Globalization and Development: The Case of China

Course Description

This course has two main objectives. First, this course invites you to understand and to think critically about the general mechanisms behind post-WWII globalization. We will address the essential question of how the transnational flow of capital and labor is organized and how such movement contributes to uneven development. Second, this course provides an in-depth understanding of China, its development trajectory, and its current global engagement. We will discuss how China’s relationship with the global system has evolved over time, what to take away from this case, and how to make sense of the current social and political conflicts.

The course will walk students through high-level concepts and theories of development and inequality using relatable “entry points” and discussion materials. It will also organize several mini debates on specific issues that the students may experience or read about in their everyday life. Several topic examples are:

  • Globalization and anti-globalization: What did the pandemic reveal about our interlinked fate?
  • Post WWII political-economic systems: What we know about the United Nations, WTO, WHO?
  • Global capitalism: Is the “McDonaldization” of the globe really happening?
  • Global production system and division of labor: How did China become Factory of the World?
  • Technological forces: Let’s talk about TikTok!
Learning Outcomes:
  • Basic understanding of the conceptual tools in the field of globalization and development
  • Critical thinking towards the social forces behind our current globalized living environment
  • Awareness and caring for the interdependent economic system and interlinked human fate
This course will present multiple perspectives and introduce many open-ended but essential social sciences questions to explore in college further.


This course is open to anyone who is interested in learning social scientific knowledge to better understand issues related to global inequality and development.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: June 27, 2022 - July 08, 2022
Duration: 2 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 8:30A-11:20A
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Xiaoqian Wan
Course Number: 10343