Globalization and its impact on the state

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Spring 2012, P11.2215

Mondays, 8.35 p.m. to 10.15 p.m.

Prof. Ahmad Kamal, former Ambassador of Pakistan


This course will examine the critical and rapidly changing role of the state at the beginning of a new millennium as a result of internal and external factors, paying special attention to the state as a central player in ensuring the provision of public services, as well as facing the new challenges emerging around the world.

It will enable students to:

  • assess the impact of globalization, including global economic liberaliztion and information dissemination, on governments and their constituents;

  • engage in specific analyses of the changing role of the state, the different actors and stake-holders involved, the mechanisms of governance at different levels; and the emerging frustrations and violence.

  • identify the capacities of and constraints facing governance processes;

  • critique the manner in which reforms undertaken by governments impact social, cultural and economic development; and

  • analyse the challenges faced by governance with regard to democratisation;

To accomplish this, the course is divided into three thematic areas:

1. The State and the People - (internal factors): Under this first part of the course, students will identify the basic components of state-craft, the different actors who come into play in decision making, the relative importance of each over the course of history, the constants in different geographic contexts, etc. With the advent of fresh economic, social, and environmental challenges, there is a strong sense among governments that their scope for autonomous public action is being reduced by the forces of globalisation and the consequent growth of inter-dependence among states. Sound governance in the public sector is a critical factor for continued progress. A determined effort is thus required by governments in re-focussing the capacities of the public sector to meet the emerging challenges, and to grasp the opportunities thrown up by the global trends in a new millennium.

2. The State and Globalization - (external factors): Under this second part, students will review the process of rapidly increasing globalization, and its impact on the role of the state, the process of increasing inter-connectedness between societies such that events in one part of the world have increasing effects on people and societies far away. Economically, trans-national flows of commodities and production factors, such as capital and labour, are being accelerated. Politically, the sovereignty of nation states is being undermined, and certain kinds of supra-national authorities are being enhanced. Socio-culturally, contacts between peoples in different parts of the world have become easier, enhancing the advent of a global culture and cultural homogenisation. The effect of the integration of markets, new information technology, the erosion of sovereignty, the growing role of non-state actors, and sub-national groups, and an increasing inter-dependence among states, has resulted in the emergence of a global community, global issues, and global actions. Students will analyse the changes required in the functions of the state so that it can effectively mitigate the impact of globalization to ensure sustainable development, and national security.

3. Reconstructing the State - (mechanisms of reform): Under this third part, students will review the need for recasting the roles of the institutions of the state, as well as the normal interaction between the various stakeholders – the state, the private sector and the civil society. They will analyse and debate on how national governance institutions can be reconstructed and retooled in different contexts within a climate of privatisation, participation, and decentralisation, how local governance can be promoted, how rule of law and regulatory frameworks can be established through responsible governance, and how democratic space can be created and maintained. This includes engaging civil society and the private sector in a dynamic partnership to improve the quality of developmental services, enhance social responsibilities, and ensure the broadest participation of citizens in civic life. The task o f the state is to take advantage of the forces of globalisation in providing a secure and stable domestic environment. The course will also analyse the manner in which the state can promote the participation of citizens in decision-making, enforce impartial legal frameworks, build transparency and promote accountability and equity, design policies on consensus, and provide strategic vision to overcome the challenges of mitigating the negative impacts of the global economy, transnational bodies, international law, powers and power blocs, and sub-national fringe groups.


Required readings will consist of the following texts which will be placed on reserve in the Library. Additional articles for each lesson may also be made available either over email or in hard copy. Some of these articles are cited in the various lesson descriptions below.

Recommended Texts:

  • Globalisation, Human Development Report 1999, UNDP, available for free download at :

  • Reinventing Government, David Osborne, 1992.

  • Reconceptualizing Governance, Discussion Paper 2, UNDP, January 1997, available for free download at :

  • The Third Wave, by Samuel Huntington, published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

  • Development as Freedom, by Amartya Sen, published by Random House Anchor Books.

  • The World Turned Upside Down? Globalization and the Future of the State, by Berry Jones, published by St. Martin's Press.

  • Governance in a Globalizing World, by Joseph Nye and John Donahue, published by Brookings Institute Press.

  • Re-Imagining the Future – Towards Global Governance, Report of the Global Governance Reform Project, La Trobe University, 2000

  • Globalization and its Discontents, by Joseph Stiglitz, published by W W Norton and Company.

  • Making Globalization Work, by Joseph Stiglitz, published by W W Norton and Company.

  • The Lexus and the Olive Tree, by Thomas Friedman, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Other General Texts:

  • Globalisation and the State, World Public Sector Report 2001, United Nations

  • Civil Society and Political Theory, Arato and Cohen, MIT Press, Cambridge.

  • Democratic Governance, March and Olsen, New York Free Press.

  • Globalization and the Nation-State, Holton, London: MacMillan.

  • The Retreat of the State: The Diffusion of Power in the World Economy, Strange, Cambridge University Press.

  • Marc Williams (1996), “Rethinking Sovereignty”, Chapter 8, Elenore Kafman and Gillian Youngs (Eds.), Globalization: Theory and Practice, London: Pinter

  • Globalization: Theory and Practice, edited by Youngs, London: Pinter

  • The Twilight of Sovereignty: How the Information Revolution Is Transforming Our World. Wriston, New York: Charles Scribner.

  • Governance in the Twenty-first Century , Rosenau in Global Governance, Vol. 1, No. I (Winter 1995)

  • Globalisation, State Sovereignity, and the Endless Accumulation of Capital. Arrighi. A new version of a paper presented at the ‘States and Sovereignity in the World Economy’ conference, University of California, Irvine, 21-23 Feb. 1997.

  • What Future for the State?, Strange, Daedalus Vol 124, (Spring 1995), 56.

  • The Defective State, Strange, Daedalus Vol 124, Number 2, Spring 1995.

  • The Retreat of the State: The Diffusion of Power in the World Economy, Strange, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1996

  • Governance and Politics in Africa, Goran and Bratton, Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc. Colorado, USA.

  • Institutions , institutional change and economic performance. North, Cambridge University Press.

  • Making democracy work, Putnam, Leonardi, and Nanette, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

  • Human Development Report 2007-2008 – Fighting Climate Change. Available at

  • Human Development Report 2004 – Cultural Liberty in Today’s Diverse World. Available at

Class Policies

Class Participation: Class participation is essential in this course, and therefore, timely and regular class attendance is mandatory. Class attendance will be marked at the very beginning of each class. Attendance will be graded. Except for serious emergencies, and medical reasons, which must be brought to notice immediately over email, absences or late arrival will not be “excused”. It should be clearly noted that almost one-third of the Final Grade is dependant on attendance and punctuality.

Drafting: Particular emphasis will be placed in this class on building up an ability to draft assignments and papers in a grammatically correct and logical manner, in presentations that can carry weight and conviction with the reader. The same will hold true of oral presentations in class.

Email: Because of the importance attached to email and web pages, all students must have proper email accounts, and must check them regularly every day. (All email addresses will be collected in the first class). Students should also maintain a group address (Listserv) of all classmates, including the Professor, so that messages of common interest can be circulated to all.

Reference Formula: All email correspondence MUST contain the following four-part Reference Formula in FOUR places, namely, (a) as the only “subject” of the email; (b) as the only first line of the text of the email; (c) as part of the “header” of any attached assignment, and (d) as the “filename” of the attachment:

(initials of university)-(course symbol)-(initials of student)-(assignment number)

Example of the four-part Reference Formula: NYU-G-XXX-A# (where NYU stands for New York University, G stands for Globalisation, XXX are the student’s initials in capital letters, and A# is the assignment number).

Format of assignments: Assignments will normally be submitted in hard copies, and must be saved in Microsoft Word (or WordPerfect) format exclusively. They should be saved with the same filename as the “Reference Formula” above, so that no confusion is ever created.

Web-Sites: Each student will be encouraged to maintain a personal web-site, which will be graded. (Some tips on the quickest means to establish student web-sites will be discussed in the first class). Each student will have to place a personal “thumbnail” picture and a few lines of descriptive text on their respective web-site. Material to be placed on the respective web-sites will include summaries of class notes, and the texts of their respective assignments.

Assignments: Assignments will include :

(a) One Mid-Term Paper (4-6 pages of text, single space, Garamond 12 or 14 pt. font, or equivalent) to be prepared and submitted by the 7th week of class.

(b) One Final Paper (12-14 pages of text, single space, Garamond 12-14 pt. font, or equivalent) to be prepared and submitted by the 12th week of class.

(c) Class Notes to be prepared each week by designated students working in groups for each of the class sessions.

(d) Oral presentations, supported by Summaries, on some of the essential texts (note: The summary of the presentation MUST be circulated to all students and to the professor via email a full 24 hours before the presentation).

Class Notes: The objective is to maintain a complete record of the notes from each class on the home-page. The assigned group (which will always be different from the group preparing the presentations) will be responsible for preparation of the class notes. Class notes MUST be written within 24 hours after the class, and then circulated immediately via email to all. Class notes should not be longer then one page and should contain the following

1. The gist of the topics discussed in class.

2. The lessons learned

News: The daily reading of at least one leading American newspaper (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, etc), one major foreign newspaper or weekly (London Guardian, Economist, etc), and one major American quarterly (Foreign Report) is required. All are available over the Internet.

Grading Policy
Grading Notes: In judging the quality of all assignments, the total grade for each of these will be divided into three portions, one-third for the quality and formatting of the presentation, one-third for the factual accuracy of research, and one-third for the strength and persuasiveness of the opinions expressed. Extra weight will be given for any visible improvement of work manifested over the semester.

Grading values:

A+ (98-100)

A (94-97)

A-- (90-93)

B+ (88-89)

B (84-87)

B-- (80-83)

C+ (78-79)

C (74-77)

C-- (70-73)

D   (60-69)

F (59-less)

Grading Break-up:

Attendance and participation 30%

Web-page maintenance 10 %

Assignments (oral and written) 30 %

Final or Term Paper 30 %

Session 1 : Introduction

Class policies and ground rules regarding, drafting techniques, web-sites, email addresses, oral book presentations, etc., and the road map of the semester will be discussed in detail.
Session 2 : The Role of the State : Rights, Duties and Obligations

This session reviews the definitions of the state, including the institutions of the legislature, the judiciary, electoral bodies as they have traditionally been conceptualized. What are the duties of the state to the public? What levels of government carry out what duties? How does legislature respond to the needs of the state, its duties and obligations? Governments are established to respond to the needs of their populations? What are these needs? How are they defined? What right do the people have to demand them? How do they make their concerns known? And in turn do they have duties to fulfill in their capacities as private citizens that contribute to the smooth functioning of their governments? What is the role of citizenry in good governance and in the effective functioning of the state?

Book Presentation: Globalisation, Human Development Report 1999, UNDP

Other discussion Papers:

International Cooperation, .Human Development Report 2005. Available at:

Views from the South in the documents of the South Commission at

The Rise of the Brand State, Peter van Ham, Foreign Affairs, Sep-Oct 2001 available at

Session 3 : Understanding Globalisation

This session will attempt to define the parameters of the forces of globalisation in their historical and functional contexts. How does globalisation today differ from its earlier versions? What are the respective roles of the state and the private sector in using these forces ? How do states, citizens, businesses, benefit from these forces ? Who gains and who loses out in the process.

Book Presentation: Reinventing Government, David Osborne, 1992.

Other discussion papers:

Selling Globalization The Myth of the Global Economy, by Michael Veseth

Globalisation, Human Development Report 1999, UNDP, Available at:

The Clash of Globalizations, Stanley Hoffman, Foreign Affairs, Jul-Aug 2002
Session 4 : Governance as a Basic Pre-Condition to Sustainable Development

Governance is a basic precondition for sustainable economic, social and political development. This lesson will look at the linkages between governance and development that is sustainable. It will review how systems of governance can effect development positively or negatively and the challenges posed to the state and society. It will also look at accountability and transparency in dealing especially with corruption, which is a major concern in most countries.

Book Presentation: Reconceptualizing Governance, Discussion Paper 2, UNDP, January 1997

Other discussion Papers:

Governance for Sustainable Development, a UNDP Policy Document, 1997, Available at:

Corruption and Good Governance. UNDP Discussion Paper 3, 1997 Available at:
Session 5 : The Integration of Markets, Technology and Information

This lesson reviews the impact of globalization on nations and countries all over the world. It examines the development of new technologies, and rapid information communications that are breaking down barriers of time and distance. It looks at the effect of unprecedented integration of trade and financial transactions through electronic means and the massive diffusion of information through Internet and satellites. It examines the effect of globalization on the sovereignty of the state and the need for a change in its role.

Book Presentation: The Third Wave, by Samuel Huntington, published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

Other discussion Papers:

Globalization and the Nation-State, by Robert J. Holton, London: MacMillan,

Philip G. Cerny (1996), “What Next for the State?”, Chapter 9, Elonore Kafman and Gillian Youngs (Eds.), Globalization: Theory and Practice, London: Pinter.

The Knowledge Gap, Avinesh Persaud, Foreign Affairs, Mar-Apr 2001

Session 6 : The Erosion of Sovereignty

The process of globalisation is undermining the sovereignty of nation states and will lead to the eventual disintegration of the sovereign states system in international politics. The sovereignty of nations is being undermined by multiple sources: technology, civil society, global consensus on issues such as human rights, democracy and governance. However, sovereign states are still the basic constituents of the international society. This lesson will look at the effect of globalization on the sovereignty of the state and review policies that need to be adopted to meet the requirements of the international community.

Book Presentation: Development as Freedom, by Amartya Sen, published by Random House Anchor Books.

Other discussion Papers:

Philip G. Cerny (1996), “What Next for the State?”, Chapter 9, Elonore Kafman and Globalization: Theory and Practice, by Gillian Youngs (Eds.), London: Pinter,

The Twilight of Sovereignty: How the Information Revolution Is Transforming Our World, by Wriston, Walter, New York: Charles Scribner,

Will the Nation State survive Globalisation, Martin Wolf, Foreign Affairs, Jan-Feb 2001

Session 7 : The Growing Role of Non-State Actors

The modern state is witnessing civil society, NGOs and the private sector becoming more powerful at the expense of the state. In some countries, the influence of some transnational corporations (TNCs) has become greater than that of the state. These TNCs are the most important single force creating global shifts in economic activity, and their strategies and operations are much influenced by the forces of technological change. Moreover, private investment has become a major source of funding for development activities. How can the state interact with these non-state actors gradually gaining a more prominent role? This lesson explores the different experiences and responses of nations to answer this question.

Book Presentation: The World Turned Upside Down? Globalization and the Future of the State, by Berry Jones, published by St. Martin's Press.

Other discussion Papers:

Governance in the Twenty-first Century, by Rosenau, James N. in Global Governance Vol. 1, No. I (Winter 1995)
Assignment submission deadline for one of the following topics:

1: How is globalization affecting the poor and other disadvantaged groups in developing and developed countries. Each student can either take one country or one aspect of globalization to prepare this summary. In other words the unit of analysis could either be one issue/aspect of globalization applied to different countries, or one country through which all aspects are brought together.


2: Critically examine the problems of the civic and corporate responsibilities of multinational corporations. Students can either choose one company, or prepare a general note to examine how private sector companies can share social and economic responsibility for the communities and groups in which they work. Such responsibilities might include, among other possibilities, support to local economic development, increasing awareness of human rights, supporting the government to fight cross border corruption, etc..

Session 8 : The Increasing Inter-dependence among States

There is visible evidence about the emergence of a global community, global issues and global actions. Examples lie in multi-lateral organizations as in the United Nations system, and in regional institutions, as in the European Union, NAFTA, ASEAN, etc. Increasing interaction among states in tackling political, economic and financial issues, has resulted in a growing awareness that interaction at regional and global levels is essential in this globalized world. There is a need to address issues of peace, security, economic stability, poverty and health as global concerns. There is an awareness that global actions are becoming essential in effectively tackling problems which are acquiring global dimensions, for example, drugs, terrorism, global warming, crime, poverty, illiteracy, AIDS, etc. There is growing awareness also about the concept of “global public goods”. How can nations deal with this new inter-dependence? What is the most effective role for the state? This lesson reviews the effect of rapidly increasing globalisation in the 21st Century and its impact on national governments of the North and South. It looks at the issue of global goods, effects on the growth, distribution of incomes, availability of public services, and increasing inequities within countries and across nations and reviews the need for increased collaboration in policy, with particular emphasis on global governance.

Book Presentation: Governance in a Globalizing World, by Joseph Nye and John Donahue, published by Brookings Institute Press.

Other discussion Papers:

Governance in the Twenty-first Century by Rosenau, James in Global Governance, Vol. 1, No. I (Winter 1995)

Session 9 : The Effects of Globalisation and Localization

Globalization is forcing states to cede some sovereignty over global issues. The greater demand for decentralization and citizen empowerment is also forcing states to devolve power, authority and finances to local levels. What is the role of decentralization and how can this be distinguished from the process of devolution, and deconcentration? This lesson will look at institutional changes, experiences in decentralization and democratic governance.

Book Presentation: Re-Imagining the Future – Towards Global Governance, Report of the Global Governance Reform Project, La Trobe University, 2000

Other discussion Papers:

Institutions , institutional change and economic performance, by North, Douglass, Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Making democracy work, Putnam, Robert D., Robert Leonardi, and Raffaella Y. Nanette. 1993.

Globalization’s Democratic Defeat, Joseph Nye, Foreign Affairs, Jul-Aug, 2001
Session 10 : Retooling National and International Governance Institutions.

Governments and international organizations are faced at all levels with increasing globalisation, population, and growing needs. New forms and ways of government functioning are emerging. The twenty first century is marked by a focus on democratisation, and an increased emphasis on global, national and local governance. The challenge is to restructure national governance institutions to deal with the impact of globalisation and the changing circumstances as well as providing efficient and effective public services with limited funds.

Book Presentation: Globalization and its Discontents, by Joseph Stiglitz, published by W W Norton and Company..

Other discussion Papers:

The new institutionalism: Organizational factors in political life. by March, James. G., and Hohan P. Olsen.. American Political Science Review 78 (3): 734-749.
Session 11 Regulatory Frameworks at the International and National Levels

The objectives are, ensuring society-based supremacy of laws, establishing regulatory systems to set up effective regulatory frameworks and a rights based system, ensuring equal treatment before laws protecting life, property and human dignity. How is law implemented in multi-juridical states? What challenges does this present to governments? How does this affect the democratic representation of each citizen? The session will also look at overarching international juridical bodies: who designs them, who informs them, how is their mandate determined and implemented. Particular attention will be focused on the World Bank, the IMF, and the WTO. Country cases are used to illustrate the needs of establishing policies, laws and resource priorities at the national levels to ensure equity and justice, and the upholding of rule of law, bringing security, and predictability to social, political and economic relations in the world.

Book Presentation: The Lexus and the Olive Tree, by Thomas Friedman, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Other discussion Papers:

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights; United Nations Available at:
Session 12: Building New Partnerships with Civil Society and the Private Sector

What constitutes civil society? What is the most effective role of civil society organizations at the local, regional and global level? Do they and should they have well defined mandates? How can they work collaboratively with government? In addition, beginning with a review of the traditional role of the private sector in the stability of a nation-state, what are the moral, financial and legal obligations that the private sector has both to governments and to its constituents, addressing the question of the appropriate tools for regulation, if any. It examines the vital role of the private sector in good governance and in mitigating the negative effects of globalisation.

Other discussion Papers:

Citizens, Strengthening Global Civil Society. CIVICUS.

Good Governance and Trade Policy: Are they the Key to Africa’s Global Integration and Growth?. by Francis and Yates, Alexander; World Bank. 1999, Available at:

Taxes and Bribery: The Role of Wage Incentives. Besley, Timothy, and J. McLaren. Economic Journal, Vol. 103, January 1999.
Final Paper submission deadline:
What is the issue of the changing role and power of the nation-state in the face of globalisation. Some argue that invincible globalising forces will inevitably lead to the demise or fatal weakening of the nation-state in international politics. This kind of argument is explicitly presented in titles such as “The End of the Nation-State” (K. Ohmae, 1996) and “The Retreat of the State” (Susan Strange, 1996) Others refuse this argument and contend that nation-states will hold fast to their traditional powers and sovereignty. Examine the conflicting arguments on the relationship between globalisation and the sovereignty of the nation-state. In doing this, look into the conceptual aspects of globalisation and sovereignty first, present the different views on the subjects, and try to arrive at some conclusions as to what the conflicting arguments imply for human development.


A focused single-topic paper, either on one of the following topics (or on any other relevant topic which is cleared in advance with the Professor):

(a) The Uneven Impact of Globalization.

(b) Electoral Reform in Established Democracies.

(c) Decentralization and Democracy.

(d) The Importance of Rule of Law and Access to Justice.

(e) The Limits to the Capacity of the Public Sector.

(f) Corruption and Accountability.

(g) The Erosion of Sovereignty.

(h) The Role of Civil Society in the Future World.

(i) The Role of Foreign Direct Investment.

(j) Information Technology as a Driving Force.

(k) Terrorism, causes and effects

  1. Poverty and its Effects

  2. New Doctrines in Law

  3. Free Trade and Protectionism

  4. Migration flows in a Globalised world.

Session 13 : Final summation - Current good practices

Several modules of good governance exist around the world. Students will identify different models of good governance and critically analyse its components establishing the reasons for the success of the models and identifying the circumstances where these models could be used as an example of "best practices". What does capacity development for governance involve? How is the capacity of a national government assessed and what are the innovative approaches required to create an enabling environment and interrelationship of groups and organizations.

Other discussion Papers:

The Capacity to Govern: Report to the Club of Rome. Yehezekiel,

The Commonwealth Portfolio of Current Good Practices and New Development in Public Services Management, Commonwealth Secretariat. 1996,

Emerging Issues in Capacity Development, Proceedings of a Workshop. Institute on Governance, Ottawa, 1994.

Spreading the Wealth, Dollar and Kraay, Foreign Affairs, Jan-Feb 2002

Is Inequality Decreasing, Galbraith and Pitt, Foreign Affairs, Jul-Aug 2002

Session 14 : Discussion on Final Papers

This session will review the Final Papers of students before the semester ends

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