GSG 101: Introduction to Global Studies

3 credits | Prerequisites: None

Course rationale

‘Global’ in the 21st Century is a far more nuanced term than ever: the 19th Century version revolved around the foreign policy of the ‘great powers, all of them European, with their colonies as appendages; in the 20th Century, those colonies had largely acquired independence, but in the sea of changes, the most dramatic development was the replacement of those European great powers by two ‘superpowers’ from elsewhere, the Soviet Union and the United States. In today’s 21st Century, the global stage is filled with an unknown variety of players: as ‘superpowers’ lose steam and ‘great powers’ still insist they remain great, emergent, lesser, and non-powers, as well as non-state actors and unspecified exploding issues, demand greater attention. ‘Nationalism’ is being challenged by ‘globalism’, triggering conflicts: religious forces, environmental pressures, population flows, illegal
trade, and illegitimate organizations all seem to be ganging up on the state, individually or in combination. Grappling with these has become a more intricate task. In the 19th Century, diplomats and armies were mobilized to find solutions, to be joined in the 20th by agency representatives and business executives. The 21st Century requires the ‘local’ (grassroots, national)and ‘global’ (international, multinational, transnational, supranational) to jointly govern problems/crises, creating a new ‘global’ context’.. ‘Global Studies &Governance’ (GSG) Program was introduced at Independent University, in Bangladesh, to evaluate such paradigms. As discipline-based academic training becomes increasingly inadequate to feed job markets requiring multi-tasking candidates, the GSG Program, with its inter-disciplinary and multidisciplinary agenda, which mixes cultural, economic, political, and social issues, stakes its claim to reshape the curricular landscape. This introductory course cultivates that holistic and multidimensional approach to governance. Hitherto addressed from a ‘business’/‘environmental’/‘security’ angle, governance in this course will be scrutinized from multiple (a) country-specific viewpoints; (b) culture-specific reflections; (c) issues; (d) negotiation styles and procedures; and (e) possible outcomes.

Course content

Understanding Global Studies; Worldview; Common features of the contemporary global community; The
Growth of Global System (Medieval to Contemporary): Discovery, Colonialism, Imperialism, Industrialization, Neo-Imperialism, Timeline(1492-present), current global trends; Globalization & its history; Dimensions of Globalization: Economic, Political & Cultural; State & Government: Features of State, Key Concepts, Citizenship, Responsibilities of states, Governance & Good Governance, Challenges to states; Levels of Analysis; Theories of State Behavior: Classical realism, Neorealism, Neo classical realism, Liberalism, Neoliberalism, Cognitive Theories, Constructivism; Game Theory: Assumptions, Zero-Sum Games, Variable-Sum Game, Applications; Negotiation in International Relations; Cultural Diversity & Decision-Making Process: Japanese Culture, Russian Culture, Chinese Culture, Cultural Uniqueness, and Exceptionalism; Human Rights: Understanding human rights, The evolution of rights, Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Global Public Goods & Regional Integration; Environment & Development: Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals.

Course objectives

  1. The primary objective is to introduce students to different global issues and perspectives to make them globally conscious.
  2. It will also help students to understand the impact of globalization on economic, political, and social dimensions and the role of different stakeholders in maintaining global systems by ensuring sustainable development.
  3. Thus, this course aims to increase awareness and comprehension of students on global issues and be able to critically analyze the role of national and global actors and stakeholders in providing global goods and services.


  1. Patricia J. Campbell, Aran MacKinnon, and Christy R. Stevens, An Introduction to Global Studies, First Edition,
    A John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Publication, Hoboken, New Jersey, USA.