these, this course examines the interplay between globalizing pressures and national interests.

Working from a multilateral perspective, students use case studies to examine the nature of relations between nation-states in a period of increased economic and political integration. Topics include theories of international political economy in relation to foreign aid and sovereign debt, international trade and capital flows, security and non-state actors, rights-based approaches to development and humanitarian emergencies, energy sustainability, and the role of international organizations and financial institutions.

For counterpoint, students also examine the political, ideological, and social determinants of domestic political economies, including that of the United States. The political mechanisms of economic policy-making and the relationship between domestic policy and foreign policy are explored using theoretical, historical, and topical cases; examples include the political economy of income distribution and social welfare, national defense and hegemony, the national debt, and globalization.

Students examine these and other topics through lecture, research, academic and policy dialogue, group projects and presentations, peer critiques, and guest speakers. The course typically also includes a visit to the United Nations Headquarters.


Sue A. Aguilar

Sue A. Aguilar is a strategist with over a decade of experience as a financier for financial institutions and development finance sectors. She has structured and pioneered global transactions with a primary focus on providing capital to complex investments across commodities, infrastructure, and emerging markets for the International Finance Corporation and earlier at Bunge. Most recently, her interest in the intersection of global economics, financial analysis, and geo-political dynamics have led her to advise the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank on developing a strategy for its multi-currency lending goals. Sue holds a master’s degree in international finance and economic policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Prior to her graduate studies, she built a solid foundation focused on alternative investments and emerging markets by working for Merrill Lynch and FT Interactive Data. Sue has served on the board of the Women’s Network for Energy, Environment, and Transportation, Inc., and mentors undergraduate and graduate students.

Isabelle Delalex

Isabelle Delalex is an adjunct professor at Pace University's Lubin School of Business and also at Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, where she teaches courses in finance and economics. At Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, she serves as a faculty adviser to graduate students participating in the Capstone consultancy projects. In the private sector, she was the vice president and director of industry research at the Securities Industry Association after working for five years as an analyst at Goldman Sachs. Her professional experience also includes consulting work for the United Nations and several not-for-profit organizations. Delalex holds a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University.

Alexander Gordon

Alexander Gordon studied economics and international relations at Columbia College and at the University of Oxford. His research interests include international political economy, global health policy, and the ethics of international development policy. He is currently a research fellow at Oxford.

Katharine Jackson

Katharine Jackson is a Ph.D. candidate in political theory at Columbia University. Her interests engage political economy and legal theory as she explores concepts such as corporate personhood, sovereignty and pluralism, constitutional theory, and property rights. Prior to her Ph.D. studies, Kate practiced corporate law in Delaware state and federal courts. She received her B.A. in philosophy, politics, and economics from the University of Pennsylvania, her J.D. from the College of William and Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law (Graduate Research Fellow), and an LLM in transnational law from Temple University (Faculty Award), where she concentrated in comparative corporate law and international finance. Kate's teaching experience includes classes in international politics, international political economy, modern political thought, and justice.

Back to the Course Guide

Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.