Globalization: Challenges in International Economics and Politics

I - June 28–July 16, 2021
II - July 20–August 6, 2021
Modality, Day & 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

This class is intended for current 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. Younger students should apply for Introduction to Global Economics.

“I loved the course and always felt engaged. I have a broader understanding of the world and will be able to apply the theories and knowledge that I have learned to what I see and read in the media and world around me.” – Hunar S. | Singapore, Singapore  

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 was educated at the University of Oxford (MPhil, economic history) and Columbia University (AB, economics and politics). He has served as a researcher and research manager in the interfaculty economics and global health initiatives at the Harvard School of Public Health and Kennedy School of Government, where he also contributed to strategic evaluations of the charitable and international-development sectors; he has since been a research manager in interdisciplinary mathematical sciences at the University of Oxford. Alexander's teaching experience includes courses in international economic relations, microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. Outside the academic sector, he has served as a consultant for intergovernmental, governmental, and charitable organisations contributing to research and practice-based projects variously relating to international development, humanitarian assistance, economic and social rights, and refugee policy and advocacy.  

Katharine Jackson

Katharine Jackson holds a Ph.D. (with distinction) in political theory from Columbia University as well as a B.A. in philosophy, politics, and economics from the University of Pennsylvania, a J.D. from the College of William and Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law, and an LLM in transnational law from Temple University, where she concentrated in comparative corporate law and international finance. She is currently the DeOlazarra Fellow at the University of Virginia’s Program in Political Philosophy, Policy and Law. Kate's interests engage political economy and legal theory as she explores concepts such as corporate personhood, global finance, sovereignty, constitutional theory, and property rights. Prior to her Ph.D. studies, she practiced corporate law in Delaware state and federal courts. Kate's teaching experience includes classes in international politics, international political economy, modern political thought, and justice.

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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.